Inauguration Day




Obama 2008

Welcome, President Obama.  You have your work cut out for you, thanks to your predecessors.  I haven’t gotten political in some time, but this was well deserved.  Check this out for a brilliantly prophetic parody from the inimitible Onion.

Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 8:12 am  Comments (13)  

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  1. Fantastic day. What a great speech he gave. I feel better already.

  2. “Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny.” Senator Daniel Webster.

    That is all I am going to say on this matter.

  3. It was a very good speech, Jane–sobering but hopeful.

    If only the previous administration had adhered to such a philosophy, Tim. I’m sure Obama will do better by both Webster’s adage and the rest of us.

  4. a truly special day highlighted by Aretha’s hat and a stirring speech. rick warren on mute of course.

  5. I thought of you as soon as I heard Warren starting to speak, Mike. Odd and poor choice, in my opinion, but the day was thankfully special and historic nonetheless.

  6. Being an Illinoisan, I’ve followed Obama’s political career from his days in the State Senate, to his days in the US Senate and then as a candiate for President. To see the man I’ve defended, supported and then voted for be sworn in as the most powerful man in the Western World….that was an amazing moment. Even with Chief Justice Roberts fumbling the oath. LOL

    He has his work cut out for him, but as he has stresses on numerous occasions, WE are the people we’ve been waiting for. If we want things to change, we need to be the ones who initiate it. We have to work for it. And I don’t doubt that people will heed his call to service and do just that.

    Thank God he won.

  7. For the sake of the country, I wish him well.

    On many areas however, I will oppose him heart, mind and soul.

  8. Obama will not have it easy Mike, no question. I too will likely find myself on the opposite side of Obama at various times, no question. No politician gets a pass from me. Yet I have no doubt that he’s far better equipped to lead our nation than either his predecessor or his electoral opponent. Time will judge, but my firm sense is we’ve had far worse than Obama.

  9. The Presidency is littered with less than reputable characters. Andrew Jackson was a prolific dueler, Franklin Pierce was a drunk, Andrew Johnson was a drunk and a gambler, Warren Harding took his Klan Oath in the White House, John Kennedy was a prolific womanizer, Richard Nixon was a crook, just to name a few.

    I have several issues that I would like to see resolved. Have a plan for dealing with illegal immigration. Building a fence is not the answer and neither is unconditional amnesty. Second, balance the budget. I don’t care how you do it, just stop running deficits. Third, find Osama Bin Laden and Zawahari. Tear Afghanistan apart if that is what it takes. Find the people who killed 3,000 Americans.

  10. I neglected to say this yesterday Tim, but it’s good to see you and I hope all has been well. I’ve been busy with various things, so I’ve not posted as much lately.

    Indeed the presidency is, in fact politics as a whole. I think that historically, there have been plenty of scandals and scandalous events and figures. Recent years, however, have seen some impressive additions to your list–Tom DeLay, Ted Stevens, Elliot Spitzer, Rod Blagojevich (in all likelihood), Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham, William Jefferson–that should cast our era in a pretty corrupt and dim light. Lots of disgrace to go around and move past, among other things.

    I think dealing with illegal immigration is important without resorting to solely criminalizing immigrants, many of whom are recruited through labor networks in addition to coming on their own. Statistically, immigrants have also been less likely to commit crimes while in the US. Find a way to allow those who are illegal access to citizenship and eliminate that nether world of illegal status as much as possible. Balancing the budget more than it now is–and it’s bloated beyond belief–is fine, but I’m not against deficits or deficit spending when warranted. Financial stimulus is, to me, necessary now and for a while, and would do more especially for job creation than more tax cuts. This nation has needed a massive public-works investment for a long time, well before this financial mess. It would do a tremendous amount for the economy in the short term and long haul, just as the federal highway bill did in ’57. I’m not dead set against tax cuts as long as they’re for dedicated purposes–job creation and maintenance, environmental improvements, re-training, et al. Plus, eliminating tax giveaways would do much to balance the budget.

    I think we can’t presume bin Laden is in Afghanistan–possible, but maybe not. His continued existence reveals the grotesque that has unfortunately been the Iraq War–never should have happened, wasteful of human lives and precious resources, fomenting dissidence and terrorism, and fostering regional instability and shifting power dynamics. That war has been taking the nation’s figurative eye off the ball, at best.

  11. Goodness Beth, sorry to have skipped over your comment. I didn’t mean to miss it. I couldn’t agree more with your very fine comment. There’s a sense that something big is happening and has been inspired. It sounds romanticized, but it really isn’t. People everywhere are saying as much. I’d argue that such actions will be necessary to steer and push Obama into changes many of us want to see, but I also think that he’s going to lead this country down some positive paths and correct some heinous wrongs.

  12. i will support my new president 100% b/c selfishly if he doesnt well, that means that we all will do well…in reality, i believe that a few yrs as a jr senator (without authoring any significant legislation), doesnt give you sufficient experience to run the free world…i have serious reservations about having the most liberal president (based on his limited voting record in the senate) with the most liberal house and senate that we have ever had…i hope that he is able to keep his campaign promises and that he can lower my taxes (b/c i am def. not in the top 5%), while balancing the budget…that would be some feat…if he can keep all of his promises, i would be happy to vote for him in 4 yrs…if he doesnt, we will be free to make a CHANGE!!!

    as a fiscal conservative, he is not doing anything to gain my favor by telling us that we are in a terrible financial crisis and then paying for planned parenthood around the world…

  13. Thanks for the comment Brendan, and I hope all has been well with you of late. I’d be very wary of drawing assessments of politicians’ liberalism and conservatism across historical eras, both of individual politicians such as Obama and political institutions such as the House and Senate. Topics across epochs vary greatly as do politicians’ views of them and institutions’ treatment of them. For example, it isn’t difficult to judge the last two years of the Senate as rather liberal in comparison to, say, the Senate in the few years before that when the Republicans ran it (more about that in a minute). Nor is it difficult to judge it as liberal in comparison to Senate terms of the past when literally for decades, it was the Senate that routinely held up much-needed civil rights legislation. It was Southern reactionary senators who controlled key committees and were the gate-keepers to legislation that gummed up opportunities to improve the lives of tens of millions of people. Was, say, a very right-wing Congress and president over the last eight years preferable? Hardly, I’d say, as did voters across America.

    People are looking for improvements in their lives and in government. That didn’t happen under Republican rule, not at all in my opinion. The national debt was nearly doubled in the last eight years thanks to needless wars and grotesque tax giveaways. The rule of law didn’t matter in the slightest to the GOP regarding torture, domestic spying, habeas corpus, executive branch records, government oversight, and so much more. Heck, and this is not an insignificant thing, at least Congress in the last two years under Democratic rule WORKED. The 2005-2006 right-wing Congress usually held a 2 1/2 day work week, Tuesday to mid-day Thursday, working a total of 218 days. That’s impressively lazy, besting the do-nothing Congress of 1947-48 by a full month more off. At least the Democrats worked full weeks.

    Obama will be challenged by much, including to keep his campaign promises. Politicians usually don’t, but Obama has started well. Others have fallen short, such as Bush who declared he wasn’t interested in “nation-building,” then launched the disastrously unnecessary nation-building exercise in Iraq. The criterion, to me, is if Obama will have improved the lot he inherited by 2012. I have my own issues with Obama, primarily with what he’ll get done and with cabinet selections. But he’s a significant improvement from Bush, to me, and he’s intellectually equipped for the job. He’s engaged in the process and will govern. The GOP didn’t seem remotely interested in governing effectively or well. I’d consider giving Obama an assessment after four years looking backward to the previous eight.

    On a balanced budget, I’m not much of a fan. Deficit spending is often necessary, especially when the economy is in the tank and banks, especially those bailed out for their profligacy and greed, have both failed and haven’t resumed lending when given tens of billions. I’d say that paying for planned parenthood programs around the world isn’t nearly as bad a financial program as, say, hundreds of billions in tax giveaways in the last eight years that didn’t even preserve jobs much less create them, tax giveaways to giant, highly profitable corporations in effect for outsourcing jobs, and tens of billions literally lost from a lack of oversight for government war contracts and pallets of cash shipped to Iraq literally disappearing. At least with planned parenthood, the vast majority of which is for non-abortion counseling and care, there is the possibility of preventing the spread of STDs and minimizing the number of babies born into hopeless poverty.

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