Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The LuLac Edition #700, Jan. 20th, 2009



So many people have uttered so many words on this great day that I even hesitated to post. But here goes.
1. Today was a great day for America. As a kid growing up, I could never understand the reaction to the Civil Rights movement by my well meaning WWII era relatives who said “what more can they want?” (Referring to the black struggle.) I thought, they’d like to drink water from the same fountain, sit at the same lunch counter and live down the street from you. Now more 45 years later, one of those who wanted more resides in the White House. Leading us. An incredible day for the country. A proud day. A day long in coming.
2. There were a few pundits who were disappointed in the speech. I think they were looking for the great quote. That wasn’t going to happen. In the last episode of The West Wing, as fictional U.S. President Jeb Bartlett escorted Matt Santos to Capitol Hill, he asked the new President how his address was going to sound. Santos responded, “I won’t have something memorable like JFK’s “Ask Not…..” And Bartlett said to him, “JFK pretty much screwed us all with that line”. Obama did something quite mature. As in the campaign, he recognized the moment. And the moment was not the time for a “catch phrase” but for a sober reminder that there is much work to do. It sounded more to me like a CEO trying to rescue a company on the brink of disaster but recognizing how that fate could be avoided.
3. The crowds were incredible. Huge. Packed with everyday Americans traveling to just wish him well. No expectations of special consideration, just a long journey to see history in the making. Now if only that collective energy and passion can be put into practice. Seems to me the general public wants to be heard and seen and respond to a call to action. If only the fat cats who got us into this financial mess could respond that way, we’d be in good shape.
4. President Bush went home to Midland, Texas and was greeted by 30,000 people. That had to be a boost for him. It is said Herbert Hoover, leaving Washington in solitary disgrace in 1933 was buoyed by a reception for him as he came back home to New York at the Waldorf Astoria. Americans are a generous people, even to the vanquished.
5. Many speak of Obama’s Presidential role models as JFK, FDR and Lincoln. The comparisons are endless with the young children, the economic collapse and the political roots in Illinois. But if you are going to follow a model, watch for Obama to emulate the LBJ legislative agenda when the Texas won his landslide. Before Vietnam, Johnson got what he wanted from a bi partisan Congress responding to the passing of JFK and the obvious strength of LBJ’s election. I believe you will see Obama use his victory, his throngs of supporters as well as his political acumen to model his domestic agenda after Johnson’s.
6. I’ve walked with a cane since 2001, two years after my accident. I live with back pain every day. But I carry stuff up the steps, (that once monthly 36 pack of Aquafina is a bitch but I do it) and help Mrs. LuLac with packages, snow removal and other stuff. I do it slow and easy and get it done. Eventually. That all said, you can bet if I had made 30 million a year in bonuses at Halliburton, had 4 heart attacks, two pacemakers installed and an array of other medical problems, I’d hire a guy to carry my boxes. Still it was refreshing to see Dick Cheney do some real heavy lifting. We hope someone gives him truth serum and he writes a heck of a memoir.
7. Our inauguration ceremonies prove a few things, our democracy works and the American Dream is alive and well. Obama proved that with the help of the American people.


At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems to me the new president has spent nearly every minute since the election telling us not to expect too much. Quite a different message from the "Hope for Change" that he preached during the campaign. We'll see how long the dancing in the streets continues. It is significant that Wall Street saw the biggest Inauguration Day slide in history. President Obama does not seem to inspire hope in investors in this country or abroad. That actually came as a surprise to me. I thought there would be a rally in response to all the happy talk from the media and the men and women in the street. Go figure.

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice commentary on the day. I think the way it appears, we have nowhere to go but up. And I feel at some point, the man is going to be telling some hard truths that people, especially those who are invested in the power and the glory will not like. We are in for the ride of our lives.

At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted on this. Your opinion is always thoughtful and meaningful.


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