Today is Barack Obama's birthday. I want to take a moment to wish him the best, and thank him for making me proud once again to be an American.
Over the year and a half or so that he's been in office, I'll admit to having questioned some of his decisions and I've not agreed with everything he's done, but that's the nature of politics and of the Presidency. However, for possibly the first time in my life, I have a President whom I can understand. Even when I disagree with his choices, I understand how he reached his conclusion.
Today's been a particularly auspicious day for this country, and not just because of Barack's birthday. On two separate issues, one on each coast, we took giant steps forward for liberty and freedom. In New York, the City reached a decision that would allow construction of a controversial mosque near the former World Trade Towers, affirming our commitment to tolerance and the separation of Church and State. And meanwhile, over on the West Coast, a judge overturned California's ban on gay marriage, again affirming our commitment to tolerance and the separation of Church and State.
Unfortunately, not everybody will perceive these events in the same way as I do, but that's where diversity and tolerance comes to play. Mr. Obama came down here to diverse, if not always tolerant, Atlanta earlier this week to make a major speech to a group of veterans on his Afghanistan policy (see paragraph above about my not agreeing with everything), and Roy Barnes, Democratic candidate for Governor, went as far out of his way as possible to avoid being seen with the Commander In Chief, campaigning all the way down state by the Florida border so as not to give his adversaries any opportunities to accuse him of guilt by association.
But still, even here there's hope. Some Republican politicians here are finally standing up to demagogue Sarah Palin, who has inserted herself into local politics by endorsing run-off candidate Karen Handel. In a blow to Ms. Palin's pretensions to become a feminist icon of some sort, many of these critics are women. According to Joan Westmoreland, wife of Georgia Congressman and former Racist Georgian of the Week Lynn Westmoreland, "Alaska is a far cry from Georgia and I’m pretty sure Ms. Palin can’t smell our peaches from her front porch. This is not just about who wears lipstick, it’s about who will govern this state with integrity and conviction."
Sen. Renee Unterman said, "We feel this: Sarah Palin is an outsider. She knows what’s happening in Wasilla, Alaska; we know what’s happening in Ocilla, Georgia, Camilla, Georgia, and Augusta, Georgia."
So there's hope. Thank you for that, Mr. President, and happy birthday!