I, like many millions of other Americans was happy to see George W. Bush leave office and head home to Texas to resume his life as an ordinary citizen. But something bothered me in the way he departed. One of the first things I remember my parents’ teaching me was that I might not like a person in authority, but you have to respect that authority. So I was disheartened when President Bush was announced for the last time and was greeted by a chorus of boos and a version of “Take them to the Showers!”
To his credit, Bush kept his head high and for the first time in a long time he actually looked presidential. Although I suspect that he couldn’t wait to get on that plane and head home. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. And in passing that crown to Obama, Bush is now free to fuck up whatever endeavor he chooses to pursue next. Not that I wish ill will on the man but his record pretty much speaks for itself.
Being the president of the United States of America is perhaps the most difficult job in the world. Some are cut out for it, Bush was clearly not. In my humble opinion, Bush still has a lot to account for. First and foremost the illegal war in Iraq and the torturing of human beings. After all, the buck does stop with him. But the pragmatic part of me realizes that this will never happen.
But back to my original point; those who attended the inauguration should have shown a little more class. Not only was it an embarrassment for President Bush, it took a little something away from the swearing in of President-Elect Obama. I would have had the good taste to start singing na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye once I saw his plane flying over the Capitol.
Today is Martin Luther King Day and what a day it is. I can’t think of a more appropriate day leading into tomorrow’s inauguration of Barack Obama as America’s 44th and first African-American president. I think that Martin Luther King once said something to the effect that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were promissory notes for the future. Tomorrow, those notes start to pay off when a black man takes the oath of office at the Capitol built on the backs of slaves. Tomorrow, those notes pay off a little more when a black man moves into the White House built on the backs of slaves. Tomorrow will be a historic and wonderful day for our nation but we must not be lulled into a false sense that somehow everything is alright.
On this day of dreams, here are my dreams for 2009:
1. That there will be more black men in college instead of prison in the state of Florida.
2. That everyone will receive top quality health care regardless of their ability to pay.
3. That the federal government will bail me out of my college loans.
4. That Meredith Clark will not call for another critical inquiry concerning FAMU.
5. That there will be peace in the Middle East. (it’s a dream already)
6. That FSU finds its long lost offense.
7. That Chris Timmons moves to Alaska and is mistaken for a moose by Sarah Palin while blogging about how wonderful Calvin Coolidge was.
8. That the Bush twins water board their father in a drunken April fool’s day prank.
9. That Barack Obama can deliver.
10. That the world will learn to live as one!
The recent announcement that Pastor Rick Warren of the mega Saddleback Church will deliver Barack Obama’s inauguration invocation has the GLBT community up in arms. They have every right to be as do Atheists, Agnostics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and other practitioners of non-Christian religions that call themselves Americans. What happened to the principle of separation of church and state?
The inauguration of a newly elected president is clearly a state function and prayer has no business being involved in any aspect of the event. I even oppose the phrase “So help me God” at the end of the oath of office. Why can’t we separate religion from politics? Is an invocation even necessary? I can appreciate Obama reaching out to the evangelicals but why at the expense of another community? Pastor Warren likes to brag about how much his church has done for aids patients but that is a disease that is not exclusive to the gay community.
Warren was a strong opponent of California’s Proposition 8, which would have legalized gay marriage. I am not a get out and protest supporter of gay mariage but I am strongly in favor of allowing two consenting adults to do what they want. I am just disappointed that there will not be Gay Divorce Court on t.v. in the immediate future. He also compared gay marriage to incest and that is just plain nasty. Pastor Rick also slammed Islam calling its adherents puppets. And he is anti-abortion who doesn’t understand why God allows people to have children when they can’t raise them. It’s one word dumbass, “biology.”
This is the first time I have disagreed with Obama. I know that Pastor Rick will get up and just say God bless everything that breaths and then sit down. But if Obama truly wants to include everybody and you must have an invocation; couldn’t it be performed by someone who embodies the values that you believe in? Since you won’t replace Pastor Rick for the invocation, can we at least get Jeremiah Wright for the benediction?