Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Good luck finding anything on television today. Not that Inauguration Day doesn't deserve a little coverage, especially this one, the historical day Dr. King's dream comes true and blah, blah, blah. Honestly, the news media hyperbole dried up weeks ago, culminating in today's practically speechless awe toward now President Barack Obama's first official day in office. I caught a few minutes of Fox's network coverage (preempting my beloved Steve Edwards and Good Day, L.A.), and Shepard Smith's (or someone that sounded like him) commentary was practically golf-game in its hushed reverence. To paraphrase, he explained, "The eyes of the world are on America today, as it inaugurates its President in a way no other country does." In other words, we throw the biggest party . . . and why not? So long, Circuit City -- you've been replaced with the most successful brand name in recent history: Obama. Are we inaugurating a President or cutting the ribbon on a new Starbucks over there?

How much does Inauguration Day cost, anyway? I'm sure U2 and Bruce Springsteen didn't perform for free, and since tickets are supposed to be free, what covers the cost of logistical arrangement, broadcast preparations, additional security . . .? Of course, I'm asking these questions without doing a lick of research, which, in this context, would make me a great conservative talk show host. Point me toward the closest golden microphone!

I'm grateful Hilary Clinton didn't win (for many reasons), but chew on this: If Hilary was being inaugurated today, only two families would've held Presidential office since 1988, if you exclude Bush, Sr.'s two terms as Vice President. That's practically my entire lifetime, in an American led by only two families: the Bushes and the Clintons. Considering today's ceremony, I'd think less "Hail to the Chief" and more "God Save the Queen." Thankfully, change has come.

Indeed, I'm really as excited for President Barack Obama as the next guy, but I'm less interested in the house warming party and more in his getting to work. True change will be the day a Presidential nominee opts for less pomp in favor of dire circumstance, the day a politician holds up his hands and says, "This isn't about me. Now, where do I clock in?" This is the same day Dr. King's dream is so fulfilled, we don't even have to mention it anymore. Can we get there? Yes, we can . . . dream.

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