02/25/2009, 3:46 PM #
I posted this earlier, but pulled it because I felt like I paid too much attention to Bobby Jindal. I've reconsidered, and decided that I paid about the right attention to that twit. He's considered the fresh new voice of 47% of the voting population, which means about 47% of the population are idiots. I should have added Palin, Steele, and Huckabee to my list of up-and-comers who make the future look very bleak for the Republican party. An outfit that casts out a guy like Crist, and embraces yappers like these people clearly does not understand the zeitgeist concept..
Went to Grant Park on November 4th, and I don't think it's a stretch at all to say I witnessed history. Temps were in the mid-50s, which in and of itself was, frankly, bizarre. I think everyone there was optimistic that Barack had a good chance at victory, but the optimism was guarded. It was very edgy for the first couple of hours, due largely to all of the media predictions about swing states being critical and hotly contested. It was entirely possible in the minds of a sizable percentage of those 200,000 people, that Barack Obama might lose to John McCain.
Then, the damnedest thing happened. Pennsylvania went to Obama a lot earlier than most people in the park (and in the country, I suspect) expected. The looks on people's faces began to take on that weird "Is this shit really happening?" sort of appearance. It was a palpable shift. The buzz in Grant Park started right then. We all knew, it was going to be at the very least, a close election. You could feel it. I saw people literally hopping up and down, their hands clenched into fists. Not fists on anger or violence of course, more of the "don't know what else to do with my hands" expression of expectation. Hope.
Then, Ohio went for Obama, and that place went friggin' nuts. Bedlam. Never seen or felt anything like that before in my life. An enormous adrenaline dump. Everyone in Grant Park who'd been following the election numbers closely knew right then and there. Barack Obama is going to win. A glance at the board, some simple California calculation, and it became clear. People began screaming. Crying and laughing simultaneously. People were slapping perfect strangers on the back. We had to wait for the polls in Cal to close, and their 55 electoral votes to be cast but that was a foregone conclusion. A formality. No way Obama loses California. Bottom line from that night is that Barack Obama kicked John McCain's ass in the swing states, and that's why he's our president. Middle America, working class America, the center, call it whatever the fuck you want...their voices were heard on November 4th. Obama took the middle.
When President-elect Obama gave his acceptance speech that night, I think it left some people feeling a bit let down. Not me. I wasn't expecting the rock star speech. He didn't need to give a rock star speech. He gave a speech that spoke of hope, change, the challenge ahead, and the need to get to work. Just the speech he should have given I thought.
While Louisiana Governor Piyush "Bobby" Jindal may disagree, I think the speech President Barack Hussein Obama gave to Congress last night was more of the same. Hope, change, challenge, let's get to work, we can do this thing.
Just what we need to hear. Certainly not one of his rock star speeches, but boy can that cat string together coherent sentences. What a refreshing change to have a president I can listen to, and admire. Just the right man for the job at hand.
Jindal's complaints about the stimulus package, including increased funding/extensions of unemployment benefits for the people of Louisiana, are more than "counter-intuitive", they're just plain stupid. Not too sure what planet Jindal is living on, but I'd suggest that bringing up the government's massive failure in the wake of Katrina was also a bit of a misstep on his part, maybe more than just a bit of one. Part of what I wrote about the day after Grant Park dealt with the mountain of shit that the Bush administration left for the new administration to clean up. Jindal does understand that it was his party, the Republican party, who controlled the Executive Branch for the last 8 years, and who blundered on such a catastrophic level, doesn't he? What part of "change election" does Jindal not understand?
Whatever, screw Bobby Jindal. If he's one of the up-and-comers in the Republican party, that party has problems.
I have to say, that between Grant Park and the inauguration, some things occurred that had me feeling a bit tentative, a little less hopey. Blago and Burris, Richardson, Daschle, Reid and Durbin (cough morons cough)....it almost seemed like Obama wasn't going to get out of the gate.
But, then I watched that cabinet parade out last night, and it occurred to me that this is a formidable bunch of large-brained individuals. This could be a good team. And then I heard the dude say...."Madam Speaker, the President of the United States!" ...and I watched a young, articulate, energetic man from Chicago take the podium, and deliver what I think is one of his best speeches ever.
Hope, change, challenge, work to be done, we can do this thing. Let's get busy.
We elected the right guy. For me, it's just now sinking in.