Jan 21, 2009

In Which Obama Promises the Moon

Me & Chris Matthews go back a-ways. We've had our share of public debates. We haven't always agreed on everything; as a matter of fact, we disagree quite often.

We get a little tangled up every four years or so whenever the election rolls around. I might get too riled up, a little rowdy, hence the iron bars between us, but still.
I love 'em.

This election has been no different.

But his interpretation of the inaugural speech has actually been impressive this year. In his day-long chatter, I think I only rolled my eyes and got fed up with him once. Chris only exasperated me when he repeatedly & doggedly tried to steer post-speech conversation towards Obama's ugly condemnation of the Bush Administration, identifiable by torture, abuse and surveillance. Chris believes that this was the heart of Obama's message.
To which I said, "What the heck?" {eyes scrunched, brows furrowed}

It may be the heart of the partisan discord of Chris' life, but it wasn't the heart of Obama's speech. The heart of Obama's message, in my "bear-of-little-brain" opinion was: He's a good fixer. (That's what Eva says of Doug Busbee) (Experiencing a warm, fuzzy moment here)
This good fixer of a President is going to fix:
  • the economy
  • global warming
  • foreign policy
  • health care
  • tribalism
  • national conflict and discord
  • petty grievances
  • false promises from the government {snickers}
  • worn-out dogmas {raises eyebrows}
  • bias towards narrow partisan interests
  • terrorism (leaders of rogue nations are now going to listen to & heed Obama's advice)
  • racial inequities
  • oppression & slavery
And that, my friend, is why I say "Obama promises the moon." He also said:
"There are some who question the scale of our ambitions," (who, me?) "For as much as government can do and must do, it's ultimately faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies..... kindness.... selflessness.... courage.... parental nurture...."

OK, well, I do like his basic premise about the price and promise of citizenship & his recall of hardwork & diligence.

More of Obama's speech:
"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.... and so to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today... know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity and that we are ready to lead once again."

Pat Buchanan's interpretation: Obama is saying that Idealism now triumphs over security concerns. This sense of hope ignites Americans. This attitude will sit well until we have a problem. For example, releasing the Guantanamo Thugs could result in more terror & Americans will very quickly turn against Obama.

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown argued against this thought that Utopian Hope is something fickle by saying that Obama made it clear that America will not change overnight, "but be clear we are going to turn it around." He summarizes Obama's theme as "all you have to be is candid, open and honest and ignore the process that has driven you for greed." To which Chris pumped his fist and claimed Obama was "stickin' it to the Bush Administration."

Brown speculated that Obama's speech wasn't as magnificent as we expected based on Obama's previous speeches because Obama adopted a more "business-like tone -- no stellar, memorable lines, no quotable quotes or applause lines."
Michelle Bernard, a political analyst for MSNBC, had an interesting observation about Obama's claim that leaders of terrorist and oppressive nations will suddenly come to their senses & comply with America now that Obama is the leader. (A great example of the audacity which I've seen & found repulsive throughout his campaign, but - hey - that's just me) Bernard said perhaps the people, not the leadership, of rogue nations will respond to Obama and we "might see a civil rising where they might begin to judge their leaders." Bernard emphasized how Obama "reached out to the Muslim world in his speech.... he reached out with a message to our Muslim brothers and sisters." Now frankly, that just scares me.
Now, moving on to the more frivolous ... I was very annoyed with the boos and hisses from the 2 million + crowd upon the arrival of President Bush. I thought it was boorish and discourteous. I suggest that this behavior is indicative of the caliber of this particular crowd, that it was a persuasive component that distincts this election from previous ones. I think it was honorable of President Bush not to reciprocate in kind. Bush pleasantly applauded after Obama's incisive speech.
Willie Brown speculated that "maybe Bush wasn't aware of what Obama said." While Chris Matthews loved that, he did reprimand Brown for such a partisan remark (it takes one to know one). Then Chris snickered that he thinks Bush was "quite aware."


I really, really appreciated both prayers at the Inauguration. They were wonderful, but it perplexes me how our leaders continue to emphasize prayer and a reliance upon God, yet deny it to our school children. But anyway, back to the prayers.... I thought it creative how Rev. Lowery concluded his with the lighthearted but loaded rhyme. I'm never quite sure of my politically correct footing though. Like, wasn't that demeaning to indicate that due to the racial nature of this president and this crowd, we should include some rhyming, an art form largely prevalent in the African American heritage? Like, I mean, if Pastor Rick Warren had concluded with a little rap, wouldn't that be politically incorrect? Nobody seemed to get upset, so I'm guessing it was OK.
My last frivolous, random thoughts:
1. Doesn't Rick Warren, Chuck Todd, Chris Brogan, & Brian Clark all look alike? What's up with that?
2. Does anybody out there like Keith Olbermann? Must he be on TV?


Tom S said...

In his first act as President, Obama proclaimed a national day of renewal and reconciliation. His first paragraph:

As I take the sacred oath of the highest office in the land, I am humbled by the responsibility placed upon my shoulders, renewed by the courage and decency of the American people, and fortified by my faith in an awesome God.

You can read the entire text at whitehouse.gov.

Anonymous said...

Chalk one up to Obama for taking care of global warming--it snowed yesterday--oh wait--BUSH was still in office in the A.M. when it snowed here--so he didn't take care of it YET!! ha ha!!!

Anonymous said...

I did not hear Michelle Bernards comments, but in replying to what you said that she said~ I think that it would be a great thing if the impoverished of rogue/terrorist nations would rise up and question the "leadership" in which they have pledged their allegiance if the leadership is leading them deep into poverty and encouraging anger and war.

JMaslar said...

You ask why would anyone watch Keith Olbermann, as if you wanted to take him off the air. When the ratings come out, he usually has 24 or 25 individuals watching his show. What would they do without him?