Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Barack Obama Elementary School

Ludlum Elementary School in Hempstead, NY might be the first to rename itself for Barack Obama. The students developed a grassroots consensus, brought it to the school board and the board, in another national first, said “Hey, why not?”, and just did it.  The school is in an almost entirely African American and Latino community. It’s the sort of place where nowadays a little kid crying because he doesn’t want the doctor to give him a shot or something is now being told, “Hush up! Do you think Barack Obama would cry about a thing like that?” and so forth. I spend a workday or so a week in Hempstead and just this past week I had to stop myself from telling two twenty-something young men, “Barack Obama wants you to pull your pants up over your underwear.” I didn’t say it, because I actually didn’t know the two guys and it wasn’t exactly my business, but you can bet they hear it from their Moms.

Needing an Intervention

I have to swear off Transition Watching.  The election is over. The good guy won. As perilous as our situation is, we had to wait for eight years to get a really smart president  and a few more weeks won’t kill us. Probably. I guess. In any case, obsessing over every rumor that leaks out about the upcoming Obama administration is not a productive use of time. Unless you’re cable news. Then it definitely works for you. It only works because there are millions of us who are so starved for good governance that we’ll tune in and absorb every unsubstantiated tidbit they’ll throw at us – as in Hillary either will or will not be Secretary of State.

Of course there’s also the other sideshow that’s going on – the Republican rending of garments and gnashing of teeth – well that’s just mandatory fun. There have been approximately 432 articles written in the past week by Republicans describing the various ways in which the GOP is screwed. I think my favorite article today was The Center-Right Nation Exits Stage Left, by Tod Lindberg, a fully credentialed conservative. 

We are now two elections into something big. This month’s drubbing is just the latest sign that the country’s political center of gravity is shifting from center-right to center-left. Republicans who fail to grasp this could be lost in the wilderness for years.

From your keyboard to God’s ears, Mr. Lindberg. I’m taking nothing for granted, but you have to get your gloat on when you can and there might never be a better time. 

Still, there has to be a  little time for life. For blogging, for housework, for friends, for getting work done during office hours. Not necessarily in that order. I know for sure that I’m not the only one in this fix, though. I bet that a significant portion of the population needs to kick this habit. I can do it.  I know I can.  It’s a matter of keeping things in perspective. There’s more to life than politics.

By the way,  it’s less than two months ’til the Obama trading cards hit the stores!

OK, this is beginning to look good

Seeing that John McCain has conceded and all, and Obama has been projected to win 338 electoral votes as of this moment it might be safe to exhale. McCain gave one of the most best and most gracious concession speeches ever. If he’d run that way tonight might have turned out differently. Thank you for that, Senator. And  to Sarah Palin – Suck it Sarah.  If we never hear that really annoying voice inciting hate again it’ll be too soon.

And another  Suck it to the guy that Mr. Yenta encountered in a deli this morning. The guy was talking to someone in there about the election and said, very audibly, “In the end, everyone will pull the white lever.” 
“White lever? What the fuck is the white lever?”, Mr. Yenta inquired.  

“Yeah, the white lever!” the guy explained, in a mildly threatening manner. 

So to that guy all the knuckle draggers who think like him – Suck it!

And a big Thank You to Barack Obama and the legions of people who accomplished this thing. And well wishes for dealing with the incredible set of problems that the Bush administration has left behind.

Oh, almost forgot – a huge Suck it to each and every PUMA that’s still prowling around.

Signage

We’ve been away a bit lately, visiting with friends. We’ve been in upstate New York a bit, but mostly in Western Massachusetts.  Western Mass is a good place to be in the Autumn and it’s even better in big election years if you happen to be a Democrat. Along with the gorgeous foliage there are Obama/Biden yard signs lining almost every street, or so it seems. And I’m not sure it’s entirely legal to drive without at least one of their stickers on your car. We were cool. We have a couple on the car.

You don’t see nearly as many political bumper stickers on Long Island, ever, for anyone as you do once you get a little north of NYC. Maybe it’s just too cynical here for that, or maybe people worry about messing up their cars.  We can’t  touch Massachusetts, but we do seem to have more than usual this year. The ones I have seen have been mostly Obama’s.  I’ve only seen one or two for McCain. On the other hand, we have many fewer yard signs than is normal for an election year and the ONLY ones I’ve seen in predominantly white neighborhoods are for McCain.  The polls say that our two counties are going to go heavily for Obama, but I think that people in our white suburbs are a little afraid to advertise that on their homes and I think it’s because they’re afraid of retailiation from unhinged racists.  Maybe there’s not so much to worry about, though, since Obama’s even made inroads into the racist demographic

As encouraging as that is, it’s still going to be a long, long two and a half weeks.

Waiting for the word

The world is officially divided between those who are breathlessly waiting to find out who Obama has chosen as his running mate and those who aren’t. Right now the smart money is on Biden, but the smart money could look really dumb by tomorrow. I don’t there being such anticipation over the Veep choice in the past.  A lot of the time the general reaction has just been, “Who?”  In Democratic administrations the office of VP has been sort of low key more often than not.  The vice-presidential arena is one area where Republicans have been more colorful on the whole, culminating with the Prince of Darkness himself, Dick Cheney. You can’t really top that. No point in anyone trying. Of course, George H.W. Bush gave us Dan Quayle, who we thought was pretty stupid until we got to know Dubya. Thanks Bush family.

We don’t want to forget Spiro Agnew, though. Although he’s overshadowed by the memory of Richard Nixon, the president he served he was very entertaining while we  had him. He gave us the memorable phrased, “Effete core of impudent snobs” and “Nattering nabobs of negativism”. Sadly,  after uttering a less original, but still elegant, phrase – “Nolo contendere” he left the stage even earlier than Nixon did.

LBJ was quite the character,  but the Kennedy family filled he spotlight while JFK was alive. Since then, on the Democratic VP side we’ve had Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and Al Gore before he got really mad. Lovely people, I’m sure, but not very colorful.  I think we should step it up a little. That argues for Biden, because even though he’s certainly qualified to be president and has foreign policy smarts, tons of experience and sufficient intellectual heft he also might say almost anything at any time. It’d make things even more interesting.

Right now it’s looking like we won’t get the word until tomorrow. If it’s Biden I hope that Obama mentions that Biden appears to be clean and is often articulate – some say it’s more like loquacious – when he announces his choice.

Karl Rove’s Next Talking Points

Coming to a Fox News show soon: Yes, Obama seems to have a great family now, but what would happen if Michelle met with an accident that cause her to be disfigured in some way or to gain weight? You can tell just by looking at him that Obama’s the kind of guy who’ll leave her and the kids and marry an anorexic heiress. Probably a martini heiress.

Next up: You can tell just by looking at him that if Obama had a temper problem and if he was a dick he’d call his new heiress wife (see above) ugly names in public. You can tell just by looking that he’s the kind of guy that would do that if he were an entirely different person.

Do we want to take a chance on a guy would we can see just by looking might behave that way if he’d made different choices, had a different temperament and values and was living a different life than the one he has? Do we?

Could Bob Barr Matter?

Bob Barr is positioned to be a factor in the 2008 election, or so some say.  Welcome to our world, GOP. I don’t know how much a difference Barr will make come November but I know where he could buy space on some billboards.  We were in Central Florida just over a week ago. If you drew your conclusions just from what you saw in that particular spot you would have had to assume that Ron Paul was the runaway frontrunner. Huge billboards proclaiming his virtue were spaced along the main thoroughfare, mixed in with others that endorsed variously: Jesus, tourist attractions, medical centers and X-rated superstores.  Bob Barr would look just fine on the billboards previously occupied by Ron Paul.

McCain was represented on the roadside as well, but not in commercial space. There was a one-man grassroots effort going on every day. The one man in question looked like he’d taken a leave from his regular gig  as one of those “The End is Near” guys in a New Yorker cartoon. He was covered in hand lettered McCain signs.  The endorsement seemed sincere. It’s value is less clear. Other than that, the only signs I saw that an election was coming up were a couple of bumperstickers. Both of them were for Obama. So, I hope that Bob Barr puts some effort into Florida. There seems to be some opportunity for him there.