All about ideas…

A reminder of who our President is

with 5 comments

While puttering around, working to ensure my blog is included in Google rankings/analytics, I saw a comment that needs to be reposted.

i found this reassuring as a conservative

Bradford Berenson, Conservative, Member of Federalist Society, Harvard Law, class of ‘91; associate White House counsel, under George W. Bush 2001-’03:

Some of the people who are not as happy as others, I think much to their surprise, are some of the African American people who believe that now it’s their turn:

Bradford Berenson:
Absolutely right, absolutely right. I think Barack took 10 times as much grief from those on the left on the Review as from those of us on the right. And the reason was, I think there was an expectation among those editors on the left that he would affirmatively use the modest powers of his position to advance the cause, whatever that was. They thought, you know, finally there’s an African American president of the Harvard Law Review; it’s our turn, and he should aggressively use this position, and his authority and his bully pulpit to advance the political or philosophical causes that we all believe in.

And Barack was reluctant to do that. It’s not that he was out of sympathy with their views, but his first and foremost goal, it always seemed to me, was to put out a first-rate publication. And he was not going to let politics or ideology get in the way of doing that. …

He had some discretion as president to exercise an element of choice for certain of the positions on the masthead; it wasn’t wide discretion, but he had some. And I think a lot of the minority editors on the Review expected him to use that discretion to the maximum extent possible to empower them. To put them in leadership positions, to burnish their resumes, and to give them a chance to help him and help guide the Review. He didn’t do that. He declined to exercise that discretion to disrupt the results of votes or of tests that were taken by various people to assess their fitness for leadership positions.

He was unwilling to undermine, based on the way I viewed it, meritocratic outcomes or democratic outcomes in order to advance a racial agenda. That earned him a lot of recrimination and criticism from some on the left, particularly some of the minority editors of the Review. …

It confirmed the hope that I and others had had at the time of the election that he would basically be an honest broker, that he would not let ideology or politics blind him to the enduring institutional interests of the Review. It told me that he valued the success of his own presidency of the Review above scoring political points of currying favor with his political supporters.

I have to thank my reader, Heath, again for posting the above quote, which I had read prior to the election as part of my research on the then potential President Obama, and once again reminding me that our President is not locked into ideology. His speech to Congress this week satisfied neither extremes of the two parties, but he opened the door to negotiation.

I hope that the extreme partisans in both parties, as elected delegates of the American people, will put aside their ideologies to do what is right for the country raather than for themselves or their party.


Written by Valerie Curl

September 11, 2009 at 6:32 PM

5 Responses

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  1. Some very interesting points have been made here, it is refreshing to see that your site gets quality visitors.


    September 12, 2009 at 12:27 AM

    • Thank you. I appreciate the compliment. But my intent is to spur logical thinking and try to get this country away from emotional outbursts that are totally irrational…and potentially dangerous.

      Valerie Curl

      September 14, 2009 at 8:27 PM

  2. This was a really great read, I am very glad I came across your site.

    online office

    September 12, 2009 at 12:42 AM

  3. This, in a nutshell, is a microcosm of Obama’s presidency; doing a daredevil Blondini tightrope act between very vocal colorized extremes.

    Personally, the more he holds true to trying to be centrist, even though I am extremely radical leftist in my personal views, the more I admire the man. After eight years of far right ideologues, the last thing we need is four or eight years of far left extremes to “balance” past mistakes. The lesson of the ’08 election needs to be that it was bad for the country to be highjacked by a political extreme, not that it’s the left’s turn.

    Ken Ballweg

    September 19, 2009 at 10:34 AM

  4. errata: polarized not colorized. Normally I let my typos stand but that one is too accidentally meaningful in a way I never intended.

    Ken Ballweg

    September 19, 2009 at 10:36 AM

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