Thanks to everyone who joined us yesterday as we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Inauguration Day, from morning until night. It was a day filled with inspiration and fun — and a good time to celebrate President Obama’s reelection in our own blue oasis in Central Texas.
As his second term begins, we are proud of the President’s accomplishments, especially in the face of continuous obstructionism by Republicans.
Among other things, President Obama has stabilized and turned around an economy that was on the verge of collapse, passed the landmark Affordable Care Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, ended the shame of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, helped end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, rid the world of Osama bin Laden and appointed two exceptional women (Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan) to the Supreme Court.
We’ll have to wait and see if the Republicans in Congress decide to stop opposing everything that is good for the country in the next four years. They were so opposed to everything from Obama that they even voted down a jobs bill for veterans last September. After sending us over the fiscal cliff for a day, will they work with the White House and Democrats to solve the debt limit and automatic spending cuts? Let’s hope so.
President Obama won reelection by a comfortable enough margin that he can rightfully claim to have a mandate, and I expect he will continue to fight to keep our economy strong, create jobs and protect health care, education and social services. He has also made clear that gun control legislation is a top priority in the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. His proposals are moderate, and according to various public opinion polls, supported by a majority of Americans.
I don’t think there’s any doubt that the White House also will push for comprehensive immigration reform and address the serious danger of climate change.
In Texas, I hope Travis County’s strong Democratic majority will spread throughout the state. It’s time to move past the repressive policies of Rick Perry, David Dewhurst and Greg Abbott. Even if Perry wasn’t serious when he hinted at secession, he has isolated Texas from the advantages of Affordable Health Care (especially women’s health care), rejected federal assistance in expanding Medicaid (he has turned down more than $60 billion, forcing as much as $8 million away from Travis County’s health care for the poor), slashed funding for public education and seriously jeopardized the state’s future.
So let’s hope for continued progress during the second term of President Obama’s administration, and let’s renew our efforts, not only to keep Travis County blue, but also to lead the way in turning Texas blue. We can do it!
Travis County Democratic Party Chair