Monday, August 18, 2014

The President Needs To Get His A$$ To Ferguson, Already!!!

As the civil unrest in Ferguson carries into a second week with no end in sight, my patience with the President's lack of visibility on this situation is wearing thin. Check that, it wore thin last Wednesday.

Thus far, the President has issued a written statement and given short public remarks. That's about it. Yes, I know the Department of Justice is already involved here and is performing its own independent investigation. That's good, and quite honestly, it's the bare minimum I'd expect of any administration on a story garnering this level of public interest. But I'm not going to give him credit for sh*t he's supposed to do. Nope, I'm looking for more. Because he's the President.

As you might know, the President and basically everyone else on the Hill is on vacation right now. He's momentarily back in DC for a couple of days, before going back to Martha's Vineyard to resume his vacation?[1] Nobody begrudges the man for taking time off from arguably the toughest job in the world.[2] But come on, bruh, you've been on the links for a week already. How many more rounds of golf and fundraisers do you need to do before you take time away from your not-so-busy schedule and go see what's happening in Ferguson with your own eyes?

When an American suburb, full of actual Real Americans, is under siege and in a perpetual state of civil unrest that only intensifies by the day, it might be a good idea for the President to go there. Sure, let the people who can actually "fix" things do their job, but still go there. In times like this, people need to know that they matter, that you care. And if there's one thing the President has been really good at, it's speaking to and calming the American people during trying times.

He did it in Fort Hood.
He did it in Tucson.
He did it in Boston.
He did it in Newtown.
He did it in Aurora.
He did it in Washington.

Why in the hell hasn't he done it in Ferguson yet?

I'm sure someone's gonna mention George Bush and how it took him forever to go to New Orleans, post-Katrina. While that's all quite true, it has absolutely no bearing here. How about we stop judging Obama's actions versus those of his predecessor, a guy whom many consider to be The Most Inept President Of All Time. Saying "Sure, Obama did this, but what about Bush?" is setting an embarrassingly low bar for competence. It's like a guy who beats his wife telling her, "Sure, I gave you a busted lip, but your last husband gave you two black eyes!" So yeah, enough of that sh*t.

We've watched this President run from issues of race repeatedly during his 6 years in office. I understand that going to Missouri may not be a politically wise move. Many are already saying Obama's done too much by getting involved with a local issue, asking that the DoJ be involved, etc. But guess what? Sometimes you need to not worry about what your detractors are going to say and do what's right. The right thing is going to Ferguson right now. Speak with Mike Brown's family. Look the local officials in the eyes. Walk the streets and engage the community directly. And yes, give a speech. Let people there know that their aspirations, their fears, their concerns, their voices, their children, their lives matter.

History, for better or for worse, is being written by the minute in Ferguson, MO. This is a defining moment of the Obama presidency right now. And he's receiving an incomplete grade.

Question: Is the President doing enough about the situation in Ferguson? Do symbolic gestures like speeches even matter?

[1] Who does that?

[2] Well, they do, but I'm not one of them.

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