By : Jeanine Molloff
“We’ve got to educate the American people at the same time we educate the President of the United States. The Republicans, Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader Cantor DID NOT call for Social Security cuts in the budget deal. THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES CALLED FOR THAT,” declared US Representative John Conyers in a press conference held by members of the House ‘Out of Poverty’ Caucus on 07/27/11.”
Conyers added …”My response to him (President Obama) is TO MASS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN FRONT OF THE WHITE HOUSE TO PROTEST THIS.”
This declaration is significant both politically and morally as Conyers is not only the second most senior representative in the House, but was also the first member of Congress to endorse candidate Obama. Conyers doesn’t merely draw a moral ‘line in the sand’ but he presents a candid picture of violent contrasts between himself the the first African-American president.
John Conyers vs. Barack Obama…a study in political contrasts
Rep. Conyers served as a force for civil rights since his heavy involvement in the 1960’s. Conyers marched, organized and pushed the movement. Elected to Congress in 1964; Conyers championed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a dangerous and deadly time for civil rights champions. Conyers also introduced the bill designating January 15th (Dr. King’s birthday) as a national holiday–4 DAYS AFTER THE KING ASSASSINATION in 1968. (Source: http://afroamhistory.about.com/od/africanamericanculture/a/History-Of-Martin-Luther-King-Day.htm)
Conyers has defended the unpopular over the decades, no matter the risk to life and limb. A founding member and Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus; he participated in the ‘Freedom Day’ voter registration activity on October 7th, 1963 in Selma, Alabama–facing down the hoses and attack dogs of the racist South.
Rep. Conyers…#13 on Nixon ‘Enemies List’…
Conyers also found himself targeted by another president–namely Richard Nixon–as #13 on the infamous presidential ‘Enemies List.’ Appearing in Michael Moore’s film on 911, namely ‘Farenheit 911–Conyers blew the whistle on recalcitrant colleagues explaining that most congressmen…”don’t read most of the bills.” More recently, Conyers co-sponsored the only Single Payer healthcare bill, namely H.R. 676 or the ‘Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.’ (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Conyers/)
Conyers Defending Constitution…against Obama administration..
Conyers recently defended the Constitution against war hawks in the Obama administration during House Judiciary Committee meetings on the subject of WikiLeaks. While Obama administration officials–including the president himself–were demanding the capture and/or assassination of Julian Assange; Conyers reminded Congress to be responsible stewards of our constitution. During hearings of “The Espionage Act and the Legal and Constitutional Issues Raised by WikiLeaks”, Conyers advised that…
…”As an initial matter, there is no doubt that WikiLeaks is very unpopular right now. But being unpopular is not a crime, and publishing offensive information is not either…” …”(Let) us not be hasty, and let us not legislate in a climate of fear or prejudice. For, in such an atmosphere, it is our constitutional freedoms and our cherished civil rights that are the first to be sacrificed in the false service of our national security.” (Source: http://www.salon.com/news/wikileaks/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2010/12/16/conyers_on_wikileaks)
Conyers Demands Equity for American People from Obama
Now we see Conyers leading the charge against the very President he first endorsed. Though a painful moment for the African-American community; Conyers chooses integrity over political excuses. He knows that full employment through government intervention is a far better ‘stimulus’ than the ‘bailout’ granted Wall Street and explains further,
“We want full employment as a matter of government policy…which was passed in 1978 when I stood with Hubert Humphrey. We passed the first bill that allowed the government–in areas of high unemployment–to directly intervene and create jobs. Well, we’ve got the bill in here again and I’VE HEARD NOTHING FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.”
Conyers challenged President Obama directly at this rally explaining that…
…”We want him to know from this day forward that we’ve had it. We want him to come out on our side, not to watch and wait…WE’RE SUFFERING.” Alluding to an earlier quote Obama used, comparing himself to FDR–using the famous…’make me do it,’ line–Conyers added that…
…”What Obama hasn’t said to us is “make me do it” BUT WE HAVE TO MAKE HIM DO IT…THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES WE’RE FACED WITH.” (Source : http://www.crewof42.com/cbc/conyers-on-jobs-weve-had-it-lays-out-obama-calls-for-protest-at-white-house)
While congressman Conyers marched with Dr. King, President Obama borrows Dr. King quotes for sound bytes. As congressman Conyers fought for civil rights, risking life and limb–for minorities, women and any other disenfranchised groups–Obama grew up–and attended Harvard. When congressman Conyers faced the wrath of President Nixon–earning a place on the infamous ‘presidential enemies list’—Obama became popular and eventually attended Harvard. Now, in our hour of great need–as Wall Street’s private banks circle like vultures on the kill–salivating over Social Security like a sailor eyes a hooker–Conyers is, once again–fighting to save our right to Social Security. Once again–President Obama–attended Harvard.