Inauguration Day, Then & Now

president-obama-michelle-obama-2013I wrote this post four years ago, after Obama’s first inauguration so I’m commenting on my comments. Plus ça change, etc. etc.

I got up early this morning, very early, and watched much of the ceremony sans contacts, coffee, and toothpaste. Also sans hairbrush, bra, and shoes. Attractive? Yes, but I didn’t want to miss a moment. I stood when the crowd stood and cheered when they cheered and, yes, cried when they cried.

In the aftermath, I keep hearing how ‘you had to be there to truly appreciate it.’ Not having been there, I thought I truly appreciated what I had. Perhaps it’s an indication that I really am a loner. When I thought of the missed camaraderie of watching this monumental event with my fellow citizens, I mostly appreciated not being annoyed by the vagaries of their responses.

2013: I did not get up early. I watched replays of the highlights on my computer. I was clean, tidy, and, this time, sort of wishing I was there. Perhaps I’m different, but this time I saw nothing about my fellow citizens responses that might annoy me. 

I loved seeing Cheney reduced to being pushing along behind the others in his wheel chair. It seemed so very symbolic to me. In the past, whenever I see him on TV, I want to get me a big blunderbuss and blast through the TV at him. I steeled myself for feeling that today as well when the Evil Doer (the real Evil Doer) came trundling along looking nothing if not pathetic. Is that mean of me? Maybe. But I blame him for almost all the ills of the past eight years, and I hope in some way that he suffers for what he has wrought.

2013: Was Cheney even there? Who cares? I’m now using that blunderbuss on the likes of Mitch McConnell and his ilk.

I didn’t like the First Lady’s outfit today. It’s just a taste thing: I’m not real big on lace. And I don’t think I cared for the ball gown. I’m not real big on one shoulder dresses. Again, it’s just a taste thing.

2013: I liked the First Lady’s outfit today and I’m sure she’s glad of that. I also liked her ball gown. I did think her false eyelashes were a tad heavy. More than a tad–they were like solid shingles shading her eyes. Perhaps she’s using Oprah Winfrey’s makeup artist because the Big O is fond of those heavy flappers as well. I get that you’ve got to wear über makeup to appear on camera, but I couldn’t help thinking they must weigh heavy on the First Lady’s eyes.

I can’t stop watching the coverage. I can’t believe it’s actually true, that this man actually became president just barely two years beyond his introduction to the national political scene.

I wasn’t an early Obama follower, I must admit. For one, I so wanted Hillary to go the distance. But, too, I just didn’t believe all the hype surrounding Obama. When people would gush, I’d think “Yeah, yeah…and you thought George W. was such a swell fellow too.”

The problem was that sixteen years of vicious street fighting between the GOP and the Dems had crushed my belief in the intelligence and sanity of my fellow citizens. They seemed only able to hear who screamed the loudest or the foulest or, even, the first. I didn’t see their fervor over Obama as anything different. And because I had been disappointed so often in the past, I suppose I was reluctant to allow myself to fall under his spell.

2013: And I characterized the 16 years prior to 2008 as filled with vicious street fighting between the two parties? Ha! We didn’t know what vicious was until the GOP spent his first term trying to fulfill their vow that he be a one-term President.

So I didn’t pay attention to his speeches and, truthfully, I thought I might vote for McCain. But then Obama got the nomination and Hillary made the speech pointing out the disparity between what her supporters believed and what McCain stood for. I started to listen a little. Then McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, and the Republican convention was nothing if not the same old nasty bullshit as usual.

I started to listen to Obama a lot. And now I see that he truly is the only person for the job–and I can’t believe my fellow citizens regained their intelligence and sanity sufficient to vote him into office. It isn’t that I expect Obama to work any miracles; it’s that there’s a We, The People back on the job.

2013: This time I was an early and fervent supporter. Because I didn’t fall under his spell in 2008, I have not been at all disappointed in his first term. We got what we needed: a grown up in the White House.  And one of the reasons we got it is that Obama has managed to harness the will of We, The People. I have high hopes that the campaign Obama for America which shocked the pundits and Republicans in its reach and effectiveness will be just as successful now that it has morphed into Organizing for Action.

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