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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

inauguration 2013

Depending on who you ask, 2013 was either the best year or not the best year in human history — especially when it comes to the climate.

While progress was made during the last 12 months, we have definitely endured several seasons of contradictions in American politics.

The Supreme Court delivered a huge victory for equality, and it also continued its trajectory of becoming an unofficial arm of the Chamber of Commerce. The Roberts Court’s decision to gut the Voting Rights Act will be remembered as one of the most singularly ill-conceived, regressive findings in the Court’s recent history, given the right’s lunge to implement laws designed to suppress the vote in states with large African-American populations.

Congress hardly did anything beyond keeping the government’s lights on. And they barely even did that during the 16-day shutdown in October.

The president saw hopes of comprehensive immigration reform and gun safety legislation replaced with having to react to a series of outrages that have practically drowned out any notice that we’ve enjoyed the best year of job growth in nearly a decade.

Some outrages — Benghazi and the IRS’ targeting of political groups — were completely hyped up or manufactured by the right. Others — NSA surveillance and the failed launch of — suggested that the White House was so caught up in fending off right-wing criticism and unprecedented sabotage that it had failed to respect the pledges of open, competent liberal governance that ran throughout President Obama’s campaign rhetoric.

Despite all this, there were definitely events worth celebrating in 2013 that should give us hope for 2014.

Photo: Anthony Quintano via Flickr

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Barack Obama didn’t intend to run for POTUS either. Millions of petitioners later, however, convinced him to give it a shot.

    The same thing, I believe, will happen with Elizabeth Warren.

    • RobertCHastings

      Along with Elizabeth Warren getting into the Senate, the most important thing was that REPUBLICAN governors united to expand Medicaid. And that while their counterparts in Congress were shutting the country down and doing all they could to obstruct the implementation of the ACA.

      • Allan Richardson

        Reminds me of the vegan who finally took a bite of hamburger when he realized there was nothing else to eat and he was starving.

        • RobertCHastings

          Good analogy, except that it would be like the vegan having grown beef cattle all along.

    • latebloomingrandma

      I don’t know. Perhaps she is picking up the mantle of Ted Kennedy and will make a great difference on our country as she gains seniority. Senator Obama was too impatient with the slow tediousness of being a Senator. We’ll see which way she goes.

  • Thomas Aquinas

    Carelessly using the word “democracy” is dangerous because it implies that democracy’s potential good mandates its continuous expansion.