November 8, 2008

Obama's Game Face

Like many people, I'm still awed by Barack Obama's historic election to the presidency, and having spent the past couple of years venting my spleen over the terrible conduct of the Bush Administration (and how good will it feel to stop writing the words "Bush" and "administration" next to one another?), it's likely that I will take a small breather, posting shorter posts here at Sensen No Sen for a week or two. Nonetheless, here are a few things I thought worth sharing.

The first is the series of photos at left [h/t April Winchell], taken at the Obama post-election rally in Chicago's Grant Park. With the Obama presidency, there will be whole generation of kids - including these two - who will grow up having had a black president, and while that fact will in no way erase the ongoing, institutional racism in America, it is unquestionably a step in the right direction. Suddenly, something that seemed like an insurmountable obstacle - something that just couldn't occur - has happened, and it can't help but change us as a people.

Another thing I found striking during Senator Obama's speech was the contrast between his demeanor and that of the crowd. There were jubilation and tears and joy among the assembled, but aside from a few quick smiles that appeared directed at close friends, the president-elect was deeply serious, perhaps even moreso than he had been during the campaign. In sports parlance, he already had his game face on, and that's something that makes me feel good about my vote.

On a personal level, I would have liked to see the president-elect enjoy the moment of his accomplishment, to see him smile broadly. But the more I reflect on it, the more I have come to appreciate that the next man to occupy the Oval Office clearly understands that the election itself was only step one, and that there are challenges facing this country every bit as historic as his political ascent. The manner in which he has hit the ground running in the days following the election have only confirmed my opinion, and for me, while the election of the first black man to the Presidency of the United States of America is truly amazing, what matters even more is that we have a disciplined, pragmatic leader who is serious about taking on the monumental issues confronting our nation.

Finally, take a glance at this post from Bill Wolfrum. It satirizes beautifully the utter, craven stupidity of the Republican arguments against electing Barack Obama. (Warning: Like a lot of good comedy, it's a little profane.) After you've had a moment to savor it, pause and reflect how wonderful it is that we have marginalized the moronic screwheads, idiot racists and hysterical fear mongers of the hardcore rightwing by our vote on Tuesday. Whatever happens in the next four years, at the very least, the orgy of accusation and self-destruction that the Republican Party has just begun visiting on itself will not only be tremendously enjoyable to watch for anyone who has observed, with knotted stomach, what the GOP has done to our country, but it will also have very little effect on the business of the nation.

And that, is a very good thing, indeed.

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