Thank you, President Obama

Thank you, President Obama

…for bringing joy

…for reviving patriotism

…for renewing our belief in ourselves and our country

…for reminding us that we CAN work together toward a common goal.

As you take the oath of office this morning, my faith in our democracy, our country, and my fellow citizens has been affirmed and renewed.

This is a day to remember always, especially in the days ahead, which will not be easy and won’t have instant cures. Yet, the fact of your election confirms that we can find a way out of the current difficulties and begin to find our way back to the road that leads to peace and prosperity.

We can, we did, we will.

There are no words…

I have struggled to articulate what races through my head (and has since November 4th) as we approach the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

I cannot find the right words to say how I feel, what this means to me, what I hope for.

As I watched today’s concert at the Lincoln Memorial with tears streaming down my face, all I could think of was: Yes We Did.

We ARE the new American Majority. All of us. With voices, and tools and communities and a will for change.

Yes we did. Yes we can.

May God bless Barack Obama and his beautiful family and keep them safe.

May we begin the arduous process of rebuilding this country one citizen, one family, one small spark of hope at a time.

Hope is a powerful and amazing motivator. We can, we will, and we did.

An American Prayer…

…reminding us all of the fierce urgency of NOW:

Dave Stewart explains his reasons for writing the song:

People long for a connection– whether it is to music, to their country, or to a big idea. Regardless of what happens in November, Senator Obama has reminded millions of people that they have the power to connect to bigger ideas. He is, in essence, the embodiment of a new anthem for change. He has continued King’s narrative from what was once thought of as a dream to a reality. I find it especially relevant that Barack Obama will accept the Democratic Party Nomination for President 45 years to the day of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.


This is my American Prayer
This is my American Prayer

This is the time to finish what you started
And this is no time to dream
This is the room
We can turn off the dark tonight
Maybe then we might see

American Prayer
American Prayer

And this is the ground
That keeps our feet from getting wet
And this is the sky over our head
And what you see depends on where you stand
And how you jump will tell you where you’re gonna land

American Prayer
American Prayer

My oh my
Couldn’t get much higher
Lets not kick out the darkness
Make the lights brighter

And these are the hands
What are we gonna build with them?
This is the church you can’t see
Give me your tired, your poor and huddled masses
You know they’re yearning to breathe free
This is my American Prayer
American Prayer
American Prayer

When you get to the top of the mountain
Will you tell me what you see
If you get to the top of the mountain
Remember me

Drill Here, Drill Now – Krugman nails it

No offshore drilling. Platforms would mar this landscape

Paul Krugman hits the nail right on the head with his op-ed today. It’s one of my biggest ulcer-churners, this idea of the politics of stupid.

And the debate on energy policy has helped me find the words for something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Republicans, once hailed as the party of ideas, have become the party of stupid.

Now, I don’t mean that G.O.P. politicians are, on average, any dumber than their Democratic counterparts. And I certainly don’t mean to question the often frightening smarts of Republican political operatives.

What I mean, instead, is that know-nothingism the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there’s something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party’s de facto slogan has become: “Real men don’t think things through“.

Thankfully, Krugman also puts part of the blame where it belongs: On the shoulders of the media and pundit elite, who allow these memes to reproduce and populate across all of the networks, in the context of the Iraq war:

What’s more, the politics of stupidity didn’t just appeal to the poorly informed. Bear in mind that members of the political and media elites were more pro-war than the public at large in the fall of 2002, even though the flimsiness of the case for invading Iraq should have been even more obvious to those paying close attention to the issue than it was to the average voter.

I remember one or two pundits who weren’t so quick to embrace the idea. I still have the image of Wes Clark on CNN saying that going into Iraq was going to fail if Americans didn’t accept the corresponding truth of a long-term commitment and occupation. His words echoed mine, but evidently were only one of about 200 who heard and/or said it. Conventional wisdom today still dictates affirmation of the decision. Most of the negativity you hear around the Iraq war has to do with what we did once we were there, rather than the decision to be there in the first place.

This idea of the ‘politics of stupid’ was driven home to me once again when I read some of the blog responses to Krugman’s column. Consider this one from the Weekly Standard:

Obama’s base, as typified by Krugman, urges a declinist austerity platform, at least until solar power comes on line in 2064. The column is must reading to see the state of the art in Democratic circles regarding the energy debate.

Nearly unintelligible to the thinker, what it says to the simple is that Democrats want you to suffer. Hmmm, did Karl Rove write that column or what? Here’s a newsflash: Solar energy is online now. Maybe not the way it could be, but that’s not our fault. Tell the oil companies to quit stonewalling the patents and lobbying against renewal of incentives.

Or there’s this one from Peggy Noonan over at the Rupert Murdoch rag, the Wall Street Journal:

As for Mr. McCain, I think he had the best moment of the month this week at the big motorcycle convention in Sturgis, S.D., when he was greeted with that mighty roar. And his great line: “As you may know, not long ago a couple hundred thousand Berliners made a lot of noise for my opponent. I’ll take the roar of 50,000 Harleys any day.” Oh, that was good.

This followed Noonan’s ridicule of Obama for his incredibly successful European tour capped by his appearance at the Berlin gate, an appearance that Noonan claims was unearned.

Oh, and that just bangs at the heart of every jealous American out there, the American who missed his/her moment in the sun, the American who envies his neighbor’s pretty wife or her co-worker’s new car.

It appeals to the ugly humanity in all of us.

I suppose it’s the only reasonable counterspin they have in their toolbox. With an incredibly inept and pathetic candidate of their own, the only hope they have is that stupid prevails.

Will it?