Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lucky #44

Yes. We. Did.

So...its going to be all puppies and rainbows now, right? A job in every pot and a 401k in every garage, right?

Ah, Hoover. Seems a fitting man to quote...hopefully ironically.

I keed, I keed. I know there will be times when he disappoints me, times when he has to compromise with political unsavories to get the job done...but for now, I'm all kinds of inspired. Goshdarnit, I'm hopeful.

After the jump, an inauguration rundown.

Say what you will about the starry-eyed Obamaniacs, the beginning of that speech proved once again exactly why he has that effect on people. Starting out all dark and foreboding (perhaps aka "realistic"), then building to that crescendo of "Yes We Can"? My cynical ass got goosebumps. I'm not too proud to admit it. The man can deliver a speech. And its easy to discount that, but its a pretty powerful ability. Those speeches, after all, are how we are fed presidential policy. The president is the face of our government, and not only is this one able to string two coherent words together, but he can do it with some inspiring flair.

Although, I also have to admit I kinda cringed when he flubbed the oath of office. Whoops. He laughed it off though, so hey, he's just human or whatever. [Edit: It was Roberts' fault! Ha!] [Edit AGAIN!: Mulligan!]

Below are some of the quotes that really stuck out to me (read: the aforementioned goosebumps). Going back through the transcript, the speech was a little more derivative than it seemed while watching. On paper, at times it even sounds a little...Shakespearean. But thats the power of good oration- even recycled words can sound like they're being spoken just for you.

Watch the whole speech here.

"Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age."

"Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."

[At this point I half expected him to bust out with a "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."]

"Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom."

(I'm ok w the vendoring...especially goods of hilarious bad quality or dubious usage (obama belts?), but these freak me out cause they're so evocative of the little Putin portraits I saw in every Russian house. Krasny ugol is not for deifying politicians.)

(THAT is a portrait. And its where it belongs: in the Natl Portrait Gallery)

"But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America."

"We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake."

[On MSNBC, the only time GW Bush was shown in this speech was during the first sentence of this quote. That is a pretty awesome and subtle (for cable news) indictment.]

"And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace."

"...your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

"This is the price and the promise of citizenship."
[Helloooo, JFK]

But nothing can top the super-awesome number one moment of the day:

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that you noted Obama saying: "Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man." I had missed this in his speech. It is a key argument we should have been making against the Patriot Act and so much more of the destruction of the American ideal.