Monday, November 10, 2008

Their House

I'm not sure how I'm going to make it through the inauguration if I'm already getting choked up -- in a sort of invigorating, fist-pumping manner -- looking at pictures of the Obamas coming over to the Bush's house today, the house they're moving into just 10 weeks from now. Oh, and video:

Part of the emotion is the fundamental patriotism for our democracy, typified every time there's a change of White House from one political party to a rival party. There's a lot of countries where that isn't guaranteed to happen, and for awhile (2003-2005?) some of us were worried it wouldn't. You know, martial law and a suspension of Presidential elections, like Rudy Giuliani tried to pull off after the attacks of 9/11/2001.

And it's even sweeter when the party you favor wins. The last time I got a buzz like this off the transition was when the Clintons took the door keys from the first round of Bushes.

Then there's the name. The White House. With this victorious black couple coming at the invitation of the current occupants to take a look around, talk a little policy, find out where the secret drawers are hidden, it's like fuck you historically racist America, you were actually laying the groundwork for this awesome moment, and from hereon out all limits of race or, I'd argue, gender for the job are history.

But what ties it all together are the three core themes of Barack Obama's campaign for President. There's Change -- that's the euphoric kick. There's Hope -- that's the tears. But there's a third theme that didn't get as much play as the first two in campaign iconography, but which is a core tenet of his oratory: Responsibility.

Obama believes that government has a responsibility to the people who elect it; that the people have a responsibility to carefully consider the issues, treat philosophical opponents with respect, and exercise their fair choice so as to keep democracy vital; and that we each have a responsibility to each other both on the personal and societal level.

This man is about to take on the most awesome responsibility in the world. Done right, there is no position more powerful that President of the United States of America. Hey, that's 50 states. Top that, Mevedev.

I'm an adult. I know there isn't a politician who won't disappoint me somewhere along the way. That's fine, as long as it doesn't get out of hand. There's every possibility that the headwinds will be so strong that Obama will somehow not succeed in his quest to save America and the world through his Presidency. Very, very bad, unmentionable things could happen; we've lived them all before. By the end of this, he may even end up being a "War President."

But somehow, I doubt it. Watching Obama enhancing even George W. Bush with his presence, with his soft-power hand on El Presidente's back as they head into the colonnade, I know this guy is there for a reason. I start wondering if he actually initiated the meeting, secretly, from his side. Because he appears to have even talked auto policy with Bush, maybe testing his political capital -- trying to get it decoupled from trade and actually get something done before even taking the oath.

That's the kind of guy we just elected, a real leader with a real purpose for moving into this house, America's house, our house. This is the guy whom his advisers were most concerned didn't have the "pathological" desire to be President, but invented it for himself through his sense of mission.

A community organizer for our desperate nation.

Moving into our house January 20th.

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