Friday, January 23, 2009

Post-inauguration thoughts

The inauguration of President Obama finally took place, and he has begun the task at hand, namely cleaning up (or better yet, just arresting) the ongoing mess the other idiot made in his two wretched terms. The ceremony on Tuesday was an invigorating event, it was U.S. history pure and simple, and the first time most of us made certain we were watching a Presidential inauguration at the exact time it took place.

I wish the joy and enthusiasm that surrounded the event and lit me up for a day or so could actually combat the bad feelings that I started getting ‘bout this place, round about the time that Reagan got elected. I guess that was the point where I realized a truism about the country: we swing one way and then the other. We who sit on either side of the pendulum hope that the swings in our general direction are decisive ones, but they never are.

The Reagan election was a decisive turning point: It was the point at which illusion trumped reality and the B-Movie Actor As Leader was thought to be a good idea by a vast majority of the population (I mean, I love B-movies, but a fella’s gotta draw the line somewhere….). As the country moved more and more to the right, we seemed to really lose our grasp on intelligence – dumbness and tunnelvision became more and more prized attributes. Thus, the “Internet bubble”/instant knowledge, surplus-income Nineties were followed by the absolute nightmare that was the W. Bush years, in which as many liberties as could be taken, were taken. Now with Barack in the Oval Office, many folks feel that the right guy won. I’m one of them. Although the question of why exactly he won becomes a sticking point. He honestly deserved to win the office, and yet it’s also true that the other guys pushed it as far as they could — the country is now teetering on the precipice of bankruptcy, and the American people decided (cue the pendulum) that having a Dumb Guy (who made many folks feel comfortable in their dumbness) wasn’t the greatest decision. Let’s get a smart one, who doesn’t resemble the Democratic Party’s “Kennedy model” (the only thing they’ve pushed in the past few decades, in both the New England and Southern-Fried models).

President Obama is definitely less of a centrist than Clinton was, but he’s also a careful chess player. He has inherited probably the worst mess of any incoming Pres since FDR, and his trademark cool, calm demeanor should hopefully see him through. I support him, and yet even as I hope for the future, I wonder when the next craaaaazy, disastrous swing of the pendulum will happen.

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