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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Almost Tuesday: Respecting the Man and The Office

While President-elect Obama has record approval ratings, our soon-to-be former President has record low ratings from the public. Only 20 percent of those polled currently approve of Bush - an all-time low and a definite no confidence vote.

So let us at last bid good bye to Bush, who leaves the office of President in far worse shape than when he received it eight very long years ago. The damage he has done to this country and to the world is unconscionable. Let us gladly and willingly let Bush disappear into his plush Dallas neighborhood (leaving the ranch that was never really a ranch at all, merely a prop, to brush and tumbleweeds) and be heard from no more. Let him live a quiet life, as untroubled by the press and the attentions of the outside world as he himself is untroubled by reflection or self-recrimination, and by his sometimes ironic, and almost always ignoble actions.

May his soul rot in hell when he departs this earth; may his cronies rot with him as well.

Let us turn and leave him and face our future, bleak that it is, yet hopeful and promising at the same time.

Never in my life have I seen a country so excited, jubilant, celebratory about and welcoming to an incoming president. Part of our celebratory mood must certainly be part of our pride - pride in the long road we’ve traversed in race-relations in this country. Racial inequities and prejudice have not disappeared from our national landscape - not at all - but we’ve made significant progress. And we have pride too in a victory well-planned and executed, yet a victory hard won.

Part of our mood must be the sheer joy and absolute relief at the departure of Bush and cronies - at the defeat of Rovian thinking that infected even McCain’s campaign. Part of our joy is the triumph over hard-line, arrogant, and irrational conservatives. Do not mistake me, do not misinterpret me - you can be a conservative and be rational and humble, and do the right things. But the tone and tenor of conservatism our country has experienced in the past eight years has not truly been conservatism; rather, that tone and tenor has bordered on fascism and fanaticism.

Yet the changing of the guard does not mean the recession will magically disappear, the war come to a sudden halt, the massive debt we’ve accumulated in the last eight years evaporate. President-elect Obama is, after all, a mere man (a damned smart one, that’s for sure, but still just a man) and not a miracle-worker, not the Messiah (and Lord knows, we don’t want a Messiah anyway - we’ve already had our full of one president who thought he was doing God’s will - and that’ s quite enough, thank you).

We will have a reasonable man, not an ideologue at the helm. Science, reason, debate, analysis, depth and breadth of knowledge - all these things matter again. During an interview several weeks ago, President-elect Obama said words I have not heard spoken with any intent from a president in eight years: science, culture, art, and poetry. He said in times of hardship, these are the things that define a country - its people - these are the things which bring sustenance and comfort - and help us carry on.

President-elect Obama has already made some decisions that I agree with and some with which I disagree. But I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt, to trust and wait and see what will happen. He has my trust because this man explains why he does what he does, and with some eloquence at that. I am aligned with this leader in basic philosophy and in the manner of his thinking - his ability to follow a line of reason and explain his rationale. He will make mistakes - as all Presidents do - but he won’t make them because he didn’t take the time to seek counsel, hear multiple points of view, study, and reflect before coming to a decision. His mistakes won’t come from arrogance or negligence or incompetency. His mistakes will come because he is not perfect - and I can live with that.

President-elect Obama. I like those words as they roll off my tongue, as they appear in type. President Obama. I like that even better. In the last eight years, I have refused to call Bush by the title of his office - I couldn’t provide that level of respect for not only did the man not deserve it, but he demeaned the office as well.

But by Tuesday afternoon, I will be able to respect both the office and the man who holds it.

That’s something indeed.


Blogger J Cosmo Newbery said...

From the stands, watching the show from afar, we so hope it turns out well for you. And, ultimately, us.

January 19, 2009 3:57 PM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

bird, your eloquence moves me. I agree with your message.

I am reading What's the matter with Kansas by Frank Thomas. His explanation of that school of conservatism that has used a cultural message as a smokescreen to get people to vote Republican is right on. Getting people to focus on family values and moral issues while all the time the power brokers are lining their own pockets at the expense of the middle class and the working class is criminal.

I am reasonably sure that there is no such thing as a "free market economy". It is all a subterfuge to gain money and power. But, then, what do I know.

Thanks for being here.

I, too, look forward to a brighter future. I like the way the new president is marshaling the citizenry to action. He is a man to be supported. Or, as Louis Lamour said, "He'll do to ride the river with."

January 19, 2009 5:33 PM  
Blogger LeftLeaningLady said...

It's finally here!

I hope this historic day is wonderful for you. Raise a glass, we helped make this happen!

January 20, 2009 6:26 AM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

I am rejoicing for the enormity of the events today.

The inaugural speech was spectacular. We have chosen the right man.

January 20, 2009 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

new day

wishing you well,
but bearing in mind, the world is a whole bunch bigger than the usa

<3s to the bird


January 20, 2009 3:23 PM  
Blogger K9 said...

is dissent still considered patriotic on these pages my dear boyedie? grrherhaha

it must take herculean effort to ignore the fact that obama is surrounded by a cabinet who are the architects of the worlds largest theft and transfer of wealth in the world. in fact, the very men who dismantled glass-steagall which allowed this shakedown. in essence, a continuation of the Bush cabinet! the same cast of characters from the financial elite. robert gates? last year he was a war monger. what say you now? then there is the matter of patriot 1 and 2 and FISA. guess ol bro wont be rolling that back either. gitmo? not closing anytime soon.
even newsweek magazine who smooched obamas butt for two solid years had this to say, and i quote:

"Obama has on the eve of the Democratic restoration miraculously discovered the arguments for warrantless wiretaps, enhanced interrogation and detention without trial"

Indeed, Newsweek's neck-snapping cover declares, "Why Obama May Soon Find Virtue in Cheney's Vision of Power."

and Tim Geithner? no problemo. he wass only at treasurey and the IMF but cant remember to pay income tax. what happens to all yall lil people when you dont pay yours? you wont be in the cabinet thats for sure

it has never been about race it has always been about money. ask frankin raines.

and while all your homies up in here decry the people who lined their pockets these past years you might want to do some research on the political stripe of those robbers.

but dont let hard cold facts of the endemic corruption of the entirety of washington ruin your day of rainbows and unicorns.

finally, a review of how fascism tends to rise from the "grassroots up" and not the other way around might be instructive. historically, it has co-opted leftist revolutionary ideals, taken the vernacular and repackaged it as a means to control the people and limit liberty "as the idea of the people"

that said, may George W Bush burn in hell for backstabbing every real conservative who rightfully identifies the united states government as our mortal enemy.

finally, i pray for Obamas success; that he might over ride the twin morons pelosi and reid and stay safe and alive. for if any thing would ever happen to him the consequences for this nation would be devastating.

and a rottie paw salute to the /t with the salient point of the com box.

January 20, 2009 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my dear dog!

long live dissent and discussion and reasoned debate!

can't get any more patriotic than that.

alas, over the last eight years, anytime a liberal or progressive dissented, he/she was branded as not only unpatriotic, but treasonous - and this on so many blogs that you and i frequent - to my despair.

so i will not brand anyone now for calling out and shaking the tree. shake away - because how else will we get better?

though i indeed am emotional, and see the romanticism of the moment, i have no illusions. all politicians are suspect indeed. but i have far more trust and faith in President Obama than i have had in any one in a long time. and i recognize that our politicians are not perfect - not by a long shot. they reflect those they "serve." we are not perfect. but some of us try - and so do some politicians.

let's see what happens. but let's give the President a chance. and hope the doofuses in the House and the Senate can rise to the occasion.

No GItmo won't be shut down any time soon, but that shut-down is on the agenda. Patience. Patience.

Can't undo the ills of the past 8 years all at once, nor even in the first 100 days. let's see what happens.

and as the closing invocation said:

all those who believe in mercy and justice, say amen. say amen. say amen.



January 20, 2009 6:49 PM  
Blogger K9 said...

amen, goodly bird. amen.

January 20, 2009 7:08 PM  
Blogger firebird said...

"respecting both the office and the man who holds it"--am I dreaming? Someone pinch me--is it even POSSIBLE any more?

Yes, it is-- it happened today.
This must be what VJ day felt like...

January 20, 2009 8:02 PM  
Blogger Pete Bogs said...

yesterday was exciting, eh? too bad Bush appointeee Roberts screwed up the oath!

January 21, 2009 4:38 AM  
Blogger K9 said...

way to focus on the critical shite bogshond.

January 21, 2009 8:30 AM  
Blogger Polly said...

Beautifully phrased, beautifully written ( as usual ) dear Bird.

Agree with every word!!

Wonderful to awake to a new hopeful dawn.

America the beautiful once again indeed.
Thanks from we in the Southern Hemisphere.

Hubby noticed that Obama paused to give the fellow reciting the oath the opportunity to re dress his mistake. It was NOT Obama's...it was the other bloke.

January 22, 2009 7:03 PM  
Blogger Jack K. said...


January 31, 2009 4:04 AM  

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