Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Day

It’s maybe the oldest joke ever but there’s a guy who works at the circus. His job is to go around with a shovel behind the elephant, and clean up his mess. His friend says, “Why don’t you quit?” and he says, “What? And give up show business?”

Change show business to politics and that’s the glamor job Barack Obama accepts Tuesday at noon when our grateful country hands him the shovel.

Actually, considering the amount, he should be handed a steam shovel.

It is a day of worldwide celebration. A bigger event even than the AMERICAN IDOL finale and almost on a par with William Peterson leaving CSI. For the first time in eight years the United States has a leader.

I was just a kid when John F. Kennedy was sworn in. An entire elementary school huddled around one black and white television. It was thrilling, exciting, and I haven’t felt that way about a presidential inauguration since well… then. The last two I couldn’t watch. I imagine Hillary Clinton couldn’t watch the last three.

My prayers and best wishes to Barack Obama. If nothing else, thank you for instilling hope in these nightmarish times, for being able to string four words together in a cohesive sentence, for actually caring about the people you have pledged to serve, for loving MASH, and most of all, thank you for being the one willing to take charge when you hear…

ATTENTION! CLEAN-UP ON AISLE FIVE!

37 comments:

Tim W. said...

I've said to many people that I wouldn't wish Obama's job on my worst enemy. He's inheriting an almost hopeless situation. On one hand, I think it's unfortunate that the US picked now to finally elect a black president who inspires such hope, on the other hand he's probably the best person for the job, right now. Not because of any experience or background he brings to the job, but simply because of his ability to inspire.

As a Canadian, I've never watched an inauguration, but I'll be watching this one just to hear his speech.

A. Buck Short said...

At this historic inaugural moment, please let me add, without equivocation, how proud I am to live in a country where there can be something called The Peanut Corporation of America.

And speaking of that, from the standpoint of spectacle, it will be hard to top the 1977 inauguration, which was modest by all other standards. A friend’s grip and electric company sent out a press release something to the effect of: “John Gates and Bill Keith are proud to announce that their company, Boston Light and Sound, is honored to have been selected to light all five of President Carter’s balls.”

C. Levine said...

Oh come-on people, let's get real. Just how hard could it to be, to be the President of the United States - the most powerful man on earth.

Heck,you get up when and where you want, live in a frigg'en mansion (for crying out loud), never break a sweat - let alone a fingernail - eat anything your heart desires; when-ever or where-ever you want; you schmooze like everyone around you thinks your shit don't stink...

OK, I know, so you have to make a few gut-wrenching, life-altering, world-effecting decisions every-now-and-then, but, you do have your own 747.

And on some cold and dark early morning, you NEVER have to say "Dammit honey...here comes the garbage truck & we forgot to put out the trash last night...better hurry up...it's your turn"

a tourist in michigan, 2006 said...

oh, sod it. i've forgotten to ask W whether i could have my fingerprints back, now that he doesn't need them anymore.

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

I'm torn over which is more historic: President Barack Obama, or the near impossibility of anyone succeeding at his new job. I don't think there's another person more qualified by intelligence, temperament and political skill to get it done, but he ought to at least get a mulligan term for the cleanup before starting the clock on his Presidency.

DrBear said...

All I ask is that the guy listen to somebody before doing things. Is that too much to ask?

Dana King said...

The Onion summed it up best with their post-election headline: BLACK MAN GIVEN NATION'S WORST JOB.

Sebastian said...

You know the silly thing is he's the kind of guy I want to have a beer with...

SharoneRosen said...

I wept with joy when he won and sent up the following prayer, "now, please, don't break our hearts!"

He is the right man for the worst job at this hour... let us pray we're right!

WV: Eysifyin- what the optomitrist in Doggpatch does

David O'Hara said...

Has everyone forgotten what Obama (or anyone who covets the job) had to do to become King? Lie, go into debt to people and organizations of dubious character, lie, pander to the lowest common denomminator, lie...

I can understand the euphoria over getting rid of Bush, (he did the same things to become King, then we saw what he really was - the same stuff he was picking up after the elephants).

If the job is so pathetic, what does that say about the man who covets it enough to almost anything to achieve it?

You Obamaphiles don't actually KNOW if the Emperor has any clothes yet and already he's been promoted past King to God. (Why do we have such cheap hero's? What the hell does that say about us?)

I don't trust the motives of anyone who wants that job. Presidents should be drafted out a pool of well-educated people WHO DON'T WANT TO BE KING. Drag them kicking and screaming into the White House and we may actually have someone who will do an honest fair job.

exturile: an man who has given up his pet turtle.

flypec: the muscles on Martin Short

Max Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
littlejohn said...

One of the saddest days in American history.

VP81955 said...

I never thought I'd live to see the day...when a Chicago White Sox fan would become president of the United States.

Seriously, it is a momentous day, and Obama gave a splendid inaugural address. Not sure if any particular line will resonate through history, but it was solid overall.

wv: "ventions" -- what Thomas Edison and his staff did for those with short attention spans.

Pete Parsons said...

Interesting that mostly Democrats read and post in this blog....

And how you like to lump evrything on George W. Bush. Of course, Demorcats like Barney Frank & his ilk had nothing to do with the current state of the economy - it was all George W. Bush..

When Obama & his pals are finished pilaging the country in another 4 years, we'll see what you have to say then..

Change for the better, baby, whatever the hell that means.

blogward said...

Good luck America; he's a refreshingly urbane politician, but I rather think two homies in Detroit had it when they said in a voxpop: "America's a corporation, man. They just changed the CEO". Not a popular view right now, I'll guess.

Bob said...

DrBear wrote: "All I ask is that the guy listen to somebody before doing things. Is that too much to ask?"

You, sir, are a dangerous lunatic.

Tom Quigley said...

My three favorite words for today: "Former President Bush"

BTW, as a contrast to how different generations might view today's events, my 81-year old mother asked me how old Obama was. "47," I replied. "Well," she mused, "I hope he knows what he's doing..."

Corinne said...

As another Canadian, I agree (mostly) with the first post.

My point of view has nothing to do with party and everything with how the person in the office of US President will handle his job at home and abroad.

From another country's point of view, that wasn't McCain. In another time, another year it might not be the Democrat up for the job either.

I prayed through the whole inauguration that he might bear the weight that is upon his shoulders with the ideals and integrity he hopes to do so.

With the scope and depths of all the issues at hand, colour has become the lesser of all the issues. Regardless of race, anyone who became President at this time would have to deal with the same stakes.

There is a point in which partisanship should become less of an issue. Note the unity in which past Presidents from both parties have shown today and in the months previous.

In spite our Canadian image, that is not something you'd see much of here among former Prime Ministers.

Leave the soapbox. Celebrate hope.

Everyone needs that for just 1 day.

D. McEwan said...

"David O'Hara said...
I can understand the euphoria over getting rid of Bush, (he did the same things to become King"

The elephant was the GOP. Bush was what came out of the elephant.

" Pete Parsons said...
Interesting that mostly Democrats read and post in this blog...."

Well Bush made reading unfashionable for Republicans, since the literate were unlikely to vote for him. No Child Left Literate.

"And how you like to lump everything on George W. Bush. Of course, Demorcats like Barney Frank & his ilk had nothing to do with the current state of the economy - it was all George W. Bush.."

No, it wasn't ALL George Bush; Dick Cheney had a BIG hand in all the evil too. Barney Frank, on the other hand, is a lovely man.

"When Obama & his pals are finished pilaging the country..."

That will be a challenge, because there's almost nothing left to steal, now that Bush, Cheney, and pals have finished pillaging the country to a degree that even Captain Kidd called "Excessive." A bigger batch of thieves than The Bush Administration is hard to conceive.

I set my machine to tape the inauguration, since it occurred at 9 AM here, which is the middle of the night to me, but I must have set it for 9 PM instead of AM, because it didn't tape. I'm hoping some channel repeats it, but right now every channel is running live footage of the slow-speed chase, I mean procession. (Sorry, wrong black man).

I think I'd enjoy as much watching Bush leaving town in a slow-speed procession, to crowds cheering his exit, tossing shoes at the car, and with shoes tied to the bumper. Instead of their chanting "O-BAM-MA!" they would be chanting "GOOD-RID-DANCE!"

"Tom Quigley said...
My three favorite words for today: 'Former President Bush' "

I'm looking forward to "Convicted War Criminal Bush." The sooner we hand Bush and Cheney over to The Hague for trial on international war comes, the better. Ford cheated us out of the Nixon Trial. I hope we're not cheated out of the Bush, Cheney, & Rumsfeld trials. They are criminals. Simply being out of office isn't enough. For The Rule of Law to mean anything, they must be convicted and imprisoned.

This is the first good day this country has had in this century.

Tim W. said...

"Interesting that mostly Democrats read and post in this blog...."

I'm not only not a Democrat, I'm not even American. I had no idea being inspired by someone who brings such hope in such a dark time was a Democratic tenant. I guess where you're from, one has to keep to party lines at all times. What a sad place that is.

Anonymous said...

lol Kennedy

Corinne said...

"I guess where you're from, one has to keep to party lines at all times. What a sad place that is."

Amen

Elizabeth said...

D. McEwan, right on the money -- and funny, too. :)

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Was there a subtle jab at Bush in the analogy of cleaning up after the elephant. The elephany is the GOP symbol, after all.

Bob S. said...

"A bigger batch of thieves than The Bush Administration is hard to conceive."

Not really. Think of the batch of thieves working out of the White House just before Bush arrived..

Tim W. said...

Bob S,

You seem to feel that your standing in the Republican party might be in jeopardy if you don't try to, at least, put forth the argument that all Democracts are worse than Republicans. The world won't end if you admit that Bush was probably the worst President in the modern era.

P.S.

Was Jimmy Carter too long ago to bring up an insult for

D. McEwan said...

"Bob S. said...
'A bigger batch of thieves than The Bush Administration is hard to conceive.'

Not really. Think of the batch of thieves working out of the White House just before Bush arrived.."

You mean the "Thieves" who left the country with a SURPLUS which Bush has turned into the largest National debt in history?

When one gang of thieves leaves with MORE money than the government requires to run, and the other leaves you mortgaged into trillions to the Red Chinese, I think the latter group qualifies as the BY GIGANTICALLY FAR greater group of thieves.

But I feel your pain. It is just so damn hard to shift blame for the Republican's evil nto the Democrats, one can't help pitying you.

John R. said...

"Cohesive sentences." Ah yes, yet another plea for (finally!) some eloquence in the Oval Office.

Ahem. The creator of "Big Wave Dave's" has spoken.

Al Gore said...

D. McEwen, since you like the big government of the Democrats, I've had you flagged with the TSA so enjoy the next flight you take...

And I've got you flagged in the drug store computer system, so be prepared to have guns drawn the next time you try to buy a box of decongestant...

Bob S. said...

Aw, more war haters.

If 9-11 had happened on 9-11-99 what would Bill Clinton have done? Peed his pants?

Or maybe fought back against terrorists? Well, if he had done that, it would have cost cash, just like under the George W. Bush administration...

Yes, they looted the treasury just so they could throw money at Iraq...

Personally, I prefer the way that George W. took care of business and I don't spit on the troops..

Tim W. said...

I'm guessing Clinton wouldn't have bizzarly decided to invade a country that had nothing to to whatsoever with 9/11. I give him credit for that.

D. McEwan said...

"Al Gore said...
D. McEwen, since you like the big government of the Democrats, I've had you flagged with the TSA so enjoy the next flight you take...

And I've got you flagged in the drug store computer system, so be prepared to have guns drawn the next time you try to buy a box of decongestant..."

Once again we have a poster taking the name of someone who believes the opposite of the poster's POV. Am I speaking to the craven coward who was posting as "Pat Paulson" last week? I'll bet I am.

I don't travel a lot. My last flight was in 2002, and my pharmacy knows me well, and delivers my meds to me at home, but thanks for the gratuitous threats. You certainly embrace the evil that was Bushism. You indeed seem almost to be chuckling about what an evil piece of shit you are. But you still lack the balls to sign your real name. D. McEwan IS my real name. (And it's spelled McEwAn, not McEwEn. I'm afraid you'll have to reflag me.)

I'm with Obama on the size of government. Governments are like dicks; the size isn't what matters, but how well they work. Too small a government, and the crooks run riot, and you end up ---- right in the financial hole we are in.

"Bob S. said...
Aw, more war haters.

If 9-11 had happened on 9-11-99 what would Bill Clinton have done?"

You miss the ESSENTIAL point: 9-11 didn't happen on Clinton's watch BECAUSE HE DIDN'T LET IT. It wasn't an accident it didn't happen while Clinton was president, and it wasn't an accident that it did happen once Bush came to power; exactly the reverse. It happened because Bush IGNORED the warnings from the departing Clinton administration, and allowed it to happen.

And then there was Bush's daddy's complicity in it, as it enriched the Bush Family munitions companies. You think it was a coincidence that Bush Senior was watching it happen with Osama Bin Laden's brother, an event that enriched both families? Bush Senior was in on it. Junior kept reading fairy tales to children, as he had been told to do.

Apparently you believe the fairy tales he told you.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

There was an earlier bombing of the World Trade Center but I forget who was president at the time. Co-Presidents Clinton?

WV: monestr--a dyslexic werewolf

D. McEwan said...

The World Trade Center Bombing, a single car bombing rather than a co-ordinated hijacking of four planes, took place on February 26, 1993, one month and six days after Bill Clinton took office.

Bob S. said...

"The World Trade Center Bombing, a single car bombing rather than a co-ordinated hijacking of four planes, took place on February 26, 1993, one month and six days after Bill Clinton took office."

So what's your point? Terrorist activity DID take place during Bill Clinton's watch. Because he let it happen.

Did not Bill Clinton have the opportunity to grab Osama Bin Laden, but decided he was no threat to the world, and left him alone? Whoops. We'll let the next guy deal with it.

Tim W. said...

Bob S.

Why, oh why, must you go out of your way to criticize? Are you that wrapped up in partisan politics? Clinton didn't grab Osama, but at least he didn't give him money (see what I did there? I used an argument against one side and turned it into an argument against another, just like you!). Amnd I notice you didn't say much about the invading Iraq comment. I'm sure if the Kuwait War was on Clinton's watch you would have used the `just finishing the job CLinton didn't do' excuse. I find it unbelievable that you can't admit that Bush was a horrible president, no matter what party he served under. Are you that blinded by party politics?

By the way, I wasn't a huge Clinton fan, but I liked him a sight better than the guy who came before and after.

D. McEwan said...

"Bob S. said...
So what's your point? Terrorist activity DID take place during Bill Clinton's watch. Because he let it happen."

Are you actually so intensely stupid you can't get my points here? Well then, I'll spell them out:

1. It took me 15 seconds to Google the date of the WTC bombing, something apparently beyond your reach.

2. There is a HUGE difference between not knowing a single car loaded with explosives was being parked at the WTC, when you've had barely a month in office to get going, and not detecting a massive, co-ordinated attack involving dozens of people when you've had 8 months in office, and you've deliberately ignored warnings from the previous Secratary of State, simply BECAUSE she was Clinton's and not yours, and ignoring intelligence briefings and warnings, and basically, WILLFULLY turning a blind eye to all reports that contradict your fantasy world view, which was how Bush operated on all matters.

3. Bill Clinton may not have been our best president, but next to Bush (EITHER Bush), he was Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln all rolled together. He left the government with a surplus, not DEEPLY in debt with an economy in ruins, and not at war. All the oppostion could muster to lob at him was that he lied about getting a blow job, as have most men, and which was irrelevant to his governance anyway. Frankly, I prefer a president whose idea of sex is an illicit blow job, to one whose idea of sex is firing missles into other countries, and fucking the economy.

And you sir, are a boob.