Sunday, January 27

Congratulations, Senator.

It was a good speech, an uplifting speech. You have a lot of us on your train, Senator, but we're sitting in the last car talking to each other, not about hope or the future or fucking bipartisanship. We're not going with you that far, and here is why: Senator Obama, no matter how good it feels to rub ourselves with this:

We can't put this administration and its crimes behind us. Because what is happening in Guantanamo and Iraq and in the White House right this minute is NOT behind us, Senator. Not behind us.

(Thanks to Poetry Man for that.)

It's not behind us any more than lynching is, Senator. And you know it.

We're still prosecuting Klansmen and expressing outrage over nooses on Golf Magazines because that's the right thing to do. Crimes against humanity do not have an expiration date. And whether they're committed against the African American community, a community in Africa, or a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, the guilty must be brought to justice.

And by the way, that includes anyone implicated in the 9/11 crimes, too, Mister President. We had a justice system in this country before you took office. And if you say Osama bin Laden is the mastermind, you've had over two thousand days since your masterful reading of My Pet Goat to find the bastard, let alone bring anyone you've already locked up to trial.

And Senator Obama? Maybe I'm just a bitter old liberal hobo who has no business on your express. I don't look happy, and I have no fucking interest in looking electable. My flask is full of bitter swill, sure, and no one really wants to share it with me. I'm just stinking up your train...muttering to myself...ain't I, Senator? All about the past seven years...that if only I could just put all that behind's a shame...a waste of a good Democrat...I stink of my own pissed-off-ness, and could never join you in the club car for a round of Era-of-Good-Feeling Hope-and-Faith Cocktails.


  1. Anonymous11:51 AM

    So that's you stinking up the train car? I thought it was me!

  2. I must be drinking from the same flask...

  3. Thanks for the plug my friend.

    No. It is not behind is before is up to us whether it gets buried with "history" or taken out to the woodshed.

  4. Spot on, BG...'feel-good' politicking a la Ronald in the current cycle indicates shallowness to these jaded ears rather than the intended broad-spectrum empathy.

    Before there's another Morning In America, you all will have to face the Nightmare.

  5. Anonymous8:47 PM

    No one gives a speech like Obama. The let's work together message would have been really appealing, say, 8 years ago. Today? I want a fighter. Send in the trial attorney and make them squirm.

  6. Refreshing blog! I've heard for years we need a fighter; now all of a sudden we need to hold hands and sing kumbaya? And that Morning in America tape makes me think of vapid nauseous Peggy Noonan. Let's put the gloves on.

  7. Your grumbly cynicism is in good company, BG. Indeed I have many of the same doubts, concerns, and fears and had more of them until yesterday afternoon.

    Had all of you, this included BG and those who have left comments, heard Obama speak here in Birmingham yesterday, you would have had your doubts assuaged to a large degree.

    Rest assured, the gloves came off, the fighter came out, and the feel-good rhetoric was tempered with hard truths. There were parts that were funny. There were parts that were uplifting, but the overall message was sobering.

    When we all left the auditorium after having listened to him speak for an hour, few were smiling or shouting hosannas. Most were silent, contemplative, and pondering the message.

    I wish I could find a transcript to share.

  8. I'm with Pissed in NY...: If I can't have Kucinich, I'll go with Edwards. Obama's horrendously naive, if he thinks he can hit some light switch and all these repugs are suddenly going to get cooperative. Sorry sonny, it just ain't happenin'.

  9. Anonymous8:40 AM

    Pass the flask. I think quite a few of us are drinking from it.

  10. Pass that flask!

    I don't think Obama is as naive as some of his rhetoric sounds, but I agree with many other liberals - hey, can't he pander a bit to us since we're still in the primary? Praising Reagan in any form without forcefully pointing out how disastrous his policies were is deeply irresponsible, and seems to be a pretty naked pander to all the Reagan Democrats and those Reagan Republicans who realize Bush and all their candidates suck. There's a way to do it. It really is striking, though, how Clinton and Obama essentially run away from the liberal base, even in the primaries (and the MSM applauds them for it), while the GOP panders like mad to their most lizard-brain, diehard supporters.

  11. Comrade Kevin - Yes, O gives a great speech. But he needs to hone his debate skills. If he's the nominee, most people will be introduced to him in the debates and he needs to learn how to defend his previous votes and defend his positions. He stuttered and was not articulate in the last debate. He may be the best orator, but he's not our strongest candidate.

  12. Anonymous7:26 AM

    You are allowed to be angry and you are allowed to be cynical. But it is like taking care of kids, at the end of the day you are tired and annoyed with them, but becauae they will be there tomorrow needing you, you stay positive, optimistic and hopeful that the next day will be easier. I dont think he is naive, I think his perspective is a way of coping with this very complicated world.

    If you want to know what he is going to do, read his position papers, if you want to be inspired listen to him talk.

  13. Anonymous1:10 PM

    I agree with Elizabeth's comment. If want you want is principle, I think we've all got it. I difference rests in how to be an effective agent of change. What I'm learning about life as I get older is that making things happen does not take place in a vacuum. The reality is that in this country there are enough people out there who are going to resist change and resist progressive ideas to the extent that we may continue never to accomplish any good. As this continues, we will see more Bushs, more Clintons, more Reagans. The distinction I draw between Obama and Reagan is that... sure, Obama is willing to work with others who don't think like him, but he began his career fighting for justice on the streets. He simply comes from different stock than these other politicians. I see him as an agent of change who has taken to heart the old adage that 'in order to change the system, you have to work your way inside.'

  14. Excellent post, BG.


  15. Anonymous9:13 PM

    A most excellent post, BG. Most of the intertubes are so full of the creme of changiness, I thought i'd only dreamed the past eight years.


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