Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Eclipse of George W. Bush

It took a sum total of about twenty minutes for Barak Obama to eclipse George Bush in toto. Already we have gone from the simplistic, dualism of "you're either with us or against us," to a place where you are with us until you are against us. One is substantially more inclusive than the other. Certainly,
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics....

...from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.
Indeed change has come. I have become accustom to the old Whitehouse dot gov location. It's all shifted about. The Whitehouse staffer in charge of their web presence has started a blog. And, some things have not caught up to the rate of change we are familiar with in the blogosphere.

We have one proclamation, but it's not listed on the proclamations page but the blog itself. Of course, it's dramatically different than Bush's last proclamation (and his first).

I went looking for the text of the Inaugural Address, which I liked a lot, but only loved in some places. Obama has already proven himself a much better speechifier with gifted skills in delivery and a team of great writers. Alas, I usually like to go direct to the primary source for such things, but the UPI has the text up well ahead of his web team. For the time being, I think we will have to give them a break as they didn't technically have full access for low about and hour or so.

My favorite lines follow:
And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
Could you imagine George Bush delivering such a paragraph? Nope, not me either.

To close, I think we are wise to remember the words of Washington, that Obama reiterated today; that things indeed could be much worse. The enemy could be bleeding us daily here at home; staring down our throats, deep into our hearts with an aim to kill on our soil.
"Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it."
The situation is not nearly as bleak as the one Washington faced, nor as dangerous, but it's grim nonetheless.

To undo what has been done will take some serious unraveling, like the Gordian knot, we may find solutions not in the usual places. But in our hearts and minds, at least the creativity of a Nation is bound, unified, and harnessed toward the positive rather than the negative end, and in that respect we have, in one day, made the effective transition from darkness to the light.

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

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