Words cannot adequately describe waking up today knowing we have a new president. At first today felt like just another day where our president was George W. Bush. But, he is gone, gone, gone and it still seems surreal to me. It is hard for me to contextualize a country not being led by Bush and Cheney, but here we are with a new reality and to borrow an ad tag-line from McDonalds, “I’m lovin’ it.”
After watching both President Barack Hussein Obama and Vice President Joseph Robinette Biden sworn into their respective offices, it was at that moment in time where Bush became the past whose actions will be felt for years to come.
Even our new president, Barack Obama indicted Bush swiftly in his inaugural address, so that history will have that on record. While I do opine that Bush did not care one bit of what our new president was saying, he had to just sit there and take it on the chin in front of the 1.8 million gathered and the billions who viewed it from close and afar.
As both former President Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney were dismissed from duty and seeing Bush take off on Executive One which is only called Marine One when the current and sitting president is aboard, this was the moment so many were waiting for including yours truly.
I kept saying to myself, “Bush is gone” over and over. How is it that after eight long and arduous years one cannot even wrap their brain around the day he is dismissed constitutionally? While eight years seems like a brief moment in time if compared with all human history, for many it dragged on. Even saying former President Bush with the emphasis on former will take time getting used to.
Even as the festivities of this new day started, it was announced almost immediately the new Obama administration halted all regulations put forth by Bush until they could be reviewed.
According to Reuters the regulations include "carrying of concealed weapons in some national parks and prohibiting medical facilities from receiving federal money for discriminating against doctors and nurses who refuse to assist with abortions or dispense contraceptives based on religious grounds."
Another significant act coming from the Obama administration was calling for a halt to the prosecutions currently taking place in Guantanamo Bay.
CNN reported, "in the interest of justice and at the direction of the president of the United States." It seeks a delay in proceedings until May 20.”
Granted, many of those currently being detained such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are actual threats against this nation, we as a country should abide by the Constitution. While some think the closing of Guantanamo Bay can take place instantaneously, in reality it cannot. President Obama and his administration face many complexities and this is where patience by those calling for the closing of this camp should give the new administration some breathing room.
The above actions taken by this new administration are important and they do send a powerful signal to we the people that the Bush years are finally over with.
If ever there were a sign we have embarked on a new journey was seeing a vibrant new president in Barack Obama juxtaposed to the image of our former Vice President Dick Cheney in a wheel chair. While his injuries were caused by moving boxes, just seeing him in that wheel chair, he looked broken and frail.
Now the real work begins as the AP reported that President Obama entered the Oval Office today to meet with his economic advisors as well as his military advisors.
While we as a country have been battered by former Pres. Bush, "The Associated Press-Knowledge Networks survey found that by a 3-1 margin, people feel more optimistic about the country's future now that Obama has been inaugurated, including 30 percent of Republicans."
As of now, Senator Hillary Clinton has yet to be confirmed as our incoming Secretary of State and Tim Geithner is set for his confirmation hearings today. It is extremely important for the senate to confirm these two appointments made by President Obama. He will need all of the tools available to him to help jump start the economy and to quell the hot-spots overseas. When we the people voted for President Obama in a land-slide victory, we should have little patience with the senate in dragging out these confirmations.
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