From The Grio— Generally speaking, when the president of the United States calls you pick up the phone. Whether you’re an Iowa farmer, a Chinese prime minister, or Speaker of the House, it goes without saying that when the president calls you answer.

Thirty-six hours.

That’s how long it took House Speaker John Boehner to return the president’s telephone call last week. I cannot imagine what he found more important. After all, we’re just days away from what will likely be the worst season of economic calamity to hit American shores since Hurricane Katrina.

Next week, the federal government will reach its “debt limit”, which means it will effectively run out of credit. Financial markets around the world are already on edge and have begun to shudder. Why? Because somebody wanted to play a game of footsy with the American economy.

The debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since 1962, including 18 times during the Reagan administration. Until now, getting congressional authorization to pay the nation’s bills was largely a routine exercise. Until now.

Despite this unprecedented era of strident partisanship, until now we could take a lot of things for granted. For instance, the seemingly small matter of Speaker Boehner answering the telephone when the president calls. Twice in two days, President Obama called and was forced to leave a message. I am willing to wager that this has never once happened in the history of telephones.

As the debt ceiling talks progressed, I followed the updates on Twitter over the weekend. While traditional news outlets posted various status updates, “Black Twitter” was up to something else. The hashtag #beforeBlackpresidents emerged some time Friday evening.

You see #beforeBlackpresidents, it would have been deemed unpatriotic to say you wanted the president to fail. If you raised the debt limit 18 times, as in Ronald Reagan’s case, you would’ve been hailed a hero by the GOP and gotten an airport named in your honor. Intelligence was admired back then. We had a space program and everyone generally recognized that Hawaii was a state.


(Continue Reading @ The Grio…)

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  • JustSaying…

    Before the #halfblackpresident things were F^cked up. But now after the #halfblackpresident things are REALLY F^cked up. People just need to face facts: President Obama isn’t an effective leader. He is too passive and appears to be a pushover.

    • aletha


      I am unsure as to what you are communicating; however, it is apparent that too many of us do not know how congress works. The role of president is for the most part a figure head position with little power. It is the role of congress to legislate.

      I do not see President Obama as a weak person, rather, one who has a soul and who is concern for the lives of other. On the otherhand, I see the abrasive right as a group of spoiled brats who want to maintain the status quo at the expense of the middle class and the poor.

    • the_unforgiven

      While the ostrich has his head in the sand, he knows its bright outside, when he pulls his head out of the sand, than he thinks its REALLY bright outside. Pulled your head out of the sand recently?

  • Pema

    Yes, before a black president Congress and the country did not want to see the president fail. Um Clinton, Carter? Come on now.

  • hm

    #beforeBlackpresidents there was a little known president named George Bush and he raped the country and its economy anally with no lube

  • Apples

    This is now my favorite hashtag. And yes I agree with the writer of this article that nothing will be mutually agreed upon between the two parties. We are slowly watching this nation crumble due to excessive pride, bigotry, heresy, and downright childlike stubbornness. I am ashamed of the way our Government has acted in the past year (this includes both parties). They have made it clear to me as a citizen that they could care less what happens to me. As long as they have this or that bill passed they’re satisfied- a win for their party.

  • the_unforgiven

    John Boehner was on a political power trip. Disrespectfull to the nation. Disrespectfull to the world.