Featured, Race & Politics

By Nominating Merrick Garland, President Obama Is Trolling Republicans The Way Parents Troll Kids

I forgot exactly what led to it. Maybe I was told to go to bed a bit earlier than I wanted to. Maybe I wasn’t allowed to bring my Hasbro-made Millennium Falcon replica in the bathtub. And maybe I got in trouble (again) for peeing on the neighbor’s dog (again). (Don’t ask.) Either way, I was throwing a temper tantrum; pissed I had been banished to the bedroom and fuming over my parents’ unjust treatment of me. I was so mad, in fact, that I wanted revenge. Retribution. I needed to find a way to hurt them for hurting me.

Finally, I figured something out:

I’m going to run away.

Of course, I never actually intended to run away. The plan was to pack a sad-ass bookbag full of toys, socks, and fruit roll-ups, go downstairs and make the saddest and angriest face possible while telling my parents I was running away, and have them finally acknowledge the yawning and subterranean agony they put me through while they begged me to stay.

So I packed the bag, marched downstairs, made the face, and told my mom what was about to go down. Her reply?

Well, Damon, it’s getting chilly tonight. So if you run away, you should probably take a jacket.

And then she turned back to the TV and kept watching Designing Women.

I still went through with my plan. But after 90 seconds or so of standing on my porch, I got cold and went back inside.

I’m sharing this story because my mom unexpectedly and expertly calling my bluff is the best example I have of the fact that parents are the world’s greatest and most effective trolls. And I’m sharing this story today because, with the nomination of Merrick Garland, this is exactly what President Obama is doing to the Republicans. He’s effectively treating them like seven-year-olds threatening to run away. Because, as we all know, they’ve repeatedly stated they’ll refuse to confirm anyone Obama nominates. But Garland is a choice so safe and so politically placid that Orrin Hatch has endorsed him. (Repeatedly!)

From The New Republic: 

But Hatch has also been a long-time advocate for Merrick Garland, who President Obama will nominate to the Supreme Court on Wednesday. In 2010, when he was considered for the slot that ultimately went to Sonia Sotomayor, Hatch said that he had known Garland for years. He added that, if nominated, he would be a “consensus nominee” and that there was “no question” he would be confirmed.

And just last week, he praised Garland and indicated he was a qualified candidate, saying, “The president told me several times he’s going to name a moderate [to fill the court vacancy], but I don’t believe him. [Obama] could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man. He probably won’t do that because this appointment is about the election. So I’m pretty sure he’ll name someone the [liberal Democratic base] wants.”

Shit, even his actual name sounds like the name of a sheriff in a revenge-fantasy western produced by the Koch brothers. (Possible titles? The Man Who Had Enough. Or Consequences. Or maybe Sunday Brunch at Sequoia.) And if they refuse to confirm this guy, it’ll show everyone that Republicans are basically being big-ass babies. The kid refusing to eat his chicken nuggets — which happen to be his favorite thing in the world — because he’s still mad his dad told him to put on some fucking pants.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • rikyrah

    LOL

    it’s gonna be fun watching POTUS just take his stick and whack the GOP and then go – ‘who me?’

  • Me

    Except this is the same Congress that DID allow the government to shut down b/c they actually do believe they can turn blue if they hold their breaths long enough. Obama stays caving and catering to these premature ultimate tantrum contenders. If he thinks this will prevent them from delaying the confirmation, Obama’s the really silly one.

    • cilgen

      I don’t agree. I don’t believe that’s his strategy – preventing them from delaying the confirmation. He knows they’re going to delay. That’s a given. I believe this selection is in part to demonstrate to the American public just how petty the GOP truly is. I also believe this action may prove to be a motivating factor in November to get people to the polls. I have never believed that this President has catered to that bunch. He’s simply smarter, more level headed, and committed to getting things done. They hate him for that. But of course, they mostly hate him because he’s Black. But oh well, he was elected President of the United States. Twice.

      • Me

        That to me is worse. Why gamble a nominee to prove that the GOP is petty? They wear their pettiness on their sleeves in every debate and rally. What’s left to prove?

        • cilgen

          I do understand your perspective, but I don’t feel it’s about having anything left to prove. The President is doing his job. He still has 300 days in office. He selected a nominee, and now it’s the Senate’s turn to do their job. They can reject the nominee if they choose, but their role in the process is to hold hearings, grill her/him up and down if they want, and then vote. Also, I’m seeing in the last few minutes that a few GOP Senators are caving a bit (particularly a few who are locked in tough re-election battles) in terms of saying that they *will* meet with Garland. So perhaps it wasn’t quite the gamble after all. We’ll see, I suppose.

          • Me

            The gamble is using up his last nomination (assuming no one else passes away) on a centrist. If the GOP does end up tucking their tails in and confirming this dude (which I’ve heard since last week that they had hired a dream team of lawyers and consultants to dig up as much dirt on all the likely candidates as possible to give them a headstart on reasons to deny them all), we end up with a wild card on the SCOTUS instead of someone who actually aligns with Democrat platforms. This wasn’t the time to play chess against GOP rationale.

            • Question

              But your argument relies on the notion that Congress would actually consider and confirm someone more Left leaning…

              It isn’t chess because the other side doesn’t have to do anything. In chess you don’t have the option NOT to move. This is more a game of chicken.

              • Me

                The GOP has been making tons of moves. They didn’t even wait for Scalia’s plump body to touch the dirt before they announced that their move would be stall tactics regardless of the nominee. And now because of that Obama went ahead and played right into their game by trying to pick someone that “even Republicans couldn’t deny”. Yet they will. And if Congress’s next move is to confirm Obama’s pawn, we’re skrewed.

                • Question

                  I guess I’m questioning whether this move plays into their game, or he has a game of his own that he’s playing? I think he has three people he’s serious about, two that he’s going to hold on to until right after June and right around October, and one that he’s going to try and get Clinton/Sanders support for if/when they are elected.

                  I wouldn’t come out the gate with the person you care deeply about getting a fair shake to a group of people who have already told you that they aren’t going to play with you. Why would you come out with the person you know your lefties are going to get excited about, so that the GOP can shut it down without consideration…? That position doesn’t make sense to me.

                  Crazy to think that our Supreme Court has become a Game Theory laboratory.

                  • Me

                    This entire election year has become Game Theory. I’m just not comfortable with this move if Obama is banking on a second chance to put up his real nomination through Hillary or Bernie. But I’m also not comfortable if this is his real end game either.

                  • Cheech

                    He doesn’t get other picks in June and October. This one is it.

            • cilgen

              I’m very much enjoying this conversation. Thank you, Me, for a really interesting discussion. We just fundamentally disagree about the approach and motive and agenda, etc. of the President. I don’t think Garland is a bad choice, although I would have loved to have seen a different pick, as I’ve stated. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re all doomed if by some miracle Garland is confirmed. I do believe that Hillary is going to win – that says nothing about my personal feelings – just an opinion about what the election result will be. I think Hillary will also have an opportunity to nominate at least 2 Supreme Court Justices, and with a Democratic Senate she’ll have the chance to select less moderate candidates. Let’s see if she does.

              • Me

                I agree that Hillary [or Bernie] will have the opportunity to appoint at least ONE new justice (two if Dems win re-election). And I do believe that whether it’s Hillary or Bernie who takes office, the next appointment will lean harder left. I just wish that we weren’t squandering opportunities trying to win games created by Republicans who cheat at every turn anyway. And if you truly believe Garland is Obama’s legit choice, then I’m back at merely wondering why black folks ride so hard for all of his choices when they don’t actually put us in any better position in so many instances, because this would be a weak choice in my book.

                • Cheech

                  I’m with Me on this one. (That sounds funny.) Except I’m more pessimistic about Hillary–I’m not sure she’ll go further left than Judge Garland. He seems like the epitome of a Clinton pick — in fact, he was. I view this as a squandered opportunity.

                  As for riding hard for Obama–I still do it, because the alternative would be so much worse. I’m still happy he’s the grownup, and not trying to screw the country up as hard as he can with both hands, as the other side would be doing. But it seems like a low bar.

                  • Cheech

                    Though it’s pretty lonely these days. I admire cilgen–she’s even more pro-moderate-Obama than I am. 8~)

                    • cilgen

                      LOL I’m with POTUS all the way, even when I disagree with him. I’m unapologetically pro POTUS and accept/embrace his many facets. :- )

                  • Me

                    “I’m still happy he’s the grownup, and not trying to screw the country up as hard as he can with both hands, as the other side would be doing.”

                    I’ll concede on that point. Republicans have definitely proven they’re willing to watch the country burn just to say they got a W.

                    • Cheech

                      That was true when they nominated and elected W. It’s oh-so-much-more true now.

                  • Cheech

                    I just realized, full disclosure — I’m not Black. But still an Obama fan. Just not so much today.

        • Question

          The gamble being the event that they actually consider and confirm someone he puts forth as sacrificial lamb?

          • Me

            Correct. I don’t want a sacrificial lamb holding a serious position. We still have very serious cases being heard by the SCOTUS that affect the bc greatly, and I don’t want to leave that decision in the hands of a man that’s even more centrist than Obama himself.

        • Formerly_Marcella

          Honestly, you have to remember that A LOT of people don’t see the GOP as being petty. How many people & pundits are in awe at the true state of the Republican party, as demonstrated by Trump’s dominance in the primaries? Many.

          WE’VE seen how nasty, vindictive and petty they’ve been over the last 8 years … but I know a LOT of people who are only starting to be attuned to it now; and preemptively stating that they were not going to confirm ANY nomination put forth by the President seemed to piss of quite a few moderates who don’t outright identify with any party.

          • Me

            The people who don’t see the Republican pettiness for what it is aren’t going to see it just because Garland was nominated. Which is my point. The GOP isn’t hiding who they are from anyone because they don’t have to, which makes this nomination for naught if the main objective was to highlight some negative characteristic of the GOP with it.

        • Brother Mouzone

          AGREED! Why Black folks, even the ones in power, always worried about what 2520’s think? Put a young BLACK person up (not indian, not Hispanic, but BLACKETY BLACK, and stand strong behind them and f*ck what the GOP and all them other racists have to say about it. Who else is gonna do it? Who else has EVER done it?..and Clarence “uncle” Thomas don’t count!

      • I don’t think the game he is playing is really that complex though.

        He’s selected a guy who under normal circumstances would be picked quite easily. He’s not appealing to the right, because they and their voters co-sign the delay, but rather is providing talking points that he, himself and his party can use to appeal to their base as well as independents. They could use it as a way of reinforcing how much Republicans have and are continuing to contribute to the ineffectiveness of Washington – out of mere contempt.

        If they do choose to elect the guy, it’s a small victory. The death of Scalia was pretty huge as is. Too much Hubris, as many on the left would prefer, might make them feel good, but it would probably have the opposite effect and help the right, because they now get to exploit the issue much better. That being said, it’s not like there’s much he can do.

        • Wild Cougar

          I agree. Its more about getting the base out to vote at this point and getting more Dems in office in Congress when Hillary is in office. That’s the real long game.

    • NoGames

      I find myself up voting you quite a bit! Similar thoughts various things… Just something I noticed.

    • Question

      How can Obama prevent them from doing something? That doesn’t make sense to me. He can’t “prevent” them from not giving candidates hearings – the only thing he can do is show that they missed opportunities to work across the aisle.

      I think he’s paving the way for a “see, ya’ll should’ve worked with me when I offered you the chance”.

      • Me

        Either way, picking a nominee to get a rise out of Republicans was silly IMO. WCS: they delay, and look foolish; BCS: they confirm someone who marginally has Democrats’ interest at heart. Proving they should’ve worked with Obama while they had the chance isn’t worth the risk of appointing someone to the seat that will leave his constituents guessing whether he’s on their side for the next 30+ years.

        • Question

          No argument here. I question the timing of this particular nomination.

  • Cheech

    If 63 is not too old, why not former Chief Justice Sears of Georgia?

  • Cheech

    Not to get too far into the political-pawn game, but does anyone think that the Senate dissing a well-qualified Black woman would have driven a few more valued voters to the polls than dissing a 63-year-old moderate white man?

    And that judge, like, say, Judge Brown Jackson, would then be in the lead position for consideration by HRC.

    • Me

      I think this would depend heavily on media coverage for the next 8 months… My guess is the primaries wouldn’t have swung at all since a majority of those who would’ve been offended would’ve been Dems, and with that being the case, the impact of motivating more Dems to go to the polls would only be noticeable in November, by which point folks would’ve forgotten about this slight without media help. I doubt the GOP dissing a black woman would’ve helped either Hillary or Bernie to cement their delegate count one way or another since Hillary’s not black and Bernie’s not a woman.

      • Cheech

        I’m thinking only of the general. This is a November issue. No way are we going to be quiet about this between now and then.

        • Me

          We would’ve been able to gauge it had he announced on Monday. That would’ve given us some early feedback. But we’ll see how long voter memories are in the next primary.

          • Cheech

            No, I agree with your point the first time — this issue doesn’t have anything to do with the primaries. It’s a straight R vs. D issue. But I don’t think it’s a slight. I think it’s an outrage. No chance the media or the voters forget it between now and November.

          • Cheech

            The Qs are, if the Senate stays true to its word and does nothing (no
            reason to think otherwise), what move gives the best advantage in
            November, and (assuming we win in November) what gives us the best
            nominee on the Court? I don’t think this is the right move for either purpose.

            • Me

              So, regarding November, I’m wondering if Dems get the WH again, but GOP stalls confirmation, does that give the next president a chance at a different nominee? If so, would Hillary/Bernie change the selection? That would be an opportunity to really stick it to the GOP, but at the same time would be a slap in the face to Obama. This is why I would’ve gone heavy handed with my nominee if it were me, especially now that the GOP will have a contested candidacy since Trump lost Ohio. They’re in a weaker position to take the presidency and leave themselves open to a clusterfuster come November and January.

              • Cheech

                That’s the question. I think (hope) Dems do win in November. At that point, is this the lead horse, or do we change. I think this is the lead horse. He will have earned his position by putting up with the diss till then. And changing post-election will give R’s new reasons to dig in. Which is why I would’ve gone harder now. Lefter. Browner. It’s not like there’s a shortage of qualified candidates who are further left.

    • cilgen

      Cheech, yes. I think that very well may be what happens.

  • Val

    I think he’s actually trolling us and allowing the GOP to pick the nominee by default.

    • Me

      I gotta give it up to the GOP. They managed to make the president vote against his own legacy with this one. He could’ve been responsible for making SCOTUS lean legitimately left, but he chose to beg his bullies for fairness instead. That’s grade A mind games right there.

      • Cleojonz

        Except that the GOP would never have let his nominee through if it was an obvious liberal judge. We all know this.

        • Me

          They’re not going to let Merrick through either. The GOP is operating on pettiness, not platform. They wouldn’t have confirmed anything other than a GOP nominee, which is what their grand standing is about. They want to guarantee Republican control of at least one branch in the next term.

          Edited

      • Formerly_Marcella

        Well not exactly. They’ve already explicitly said they won’t confirm anyone to the Supreme Court so why NOT nominate someone who looks so good to them that they might consider walking back from their threat. They’re damned if they do damned if they don’t.

        If they follow through with their (stupid) threat, the majority of people will view it as a purely partisan trick to not work with Obama, especially because many have already called this man a perfect SCOTUS replacement. The majority of the electorate will punish the party in November for creating gridlock and being a-holes.

        And if they don’t follow through and confirm him? Every single one of them up for reelection will be ousted because their constituents (unlike the electorate at large) WANT them to be a-holes and they would see it as yet another broken promise.

        They’re not playing grade A mind games, they’re playing Grade 1 mind games and unfortunately POTUS has a JD.

        • Me

          “why NOT nominate someone who looks so good to them that they might consider walking back from their threat”

          Because the point is to nominate someone for the good of his constituents, not for the lessons it might teach Republican bullies. He’s sacrificing the needs of voters for ego if that’s the case.

          • Cheech

            It’s not just about teaching lessons. It’s about driving votes.
            There are qualified Black judges out there–this is not about sacrificing the interests of the country. And not to treat them as pawns, but seeing them disrespected would get more voters motivated in November than seeing a 63-year-old white chief judge keep the position he has.

            • Me

              Also a valid reason for making a stronger impact with this nominee than he has.

          • Formerly_Marcella

            I don’t see it as teaching a lesson. And one could argue pretty convincingly that this IS for the good of his constituents (which is everybody) by exposing the petty, partisan rancor during an election year when voters would use this as the impetus to vote these people out.

            I get that you’re arguing for a noble, idealistic approach to politics … but that’s just it: this is still politics.

            • Me

              I’m not arguing for a noble nor idealistic approach to politics. I think what Obama has done is attempted to take the noble/idealistic approach by attempting to display the GOP’s pettiness. The problem is everyone is fully aware of the GOP’s pettiness. What we need is for him to select someone who will actually do good for the people, and go to bat for that person, then implore the next Dem candidate to also go to bat for that person. We gain nothing but showboating with the move he’s made.

          • Wild Cougar

            How do you know he’s not hedging all his bets by nominating someone he actually wants to see in there rather than who the left wants?

            • Me

              That’s the point. If he’s using this as some altruistic display of Republican pettiness, he sold us out to play their games. If he legitimately nominated this dude to contend with an already Republican heavy bench, it does us and “us” no good. Either way you slice it, this was a terrible move.

      • Janelle S

        He’s already put two liberals on the bench. Choosing a moderate because he got a late third shot does not seem a detriment to his legacy. His legacy is that he inherited a s h i t show and kept the country from total economic collapse.

        • Cheech

          I agree with that legacy, and that is a proud legacy, generally speaking.

          But focusing only on judicial nominees, R’s nominate wingers, and D’s nominate moderates. We just keep losing this game.

          And I don’t mean to be superficial on this, but 3 picks, zero Black nominees is disappointing. There are eminently qualified Black judges available. And life perspective counts. (As Justice Sotomayor reminded us.) Having Justice Thomas remain the only Justice with a Black perspective is deeply disappointing.

        • Me

          Choosing a moderate when SCOTUS was still leaning right even after his first two nominations leaves behind a coin toss for a supreme court instead of swinging it firmly to the left. That absolutely would be a detriment to his legacy.

          • Val

            And a detriment to us.

          • Wild Cougar

            I don’t think the president is as liberal as people like to think he is.

      • Brother Mouzone

        EXACTLY! Do you thing W or any other republican at the end of his 8 years would do some weak a$$ stuff like this to appease the other side? I’m VERY disappointed in our Prez.

    • cilgen

      Val, I actually disagree. I know that many are disappointed that POTUS didn’t select a black woman, and I will admit to a slight ache about that myself, but I agree with Damon’s analysis. I have always felt this President plays a game of chess, with the long view. They Republicans in Congress are not going to allow ANY nominee to go through, so I’m happy that he didn’t sacrifice the person I would have loved to have seen selected. The President is showing just how ridiculous a stance the GOP is taking by selecting someone they have already approved to a lower Court, and someone who Republicans have said in the past is ready and able to serve on the Supreme Court. I actually think there is a way for the nominee to go through, but it will take some courage, swift action and planning on the part of the new Senate majority in January. The Dems are going to take back the Senate, and there is a window when the new Congress is seated in early January before the new President takes the oath on January 20th. They could hold hearings in that couple of weeks interim period, get the pick confirmed, and BAM. It would be done.

      • Cheech

        And if that’s the case, wouldn’t we want a better pick than this one?

        • cilgen

          Better is subjective. I believe this pick is actually pretty good, all things considered. My pick would have been just as good – and a Black woman. Wait, so maybe that *would* be better. ;- )

          • Cheech

            Bingo.

      • Val

        Yeah, right but he’s playing their game instead of appointing someone based upon the politics of his supporters. So they, the GOP, wins. And the best we can hope for is to be stuck with a very old and very moderate judge.

        • T. Jones

          Bingo. They’re calling him moderate today, but his claim to fame is being ‘tough on crime’ and yes, that still means exactly what you think it means. It still means the same thing it meant to Clinton when he gave him the big DC job. So when all is said and done he’s a SCOTUS nominee who will side with prosecutors and law enforcement. This means Black, brown and poor folks will do no better at the hands of a system dedicated to putting them in jail or in the dirt as frequently as possible.

          • Cheech

            Exactly right. And before he was on the DC Circuit, he was the head of the DOJ Criminal Division, then the top Assistant Attorney General. Top prosecutor all the way.

          • Janelle Doe

            Agreed. Moderate by any other name… Basically nothing good coming progressively for poc

      • Cheech

        If this nominee is sacrificial, as some have suggested, and the real one is coming, that’s one thing. But I don’t think that’s the idea here. I think he’s put Judge Garland up as the actual pick for the Court, and I think, whether in cilgen’s (very possible) scenario or when we win in November, he remains in the lead position. Which is very, very disappointing. We could really do better.

      • Kas
        • cilgen

          That’s a really interesting take. Thanks for sharing that piece.

        • Cheech

          I hope so too. But I fear he is not.
          I don’t agree that a nominee who goes down now is damaged goods. I think he’s fire-tested and in the lead to be re-nominated. I hope I’m wrong.

      • Cheech

        Nina Totenberg is on Rachel saying she thinks there’s a deal that if the Dems win in November, Garland gets confirmed during the lame duck session. Which blows. It means we spent the pick on a 63 year old “tough on crime” moderate.

        • Cheech

          Cuz what we really needed was another Breyer. Whoopee.

      • godlikemonolith

        I have to agree with Val here. Remember Kennedy is essentially a liberal on most of his decisions even though he was picked by Bush. So I am guessing Garland will be pretty strongly left leaning when/if he gets in. This pick is brilliant on so many levels. He is a left leaning darling of Hatch and if they deny him this pick then you could fairly soon be looking at Chief Justice Barack Obama/Elizabeth Warren during the Hillary Clinton administration. I know the Republicans are fools but they would be myopic idiots to fail to grasp the face saving route Obama has offered them.

    • Question

      How so? The GOP can’t propose candidates. Or are you saying you expect the GOP to win the election in November…? Or he’s allowing them to do so by proxy by picking barely Left candidates?

      • Val

        I’m saying he is allowing the GOP’s obstructionism to be the deciding factor in who he chose to nominate. They controlled who the nominee is.

        • Question

          One nominee.

        • Brandon Allen

          Naw, Val. Don’t go too deep with that.

        • atltx

          Agree 100% Art of war…

      • atltx

        The GOP will win. Wait till the Koch brothers start. This is the best chance anybody has at affecting the course we are about to take. This pick is conservative enough to get through. NRA will back down in exchange for tax breaks/”improved” business environment for big business given during trump years. Hillary will not get the votes she needs. Hoping this is all paranoia and pessimism talking…

  • I don’t think he’s attempting to be subversive at all.

    • Brother Mouzone

      Unfortunately, I think he’s just being WEAK.

  • Ess Tee

    Thing is, we already know that the GOP are a bunch of whiny, snot-nosed babies (Ted Cruz’s punchable face is adequate visual representation of this). I’m trying to figure out what the long game is (is there even a long game? I’m thinking no) by nominating a man who some in the GOP have raved over in the past (and very near past).

    So, the GOP congress holds up the process because they’re a bunch of whiny, snot-nosed kids? There’s no new information in that. They’ve *been* not doing their job for a long azz time now.

    • Ideologically speaking, what separates Obama from most conservative ideals?

      • Obama is Clintonish, much more of a centrist.

        But this has more to do with the fact that since LBJ, no hardcore liberal or progressive since 1968 into the white house (I don’t know if Carter counts.)

      • Ess Tee

        I don’t think President Obama is a hard-leaning left. He’s always been sort of moderate.

        • Val

          He ran as a left leaning liberal but has governed as a right leaning moderate liberal.

          • Cheech

            Yep.

            If I’d wanted timid government and establishment white males, I coulda voted for Hillary.

            • Question

              But what does this mean, in reality? The President can do VERY LITTLE on his or her own.

              • Val

                I’m not directing this at you, Q, but I am so sick of hearing the President can’t do anything on his own. It’s not true and I wonder if folks will make the same excuse for Hillary?

                • Question

                  What can he do on his own as outlined by the Constitution? He can’t appropriate funds for more than 90 days. He can’t pass laws that stay on the books. Executive Actions? Blah. Neither impactful nor lasting.

                  I guess in the same vein, and I’m not directing this at you, but I’m sick of people getting mad at the President for not doing God-knows-what but aren’t making more demands of the Black folks we’ve had chilling up in Congress for decades who haven’t done a damn thing for us.

                  What is it that he should’ve done that he hasn’t done or attempted to do? We don’t have ideas for what we wanted done, we’re just mad at what he’s not doing…

                  • Lea Thrace

                    THIS!

                  • Epsilonicus

                    And throw in that folks stay home in non-presidential years and are surprised at the Congress. Like this is what happens when you skip elections. You get folks who dont have your best interest and are not accountable to you.

                  • atltx

                    All that congressional black caucus and black such and such committee partnered with the naacp/urban leauge elite…”networking” at its finest. If you can’t make deals/moves that pay multiple people in their tight knit circle…you are of zero use to them. They’ll throw their name on a street sign in the community they represent and be out.

                    Shirley Chisholms don’t exist anymore. Her “peers” measured up in no way.

                  • Val

                    Sigh. Well I’m with you on the CBC. All they do is throw good parties. As for the President, when it suited him he had no problem taking Executive action. He ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, he allowed children of undocumented immigrants to stay in the country.

                    What would I have liked him to do, you ask? Well how about an Executive Order making the Justice Department and Federal prosecutors the overseers and investigators of police misconduct. That would have been a good start.

                    edit: and you didn’t answer my question. Will you make allowances for Hillary Clinton and every other President to follow too? Or is it only President Obama who can’t do anything on his own?

                    • Question

                      I don’t see it as making allowances because I can’t think of anything that I wanted him specifically to do that he didn’t or refused to do. I’ve realized that most of my beef is with Congress because they’re the ones who hold the strings. But that’s just me.

                      And I’m not mad at his Executive Order on “anchor babies” because that’s an agenda item their community has been demanding of EVERY President, regardless of whose in office. I’ve asked this question many times and never seem to get an answer – what is our agenda item? What did we collectively come forth and demand of the President that he was like “hol’ up Negroes, wait”? I can’t think of anything…

                      As to your suggestion, and I’m asking because I don’t know – can the federal government take any sort of authoritative position over municipal police departments without complicity from Congress? He could have established a tracking of police misconduct at the federal level, but I don’t know (and again, I’m asking) about authority to penalize…

                    • Cheech

                      DOJ actually already has a unit that investigates police misconduct. It’s called “Special Litigation” and it’s in the Civil Rights Division. It’s the unit that the council in Ferguson just agreed to settle with.

                      As you can imagine, in a Dem administration, they’re pretty overwhelmed. They have to deal with the Fergusons of the world and the Joe Arpaios of the world. During a Repub administration, they coast easy — just like the voting rights folks. (Well, except during the W admin, the voting rights division was busy investigating voting discrimination against white people. Remember all the “Blank Panther Party” noise?)

                    • It would probably have been overturned by congress.

                      And Governors would have sued, even in Democratic States. Has less to do with it being a good or bad idea, vs. the fact that it’s a huge shift in power. Furthermore, it’s doubtful the DOJ could handle such a massive burden all over the country.

                      Look at how long it took just for Ferguson.

                    • Val

                      You may be right, NL, but nothing beats a fail like a try. And, I was asked what I would have liked to see the President do on his own authority.

                    • Nah I understand. I’m just trying to say that even the DOJ has a budget.

              • Cheech

                I think he can lead and be bolder. I view this in the same light as opening Obamacare negotiations by declaring that single-payer is off the table. Or going soft on Wall Street in January 2009. He does like to punt on first down.

                In this case, I don’t think a bolder pick would cost him anything. The R’s aren’t going to confirm anyway. The value is (a) in driving voters to the polls in November, and (b) positioning his pick to be Hillary’s pick in January 2009. A stronger pick here could have served both those purposes.

            • Brother Mouzone

              Sad, but true.

          • Ess Tee

            Maybe while John Edwards was still in the race.

            It’s interesting, though, that Obama was very much a grassroots organizer before running for the presidency. Once that happened, Obama was more about “bringing about the country together.”

            • Val

              I agree and bring the country together has been in the form of appeasing certain folks.

              • Ess Tee

                This post piqued my interest, and I spent maybe 10 minutes searching YouTube for old debate clips of when Obama, Clinton, and Edwards were running as well as clips from after Edwards dropped out.

                I only watched three, but in all three, Obama made mention of bringing the country together.

              • Amber

                But even his appeasing didn’t work. This moderate pick won’t even get a chance.

        • cilgen

          Yes, that’s exactly right, in my view. He really didn’t run as a hard-leaning left. I believe a lot of folks (across the political, ideological, and ethnic spectrum) *assumed* he was hard left – primarily because he is a Black man. But I’ve always said that the President has been pretty clear about who he is – you just have to truly listen to what he says. I think a lot of people projected some of their own hopes onto him about how they would like to see things done. Barack Obama has always been a pragmatist and a realist. And in my view, has gotten a lot of things done *in spite of* the intense opposition he’s received – sometimes from both sides.

          • Cheech

            I’m with you on this, cilgen.
            He gave a great explanation of this on his podcast interview with Marc Maron. http://www.wtfpod.com. But man, I really want more. Days like today more than others.

            • cilgen

              I thought that was one of the best interviews with him I’ve ever heard. And I do understand that you’d want more. But, I wish that the President could be given a little more credit overall for what he has done. It’s as if it’s never enough, you know? I’m not at all suggesting that he is above criticism – no one is – and he has even said that he welcomes the criticism, especially if it’s coming from a place of wanting to move the country forward. But sometimes it seems as if nothing he does will ever be good enough. And I will admit that it stings when I hear it coming from “us.” I know it sounds as if I’m being an Obama apologist but it’s truly not that. It’s just that I’d like folks to sit back and reflect on what he has accomplished, what he has endured, and how he never let them knock him down. I believe this country is going to miss him so much after January 2017, and I also believe history will tell the story that some of us aren’t quite able to see and digest right now.

              • Cheech

                As another poster pointed out, he did save the world economy. So there’s that. Bin Laden’s dead and General Motors is still alive and all that.

  • NoGames

    Only congress gets to announce that they are not going to do their jobs and STILL KEEP their jobs.

    • Val

      And police.

      • Cheech

        And prosecutors (when police shoot people).

        • John Dizzle

          Everyone in the “system” maybe LOL

        • Brother Mouzone

          Correction..when they shoot BLACK people.

          • Cheech

            Yup. I sorta figured that went without saying.

      • Question

        And blame the people who pay their bills and whom they’re being paid to serve for why they can’t/won’t do their jobs.

        • NoGames

          But YOU try to do that at work and see what happens to your black a z z!

          • Kellygcruz4


            “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….


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          • BridgetDSimpson


            “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….


            two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Hereoi!1084????? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsDaily/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:::::oi!1084…….

          • Mildredkgriffin3


            “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….


            two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here!oi71????? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsLive/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:?:::::!oi71…..

    • Tariq

      And vote themselves a pay raise.
      (How many times have they done that in the past 20 years, when our wages have fallen?)

      • NoGames

        Preach.

  • This is gonna be fun to watch play out. Obama dropped that nomination like:

  • Dougie

    Was “I’m running away” a thing? I swear on everything I did the exact same thing. Got my bookbag and threw everything i could in it, then screamed “i’m running away!” over and over. I didn’t make it as far as the porch, because my mom didn’t even give me the jacket advice. She just said “bye” and I started crying lol

    • Cheech

      I made it halfway down the (very long) driveway, and realized I didn’t really have anyplace to go.

      • Dougie

        So it IS a thing! I swore it was just me. I was mad embarrassed by my actions. Shoutout to Champ for taking the lead with sharing his story lol

    • Ess Tee

      I think it is. I was seven when I “threatened” to run away. Plot twist: My momma helped me pack! But she didn’t pack everything because, as she reminded me, she paid for my stuff, so…

      I took that sad, hard shell valise (old school now, but it wasn’t old school in the ’80s) and made it to the end of the driveway, all the while looking over my shoulder with her watching me. It was night time. I stood outside for maybe five minutes before turning back and heading into the house.

      It was the first and last time I ever tried that.

      • Quirlygirly

        There is something humbling about having to go back in the house and sitting down with a look of defeat

        • Ess Tee

          Ain’t that the truth.

      • Hilarious….lemme share.
        Nephew stayed with me for a while, didn’t feel like doing chores, (same move that got him staying with me) ..tried the “run away thing. I told him “aight, take it easy.” and “good luck.”
        He started for the door, and I reminded him he had on a jacket I paid for – “get ya raggedy azz hoody you came in.”
        – Gets his hoody, drops the down on the floor.
        “Oh, my bad – those MY Timbs too, get ya old Jordans and slip them on. ”
        Kicks off Jordans….
        “Aight playa., holla.”
        He goes outside and sits on the steps, and its chilly denna mug. The neighbor eventually comes and knocks on the door, asks me do I know hes outside without a coat.
        I looked out the curtain and told her to keepn it pushin, this didn’t concern her.
        Thirty good minutes in – pizza delivery comes, and the apologies flow like a river.
        Tough love.
        Good times, good times.

        • Ess Tee

          Got him with the pizza! lolol

      • Conrad Bess

        My old man killed that run away b.s. with these few words – “I know this is Canada and Canada is a democracy. But inside the walls of – insert address here (not telling everyone my history) – this is a dictatorship. Yuh wan leave, leave. But yuh nah come back”.

        • Ess Tee

          This is so real! lol

    • Brandon Allen

      I just rode my bike till I got tired. Came back home and tried to stay out of sight until I got hungry.

    • Me

      My brother might’ve tried the running away, but I can’t fully recall if that memory is accurate. What I do remember is threatening to call HRS on my mom, and her handing me the phone waiting to feed me lines. Sometimes children put themselves in no-win situations.

      • Quirlygirly

        Lol..as kids we think we had the upper hand but we don’t.

    • Quirlygirly

      I ran away too but it was because my mom would not wake up to cook me some food. I packed me some clothes in a supermarket shopping bag and left. I ran all the way to the front yand and sat in a chair for 10 mins. Then I came back in the house, learned how to light the stove, and made me some eggs. By the time my mom woke up, I was munching on scrambled eggs. She didn’t even know I was gone

      • Me

        Your mom must’ve been the real MVP. Parenting while she sleeps. I hear that!

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