Wednesday, February 4, 2009

January 20th, 2009

I know, I know I’m late with this one, but is it not a bloggers duty to chronicle their reactions to significant events of our times? I think it is, and there has been perhaps no more significant an event since Sept 11th 2001, then the inauguration of the first black president of the United States (Important note: I’m not equating these two events in terms of value judgment).

First a brief note on George W. Bush’s passing from the scene: I will read his book, which I was surprised to hear (from the now ex-Presidents mouth on Nightline no less) that he intends to write. The man will doubtless be a pariah for some time to come, but I have this long held suspicion that he will eventually come to be redeemed in the eyes of the American people, though not necessarily the historians. This is because he stuck by his guns, and presidents who do that tend to be remembered well even if not all that popular in there own time (think Harry Truman). It is this same principle that leaves me with a grudging respect for Woodrow Wilson, despite the fact that he really left a lot of damage in his wake.

The Inauguration was of course exiting, it was kind of like a reunion show for the entire zeitgeist. Al Gore talking with John McCain at the post inaugural luncheon, Colin Powell seated next to Steven Spielberg to watch the ceremonies. The new President gave a 4 out of 5 speech that captured the moment but didn’t have the one great sound bite that Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Kennedy had. Plus say what you will about that hat, Aretha Franklin is a national treasure, though we really only trout her out for things like Olympic opening ceremony’s and the like.

Still my favorite moment has to be the comic contrast of 88 year old justice Stevens flawlessly swearing in vice president Joe Biden, while the 50ish chief justice Roberts messes up the mere 35 words he had to say at like three places. Anyway I thought the Inauguration a worthwhile historic moment to take a few hours off of work to bask in. So far President Obama’s polling about a 69% approval rating (a rather striking change of pace from the last 5 years), though to paraphrase Dennis Miller his cabinet could sure use Tax Masters.

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