January 21, 2009

Inauguration Aftermath

I can understand you being upset for partisan reasons that your candidate didn't win, but some of your complaints about the excitement and celebration surrounding Obama's inauguration are just pathetic.

I am inclined to dismiss most of it as knee-jerk grumbling, which you are certainly entitled to, but there is a point to be addressed.

In the same way that a wedding reception is really more for the guests than the bride and groom, the celebration was for the people who worked hard to get the president elected and really for the entire country to whip up positive feelings as we gird ourselves for difficult tasks ahead.

If you're one of those people who grumble at the word "hope" and would rather see people motivated by fear, I really don't know how to make you happier. All you can do is sit back and wait for whatever horrible fate awaits us, the fate that moved you to be so dissatisfied with Obama and/or Biden. This fate which is worse than what we've experienced over the last 8 years, and worse than the state we're left in, will surely teach Obama's supporters a lesson in false hope. Right?

While you're waiting for that, the rest of us are going to try to make the country work.

But your way is good, too.

Posted by James at January 21, 2009 12:43 PM
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I responded to a comment on one of my theater kids' Facebook page last night and set off a storm. She said "xxxx wants to scream, due to 'big' events of today and people she is sick of hearing about."

Being the mischief I am, I replied, "Oh, come now. We're all sick of hearing about him. Hopefully George Bush will fade into obscurity. ;-)"

This has triggered one heck of a sh*tstorm. I ignored all of it up until this one from one of her friends. "the fact that anyone would vote for that socialist "progressive" just for the sake of voting for him becuase of his race is in fact doing so out of fear of being called a racist. its sad to see that our country is voting for people who have acomplished nothing in their entire political life to be the leader of the free world. Mr. Weissman i dont know you but all i can do is pray for you bro cuz idk what why you would want a president who is only 6% black and 94% ARAB when we are in the middle of a war with islamo-facists. did you vote for him because of his social "change" slogan, well how does legalized abortions for teens without parental consent sound... or how about gay marriage in your hometown, or gays serving openly in the military creating mor harm than good. how does that sound, or how about MORE of your tax dollars going to 12-15 Illegal aliens in the form of welfare checks and free healthcare while the price of yours skyrockets, need i continue???"

This one needs rebutting, but I need to do it piece by piece. But this is what "hope" and "change" are up against.

Posted by: briwei at January 21, 2009 1:44 PM


Posted by: James at January 21, 2009 1:48 PM

Wow. That's really... wow. If I were to rebut that, it would not be for the original illiterate who wrote it, but for other people potentially reading, because there's no hope for that one. And I'd keep it really simple and to the point, and I would number it. And use small words.

Posted by: Maggie at January 21, 2009 2:53 PM

Well, you've got your work cut out for you, Brian. I dealt with two ignorant dingdongs on Friday with similar attitudes - these were people (who don't know each other) who had never shared that much of their political "thoughts" with me before, and they both happened to pick the same day to quote scary things they'd heard rather than share an original thought.

(6% black and 94% Arab? Does his white grandma know about this?)

Posted by: Julie at January 21, 2009 3:39 PM

BTW - what kind of math gets you to 6% black and 94% arab[ic]?

Posted by: James at January 21, 2009 4:03 PM

Yeah. I can't figure that out.

Posted by: briwei at January 21, 2009 4:57 PM

My best arithmetic is that he is roughly 50/50. His mother was a white woman from Kansas with a predominantly English lineage. His father was a Luo from Kenya. In all likelihood his father descended from others from the local area. So, 50/50. I'm sure that's not exact, but it has more substance than anything else I have seen.

Posted by: briwei at January 21, 2009 5:40 PM

That sounds about right. I think that Facebook group member there who needs to check up on some arithmetic.

Posted by: James at January 21, 2009 5:42 PM

To go to your original question, James, I think it does have to do with sour grapes. The right are faced with irrefutable proof that they are out of touch with the country, that they are, indeed, just a very vocal minority. They are caught pants-down and find themselves looking at the party from the wrong side of the window. They are the Grinch eying the Whos merry christmas.

They can't stand it that this man has caused an upswelling of pride and hope in our country, and that their guys are laughing stocks. It's like the recent press outbursts by Palin, they just can't believe that they are out of touch, not us. They firmly believe that they are in the right and that belief is being shaken right now.

As to the post to the facebook site, well, I will never understand how it is that, in the eyes of neo-cons, it's OK for a handful of men to own all the banks in the world, or all of the media in the united states, but we're supposed to be scared of the government above all? Absolute power doesn't care if it comes from politics or business, it tends to come out the same.

The poster is so deluded, and, paranoid, and frankly racist, it's absurd to give him the time of day. To say that Obama won because he is black? Well, that didn't work out so well for Jesse Jackson or even Alan Keyes, did it? He's Arab? what? I'm certain I'm more arab than he is (Portugal, after all was half Moorish until the crusades). It's Clinton's fault, it's poor people's fault for buying houses they can't afford, yada yada. It's funny how the proponents of "personal responsibility" are always the first one to pass the buck. Apparently it really is ok to sell someone the Brooklyn bridge, but, if you buy it, that's your problem.

What can you say to someone who is that deluded? We can't reach the Timothy McVeigh's, the Una bombers, and the Montana militia types, they are lost cases. Let them stay holed up with their guns and paranoid delusions.

Posted by: rui at January 21, 2009 7:47 PM

I have a German friend who is puzzled and amused by the way Americans refer to themselves by the percentages of the countries of their forebears.

To the unhappy people who can't welcome Obama as president and complain about and make strange and untrue/unimportant comments about his heritage, I can only quote the Corrigan Brothers, the refrain of whose song I could not get out of my head today:

"O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara/
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama."

There are plenty of YouTube videos with this song, so I'll let you choose your own. Here's the link to the Corrigan Brothers' song: http://www.corriganbrothers.com/no_one_as_irish_as_barrack_obama.html

Posted by: Patti M. at January 21, 2009 7:53 PM

I, too, have been saddened by people - many my internet friends - who just don't seem at all happy about the election/inauguration. And yes, like you, I can understand the politics of it and people being unhappy that their party didn't win. I get that. But I just find it disheartening that so many people have no understanding of this election's "historic" nature. Perhaps that's because so many people simply don't believe that racism still exists, and they see Obabma's race as a "non-issue." It would be GREAT if that were true, but, um, it's not - not by a long shot.

And then there is the grumbling about many of Obama's supporters looking at him as the "second coming." All of the talk about hope really has people in a knot! What I think these people fail to realize is that the explanation for this is simple - it's the ever-present pendulum swing. After 8 long years of political idiocy, ineptitude, and lies, Obama DOES look like the second coming to those of us who wondered how someone as inappropriate as Bush made it into office not once, but twice! No, Obama isn't Jesus, but he is intelligent, well-spoken, charismatic, and humanistic, which Bush simply was not. In the end, the actual politics of Obama is not what a lot of people are pissed about, it's that he makes Bush look so silly by comparison.

And lastly, there is the lingering anger by conservatives with their own party - the republicans offered up McCain, who, no matter what kind of President he might have made, came across as old, not in the best of health, CRANKY, and sometimes a little crazy. While hard-core republicans (in terms of the politics) felt like they had to vote for McCain, many more republicans didn't because he just didn't present himself as a strong leader, but a cranky old man who can't get over his war "glory" days.

As a liberal democrat, I am happy. As an intelligent person of color, I am thrilled. And as a person, I am hopeful, and I pray that Obama can accomplish a fraction of his goals.

Posted by: Jessica at January 22, 2009 11:18 AM

You know, I remember how angry I was four years ago. I couldn't believe that our country and fellow citizens could re-elect former President George W. Bush after seeing what his morally bankrupt and unethical behavior during his first four years.

This election year helped to restore my faith in my fellow Americans--and that is something I am already grateful to President Obama for doing.

However, since I so vividly remember my anger, my disillusionment, my frustration, and my bitterness; I'm willing to be tolerant and compassionate toward those on the other side of the bench who might be feeling that way now. I'm not much interested in talking to them or agreeing with them, but I won't condemn them for their anger or treat them with the condescension that I received four years ago.

Posted by: Bridgette at January 22, 2009 7:49 PM

It's you folks who are living in a bubble. I am not a neocon or a Republican, and I am very much unhappy about Obama winning. The adulation of the man frightens me beyond measure. You guys are totally off the mark when you say that conservatives are out of touch with the country.

From how I see it, there are three types of people who voted for Obama:

1. Hardcore liberals who hate Bush
2. Blacks
3. Moderates and swing voters who wanted to give something else a try

It is mostly numbers 1 and 2 that are going crazy over Obama.

Group 3, the moderates, aren't the ones on Facebook posting about how amazing Obama is. They tend to be more moderate in their views and won't hold allegiance to either party.

Given that I think most people are moderate, I feel that the hype over Obama is not necessarily as "universal" as the press and far-left liberals make it out to be.

Most of the people I know don't like Obama and I'm in a liberal state, and many of these are liberal people!

I've also heard of moderate people who voted for Obama getting really sick of hearing about him all the time, so all of this could backlash bigtime.

In other words, get over your ridiculous idea that somehow you represent anyone else other than yourself. And thank God, because if I seriously thought the majority of Americans were as insane as the most rabid of kool-aid drinking Obots, I'd be looking to move elsewhere. All hail the fuhrer!

Posted by: Hillary or Bust at January 23, 2009 7:02 PM

Oh, and PS: McCain would have won if the hardcore conservatives had turned out to vote. They did not because they were unhappy with Bush and felt McCain was too moderate, so they stayed home. With that, the country is still what it has always been, center-right, and that is why Obama has been veering that way since the election.

Don't ever kid yourselves that conservatives are just a "vocal minority." The same could be said about liberals. Most Americans remain moderate and can just as easily vote Republican next election.

Posted by: Hillary or Bust at January 23, 2009 7:22 PM

"Most Americans remain moderate" but McCain lost because he was too moderate.

So the moderates didn't vote for him... er, what? Because he was too moderate?

The country is center-right, so they didn't vote for the center-right candidate?

Conservatives are a majority, but they couldn't get their candidate elected? Your excuse is Obamania, but over the last 2 elections, conservatives have taken heavy losses in congress.

There are far too many holes in your logic.

You're simply wrong about this being a center-right nation. In the past, when Americans were polled about their values, they espouse generally liberal values... until those values are attached to Democrats. This to me indicates a problem of branding, not political ideology.

Obama's election marks the end of the Reagan era, and with that the possible end of the liberal branding problem.

I never claimed the "hype" over Obama was universal. But your words lead me to suspect that, even if you live in a liberal state, you don't hang around with many people under 30. You know, the people who do not remember Reagan being president, or why "liberal" is suposed to be a dirty word.

Obama isn't bringing change; America is bringing it and Obama is just one aspect. Hillary or bust? It looks like Hillary is moving on. You might consider doing the same.

Posted by: James at January 23, 2009 7:49 PM

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