Taking back the country

Over at the cassandra pages, my qarrtsiluni co-editor Beth Adams has been filing reports from D.C. for the past several days: Sunday, Monday, Monday night, and Tuesday. The scene in the capital today certainly sounded like a festival of the dispossessed.

The TV coverage, apparently, didn’t show what really happened: when Bush was introduced, a “boo” arose from all those millions of people that must have been completely audible; it was extremely loud. And when his helicopter lifted off, a cheer arose along with millions of uplifted arms, waving goodbye (quite a few, I’d say, with middle finger raised) — all the length of the Mall. I was a little surprised, and didn’t participate in the booing, but it was not so much rudeness as it was a spontaneous shucking off of a tremendous burden and source of despair, and an acknowledgment that this man never represented us, he was not of us, and Obama is clearly someone entirely other. The day for me was all about being part of that tremendous crowd who felt that America was being taken back, repossessed, by the people who have felt so disenfranchised all this time. Their presence, and the fact that they had traveled so far to be there, was not just a personal desire but also a statement to the world that there actually is another American spirit, and it’s still alive.

UPDATE: Be sure not to miss her final Reflections on the Inauguration.

6 Replies to “Taking back the country”

  1. I have been following Beth’s blog about her trip to the Inaugaration with great interest. Several of my friend made the trip to DC. We watched the swearing in at the office and we did quite a bit of cheering when it finally happened. I know that I slept better last night knowing that Bush and Cheney were nowhere near the White House.

    Because I live in Iowa, I was able to see candidate Obama up close and personal a number of times. His first trip to our city was in April of 2007. Before a crowd of about 3000, he spoke for 10 minutes and answered questions for over an hour. His answers were detailed and to the point. After his Q and A session he took another hour or so to shake the hands and visit with members of the crowd. He even took time to talk to my son, via cell phone, in Mexico! I beleive that he will be one great President!

  2. Fred – Thanks for that Iowan perspective. (Are you all ready to get excited about 2012 yet?) I do think he may turn out to be a great president, but I must admit that prospect also frightens me a little. I would much prefer a great Congress and a mediocre president.

    Frank – Yes. The whole executive privilege and signing statement B.S. was really out of control, not to mention the suspension of large parts of the constitution.

  3. I am ready for 2012. The best part of the caucus system is all of the free food they serve at the rallies. Before the 2000 caucus both parties were flooding Iowa with potential presidential candidates. Somehow I was on both parties mailing lists. So I received invitations to all of the rallies. Based on food alone the Republicans should have nominated steve Forbes. What a feed! I stood by the buffett table and stuffed my face while Forbes talked about taxes and spending. I was single at the time and it was better than cooking for myself.

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