Barack Obama was in full campaign mode when he berated attendees at the Congressional Black Caucus legislative forum in Washington. Its was ironic that in a speech to blacks that they should support him and his jobs package, the media ignored two things. First, there were a hundred protestors walking around silently wearing t-shirts saying “got jobs?”. Second, Obama was wearing a tuxedo! Certainly not the image conveying poverty, unemployment and need. Here is some of Obama’s speech.
"But we got to work. With your help, we started fighting our way back from the brink. And at every step of the way, we’ve faced fierce opposition based on an old idea - the idea that the only way to restore prosperity can’t just be to let every corporation write its own rules, or give out tax breaks to the wealthiest and the most fortunate and to tell everybody that they're on their own," he said. "There has to be a different concept of what America's all about. It has to be based on the idea that I am my brother’s keeper, and I am my sister’s keeper, and we’re in this together. We are in this thing together."
"Against all sorts of setbacks, when the opposition fought us with everything they had, we finally made clear that in the United States of America nobody should go broke because they get sick. We are better than that. Today, insurance companies can no longer drop or deny your coverage for no good reason. In just a year and a half, about one million more young adults have health insurance because of this law," he said. "So in these hard years, we’ve won a lot of fights that needed fighting, and we’ve done a lot of good. But we’ve got more work to do. So many people are still hurting. So many people are still barely hanging on. And too many people in this city are still fighting us every step of the way."
"I need your help. We have to do more to put people to work right now. We’ve got to make that everyone in this country gets a fair shake, and a fair shot and a chance to get ahead. And I know we won’t get where we need to go if we don’t travel down this road together. I need you with me.”
"I don’t know about you, CBC, but the future rewards those who press on. With patient and firm determination, I am going to press on for jobs. I'm going to press on for equality. I'm going to press on for the sake of our children. I'm going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I am going to press on."
"I expect all of you to march with me and press on," Obama said. "Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do, CBC."
Personally I don’t understand the bedroom slippers comment but I marveled at the berating of his audience. Rep. Maxine Waters, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and one of the most liberal members in Congress said "I don't know who he was talking to because we're certainly not complaining. I found that language a bit curious because the president spoke to the Hispanic Caucus, and certainly they're pushing him on immigration... he certainly didn't tell them to stop complaining," she said. "And he would never say that to the gay and lesbian community, who really pushed him on Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Say what you will about Maxine Waters but in this case, she got it right.
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