Saturday, August 22, 2009

Backbones Are Relative

Let me tell y'all a story...

I was at the park recently, and this guy was there with his wife and their children. His wife was a security guard and she was on patrol at the park, but also spending time with her family. She and the man are talking, and abruptly he starts yelling towards a group of teenagers at the far end of the parking lot.

From what I could gather, somehow the man suspected that the teenagers had used some profane language to describe his wife. He loudly and repeatedly asked these teenagers if they had in fact made the comment to his wife. While doing this, he kept screaming the alleged comment, which was in fact vile, so that all the children on the playground could hear him.

Finally, after threatening to beat up teenagers for several minutes, he turned to all of us and apologized for his language and his behavior. But, he then added "I can't stand nobody disrespecting my wife."

This guy clearly believed that the best way to display his manhood was to prove he was the biggest and baddest man at the park. And he didn't care who had to see him put on this display.

The idea of a backbone is something that's been a popular topic lately. It's become vogue to accuse President Barack Obama of being a spineless wimp. Most people, liberal and conservative, think Obama lacks the testicular fortitude to push through healthcare reform, and people have no problem stating their beliefs.

The thing is, toughness is a funny concept. I mean, did Bill Clinton and Hillary lack toughness? They failed on healthcare as well, you know. Many other politicians have failed to enact reforms that were necessary, does that mean they all lacked toughness?

It's not that I don't see where some of the criticism is coming from, it's just that it seems based on the idea that toughness is forcing people to do what you want them to do no matter what they want. That may be true in some cases, but I don't think it works that way for politicians.

Honestly, I believe that citizens get the reforms they deserve. Sometimes I wonder if Obama doesn't feel the same way. If people don't want to buy what he's selling, maybe he figures it's not worth killing himself to sell it to them.

I think that takes a special sort of backbone.



the uppity negro said...

Whether he gets it passed or not, I just think he's coming off as a doormat, and that's not good in any shape, form or fashion.

And i think because everyone saw his response to the Henry Louis Gates debacle, everyone knows he's capable of clearly taking sides on an issue.

Big Man said...

I understand your point.

But, I think that if folks would take a step back and truly consider what's going on, their opinions might change.

In order for Obama to truly nip this stuff in the bud he has to say stuff that most Americans don't want to hear. The Gates flap proved that truth. Obama painted himself into a box by running as he ran, and I think he and his advisers underestimated how difficult it would be to govern from that box. That's the root problem.

LisaMJ said...

I think President Obama is a pretty laid back guy in his way. Filled with energy and getting stuff done, but not an in your face put-up your dukes kind of guy. He is a bridge builder and so he isn't going to do too much "in your face beyotch" stuff. I still have faith in him, and keep remind myself what I learned from reading his books; he thinks about things on lots of layers and he will get things done. We might not like it or the way he does it but I think he will accomplish much. Plus I think everyone is getting really spun up and Fox is getting too much play. Only 2 million people watch it and given that we have a population of 300 plus million, it means that they don't have as much sway as it sometimes seems they do. Granted those numbers are as high as the network news but when I heard that statistic the other day I felt much better b/c there are a lot more people who aren't paying attention to them and their shenanigans. I think they are a vocal minority. I doubt everyone else out there has my views, but I think a lot more folks are willing to listen than the impression we get from the MSM.

Raving Black Lunatic