George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, at left in the photo at top, look on as Barack Obama, accompanied by his wife and two daughters, takes the oath of office today in Washington.
So today is Inauguration Day.
I am not giddy.
This is for several reasons.
First, I’m numb from the past eight years. I watched in shock and awe in late 2000 as Team Bush blatantly stole the White House and I was in the minority of Americans who thought that this was a problem.*
The majority of Americans were too fat and lazy from the excesses of the Clinton years to give a shit that the office of the president had just been hijacked. What possible harm could be caused by a group of people who were willing to put their man into the White House even though he had lost the election?
That seemed to be the national sentiment in late 2000: Let’s just declare a winner already and be done with it. What does it matter?
Yes, who possibly could have known that it would end badly?
I won’t catalog all of the acts of treason, war crimes and crimes against humanity (and even crimes against the planet itself) that the members of the unelected Bush regime committed — plenty of others have been doing that as the Bush regime’s days have been winding down — but let’s just say that after such things as the bogus Vietraq War, which the Bush regime had planned to start long before Sept. 11, 2001 (after all, Saddam Hussein had tried to kill his Daddy, Junior once reminded us), and which benefited only Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp; the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors (and the torture and illegal detention and inhumane treatment of of Arabs and Muslims in general); the refusal of the Bush regime to do anything about global warming; and the record federal budget deficit (Daddy Bush held that record until Junior came along), I’m so thoroughly through with the Bush regime, the worst White House administration in the history of the nation, I am so numb where the Bush regime is concerned that I can’t even celebrate the unelected, treasonous regime’s departure.
Nor can I celebrate Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Obama probably is a basically decent guy, but he has shown that he has no problem in selling out if he thinks that selling out is necessary. To give just two examples:
- In 1996 Obama stated, in writing, that he supports same-sex marriage. Now, his public/official stance is that each state should decide for itself whether or not to allow same-sex marriage. Never mind that “states’ rights” is the argument that the fucking racists used to use to (try to) enable the most racist states to continue to get away with their unconstitutional, racist practices.
- Obama used to decline to wear one of those fucking juvenile U.S. flag lapel pins, stating, correctly, that patriotism isn’t about wearing a lapel pin (I paraphrase). Now, of course, he routinely wears one. (It’s not about the pin; it’s about the principles, such as the principle that any asshole can slap on a lapel pin and call himself a patriot, no matter how detrimental his or her actions or lack thereof actually are to his or her nation, just as how any asshole can wear a crucifix around his or her neck and call him- or herself a Christian, no matter how un-Christian his or her actions are, and it’s also about Obama’s having caved in to political pressure.)
Also, while I am happy that we have our first non-white president, while undoubtedly President Obama has opened the door more widely for many others who aren’t stupid white men, let’s face it: a huge amount of the enthusiasm for President Obama isn’t really about him, but is about the contrast, the comparison, between him and George W. Bush.
George W. Bush was such a dismal fucking failure, our most incompetent, treasonous and felonious “president” ever, that Obama looks like a saint by comparison.
Thus far, from what I can tell, Obama is just what a U.S. president should be: Competent. Eloquent. Capable. Self-possessed. Decent. (Not perfect, but decent enough.) Oh, yeah, and let me add: Actually elected.
George W. Bush set the presidential bar so low that Obama looks like a saint just for meeting the minimum characteristics and qualifications for a U.S. president.
(Already the comparisons of Obama to Abraham Lincoln abound, a comparison that Obama fosters himself, such as his Lincolnesque train trip to his inauguration and his having been sworn in with the very same Bible with which Lincoln was sworn in, but does this mean that with President Lincoln II we are going to have another civil war and finally polish off the dumbfuck red staters who have been holding the nation back since the Civil War days? And does Obama really want to be comparing himself to a president who ultimately got popped?)
Anyway, worshipping Obama for being what any U.S. president should be anyway is harmful to the nation, as it resets the presidential “normal” to the level of George W. Bush.
I am glad that I can write “President Obama,” that Obama was duly elected. I never could write “President Bush” because he was not elected. He was shoved down our throats. Al Gore won not only the popular vote by more than a half-million votes in November 2000, but he won the pivotal state of Florida, too. It was Repugnican Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, the five U.S. Supreme Court “justices” who had been appointed by Repugnican presidents, many other Repugnican crooks and the Repugnican noise machine that put George W. Bush into the White House — not the majority of American voters.
I never accepted George W. Bush as the legitimate U.S. president, which is why I always wrote his title as “’President’ Bush” — with quotation marks around the title “President.”
Otherwise, I knew, I would be giving into the lie, by omitting the quotation marks around his title I would be giving him at least tacit legitimacy, I would be caving into one of the biggest travesties of justice in the American democracy up to that time.
So adios, “President” Bush and hola, President Obama.
I wish that I could be more excited about the departure of the former and the arrival of the latter, but after all that has transpired over the past eight years — most notably, my fellow Americans just allowing the presidential election of 2000 to be stolen and just allowing the bogus Vietraq War to be launched in 2003 out of some bullshit “retaliation” for (the preventable-in-the-first-place) 9/11** — I still am far too disappointed in my fellow Americans to be able to celebrate.
I know what travesties of justice and democracy my fellow Americans are ready, willing and able to swallow, and until and unless they demonstrate that they are through with that, I see little to celebrate.
*I was one of a rather small group of people who saw the next eight years coming; in early 2001 I participated in a “Not My President’s Day” protest rally at the California State Capitol (it was on Presidents’ Day, if memory serves). My protest sign read: “George Dubious Bush is not MY president!” Another guy there brought a sign that I had thought of creating: An image of the American democracy named as the deceased on a headstone, with the years 1776-2000 listed as the range of its birth to its death.
**I attended yet another rally at the state Capitol to protest the unelected Bush regime’s impending invasion of Iraq shortly before the regime invaded in March 2003. (This protest rally was in February 2003, if memory serves.)