"I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear ... that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully."
--Chief Justice John Roberts, mis-administering the Presidential oath on Tuesday
In the moments following this verbal fumble, righties in offices as grand as the Fox News studios and as humble as home offices began with a narrative they couldn't possibly have coordinated: Obama's not the president. Certain elaborations to the analysis were inevitable: "who's Mr. Eloquent now?", "even Bush managed to get through the oath," etc. That it was Roberts, the textualist, who mangled the phrase because he was too vain to read it--this fact was less dwelt upon.
Righties are now the loyal opposition, and they're taking to it like fish to water. With their dark view of the world, colored by fear and resentment, their natural hatred of collectivism and governance, they were never much cut out for leadership. Theirs is a destructive instinct, and it functions so much more ably when they aim it at ruling Dems. They are barbarians, and they're happiest beyond the gates.
We liberals, on the other hand, are the collectivists. We are optimists and our world is colored by the creative instinct to build and grow and change. When I started blogging in the early days of January 2003 (we passed my 6th blogoversary on the 10th), the destroyers were ruling the country and preparing to unleash the dogs of war on the wrong country. In the light and promise of Obama, we sometimes forget how dark those days were. The Bush administration was doing its best to demonize and criminalize liberalism. Speaking against him was treasonous; those who didn't knuckle under were not existentially different from terrorists ("you're with us or against us"). The religious wing of the party was regularly condemning us to hell--literally.
This blog died long ago, lacking only the sense to fall over--I know that. It has expired not so much of old age but lack of purpose. In those days of Bush's panic-fueled popularity (70% when I started writing the blog), there was little else to do but blog. The Dems were completely useless appeasers; liberals had seen their infrastructure erode for 50 years. It seemed like being a witness was the most many of us could muster. And so witness I did, for 6 years. I enjoy a sense of vindication in seeing the Bush years end in humiliation and failure. The ignorance, arrogance, and viciousness that guided the country was, after all, ignorant, arrogant, vicious--and incompetent.
For 20 years I spent election cycles jumping on the wrong horse (Jesse Jackson, Tom Harkin, Nader, Nader, Kucinich/Dean). In May 2007 I jumped on yet another unlikely horse, but this long-shot came in. Obama's election was the repudiation of a governing philosophy in ascent my entire adult life. I started blogging during the Bush years, but he was just the terminal stage of the disease.
Obama, the antidote, has made the need to blog--or anyway the inclination--obsolete. I don't know what comes next, but brutalizing Muslim countries, blind, fascist partisanship, giving all our tax dollars to the rich, establishing moral codes of behavior, reveling in ignorance at the expense of experience and education--these things are done. America finally reached a level of toxicity and like a drunk vomiting his last three drinks into a toilet, we have disgorged the Republican Party from the body politic.
I don't know what comes next, and I don't assume I'll stay away from this blog. But I'm done with it for now and for awhile. When I've discontinued past blogs, I declare them dead. From this one I'm merely retiring, and like Brett Favre, I won't consider anything permanent. Maybe there's emeritus blogging in the future.
For those who stumble buy and actually see this--my thanks to you. We did it. Bush has been vanquished, so spectacularly that a black guy named Hussein was the only reasonable alternative. We did all right.