Top to bottom: Still a long way to go, President Barack Obama’s inauguration outside San Francisco City Hall, Jan. 20, 2009. A red, white, and blue debate in San Francisco, CA. Skye and Seth, 1286 Folsom Inauguration Ball, San Francisco, CA. Seth Rosenblatt (c) 2009.
Finally, we have trimmed the Shrub. And with a flamethrower, no less.
There is little good that can be said about American politics over the past eight years. Democrats, with Feinstein, Reid, and Harman’s unwillingness to stand up to King George, and Republicans, with their deification of their Decider, have led the country to the brink of ruin.
Even Barack Obama’s capitulation on FISA stands as tall as it stinks.
And yet… we are all filled with hope. There are no protests over stolen elections. The country may still be divided, but the cleavage (good grief have I been saving THAT line!) is not a banal bifurcation: People who care about nationalized health care, green engineering, women’s rights, and other ostensible social issues have won out.
Sorry, gays, guess you’ll have to wait until Prop. 8 gets repealed.
The three photos above, however, summarize reasonably well the mood of the nation. It’s a hard time for many people. We are faced with the unpleasant task of holding a president’s feet to the fire, and it’s not clear that we have the resolve as a nation to carry out the laws of our country nor the international treaties to which we have signed. This is due, in no small part, to cowardice on both sides of the aisle.
No matter who wears the red, white, and blue, we will continue to debate how we shall proceed. This, at least in my estimation, is A Good Thing. If Repuglicans truly believe in Milton Friedman, than vaya con dios. The rest of us will assume that Keynes summed it up best.
And then finally, the nature of the personal debate. Had John McSame won the election, I would’ve been hard-pressed to prove to my Financial and Menu Adviser that staying in America would’ve been worth our while. Despite the benefits of being near hometown and family, the winds and the sanity of health care take one where one must.
I read today several motivating posts on Talking Points Memo. The gist of them all has been, something about Obama makes us care. Despite my own natural cynicism, casually supplemented by bumper stickers that read, “Dare to Hope. Prepare for Disappointment,” I will try to believe that Obama acknowledges that his victory comes at the expense of people. We have left everything on the road: behind us is nothing but a trail of burned-out mufflers, busted tires, trashed batteries, and melted sparkplugs. And yet, for one crucial day, one critical speech that will define today’s teens and tomorrow’s leaders, we will all believe that as Americans we can bring back our nation from the brink of disaster.
This depends on being able to hold everybody from lowly Dianne and Jane to lofty Dick and George accountable. Good luck!