It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out nor more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things.
As you can tell from the famous quotation above, Nicolo Machiavelli had it figured out back in the 15th century so Barack Obama must have known how tough the going would be when he set out to go where no US president had gone before. But he gave it a shot, anyway.
He had promised Ted Kennedy he would. He had told those adoring crowds he would. Yes, he said, yes we can.
Yes we can have hope. Yes we can have change. Yes we will have health care for everybody, rich or poor. Yes we will have equal rights for all in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. We will let every American marry whomever he or she loves.
How’s that for hope?
How’s that for change?
Even those four horsemen of the Apocalypse – Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and John Roberts – couldn’t stem the tide of change sweeping the land with this intrepid President inspiring it.
Chief Justice Roberts joined the 21st Century on the issue of universal health care. Braving the sneering scorn of Scalia, Thomas and Alito, he ruled with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor in favor of keeping an essential provision of the health care law.
He is, after all, a conservative, not a Neanderthal. And in wording his judgment, he not only let Obamacare survive, he gave it some added muscle.
But that’s as far as Roberts went. He balked at giving gays and lesbians equal protection under US law. Fortunately, his vote wasn’t needed.
Today, men can marry men and women can marry women, regardless of what state they live in.
Of course the political waters rage and swell, the rhetoric of reaction rings out across the land. Republicans are furious. Scalia, Alito, Thomas and their ilk are spitting fire. In his bitter dissent to the health care ruling, Scalia (lower photo) called the majority opinion”interpretive jiggery-pokery.” The gay marriage ruling, he said, was “pretentious” and “egotistic.”
Right-wing media had stronger words for the justices responsible for the rulings – words like “scumbag” and “disgrace.” The “Religious Right” called for fire and brimstone in the wake of the gay marriage ruling. And the mob of Republican presidential candidates joined in a Doomsday chorus lamenting both decisions.
Yes there will be rage. Yes there will be spite.
But yes we can have hope. Yes there will be change.