Tuesday, January 20, 2009


There's a black man in the White House. That even sounds strange...

and awesome!

Even better than the destruction of the tacit understanding that, to be president one must be an aging white man; is that this milestone comes on the heels of a president that will probably be remembered as the most inept man to ever hold the office. Worse than Grant. Worse than Johnson. Worse than Nixon (who at least was a skilled politician).

Bush, although he may be a decent enough man personally, is a stubborn, intellectually-lazy simpleton. And while this combination of traits makes for a good fratboy it makes for a terrible leader. Bush was unbelievably under-qualified for the office of president; a quick look at his history as failed entrepreneur clearly shows his deficiency as an administrator. It's amazing he ever got that far, to say nothing of the fact that he was re-elected in 2004.

The events of today seem especially dramatic to me because of my age. The first election I ever participated in was the stolen election of 2000. So Bush has been the Commander-in-Chief all of my adult life. It seems strange to think that the focus of so much of my ill-will for so long is finally gone. And that I never have to listen to his ridiculous pronouncements again.

I doubt he, or anyone else for that matter, will ever be tried for basically shredding significant portions of the constitution. But, it does bring me some satisfaction that Bush will most likely live a good while longer (maybe 20 years?) and endure scathing criticism from all sides without a mouth-piece to defend himself. It's telling that the last couple of months have found him making a desperate PR blitz in an attempt to salvage his "legacy" (Cheney hasn't backed down from anything he's ever asserted, including the fiasco in Iraq).

Anyway, as the picture suggests, this post is supposed to be about our first black president. It's just that one must factor in Bush and his unprecedented incompetence to understand why we're so elated.

OK. This country faces some enormous challenges to be sure. But If Obama comes through on even a fraction of what he is talking about doing, it'll make it all worth-while. Even just lifting of the ban on stem-cell research. Or real funding for alternative energy. Or closing Guantanamo. Or submitting to the Geneva Convention.

I like that although Obama touched on defense, he spent most of his time talking domestic affairs.

And as I've said before, even just as a symbol his ascendancy is enormously important. It smashes the one-dimensional caricature of American leadership internationally and signifies so much for minorities here at home.

Of course I don't think he's going to solve all of our problems and some of his appointments are a little troubling...

but I'm willing to suspend my judgment.

And right now I feel hopeful that at least we may be heading in a different direction.

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