While I think a growing populist rage is indeed possible in this country at this point, I don't quite think we're there yet -- and I really don't think most Washington politicians would know how to ride that wave even if it did appear. Because, from Obama on down, Democrats know how to stoke the fires of populist rage, but what they propose doing about it usually falls far, far short of what I would call "populism."
Archive of Articles for January, 2009
News from Iraq has seemingly slowed to a trickle, due to most of America wanting to turn the page and move on. But an item which appeared today in the Washington Post shows that the Iraqi government is not wasting any time in asserting the prerogatives of true sovereignty which they gained on the first of this year. Even in the midst of an Iraqi election (or perhaps because of the impending vote), Iraq announced that the security company Blackwater Worldwide will not be getting a renewal of their license to operate in Iraq this year.
Sarah Palin is the goose that just keeps laying golden eggs, so to speak, and the Republican National Committee seems astonishingly clueless when it comes to capitalizing on Palin's star power. I mean, this is supposed to be the party of free enterprise, making lots of money, and fatcats in general. And yet, a little girl has to show them how to make money? In an Obama-esque spirit of reaching across the aisle, I would like to rub their noses in it.
Our new president has had a pretty good first week in office. In his "first 168 hours" (for those of you who love arbitrary timelines for the "honeymoon" period), he has made good on quite a few campaign promises, sent an envoy to the Middle East on a "listening tour," and pushed his stimulus package in Congress. All around, an impressive first week by any standard.
Everyone rooting for President Obama to enact his agenda into law should get to know the following two names: Senator Olympia Snowe and Senator Susan Collins. These two women are going to be the most important Republicans in Washington for the next two years. Because they're going to be first on the Democrats' speed dial, whenever there is an important bill coming up in the Senate.
The swearing-in ceremony itself, and the opening acts which proceeded it were the best thing, capped by Barack Obama's oath of office.
[Note: This page is nothing but my photos of the Inauguration and our trip to see it. For those with slow connections or slow browsers, be warned it may take a while to load. Part 5 of the Inauguration story will be posted later today. Thank you for your patience.]
Because Obama's Inaugural speech was indeed masterful. When he started speaking, I was thinking "which line will be the one everyone focuses on?" In other words, which line will be the "nothing to fear but fear itself" or "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" moment? Both of those lines are from previous inaugurations, so what would be remembered from Obama's speech?
[Note: Part 1 and Part 2 ran in a separate article earlier.]
It has been pointed out to me by a commenter to Part 2 of this report that I was being unduly critical of the sound guys, as HBO was the one to screw up both the video/sound sync and the dead microphone for the [...]
[Update: Second installment of this article has now been added, below.]
Barack Hussein Obama's oath of office was indeed inspiring to hear, if a bit flawed in the execution. Both he and the Chief Justice seemed to have an attack of nerves, and they both wound up blowing their lines. For me, though, the [...]