CBS Sunday Morning

For the life of me, I can not remember what the topics are today. I guess it will be like Christmas, but in January. Speaking of, this is a shot of what it looks like outside my place:

You can’t see the snow coming down, but it is, and that, my friends, is STEELER WEATHER.

Putting aside the stunning news that Krispy Kreme is joining Dunkin’ Donuts in the UPJ (United Pastry Jihad), the most surprising this morning is how many of you apparently liked Burn After Reading. Sorry, I love the Coen brothers, Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, the Big Lebowski, the Hudsucker Proxy and O’ Brother are all genius, but Burn After Reading sucked. There was approximately one funny line, and that was the Mormon quip in the first 3 minutes of the movie.

Finally, I know I will get flamed mercilessly for this, and will be told that I simply don’t understand the historical significance, that I should just shut up because I voted for Bush and let people have their day, that my judgment is terrible and I should not be trusted, that I am just being harsh on Obama because I feel hoodwinked by Bush and won’t get fooled again, and blah blah blah, but the stuff this weekend feels like it has been over-the-top.

I can’t tell if it is just my general lack of enthusiasm for crowds, but there just seems to be a bit of unseemly gushing- this feels like Princess Di or something. I realize that the rise of cable news and 24/7 coverage means that it is going to be either the inauguration or some kidnapped blonde teenager, but I don’t know- it just seems excessive.

Again, I am not trying to downplay the historical significance of this, as several strands of history are all converging on Tuesday for a really amazing occasion. Nor am I unaware how elated we all are that Bush is leaving (and considering I played a role in getting Bush elected, I am thrilled that mistake is being pushed off center stage). And, again, I had no problem with Obama speaking in Europe, and never got my knickers in a twist about the columns at the inauguration, but this whistlestop tour, with all the mini events and the fawning media just seems to me to be too much. As low-key as Obama normally is, I am surprised he signed on to it all.

And because I’m not trying to ruin this for everyone and act like a wet blanket (especially because I am as excited as everyone else), and really am not trying to start another flame war, this is the last time I will say anything. Maybe I am just not remembering how big of a deal inaugurations were because cable news wasn’t as omnipresent in 2000, and it has been eight years since the last transition from one party to another and my memory has faded. Maybe I have just forgotten how much I hate pomp and circumstance.






125 replies
  1. 1
    DougJ says:

    I agree the coverage of Obama is too gushing. What I don’t like about it is that it’s about him personally and not about his policies and ability to get policies enacted. I’d rather not go down that road again, since it’s the same “who would you rather have a beer with” road that gave us George W. Bush.

    I’m excited about Obama’s presidency. But he hasn’t accomplished anything yet as president.

  2. 2
    Media Browski says:

    An alternate version of cynicism: I take heart in the fact that these simple public displays are still able to create this level of liminal feedback.

    Non-anthro major translation: ceremonies make people happy.

  3. 3
    Jim D. says:

    John – agreed about the pomp & circumstance. I’d rather have to live with the shame of voting for Bush once (but not twice) than go to one of the big events this weekend, particularly now that I’m fighting a bout of depression.

    But I think Obama signed off on this because he is a sharp pol with a lot to do, and will need all the goodwill he can get to see us through the rough times ahead. This is banking enthusiasm – getting people to sign on to his "Hope" message. All this excess energy is there, waiting to be used and tapped to deal with the mess the Bush admin has left us – might as well use it to some good end.

    Cheers.

    Jim D.

  4. 4
    jenniebee says:

    Our friend Travis in Georgetown just found out that his neighbor is renting out his 1br apartment for the week at a rate of $1700 a night. Travis didn’t think of it until too late, and now he’s kicking himself for not grabbing a chance at an all-expenses-paid escape from the city during the madness.

  5. 5
    Skepticat says:

    I feel much the same way, not being a fan of extremes of any kind, and fear that this guarantees much too much
    letdown from the inevitable anticlimax.
    I hadn’t been able to pin it down before, but your Princess Di reference is spot on.

    Nevertheless, I hope that everyone who wants to just enjoys the hell out of the whole thing–and works to keep the positive feelings going.

  6. 6
    Nicole says:

    You’re not alone. I’m a wee bit over it. I will watch; I’m looking forward to watching, but I also feel like it’s a big distraction from the very big problems that we face and it’s in the best interests of the conglomerates that control the media to keep America distracted from those problems so here’s a special report on the kind of special historic crepe being used to adorn the floats! (Okay, I exaggerate a wee bit)

    On the bright side, a poll reported that Americans think it will take at least 2 years to recover from our current problems. I think it will take a lot longer than that, but the thought that the majority of the country maybe doesn’t expect things to be fixed by 2/1/09 counts as progress in my book.

  7. 7
    neill says:

    perhaps, just perhaps, all this brouhaha is in regard to the historic nature of the inauguration.

    that racism still exists, no doubt. but it slithers around now even more broken.

    maybe not everyone recognizes this feat equally, but somehow, very many feel it. and this historic event is a gigantic boost to the hope and confidence people feel. even if obama were succeeding gore, this fervor would exist. but right now, historically, we’re all being transformed into saints from evil sinners — and, goddam, we like it a lot.

    the media, as usual, are just following the crowd, per their marketing and statistical advisors…

  8. 8

    Not everyone is as pleased as we are about Obama’s impending enthronement to his rightful place at the right hand of inauguration. As I just pointed out in the last thread Our Lady of Perpetual Outrage is OUTRAGED!

    But I can’t remember an inauguration this exciting and well covered. I was in elementary school when JFK was sworn in but my mom says it was a big deal in our family because they are all Roman Catholics.

    I was pretty sure I would never live to see this day. as the father of two young daughters I just hope a woman takes the oath of office in my lifetime. That will also be a well attended event with just as much P & C.

  9. 9
    Laura W says:

    Mika, Blow, Noonan, and Buchanan on MSNBC.
    Obama’s Grand Strategies May Collide With Expectations
    A Sunday Morning Sacrilege.

    (No, I am not watching. A friend emailed to ask if I was so I had to just go look to be sure they were all still stupid. Yes.)

    To Jim D’s point about "banking enthusiasm", I have received half a dozen emails in the last three days from moveon and the local people who ran our volunteer office here in town inviting me to meetings, all along the lines of community activism, etc. Big push here to keep the momentum and group cohesion intact and moving forward.

  10. 10
    Tattoosydney says:

    Maybe I am just not remembering how big of a deal inaugurations were because cable news wasn’t as omnipresent in 2000, and it has been eight years since the last transition from one party to another and my memory has faded.

    I had the same reaction to the entire US election campaign – there was so much hoopla (even here in the Antipodes), which I don’t remember in 2000 and 2004. It may have been there, but with the ubiquity of the internet, and the need of our media to turn everything into a Britney-esque circus, it felt like I was overloading on information.

    The Obama-Lincoln references are pretty overwhelming. Obama seems to be feeding it – the bible, the train trip. Every commentator seems to feel the need to mention it, but avoids mentioning how that one ended. ("But other than that, how was the theatre, Mrs Lincoln?")

    I agree with Jim D. though:

    This is banking enthusiasm – getting people to sign on to his "Hope" message.

    George the Dumb is almost gone. Let’s enjoy it for a few days, before cold reality sets in.

  11. 11
    SnarkyShark says:

    My thoughts as I glanced at the occasional TV was the same as John’s. Since I threw my TVs out a few years back, I am only seeing this occasionally. Its called the OFF switch John. Use it wisely.

    I think it is a collective feel good moment for everybody who has finally woken up and smelled the coffee. Political junkies and other dweebs like us are too focused on the dire threats we face. The 5-minutes ago ADD crowd might sense a tough road ahead, but the here and now feels kind of warm and fuzzy, and they want to revel in that.

  12. 12
    kay says:

    I felt the same way watching the cable news coverage, and turned it off.
    I switched to C-Span last night for a re-broadcast and got caught up in it in 20 minutes, and really, really enjoyed it.
    The Philly speech was excellent. I don’t know how he tops it for the inaugural.

  13. 13
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    John Cole

    You also have to remember this. 8 years ago at Bush’s inauguration there was still resentment over the Florida debacle so the level of excitement was close to being matched by a level of resentment if not surpased. If I remember correctly wasn’t Bush’s limo egged on the way to his inauguration? So of course now in comparison this seems like an over the top exercise and it doesn’t help that we are in the middle of a financial crisiis. But for a lot of people this inauguration isn’t just about a black man getting elected to the highest office in the land just a little over 40 years since black people were granted the right to vote. This is also a celebration for a lot of people of the end of a terrible era of a two wars, partisan acrimony, torture, cover ups, little to no accountability and financial instabillity. It truly represents a possibility for a better tomorrow than we have had the last 8 years. So while yes it might be over the top to the point of being annoying, for a lot of people this will be the one thing they can celebrate in their own lives for quite a while as they see jobs dissappearing and homes being lost.

  14. 14
    Slide says:

    Well, on one hand I agree and I hope the press isn’t intimidated, like it was with Bush, to not question a popular president as it should. But on the other hand, I think it is great that there are masses of people involved with the inauguration. What we lacked for many years was citizen involvement in politics. No one cared. No one paid attention. There was an incredible disdain for all things Washington. Democracies can not function well under those circumstances as we have seen.

    So, if this is an example of a populace that once has hope in politics… optimism that Washington can make a positive difference in their lives.. a realization that government is not the problem, as RR had said, but rather can be a force for good, competent, morally based governance, then it is well worth the gushing for a historic event. I know… I know.. I’m dreaming. But I guess that’s what Obama meant when he talks about the audacity of hope.

  15. 15
    jeff says:

    Is it just me or has Obama aged dramatically in the past few months? I just saw him on CNN with John King and he is looking gray.

  16. 16
    SnarkIntern says:

    I don’t agree about the gushing. It simply reflects the mood of the country. It won’t last, and it’s not harmful, it’s actually healthy.

    What’s more, it is as much about the exit of Bush, and a long and desperately needed change, as it is about Obama himself.

    Bush is despised, he fucked the country, we are in terrible straits, and we are getting a new government, hopefully, in the nick of time. A government brought to us by you, John.

    Is it okay if we celebrate the fact that we are finally, literally, moving on? For a guy who is 25 years younger than I am, you often talk like a silly old fart. This weekend is one of those times.

    Smile it up, for crissakes. The next year is going to be the hardest in memory. Let’s enjoy a few days here. Okay, you won’t, but is it okay if the rest of us do?

  17. 17
    Tattoosydney says:

    … the fawning media just seems to me to be too much.

    Is it ascribing too much Machiavellian thinking to Obama to think along the following lines?

    1. An increasing proportion of the populace seems to have developed an inkling that the media sold them out by not pointing out that George was a lying frat boy and Cheney was a snarl with a shotgun.

    2. Media is fawning over Obama.

    3. When media does what we all expect and turns on Obama at about 3pm on the 20th, maybe, just maybe, population will remember, and question them even more?

    [not well thought out – it’s late here and I should be sleeping]

  18. 18
    Ace Armstrong says:

    Two points.
    1. The MSM is promoting this event to maximize profits. Nothing like a historically significant event to churn out every possible trinket and memorabile imaginable.
    2. Mr. Obama is a tried and true member of the National Security State – their motto, "Bring you a faux democracy since 1947". Fear not, the military/industrial/petrochemical/ pharmaceutical complex is still firmly in control.

  19. 19
    Changeroo says:

    Yeah, it’s probably a bit too much. But after the O-Man has been in office a while and things really start goint to pot, everything will settle back down to reality. Just let hin and all the tards that supported him have their day in the sun.

  20. 20
    SnarkIntern says:

    Edit post failed: "Replacing a government brought to us by you …."

    No offense. This clusterfuck wasn’t our fault. We can party a little now that it’s over.

  21. 21
    SnarkIntern says:

    As low-key as Obama normally is, I am surprised he signed on to it all.

    The country is about to go over a precipice, and meanwhile millions of people are headed to DC to take part in the inaugural moment.

    I think it’s okay if he acts like this is a big deal. And really, you sound ridiculous. I say this in the most nurturing way possible.

  22. 22
    TCG says:

    On NPR this morning, there was a teenage girl signing a song about Obama to the tune of Bingo, i.e., there was a farmer who had a dog and bingo was his name.

    So yeah the noise from the media covering the inauguration is over the top.

  23. 23
    numbskull says:

    Sadly, looks like CBS Sunday Morning is (still) in the tank for the Republicans. Lots of stuff about how the Bushies are giving Team O so much more information about terrorism than Clinton gave Bush, that the Bushies are doing such a great job, if anything happens, it’s all Team O’s fault.
    One of their biggest messages is about a cyber attack. They are JUST NOW getting their heads around that. Shit, it was one of Clarke’s TOP concerns, which he screamed about at the Clinton/Bush transition. So, 8 years later, the Bushies figure out – hey, maybe this is a problem!
    Hell, they even pulled out the old lie about the Clintonites trashing the Whitehouse, a long-debunked piece of bullshit.
    And of course, the blond talking head did nothing but nod her empty noggin.

  24. 24
    donnah says:

    No one need apologize for being ambivilent about the upcoming Inaugural events. If you aren’t excited about the hoopla or are just exhausted from all the media blitz, then you’re entitled to your feelings. I don’t like being told how to feel about things, either.

    In my case, as sgwhiteinfla said so well, it’s a sense of liberation. From the moment Bush was elected, I have been sick at heart. Never before have I felt so helpless and ignored by the leader of the country. Never before was I so ashamed of my country’s actions at home and across the world. It seemed like every week there was another unspeakable act against the Constitution or the environment or human rights. They continued to top themselves with outrageous transgressions until I thought my head would explode.

    So then along comes Obama. He speaks clearly with a true sense of conviction. He looks at the country through a different lens than the Bush administration does. He isn’t perfect and we know it, but somehow he exudes this real sense of level-headed confidence without the cockiness of Bush. I can’t explain it. It’s not idol worship, but rather a sense of trust that he can make things better.

    That’s what I feel, and I look forward to every overblown, overplayed moment. We have a lot of things to make up for.

  25. 25
    John S. says:

    Just let him and all the tards that supported him have their day in the sun.

    There is a timeline that exists where McCain/Palin were elected, McCain had a fatal heart attack last week and we’re about to swear in Sarah Palin as the next president, you betcha! Also.

    Be glad your current self doesn’t exist in that timeline.

  26. 26
    kay says:

    @TCG: @TCG:

    On NPR this morning, there was a teenage girl signing a song about Obama to the tune of Bingo, i.e., there was a farmer who had a dog and bingo was his name.

    You have to turn it off and just watch and listen to the thing itself.

    They ruin everything even vaguely symbolic. Really. Everything they touch gets small and stupid, like magic.

  27. 27

    Think of it like a wedding or graduation. It seems to go on forever, it’s a big party, everyone gushes, everyone drinks too much. It’s really nothing more than that (except of course, it’s being narrated by 100 talking heads). Enjoy it or just tolerate it, because come Wednesday, it’s back to reality. Bills have to be paid, boxes have to be unpacked and you have to get back to work.

    Of course I could be wrong and come Wednesday he’ll be turning water into wine and laying on healing hands (maybe that’s what he meant by universal health care).

  28. 28
    Scott H says:

    All that unseemly gushing would be hope and optimism. I know. After all these years, and I don’t mean just the last dour eight, I mean since, like, early 1968, it all seems… weird.

  29. 29

    Ooo, I had to change my email address and now I’m in moderation. Should I whine like some posters (I won’t mention any names, lest I get flamed, too). There at least should be some sappy music playing while in moderation, like when you’re on hold for your doctor.

  30. 30
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    For some perspective would you rather the inauguration look more like this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAp6YAPtC2c

  31. 31
    Joshua James says:

    I think it truly is a reaction to the pomp, and to put it into perspective, pomp has been exploding the last few years simply due to the nature of our expanding media …

    I remember when George got elected in 2004, and how the media fawned and jizzed over him (they did, a lot of people hated the man, but many our our beltway types creamed their jeans that a REAL MAN, as opposed to the war-medal adorned John Kerry*, whom everyone suspected as being a real wimp, wasn’t elected) just blathered on and on …

    If I recall, that even happened in 2000, when George was inaugurated for the first time, even though he didn’t technically "win". I remember media folk, who hated Gore, simply having a joy gasm in their pants (Digby had a bunch of Matthews quotes on George from back in the day, when he didn’t bother to hide his stiffy over Bush’s manliness).

    In short, I don’t think your reaction is about Obama, per se, but how the narrative is being expanded for the media … Obama does represent something for a lot of us (he ran on change, after all, and is the first black President, that’s huge) and there’s no denying that … there’s also no denying that Those Whose Job It Is To Fill 24 Hours of Cable News are gonna hype it up past the ozone level and beyond … they recognize the primal emotion and they’re gonna play that key as long as they can.

    *to be honest, despite what he did in the war, I always thought John Kerry was a pretty crappy candidate and he must have been, because he lost to George Bush. Even Gore beat Bush.

  32. 32
    Laura W says:

    @Bad Horse’s Filly:

    Think of it like a wedding

    I am fine with, and very much enjoying and being moved by, all the inaugural festivities. I deserve it, damnit, just for paying rapt attention to Obama’s journey from the day he announced in Feb of 2007.

    I will never understand, or appreciate, the money, time, stress, etc, spent on weddings. I mean, big weddings, which probably goes without saying because (I imagine) small, private ceremonies are blessedly free of that.

  33. 33
    Slide says:

    Maybe for the first time in a long long while a lot of us can feel proud of our country? I know that is how I feel. Pride in the country I love. That was taken away from me by Bush/Cheney/Rove. It is a wonderful feeling to be liberated. Put me in the gushing category.

  34. 34
    p.a. says:

    Yes this inaugural is over the top, but after the last 8 years and this last grim holiday season maybe as a country we need a good 3 day drunk. We’re gonna wake up Friday on the beach in our undies with the tide coming in fast. But the tide was going to be coming in anyway. So let’s let those who want to enjoy it. Help ’em find their clothes Friday. Because then it’ll be time to get to work.

  35. 35
    Laura W says:

    Someone’s sitting on the mod filter this morning.
    Comment now irrelevant, like many of my comments.

  36. 36

    Let’s hope Renato can make it to this afternoons concert in DC and gets some good pics of Bono for all of us too see. I know Cole would appreciate it.

  37. 37
    MattF says:

    Well, it’s not really true that Obama is all that low-key. He’s a professional orator (among other things)– he knows, and will take advantage of, a set-piece when he sees one. I suspect we’re going to see a fair amount of this sort of thing, so you may as well resign yourself to it.

  38. 38
    JL says:

    I’m not a big fan of Krispe Kreme donuts but I might have to go by and get a free donut. Tuesday I plan on watching all the pomp and ceremony and I plan on shedding a few tears. They will be tears of joy, not only because the nation elected an articulate, intelligent man to lead this nation but because Bush is gone.
    The media’s coverage unfortunately overshadowed Obama’s speech in Philadelphia.

  39. 39
    Slide says:

    If you want over the top media gushing, lets all remember how they handled the "Mission Accomplished" photo op.

  40. 40
    Ssgt. White says:

    Burn After Reading sucked.

    You are absolutely correct. It tried to do a lot of things, and it didn’t do any of them well. A solid "C."

  41. 41
    BC says:

    I think his talent for oratory is one of the things that will make him a good leader, if he can get people to follow him. That was how FDR led – he communicated to people over the radio so they would support him. That’s the power of the presidency. I also thought all this brouhaha this weekend was to give people who couldn’t go to the inauguration a sense of being a part of it – he spoke in Philadelphia and Wilmington, waved to people along the route. Maybe it was over the top, but I get the feeling he is using this as a way of increasing his political capital – or maybe making sure the powers-that-be understand he can go this route to increase his political capital. As long as the people in this country will go to hear/see him in large crowds, he has power that few other presidents have had. I just thought it was great to see a president speaking to whoever came without screening for only his supporters.

  42. 42
    mr. bispo says:

    While I sympathize with your perspective, you acknowledges "helped Bush get elected" and he "was in full-fledged wingnut phase, and I remember cheerleading the landing on the carrier" when Bush spoke under the "mission accomplished" sign.

    These are important because as a former wingnut you don’t recognize the need for progressive patriotism. John Nichols at The Nation has an excellent article on it this week. For eight years liberals have been treated as second class citizens and told they don’t love America if they question the administration. Obama’s election has allowed many who believed they’d never again find reason to show their patriotism.

    There are many things to celebrate this week and you recognize most of them: Bush leaving office, first black prez, Democrats in power, but the freedom to let go and show, "Yes, we too love America." Republicans don’t have a monopoly on patriotism. Obama recognizes that his supporters and America needs a cathartic moment. He can build up goodwill and it’s smart politics to give s many Americans a chance to feel like they are apart of this moment.

  43. 43
    priscianus jr says:

    I’m not a big fan of hoopla myself. For example, I could happily do without parades. Nor do I watch television (I’ll make an exception for the inauguration itself) — so I’ve not been subjected to whatever it is you’re talking about. However, I can well imagaine the media circus, because that’s just how American journalism operates. It has nothing especially to do with Obama. It’s just another 24/7 of BIG EVENT or HISTORIC MOMENT.
    Obama did not create the American media as it is presently constituted. He and his people have to go with the flow, because that’s how the game is played.
    That said, there’s no question this IS a big event and a historic moment. People have every reason to be excited and want to participate in some way. Me, I’m just glad the Bush era is over. Really glad. If McCain had won, I’d be seriously considering my options right now.

  44. 44
    Comrade Jake says:

    OT, but in search of my daily wingnut, I hopped over to NoIQ, and it seems that they’ve managed to come in second in the Weblog awards for best political coverage.

    This would seem to establish the lower bound on the number of PUMAs at 4025.

    Also, the Calvinists post on abortionists running donut shops is too good not to share.

  45. 45
    JL says:

    @Joshua James:
    *

    to be honest, despite what he did in the war, I always thought John Kerry was a pretty crappy candidate and he must have been, because he lost to George Bush. Even Gore beat Bush

    IMO, Obama learned how to use the media from watching the Kerry campaign. The media painted Kerry as an elitist for drinking green tea. Obama made healthy eating a part of his campaign. The media painted Kerry as a snob because he was articulate. Obama used his oratory skills to campaign for better education.

  46. 46
    Bill H says:

    I am not really watching all that much of it, but the part I have watched was awesome. I think it is spot on. We have lived through eight years of a president we could not respect, who in almost every setting looked like a clown and a buffoon, and now we have one who does the "Will Smith" bit, "I make this look good."

    I think we deserve to celebrate, we deserve our moment of hope. Sure some of those hopes will not be fulfilled, we know that, but it doesn’t mean that none of them will and it doesn’t mean that they are not worth having.

    Things went to shit under Bush and we looked to him and he told us that he had made his decision, that he was right and that he would not waver, and that nothing would change. Barack Obama has promised us change and we have waited for his arrival. That arrival is today and it is worthy of celebration.

  47. 47
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Maybe it is a sign that people are glad that the last eight years are over? Maybe they have been so depressed that they are grasping at straws in their search for joy? Of course, you are right that this may turn into a major letdown when reality sets in and they discover that Obama can’t walk on water, but that is the only potential negative I can take away from it.

    Each new president has their own way of approaching the office and in a way it is a time for the people to remember that we are not a monarchy. We do not hold a coronation after the prior ruler passes, instead this is our version of it. How it is approached by the public at large is going to depend on how their lives are going and how they perceive how well they will live in the future. If everything is hunky dory then I believe that most people tune out the celebrations because they have more ‘important’ things to do than watch yet another president come in to office.

    Things are not hunky dory right now and people are looking to Obama to deliver, well, basically a miracle. He made history winning this election but that is nothing compared to what he will make if he is able to overcome what he faces when he walks in the door of his office on day one. He faces what I consider an almost insurmountable task, as improbable as his win was I believe his being able to solve all of the messes we are in is far more improbable.

    People know we are in a mess and they have been pretty worn down by events during the Cheney administration, they want something different. Desperately different. Many want to believe that Obama is going to make everything ok in the world and they are going to be the ones who bitch the loudest when it doesn’t happen. I fully expect it and I am sure that Obama does too. The howling EPIC FAIL OBAMA! by people like OPOL at Kos is already getting deafening and pretty damn irritating to read. Incessant whining on the left already (ok, for some of them it never stops) and I know that there is going to be a lot more to come once reality sets in.

    I am kind of tuning it in and out since I have been working a lot lately, but from what I have seen it seems ok if you don’t sit there all day and watch it. That would drive anyone nuts.

  48. 48
    jeffreyw says:

    Robert Stein, from a post at Kiko’s House:

    On his way to greatness, during the Lincoln-Douglas debates, he said:

    "Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed. Consequently he who molds public sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decision. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed."

    edit: grr, alla that should be bq

  49. 49
    Rosali says:

    I was living in DC during the Clinton election and inauguration. I don’t remember anything close to this level of excitement.

  50. 50
    jeffreyw says:

    here’s a link to KIKO’S HOUSE

  51. 51
    JL says:

    I don’t remember a previous President-elect who has changed the country so much even before he takes the oath of office. You only have to look at his poll numbers to realize that there is a renewed sense of hope. There’s a sense that we are all Real Americans. (take that Sarah!)

  52. 52
    ppcli says:

    I would prefer a "screw this donutem et circunsis, let’s just roll up the sleeves and get right down to work" approach. That, I think, is just one of the million reasons why I’d suck as president.
    .
    One of Obama’s many strengths is his reality based approach, which involves learning from the past. Carter had a Spartan inauguration, to send a message of simplicity, and the Washington establishment crucified him for it. When Reagan came in and had a big ostentatious hoe-down, it was lauded as showing how he appreciated the people’s love of ceremony, unlike the insufferable grinch Carter who gave dry parties in the White House. (The cardinal sin for any president: standing between journalists and the free hooch they regard as a birthright.)
    .
    Obama figures: OK, history tells me that hoopla and well-lubricated journalists will make my job easier. So I’ll do it. (No doubt this is wishful thinking, but illusions do serve to soften the blow of harsh reality.)

  53. 53
    tim says:

    John, I agree with you completely on this.

    Why can’t these political types simply walk in to their office on day one, take a seat and get to work? I’m serious.

    All this self-glorifying poop and jerkumstance has always seemed inappropriate to me in what is supposed to be a non-monarchical democracy. haha, what a joke, eh?

    But then, it is no surprise that the American Oligarchy demands slavish worship when it heaves and shudders and vomits up yet another faux leader to distract the masses.

    When 2006 when Pelosi took over as House Speaker and spent two weeks making it all about HER, I wanted to vomit. Why the hell didn’t she just get to work?

  54. 54
    libarbarian says:

    I live in Washington and I’m running to Atlantic City to escape the hippie invasion.

    And gamble. Maybe if I lose everything they will bail me out too.

  55. 55
    Laura W says:

    illusions do serve to soften the blow of harsh reality

    Respect the delicate ecology of your delusions.
    ~Angels in America

    Best line ever.
    "Angels in America" now in my amazon shopping cart.

  56. 56
    Pennypacker says:

    The media is responding to a guy who has enormous popularity heading into his first term. They want to sell a product to capitalize on this popularity. This isn’t rocket science, folks, it’s called business.

    If you think commercial television is here to provide you information for civic health or the good of democracy, you’re media illiterate. There are books on this subject, you should read them.

  57. 57
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    When 2006 when Pelosi took over as House Speaker and spent two weeks

    I think it is really great that at this terrifyingly momentous time, you can reach back and pull out a completely meaningless memory from 2006 that has nothing at all to do with what is happening now.

    Let’s see, I remember a time in 1978 when something on tv really pissed me off. GODDAMMIT TO HELL, I going to SMASH every tv I see for the next week. From now on, I am only listening to crankyassed bloggers who voted for Bush! Enough is enough!

    AND MORE AGITA AS YET TBD!

  58. 58
    4jkb4ia says:

    But Pitt lost, and their #1 ranking will certainly be taken away, so there is a reason for general discomfiture.

  59. 59
    sbjules says:

    I don’t agree about the gushing. It simply reflects the mood of the country. It won’t last, and it’s not harmful, it’s actually healthy.

    I think it’s healthy too & the media coverage is driven by the public, the astonishing (& wise in my opinion) 76% who are optimistic about the Obama administration. People are absolutely fascinated about the whole Obama family & they want this coverage. I’ve seen this fascination once before in my life–I was around for the Kennedy inauguration.

    For the skeptics, think of it as I would the super bowl.

  60. 60
    4jkb4ia says:

    @Conservatively Liberal:

    And from OPOL’s history that should be the only proof needed that Paul Rosenberg does indeed do nuance. Mr. Rosenberg has not given up. He has correctly perceived that Obama is to the right of him.

  61. 61
    tim says:

    Hey hatonyourasscathead:

    Pelosi spent weeks masturbating about her own fabulosity instead of getting to work, much as O is doing on a larger scale now…how is that hard to understand as a parallel?

    "terrifyingly momentous" wtf?

  62. 62
    passerby says:

    Since I don’t have cable and don’t watch tv except for football, I haven’t experienced the gushing factor.

    Actually, I enjoy the pomp and circumstance and pageantry of Presidential funerals and inaugurations but, what makes them insufferable is the inane, condescending commentary and gushing that the usual bunch of media whores engage in.

    It all has the tone of Katy Couric narrating the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Eeeww.

    So I’ll be watching over the internet, prolly MSNBC because Olbermann and Maddow, at least, exhibit a sense of humor.

    Change is a’comin’ and that’s reason enough for people to be elated after 8 years of darkness, as well as Barack becoming our 1st African (truly) American President.

  63. 63
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    This isn’t rocket science, folks, it’s called business.

    Bingo was his name-O. Spot.On. As far as the coverage is concerned, anyway.

    But, a couple million people are cramming into DC to stand outside in the freezing cold all day Tuesday to get maybe a glimpse of the new president, and here we are at BJ with a guy who …

    can’t tell if it is just my general lack of enthusiasm for crowds

    So there ya go. America, as it happens, is sometimes about crowds. And remember, this (blogger) is a guy who was beside himself to be part of the Bush crowd only a few years ago. Said so, right here the other day.

    I can’t for the life of me figure how any sentient person wouldn’t be really happy this weekend at what is happening int his country. Plenty of time for pearl-clutching, soon enough, the year is going to be awful. Today, enjoy.

  64. 64
    Ramalamadingdong says:

    They key is not to watch the cable coverage. I never watch TV, and planned to keep the cable connected just for the inauguration. After two hours I had to turn it off. If you just read some papers, check the blogs and watch you tube your perspective will change.

    BTW Obama is as happy as I have seem him, probably since Iowa. He has clearly decided to celebrate.

  65. 65
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Pelosi spent weeks masturbating about her own

    Yeah, that’s right, massivedumfuck: This whole weekend is all about what Pelosi did in 2006.

    We owe you a debt for pointing that out. Really, brilliant.

    More, more.

  66. 66
    4jkb4ia says:

    I agree with everybody:
    a) This is the nature of cable news
    b) Obama is aware that he is making history and by giving people a chance to celebrate he is encouraging their warm and fuzzy feelings about him personally
    c) This concert had something of the air of monarchy but if Bruce is in it it is probably all right

  67. 67
    scruncher says:

    I was enjoying it until I heard someone, a so-called pundit, say Obama was going to be one the greatest presidents. Really? Let’s wait and see about that.

    Then I started thinking about one of the things I don’t like about Obama: he doesn’t like the press. As a member of the press I may take it more personally than I should, but what bothers me about it is that as a constitutional scholar Obama should the vital importance of a free press.

    On the other hand, gotta say I find Rahm Emanuel, who I just watched on MTP, immensely likeable.

  68. 68
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    John, please rename the thread "Pelosi is a narcissistic bitch and this weekend proves it!"

    That will get us on the right track.

    Thanks, your adoring audience.

  69. 69
    Walker says:

    I hear the Deans are thinking about canceling class at my University on Tuesday (the decision will be made tomorrow). I kind of wish they had told me earlier, because I have arranged my entire lesson plan for the week assuming I have class on Tuesday.

  70. 70
    ComradeDread says:

    No, John, I understand.

    I think the coverage is getting a bit too unrealistic. And I definitely think that the inauguration is definitely out of hand.

    I think it would have been a far better signal to hold the affair quietly with minimal pomp and circumstances.

    On the other hand, yes, I do understand that it is a historic moment with the election of the first black president, and yes, I definitely empathize with the feeling that it is one big national sigh of relief that Bush is gone and didn’t bring the Apocalypse (though, I think that remains to be seen), but
    all of this worshipful veneration of the office of president makes the whole affair seem less like the peaceful transition between public servants and more like the coronation of a new monarch.

  71. 71
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Over the top? Oi vey. This what happens when there is a shift in *movements* (yes, plural). What we’re seeing is a shift from 28 years of the "conservative revolution" to the beginning of the "progressive revolution". It’s as if we’ve looked back and seen how those 28 years have essentially wrecked the country and now, finally, we’re gonna try something else.

    It generates excitement. Combine that with all the other factors mentioned above, and you get "gush".

    And that’s a good thing. Sheesh John, I hope the Stillers win today, otherwise, you’ll probably slit your wrists and end it all now.

  72. 72
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Oh, I can top that, Walker.

    I am going to miss my All In the Family rerun on Tuesday morning. Without my Archie fix, I think my week is in the toilet.

    GODDAM YOU BARACK OBAMA.

  73. 73
    demimondian says:

    @Bad Horse’s Filly: Don’t suggest it, BHF. That would be…horrifying. And truly evil.

    In short: STEELERS-LIKE!

  74. 74
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Transcript to follow, probably in about a year.

    Hey, at least this guy isn’t writing Obama’s speech for Tuesday, amirite?

    At least now we know where Binzinerator gets his ideas.

  75. 75
    tim says:

    hey hatasscat:

    Suit yourself. Enjoy your own masturbatory O-gasm weekend, watching the Splendiferous Camelot-lite Oligarchical Annointment on television while stroking your Pelosi. Fine with me.

    It’s best to Saran-wrap the Michelle pics before doing your business, though.

    Phrase for your day: willful obtuseness.

  76. 76
    mcd410x says:

    If you want to lead a happier life, stop watching cable news networks. This should be common knowledge at this point in history.

    More importantly, is it ok to start spoiling the BSG ep from Friday? We need a spoiler thread and some serious discussion!!

  77. 77
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Phrase for your day

    I write my own phrases, thanks.

    Phrase for your day: "Pelosi annoyed me! I am not an animal, I am a human being!"

    Part pundit, part Elephant Man. I like it. It’s like watching Lewis Black, but without the humor.

  78. 78
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Enjoy your own masturbatory O-gasm weekend

    I always enjoy a good masturbatory weekend. Who wouldn’t?

    The bottom line is, I can type better stuff with one hand than you can with two.

    Heh.

  79. 79
    Padraig says:

    I liked Burn After Reading. That;s two cents right there, but I also have an opinion on the inauguration, you lucky devils. Cole is right, the coverage is fawning all to hell, but we must remember – the press needs this to shove Bush down the memory hole. The rest of us are just glad our long national nightmare is finally gonna end. So, wild drunken bacchanals for all.

  80. 80
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @kay:

    I have TV but haven’t really been watching. Just following the main outline via Internet.

    What I’m really noticing is the excitement that people are expressing. I only know one person here in California who’s actually attending the ceremony (and she of course is over the moon), but just casual interactions are telling me this is a big big deal to folks. Heck, even the woman behind the counter at the bakery was flushed and happy and trying to make some "O" cookies for the occasion.

    I’d venture that little to none of it is fueled by media overload…it’s been going on for awhile and just feels really personal.

  81. 81
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Oh Zu, you will never get anywhere with that line of patter.

    In the media-blogoramasphere, the typing and chattering class has all the power. Unless you believe that the tv channels can single-handedly mindfuck 300 million Americans just with a shot selection out of a camera pool coverage scheme, then you aren’t really in the cult here.

    Get with the program. The media MAKE us fawn over Obama, see? Without their fawning, we’d all be wine blogging right now. See, already it’s WORKING ….

  82. 82
    JoyceH says:

    Don’t blame the media. If people started turning off their televisions, they’d immediately be searching Lexus-Nexus for a missing blonde.

    And don’t blame the Obama team. They’re generating excitement to get people onboard with their administration – it’s like the trailer that makes people want to see the movie.

    I liked the train trip. It gave a few million people who aren’t going to Washington a chance to participate in the Inauguration. At that event in Baltimore, some people told the media, ‘it’s so cold I wasn’t going to come, but the kids insisted.’

    Look, on the Saturday before an Inauguration, the media is going to be covering inaugural stories. The Obamas gave them a spectacle to cover. If they hadn’t, Saturday would have been all about bunting going up, interspersed for ‘balance’ with interviews with Republicans on how they’re going to oppose Obama’s agenda.

    The Obama administration is being smart. These last few days, the media is GOING to be covering the transfer of power. The Obama team is dangling big, shiny, hopeful, optimistic images in front of them, hey, look at this. It’s one big Yes We Can infomercial and gets people motivated.

    What’s wrong with a mass media event that just about everyone (except for a few old grumps) is following avidly that’s about being happy instead of sad, about being hopeful instead of fearful, about believing in the future instead of despairing?

    And it’s politically smart. Right now, I’m sure there are a lot of Republican elected officials who are wondering how smart it will be to oppose a president with this unprecedented level of public support.

  83. 83
    Laura W says:

    @JoyceH: Nice.

  84. 84
    kay says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    That’s a great take. Personal.

    Here’s an odd analogy. When I had a baby, a hundred years ago, I was inundated with words and images from well-meaning people. Sappy calendars, plaques, cards, all with this Theme of Motherhood. I could not get to the reality. If was as if they had replaced whatever authentic emotion I might be feeling with this…stuff.

    I had to tune it out, for room to think. I’m a little slow on the uptake. It takes me longer than 30 seconds to think something through, and all that noise can just destroy authentic gut feeling.

  85. 85
    robertdsc says:

    I think it’s good that you’re a bit down on the goings-on, John. It gives us heads-in-the-clouds folks a bit of a reality check or something to steady us in these heady moments.

  86. 86
    Louise says:

    As a few of your commenters have said, it’s not just about our first African-American President, and not just about youth and hope and all that — it’s about saying goodbye to the worst administration in our lifetime. I, for one, am celebrating the hell out of it.

    And older black folks on the teevee, tears in their eyes? I’m a goner for that. Plus, I’ll admit, I love a good crowd moment. (BTW, I’m hoping for lots of them for Pittsburgh people this evening.)

    If you want to enjoy the inauguration without the idiocy of the pundits, there’s always C-SPAN.

  87. 87
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @mr. bispo:

    I have a neighbor whose going to go out and buy a flag to hang. I might do so as well, since I only have the little hand-waving kind.

    Maybe we should all hang flags this week. To paraphrase Mark Slackmayer, it’s ours too.

  88. 88
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Well that’s the whole point, kids. It IS personal.

    What tv is doing right now is reflecting the personal phenomenon going on in the country, mostly. And to some extent, it’s even personal about the people on tv. They are pretty pumped up about this, like a lot of us are.

    What’s fascinating to me is how the "keepers" … be they politicians, or bloggers …. want to stuff the personal for everyone …. else. In my case, I see millions of people as excited as hell about what is happening this week, and then I come to BJ and see a guy who basically says Everybody Get Off My Lawn … I’m A Cranky Antisocial Guy Who Doesn’t Like Crowds, Stop All This Gushing.

    I think this thread is a very interesting slice on a microscope slide, a slice of what the real relationship is between media and public. And critics and public.

    Also keep this in mind: The media wasn’t that kind to Ronald Reagan, and that empty suit who never had an original thought in his life ended up with half the public buildings in America named after him. The media burned Bill Clinton in effigy after Monica, and before long, his popularity went up. The impeached and disgraced guy had something like a 65% approval rating when he left office.

    The media and the blogs don’t get this. The People still run this country. Believe it or not, even after Bush. The People are in charge. And that, folks, is a Very Good Thing.

  89. 89

    @ John Cole:

    Speaking of, this is a shot of what it looks like outside my place:

    You can’t see the snow coming down, but it is, and that, my friends, is STEELER WEATHER.

    The Steelers are playing in West Virginia, today?

  90. 90
    mcd410x says:

    One more thought on "Burn After Reading." It’s funny in the way that "Pulp Fiction" is. Jamming a needle through someone’s breastplate shouldn’t be funny — but it is. Maybe I need professional help …

  91. 91
    Karen says:

    Why do you think that before football, it’s "sci-fi Sunday" around here? Yesterday the box was off all day. Then they tie Obama & the "miracle on the Hudson" together for another spin of both.

    Comcast channel 48.

  92. 92
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    You know what I love? The looks on the faces of the people in those crowds.

  93. 93
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @kay:

    Nice analogy.

  94. 94
    JoyceH says:

    Another thought about the Inaugural hoopla. People ARE excited. They didn’t have to be primed to be excited. What the Obama team is doing is giving them ways to channel that excitement. LOTS of people are coming to Washington. Can you imagine the chaos if all these people poured in to DC and there weren’t things prepared for them to do?

  95. 95
    kay says:

    And older black folks on the teevee, tears in their eyes? I’m a goner for that. Plus, I’ll admit, I love a good crowd moment. (BTW, I’m hoping for lots of them for Pittsburgh people this evening.)

    I was an Obama delegate to the national convention, and there was this insane busyness associated with that, that precluded thought. And, I’m a little slow.

    I did not "get" what this means to African Americans until Invesco, when I turned and saw the mayor of Columbus, Ohio, this buttoned-up, hyper-organized black man, Mayor Coleman, weeping. Coleman had been barking out orders to the Ohio delegation for days. He was great: we needed the structure. He was just beside himself when Obama appeared, crying like a baby.

  96. 96
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    The looks on the faces of the people in those crowds.

    Right there with ya. And right there with those people in the crowds.

    This is a helluva big moment in history we are sitting on right now as we speak. America has reestablished itself as the greatest nation on earth, snatched victory right from the jaws of defeat, shines the light of the world right at a time of war, economic crisis, a crossroads on the timeline of the world’s middle class, another crossroads on the timeline of the world’s powerless and lost and hungry.

    No, Obama is not the messiah. But this country is about to undergo the greatest change we have seen in our lifetimes. I am not sure that 24 hour a day coverage is enough to handle this. I will say this, though, can’t we get some new talky heads on tv? Are we forever doomed to watch the same dismal blatherators blathering on and on until the end of time? Can’t we just fire all pundits at noon on Tuesday, and start over?

  97. 97
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Studly Pantload: According to Weather.com, it shouldn’t snowing at kickoff but it will be freezing.

  98. 98
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    Your lips to FSM’s ear.

  99. 99
    Mike says:

    I think people are just excited about being able to move forward again. Listening to NPR this morning, they had a bit on veteran’s organizations and how shocked they were that the transition team got in touch with them and solicited their input – this after 4 years of getting stiff-armed by the Bush administration. I think everyone knows there will be disagreements, but the last 8 years have been nothing but "NO" . . . people just want to get back to work and they’re excited about having a president who seems to be interested in letting it happen.

  100. 100
    Martin says:

    Yes this inaugural is over the top, but after the last 8 years and this last grim holiday season maybe as a country we need a good 3 day drunk.

    Well, it’s appropriately over the top, IMO.

    Remember that it was just a year ago that EVERYONE was proclaiming that the country wasn’t ready to elect a black president. It’s not just that Obama is black, but that the voters have proven that the country is ready, even when they didn’t think that was the case. Breakthroughs like that are rare – when you discover you can do something you never thought you could. And Obama didn’t win against another black candidate, but against a white candidate that the country has held in high esteem for a rather long time – it was a very solid win.

    But the contrast between Obama and Bush is also huge cause for celebration. Had Obama been coming in behind Clinton or even Bush Sr., it wouldn’t have quite this feel.

    But also consider the bullet we dodged – all this could have been about Bible Spice. There’s not enough vodka in the world to get me through that shit.

    Oh, and two thumbs up for Titos from the wife. Thanks for the rec. Tequila and rum will run out next. Can we get a spirits open thread? I imagine a bunch of us will be hitting Bevmo soon.

  101. 101
    J Royce says:

    No one does public displays like fascists. The Court Media is anointing a King. It’s been going this way for a while: I remember the funeral of Ronald Reagan being the modern equivalent of the ascension of Sol Invictus upon an Emperor’s death.

    (And no, I won’t intrude with more Roman history. Since it is apparently going to be relived again in our modern times, I’d hate to spoil the ending anyhow.)

    That you are annoyed, Mr. Cole, shows you retain a streak of the ol’ toss-the-tea-in-the-harbor protest against aristocratic privilege that sparked the birth of our nation. By that I mean the real America, the liberal one, the one born in dissent. The one the Conservatives came to bury; and may have succeeded.

    It was a really, really bad idea to resurrect the Right-wing ideology of the fascists and allow corporatism to become invested (infested) in journalism and our public media, and also our health care and education and military and food supply and transportation … etc, etc.

    Enjoy the show. The roots of the tree of liberty have been cut, but they were severed beneath the soil so it’s not quite apparent yet; that sense of browning around the edges and falling leaves are just the beginning.

    In the meantime … No one does public displays like the fascists. By that I mean the media, not necessarily the citizenry.

  102. 102
    boctaoe says:

    John, Yes you are a wet blanket. But I don’t care. I am still doing my election happy dance. It will take a lot to dampen that.

  103. 103
    passerby says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    I agree with ZuZu.

    kay said:

    Here’s an odd analogy. When I had a baby, a hundred years ago, I was inundated with words and images from well-meaning people. Sappy calendars, plaques, cards, all with this Theme of Motherhood. I could not get to the reality. If was as if they had replaced whatever authentic emotion I might be feeling with this…stuff.
    I had to tune it out, for room to think. I’m a little slow on the uptake. It takes me longer than 30 seconds to think something through, and all that noise can just destroy authentic gut feeling.

    Great analogy, it’s only "odd" in that it’s a rare show of self awareness. Your perspective is eye-opening to me.

    And may I add that this may be applied to so many other things beyond the topic of just this thread. Stuff Stuff Noise Noise–superficialities that supplant reason and instead evoke knee-jerkism, aka, habitual responsiveness.

    Nice.

  104. 104
    Cain says:

    I lay odds, that two days after the inauguration, the Clintons will be heading to Israel. Bill and Hillary have work to do. If she doesn’t already have her bags packed and itinerary planned I would be surprised.

    The abrupt end of the Gaza conflict seems to reflect that.

    As for all the pomp. Let em have it. It’s been a depressing holiday season, the economy is tanking. Enjoy the moment, and then let’s get to work. I strangely, am feeling divorced by the whole thing. I have other things going on, and all I’m doing is just counting days. I’ll feel it when he takes the oath. Then I will fucking celebrate. They’ll need to take pics of the celebration and add it to the end of Star Wars 6. :-)

    cain

  105. 105
    Laura W says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    Without their fawning, we’d all be wine blogging right now.

    Cork Teez.

  106. 106

    After missing both Clinton inaugurations and having to endure two Bush inaugurations (and the other Bush inauguration and Reagan…) I’m unapologetically psyched about this one.

    Of course, I don’t watch the teevees.

    And John, you’ll be pleased to know the local news radio station is pondering what sort of license plate Obama will have on his limos.

    [Flees impending explosion.]

  107. 107
    Cain says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    And John, you’ll be pleased to know the local news radio station is pondering what sort of license plate Obama will have on his limos.

    On huffington post they had a picture of Obama’s limousine with the license plate "44". So no need to speculate. :-)

    cain

  108. 108
    kay says:

    @passerby:

    Thanks to you both. That baby’s in college, so I eventually got it. I was particularly stressed by the developmental week-by-week calendars I received as gifts. All that record-keeping! What if there’s an audit! I was a month behind before I carried them in from the car, and I never caught up.

  109. 109
    Deborah says:

    The only things that will knock everything any newsperson can think of to say about the Obama inauguration off the set/front page are a) a huge disaster, like a terrorist attack; b) Bush doing something really dreadfully egregious, like pardoning Cheney and resigning so Cheney can pardon him. So if avoiding those options means NPR will be playing the Obama concert all afternoon, I can cope.

    It’s January, so "it’s cold" or "it’s snowing" don’t have the omg-disaster-weather-never-been-seen oomph that one gets in December.

  110. 110
    Daulnay says:

    We are living under a President who institutionalized torture as an interrogation method, ignored and tried to overturn Habeus Corpus (the legal right to not be imprisoned indefinitely without charge), and secretly spied on many of us illegally. He usurped the function of the legislative branch through signing statements, and usurped the function of the judicial branch by creating a separate system of kangaroo courts (the military tribunals to try Guantanamo inmates). He tried to turn the government into a branch of his party, politicizing the Justice department and many others, against law and custom.

    In two days, this near-dictatorial reign is ending, and he is being replaced by a former professor of Constitutional law, who has promised to restore our Republic to us. All his actions so far indicate that it will be. His speeches and his nominations for key positions show this.

    What kind of gushing celebration could possibly be too much, or over the top? I’d expect the entire liberty-loving population of the United States, to be out dancing in the streets and throwing rose petals at each other, wouldn’t you? I certainly will be.


    A very happy and relieved citizen of the U.S.

  111. 111
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Deborah:

    Well, it turns out they’re spreading their own little urban myth about how much it’s gonna cost.

    In other words, it’s the unsubstantiated Obama cost of $160 million (inauguration + security) compared with the Bush cost of 42 million (inauguration, excluding security). Those are two completely different calculations being compared side-by-side, by Fox & Friends, among others, to support the phony claim that Obama’s inauguration is $100 million more expensive than Bush’s.

    ….

    The federal government spent $115 million dollars for the 2005 inauguration. Keep in mind, that $115 million price tag was separate from the money Bush backers bundled to put on the inauguration festivities. For that, they raised $42 million. So the bottom line for Bush’s 2005 inauguration, including the cost of security? That’s right, $157 million.

    The media myth about the cost of Obama’s inauguration

  112. 112
    Wini says:

    OT (I think): the people at the inaugural concert look like they’re having a BLAST.

  113. 113

    […] John Cole was as relentlessly pro-Obama as any blogger over the last year, but even he is a bit put off by all the Faux Drama and the media’s exhortation to appreciate history. […]

  114. 114
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    oops, wrong thread

  115. 115
    gopher2b says:

    I have no problems with for the following reasons: (1) all of the celebrations are occurring while Bush is forced to stay in Washington DC. You know that pisses him off and that, alone, makes this all worth it. Its like being forced to watch your own funeral when everyone hated you. (2) Any inaugration where Presidents change (and more importantly, the party in powers changes, without violence is something to celebrate. As bad as this country can be, we do this better than anyone else in the world and that’s worth at least a days worth of celebration). (3) You can’t deny the first African American President is pretty special. More so at a time like this (although it probably wouldn’t happen but for a time like this). That’s worth two days, at least.

    The problem you have is with cable news which ruins everything, including Christmas, because they have to make up things to talk about. That doesn’t have anything to do with Obama, the inaugaration, the people, etc.

  116. 116
    Mike in NC says:

    Bush is forced to stay in Washington DC. You know that pisses him off and that, alone, makes this all worth it. Its like being forced to watch your own funeral when everyone hated you.

    Bonus points if he shows up for the Inauguration drunk as a skunk on live national TV. I have to work Monday and Tuesday but will be chilling a bottle of Champagne all the same. The End of an Error that should never have happened…

  117. 117

    @Cain: Thanks. I should have said the ponderfication is over whether he’ll have a plain old D.C. plate or the Taxation without Representation plate, a la Clinton shortly before he left office.

    Personally I hope he goes with T w/o R but only because the fReichtards are sure to see a hidden Muslim message in the three stars two bars.

  118. 118
    John says:

    As low-key as Obama normally is, I am surprised he signed on to it all.

    This is the problem with Obama sycophants and others who are taking the Kool-Aid intravenously.

    This notion that he’s an introverted, publicity-averting, modest politician is ludicrous. Just like Clinton assuming he was passed JFK’s torch to run with, so does Obama think he is the second coming of Lincoln, Kennedy, FDR, etc. Obama is a self-aggrandizing, narcissist. From the Berlin speech, to the styrofoam columns, to the seal for the non-existent "Office of the President-Elect", and all this grandstanding along the whistle-stop transition tour leading to the Inauguration–he’s all about himself and how others perceive him. Image control and PR are top priorities for Obama and will be the focal point of his administration–to this country’s detriment. Just you wait and see.

    I think it’s an asset for a President to be confident in his abilities, even to the point of arrogance, if he can bring something to the table. But Obama has no ideas to bring that will make any difference. All you sheep will be left with his fake million-dollar bills with Obama’s mug on it….enjoy.

  119. 119
    Cain says:

    I think it’s an asset for a President to be confident in his abilities, even to the point of arrogance, if he can bring something to the table. But Obama has no ideas to bring that will make any difference. All you sheep will be left with his fake million-dollar bills with Obama’s mug on it….enjoy.

    Shorter John: I want a hug from a well hung man.

    cain

  120. 120

    @John S.: Thank Anoia we wound up in this leg of the trousers of time. I feel sorry for the me that will soon be reduced to a shadow on the sidewalk because the world’s leaders are sick of her frucking accent.

  121. 121
    Ecks says:

    CSPAN was playing a book signing that Obama gave in 2004 where he gave a talk and answered questions. I watched it for 15 minutes, and it was a hammer between the eyes how thoughtful and smart and insightful he was. Here he was just chatting with people at a Barnes and Noble, and he was like the most interesting person you’ve ever met.

    The first questioner said "Hi. I hope you become president." everyone laughed, then Obama said "Keep in mind I’m 99th in line. When I get to the capital I’ll be sharpening pencils and sweeping up afterwards." So add funny and self-effacing to the list. After chimpy you simply can’t have a big enough party – and yeah, for liberals especially, it’s long loooong overdue.

    I will never understand, or appreciate, the money, time, stress, etc, spent on weddings. I mean, big weddings,

    Yeah, everyone gets engaged and says "we want a small wedding." Then they discover how big everyone’s families are, and it so often doesn’t quite work out that way. What can you do.

    the ol’ toss-the-tea-in-the-harbor protest against aristocratic privilege that sparked the birth of our nation.

    Funny story: Taxes on tea were quite high, but then dropped sharply right BEFORE the Boston Tea Party. It seems that smuggling isn’t nearly as profitable when you can’t undercut a high tax rate.

    Not to knock anything or anyone in particular, but it’s amusing how often history didn’t happen the way the official record has it.

  122. 122
    jim says:

    @Ecks
    Ha-ha. Funny how American history misses the frame of the story. What will Obama do with such a lawless populace? Joint, anyone? To celebrate, I mean.

  123. 123
    Shinobi says:

    I agree about the Obama coverage. Over the weekend I was calmly watching Animal Planet, learning how to train my dog (Victoria Stillwell is a Doggy Dominatrix, it freaks me out.) Anyway, then I don’t change the channel, and what is on, but an ENTIRE HOUR devoted to White House Dogs with a focus on what dogs the Obama’s should choose. Et Tu Animal Planet?

  124. 124
    Cpl. Cam says:

    I’m kinda with you, all the commemorative plates and coins are over the top and nauseating. But, ( and I don’t know if you read the conversation Glen Greenwald had with Jay Rossen, if you haven’t you should of course) if you look at the phenomenon through the perspective of Hallin’s diagram of three spheres you’ll see that, for the media at least, the blatent criminality of the Bush administration occupies the "sphere of deviance" and cannot be talked about.

    So what do you talk about if a conversation about the white elephant in the room is off limits? Obama I guess.

  125. 125
    Cpl. Cam says:

    The abrupt end of the Gaza conflict seems to reflect that.

    @cain

    If you are at all suprised the Gaza conficted ended just before the end of Bush’s term you are not as savy as you thought.

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