How President Obama can now govern

Earl Ofari Hutchinson | 11/20/2012, 5:45 a.m.

His ability to accomplish these things didn’t fully happen during his first four years. The modest proposals that he put forward to attack these towering problems only gave ammunition to the GOP to rally millions to harangue, hector and obstruct Obama’s efforts.

The GOP still has a firm lock on the House, and Obama’s popular vote victory over Romney was just close enough to tempt some in the GOP to try to continue to subvert Obama’s agenda.

But Obama’s win gives him enough latitude to forcefully blend tact and political diplomacy with a strong-willed determination to get his stalled legislation and initiatives moving. He also has the added luxury of being able to expand his vision and agenda for the country.

This should include tackling the chronically high black unemployment rate, the widening income gap, drug and criminal justice reforms, comprehensive immigration reform and pouring more resources into the nation’s crumbling urban infrastructure.

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and the following year, 2014, will mark the 50th year of the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This gives the president a golden opportunity to open a long-neglected and much-needed dialogue on two daunting issues that have been glaringly absent from the nation’s public policy plate for decades — how to combat poverty and further strengthen Civil Rights.

Obama’s re-election has eliminated the need to appease and conciliate the avowed enemies of social and political progress and reform. His re-election won’t make them totally go away, but he’s firmly in the command seat now and can now fully govern the way he vowed to millions he would.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst.