Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Somehow all my good feelings leading up to the moment of Obama's inauguration are ruined by the opening speech of Diane Feinstein and Rev. Rick Warren's invocation.
Considering that last week Warren was exhorting his followers to 'follow Christ, like youth followed Hitler' as if creating a Christus jugend bewegnung is going to help anything other than to further the cause of creating a theocracy out of a democracy and giving the rightwing a 'by any means necessary' speech, I was somewhat relieved to see Warren didn't slip anything insulting or ideologically top heavy into his invocation speech. I was expecting that his followers were going to try to hijack the event.

Brilliant.... great..... the queen of soul.... Aretha Franklin singing 'America tis of thee'... absolutely beautifully sung and very moving, -although tell me some comedian hadn't already predicted this for the first african american president's inaugural?

Joe Biden gets sworn in... could you get anymore 'insider' than that? Aleast they both weren't claiming to be "maverics".

Obama stumbles after the word "execute"...hmm, 'who are you thinking of executing' (I can hear the usual paranoid anti-NWO truthers buzzing on that one)...big embarassing pause there... but its done.
Apparently it was Justice(?) Roberts' slip up that caused it.
A big corner has been turned here.
I can't help but be moved by it.

"I thank him for the cooperation he's shown in the transition" (Bush gives a look like 'the hell I have!')
Mentions the challenge... healthcare, education, financial crisis.
Acknowledges the difficulty of the challenges ahead and exhorts the US to unite to deal with the problems and reminds us that "all are equal".
"pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and do what's got to be done " to rebuild the republic.
restore science to its rightful place" ....predicts green technologies growth.
Derides cynics and critics... assuring them of american capability to achieve results.
On defense...
rejects the paranoid fear policies of the Bush Admin for the sake of natl security ...but to restore the literal meaning of the constitutional gaurantees of rights.
Reiterates american resolve against terrorism but not at the price of civil liberties.
But signals to the arab world that a different tact will be taken; one that shows respect and not just a 'christian crusade' against islam.
Acknowledges americans' use of resources... will employ more sensible use of them.
Mentions the many virtues he wants to see...
like" the willingness of a factory worker willing to take fewer hours than to see a friend lose their job" (maybe signaling to unions a bullet or two they'll have to bite... vaguely anti-unionist in nature)
Personal responsibility and the price of citizenship.
QReminds us that 60 years ago his father couldn't sit in alot of restraunts but he "now stands before you to take America's most sacred oath"

The rest of the speech you can read online somewhere.....

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the fact that I hear a president speech that doesn't make me seethe and react with anger

Elizabeth Alexander poet ..." say it, plain... that many died for the day that brings us here"
"praise song for the day for every hand written sign written at kitchen tables"

Rev. Joseph E Lowry's benediction... civil rights leader.... someone who's lived long and been through alot to get to this day. One can't help but be moved by the significance of this moment for him. .....LOL! he takes a jab at the Bush Admin for their favoritism towards the rich elite.
I love him for his humility, rationality and humour!

A BBC anouncer reminds us that this moment was promised us ... a long time in the coming.

They sing the national anthem.

It's more than just the arrival of America's first black president which in and of itself is monumental in nature -but a deliverance of the reigns of power from a failed and abusive presidency (that lasted 8 years) to a presidency that will have to work three times as hard to undo the damage that was done to the republic in that time...
There were so many subtle jabs at the subtle racism and elitist policies of the previous administration, their wanton disregard for the rights of average americans.
That this moment, in part, fulfilled but was not solely pivotal on the importance or realizing Rev. Martin Luther King jr's dream but in realising the equality of all americans also recognizes that as equal americans requires equal responsibilities.

The presidents...former and incoming... standing together on the steps....... I'm awaiting a raining of shoes on GW Bush... in fact, I think his eyes have been busily scanning for any 'incoming' footwear throughout the whole event.
Cheney.... shamming I think, in his wheelchair.......... 'you wouldn't prosecute a man in a wheelchair, would you?'


Okay, event over.

President Obama is still a product of party politics and he still owes alot in some part to corporate benefactors. And despite the progressive sounding speech, he's already warned us in his speech that ...for instance... unions may have to bite a bullet or two to save jobs.
I didn't like Justice(?)John Roberts swearing him in... the federalist scum.
The contempt was apparent in his voice... but he did his job.

Now that the important moment is over:
I was interviewed on local belgian tv as an american living in Gent and this event's meaning to me...
Americans living in Belgium react to Obama inauguration
I have to say to my defense... they woke me up with a telephone call, and in one hour they were there and I just wasn't prepared for an interview.
And, they took my least interesting soundbytes. But witnessing it... I can't blame them, I really was too tired to have done this.
I made a quip about how previously the White House really was the "White" House... that it was previously unthinkable.... they left out that I mentioned that the Dem leadership had previously snubbed him and that all during the primaries he'd had a racial double standard thrown at him despite Clinton supporters' claim of 'sexism' on the part of the dem leadership and the media.
That the media took Obama more to task on a number of occasions that they didn't of McCain or Palin.
But they chose my less important comments.
I mentioned the corporate favoritism of the previous admin... but used my comment about the lack of respect for the right of privacy.
But I did stumble a bit... so I can't really blame them... unaccustomed to public speaking as I am.
I did say that I was "wary, but still hopeful"... hey, ...what do you want? I am at the end of the day, an anarchist.
I don't trust any gov't really, and especially the dems who talk a good game but have stabbed us (their progressive base) in the back on so many occasions ...like war funding, like the quashing of Dennis Kucinich's efforts to impeach Bush, like the bailout, like the uncondintional support for Israel's brutal war against Gaza's residents, like the many concessions to the Bush administration. I get tired of hearing them tell us how unrealistic the progressive agenda is, especially when progressive activists kept the dems in the running.
I detest Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for all their progressive lipservice and backroom deal making. We do need either more in the way of political pluralism like that which exists in parliamentary political systems, an end to the "two party" system where both parties are just shades of one another,
... or a revolution, a rise from the bottom of direct workers' democracy.

But, today is the day before Obama's first day on the job so, I'll wait see what he does tomorrow and celebrate today some of the important parts of what today meant.


  1. Elizabeth Alexander and Rev. Lowry were particularly refreshing, I thought.

  2. They were absolutely awesome.
    I should look up their full texts of Lowry's benediction and Alexander's poem...which was read beautifully in a paused yet confident manner so that you could hear and remember each line.
    Defiinitely savers.