tue 27 jan 2009 06:43:33 witte de withstraat
a word about a week
about twelve hours from now, if i have my math right, it will be one full week since barack obama officially became president of the US.
in that time, i saw a lot of things said about how obama said or did something wrong on day two or day three etc, as seen from various perspectives.
at one point i shouted out, people need to freakin chill already. one correspondent then accused me of "the soft bigotry of low expectations". something like that. i confess to being a bigot in that i generally have very low expectations of presidents of the united states -- that is since circa 1978 when the only president i ever actually *voted* for turned around and declared his support for the shah / savak. so okay there's my bigotry of low expectations.
but the amazing, freaking astonishing thing is, that in the meantime much worse things have happened than jimmy carter -- enough to make jimmy carter look like a nice guy. i mean, things like reagan happened. seemed at the onset like a bit of scifi, i know, but reagan really happened. and people actually liked it! and people even named an airport after him. things happened that were bad enough to make someone prefer the democratic party. that's how bad it got. i won't even get started about the unspeakable, except to say the unspeakable lasted eight years and ended last tuesday.
the danger here is that one might come off sounding like a member or supporter of the democratic party, or like someone who got totally swept up in the hope-fest. that isn't my intention. i do think the orgy of people talking about what obama did, and failed to do, in his first few days as president, is kinda nutty.
it's as if our house was just burning down, and we threw water on it, then days later we argued about whether we should have used perrier or tapwater.
even if barack obama tried his best to *be* george bush, he couldn't do it any more than you or i could. the house of america burned down already. the fire seems for the moment to be over. so i will just stare at the smoldering embers for a while and think to myself "hmm." and what does "hmm" mean? nothing. not a goddamn fucking thing. because the next thing has not happened yet. so i'm just gonna sit here and say "hmm". i don't have very high hopes. but i'm not gonna be an early adopter of the look-how-much-cooler-i-am-than-you-hopemongers methodology.
america got killed. period. bush killed america.
if and when america rises from the dead, i will be really happy. but if it doesn't happen on day 3 or day 7, i'm not gonna cry.