It's not as if Douglass was a fawning character. Quite the contrary. An escaped slave, before emancipation he campaigned tirelessly for his people's freedom and continued on, after the Civil War, to champion equality for all, including the then-ridiculed cause of votes for women.
His speech here is a lesson to those of us who have such a hard time dealing with the very mixed blessing that is Obama administration. We want and need so much; the President seems always only to stand for inadequate half measures. But if we're serious, we need to find the good where we can and then never give up on pushing for something better. Sometimes great good comes.
Yes -- President Obama is not our man, not a man of the peace movement, or of civil libertarians, or of the left. He's a product of a "meritocracy" that provides the ideological support for the nation's increasing inequality, for the domination of the one percent. He's the anointed custodian of this waning empire and behaves accordingly. When we consider the urgency of the threat of climate change, he seems "tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent."
But he's also the best most of us are likely to see. We must try his patience (and that of his fellow pols) with "injudicious and tedious delegations..." and keep on keeping on.