Jackie Robinson's Second Season: I'm Beginning To Believe in Obama

I've been rough on Barack Obama. I think, fairly. Many say not fairly. But I am beginning to see qualities that I think are necessary for a successful run for the Presidency. Yesterday in Frank Rich's column, Obama addresses some concerns:

Mr. Obama is well aware of the serious criticisms he engenders, including the charge that he is conciliatory to a fault. He argues that he is “not interested in just splitting the difference” when he habitually seeks a consensus on tough issues. “There are some times where we need to be less bipartisan,” he says. “I’m not interested in cheap bipartisanship. We should have been less bipartisan in asking tough questions about entering into this Iraq war.”

No cheap Broder/Lieberman/McCain "bipartisanship" for Obama.

Bob Herbert writes:

Senator Barack Obama, in his speech in Illinois Saturday formally launching his presidential bid, gave us an excellent reason for being serious:

Ladies and gentlemen, there’s a war on.

After going through a litany of lofty goals for a new generation to strive for, including health care for all Americans, a rejuvenated public education system, an end to poverty and real progress in dealing with global warming, the senator offered a hard and simple truth:

“All of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq.”

No cheap bipartisanship for Obama on Iraq.

Some may be confused by my title "Jackie Robinson's Second Season . . ." Let me cite this article to provide some background:

[In Robinson's first season,] 1947 . . . [s]egregation was a fact of life. Robinson helped to change that, both in and out of sports. Before Brown vs. Board of Education, before Rosa Parks, before the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., he was challenging the notion that people of color were inferior to people with alabaster skin. But it was a hard lesson to learn.

On the field, Robinson was the constant target of beanballs, spikes and the vilest epithets. Bench jockeys inquired which of his teammates' wives he would be sleeping with that night . . . Off the field, he was forced to stay in different hotels and eat in different restaurants than his teammates.

Robinson had to take it all in stride. When Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey was interviewing Robinson for the role of pioneer in 1945, he stuck his face into Robinson's and told this volatile college man in his middle 20s that he would have to take it -- anything the hatemongers cared to dish out. "Mr. Rickey, are you looking for a ballplayer who's afraid to fight back?" Robinson is said to have asked. "I'm looking for a bat/player with the guts not to fight back," Rickey replied.

What the story does not talk about is Robinson's second season. When he could show the guts to fight back. And did. Because what's not often talked about is that Jackie Robinson was one of the toughest, most hardnosed players in the game.

Maybe last year was Obama's "first season." Maybe now we will get the unfiltered, fighting Obama.

I watched Barack Obama on 60 Minutes tonight (Click the link for the video) and I have never been more impressed with him. Ironically, I have not seen him less polished and smooth. We got a rougher cut of Obama in some segments. And I could not have been more impressed and satisfied. Because the discussion DESERVED roughness. It deserved a more visceral reaction. Steve Kroft asked Obama about the charge the he is "not black enough." Don't get me wrong, he did not lose his cool but his look and words, conveyed to me a vivid understanding, BECAUSE HE HAS LIVED IT, of being African-American in the United States. He fairly bristled at the suggestion. It is clear that he thinks 'if they had walked in my shoes they would never insult me with that question.' He KNOWS. He will fight.

Obama said:

KROFT: You were raised in a white household?

OBAMA: Right.

KROFT: Yet at some point, you decided that you were black?

OBAMA: Well, I'm not sure I decided it. I think if you look African-American in this society, you're treated as an African-American. And when you're a child in particular that is how you begin to identify yourself. At least that's what I felt comfortable identifying myself as.

From my transcript, segment transcript not available:

KROFT: There are African Americans who don't think you are black enough . . . OBAMA: . . . The truth of the matter is when I am walking on the Southside of Chicago . . . those aren't questions I get asked. . . . I also notice when I'm catching a cab (pause) no one is confused either . . .

But to do it justice, you have to watch the video from around the 7:00 mark.

Then Obama's wife says something very important, when asked if she fears for Obama's life because he is running for President (referencing Alma Powell's concern when Colin Powell was considering a run), again my transcript:

. . . as a black man, Barack could get shot going to the gas station . . .

This couple knows. This couple has lived it. They will fight.

I'm beginning to believe. I'm not sold yet. I want to hear more. But, I moved a a long way yesterday.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Hope (2.00 / 1) (#4)
    by squeaky on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 01:23:59 PM EST
    I am with you, BTD. Open to possibility.  It would be nice to see a three dimensional leader emerge out of the rubble. we'll see if Obama has the stuff. This is a good sign.

    It was a "throw the bums out" speech (1.00 / 1) (#1)
    by bx58 on Mon Feb 12, 2007 at 11:22:36 PM EST
    That might not get him too far these days. He will need a lot of help.

    Hillary in 08 and Jeb in 16.

    Lack of experience shows (1.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 09:08:34 PM EST
    Well, so far he has managed to insult the troops and Australia, one of our best allies.

    And that's just two days in.

    Yes indeed, we need leadership like that. (sarcasm for those who wander by.)

    But he has charmisa!!!!!!

    Pardon me while I giggle.

    DA (1.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 07:07:51 AM EST
    Ah, so we have a guy who gets mad at the press and starts his own enemies list.

    He feels insulted by the leader of a foreign country and strikes back with a verbal attack on the individual and the country.

    He has disagreements over the war so he tells the families and friends of those who have died that their loved ones life was "wasted."

    Obama has been given a free ride for years and years. We are now seeing the man emerge.

    DA (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 08:02:55 AM EST
    That was no insult. The Aussie had it right.


    THE one thing no one is saying about Prime Minister John Howard's remarks is they are obviously right. Asked about US Senator Barack Hussein Obama's plan to withdraw all US forces from Iraq by March 31, 2008, Howard replied: "If I were running al-Qa'ida in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and pray as many times as possible for a victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats."
    Certainly al-Qa'ida agrees. After the November 2006 elections handed control of the US Congress to the anti-war Democrats, al-Qa'ida's leader in Iraq gloated in an audio-taped message: "The American people have taken a step in the right path to come out of their predicament, they voted for a level of reason."
    Abu Omar al-Baghdad, who heads an al-Qa'ida umbrella group, made the terror group's latest demand for allied withdrawal on February 2: "We order you to withdraw your forces immediately. But the withdrawal must be via troop transport trucks and passenger planes whereby each soldier is allowed to carry his own weapon only. They may not withdraw any of the heavy military equipment, and the military bases must be handed over to the mujahidin of the Islamic state, and the duration of the withdrawal may not exceed a month."

    So Obama's position and that of al-Qa'ida's are virtually identical, except for the departure date.



    ppj wrong again (none / 0) (#12)
    by Sailor on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 10:17:48 AM EST
    so we have a guy who gets mad at the press and starts his own enemies list.
    that's a lie proven wrong several threads ago.

    If all you're going to do is repeat the same lies why don't you troll somewhere else?

    ppj , having been wrong about every political situation so far, and proudly ensconced in the 29% club, continues to repeat increasingly disturbed and shrill lies.


    Sailor (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 04:42:14 PM EST
    Prove it.

    Which season was it... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 12:57:07 PM EST
    when Jackie Robinson came out against NAFTA??

    A representative of the political establishment (none / 0) (#5)
    by Andreas on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 01:52:57 PM EST
    The WSWS writes:

    Because of the overwhelming antiwar sentiment of Democratic voters, Obama has attempted to strike a critical pose toward the war in Iraq--as have the other putative frontrunners, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. Like his counterparts, however, he is a tried and true defender of the geo-political interests of corporate America. If elected, he would not hesitate in using military force to secure US domination of the Middle East, Central Asia and the world.

    Like the rest of the Democratic Party critics of the war, Obama's differences with Bush are over tactics--not whether, but how best, to defend US imperialist interests. Within the confines of this limited "debate," the Democratic presidential hopefuls are attempting to establish differences among themselves, and, in turn, their miniscule differences are magnified out of proportion by the media. ...

    Obama endorses and recycles as his own all of Bush's "thirteen benchmarks" for "progress" in Iraq. Among them, Obama singles out the demand for "eliminating restrictions on US forces." In other words, the Pentagon should be given an even freer hand to drown the Iraqi resistance in blood. Obama also demands the Iraqi government reduce "the size and influence of the militias"--that is, fully confront the powerful Al Mahdi militia.

    US Senator Barack Obama and the war in Iraq
    By Tom Eley, 13 February 2007

    That bad eh (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 09:11:12 PM EST
    Australia, one of our best allies.

    3,000 + Dead (none / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 09:41:49 AM EST
    says yours, Shemp's, and al-Qa'idas goals are virtually identical, pokerputz.

    Jondee shows his ability (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 04:45:26 PM EST
    Ah another highly intelligent comment by Jondee.

    Your ability to demonstrate the depth of your education, knowledge of the world and debate a point is just so.... well.... let me see... astonishly poor.