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Sunday, January 18, 2009

That’s One Small Step for Obama, One Giant Step for Obama-Kind

While I’m all for celebrating the historic nature of the upcoming inauguration (and, for a day, ignoring the fact that our country chose the wrong guy to be president--but that sounds a bit churlish, doesn’t it?), the width and breadth of the coverage of the celebration has been a bit overwhelming. I can’t wait for the moment to be over so we can get to seeing what happens next.

But I’m afraid that celebration won’t be over after the inauguration has ended because the true believers are living in a moment far beyond the reality of the thing. In fact, like supporters throughout the election cycle, it seems that some believers are pressing their own priorities onto the blank template of Obama’s unformed presidency.

Barack Obama’s historic arrival at the White House Tuesday is “a major step” for of all humanity, Canada’s Haitian-born Governor General Michaelle Jean said Sunday on an official visit to the poor Carribean nation.

Jean told reporters Sunday that she thought Haitians would be deeply affected by “this new chapter being written” in the United States.

Jean, who moved to Canada at age 11, said the story of Obama’s rise to the US presidency is a part of a “continual story of empowerment.”

The election of African American “is a major step not only for the USA, not only for the world’s black population, but also for humanity,” she added.

“I think that without having met and talked to Mr. Obama, he knows very well Haiti’s story,” she said.

Well, it certainly sounds like she has reasonable and rational expectations.

Maybe I’m wrong, though. Maybe everyone will have their needs and expectations met by Obama. Maybe miracles happen.

And maybe Joaquin Phoenix will have a long and fulfilling career as a rap artist.

But I think that Victor Davis Hanson’s view is right (please read the whole thing):

All successful Presidents—FDR especially—used such multiple personalities [Again, please read the whole thing. -zb] to assure widely diverse audiences that he was “really” with them alone. But at some point, Obama, sans seal and columns, will have to establish his core values, understand that he can’t vote present, accept that 50% of the public will not only be angry with him, but often unfairly and impolitely be angry with him—and press ahead.

I continue to wish President Elect Obama good luck in the presidency. I hope that he shows wisdom and good judgement in his decisions and that our country is better for his presidency. More than that, in an immediate sense, I just hope to catch a glimpse of what he truly intends to accomplish and how he intends to lead us there. The campaign is over and it’s time to get beyond the vague promises of the campaign speeches.

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