Cassi Creek: The Constitutional requirements have been fulfilled. Barak Hussein Obama has been sworn in as POTUS according to the laws of these United States.
Today, there are various lesser celebratory events and functions taking place in the District of Columbia. Tomorrow, there will be the parade, the public administration of the oath of office, the inaugural balls, and all the other hoopla associated with the peaceful transition of power from one administration to another.
Truman is the first President that I was aware of. Eisenhower is the first President whose inaugural I recall. Kennedy’s inaugural is the first that really meant anything to me. Lyndon Johnson’s was an occasion of shock and pain. Nixon’s to me, came with the likelihood of my demise in an ever-expanding war. Ford’s signaled an attempt at unification. Carter left me wishing Ford had beaten him at the polls.
The Reagan inaugurals were signals that greed, malfeasance, and corruption were loose in the land, Bush the elder seemed to be an attempt to clean up and cover up the mess left by the senile Reagan.
Clinton, the first of my generation allowed himself to become mired in a sex scandal and ushered in the GOP practice of trying to reverse the election results of anyone who defeated the GOP candidate by obstruction, endless investigations, and impeachment battles. Bush the younger marked a return to the Reagan policies and practices that nearly destroyed the global economy.
The 2008 election of Obama was evidence of recognition that new coalitions of voters were needed, and that the racism, xenophobia, and religious intolerance initially crystallized in the Nixon southern strategy and the Reagan welfare queen strategy could be revived and amplified by the likes of Palin; and that education and intellect were unimportant to voters who listened only to Fox News and bible thumpers.
I voted for Obama in 2008 and in 2012. I would have preferred Hillary Clinton in 2008. Obama seems, to me, to have been more concerned about being liked by the populace and the Congress. That popularity will never become evident at the level he would like. He needs to begin playing hardball. He is the POTSUS, not a friend to each and every elected official or voter. Fully 50% of the nation will never like him.
He has a major economic fight before him, a war in Afghanistan to discontinue, and the looming contest over gun control. None of these will lead to much popularity for him.
I think he has the potential to win these battles. I hope he does. We need him to toughen up and make it evident to the GOP/teavangelists that they will not be allowed to dictate U.S. policies currently and in the future.
Tomorrow is the inauguration. I should be more excited about it. But I can’t muster the energy. The historical impact of the Obama presidency was made manifest in 2008. The four years that were his first term became an exercise in working around the hatred and racism that has been directed at him by citizens who exemplify the worst of America, and by politicians who are prepared to change the U.S. into a nation of theocrats who are at war with education and intellect.