Isn't it wonderful? We have elected the first African American president! Now we can all live happily ever after!
Think again. As Winston Churchill once opined, "This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end." This was at a crucial point in World War Two. He then went on to say, "This is perhaps the end of the beginning." While that might have been true for Britain in 1942, it does not apply to American Progressives in 2009. This is barely the beginning of the beginning. We've got a lot work ahead of us.
Electing President Obama was only the first step forward (That's assuming it even was a "Step forward". Please, Barack, don't go Clintonesque on us, okay?) Next to seeing to it that the Bush Mob are prosecuted and imprisoned for their crimes against humanity, our biggest job during the next eight years will be to make sure that the half-witted Right Wing ideology that has hijacked the so-called "party of Lincoln" for the last forty-five years is extinguished from America's national political dialogue forever.
This could very well mean the end of the Republican party as we know it - and that would not necessarily be a good thing - one party rule has historically led to disaster. But as has been said many times before, if that party does not undergo an extreme ideological face lift - and very soon - it will go the way of the Whigs and the dodo bird. Come to think about it, that would be a wonderful thing.
The people are starting to awaken to the fact that the last eight years were a disaster for this country. That's the good news. Here's the bad news: Most of them still believe Ronald Reagan to be one of our top five presidents - right up there with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The man whose economic philosophy is more responsible than any one's - even George W. Bush's - for the mess we now find ourselves in, is viewed by most of us as Saint Ronnie. How utterly stupid is that?
January 20, 2001 was the twelfth anniversary of the day Ronald Reagan mercifully left the White House. It was on that day that the dirty old dingbat's presidential papers were scheduled to be released historians for scholarly research. It never happened. Unfortunately for history that was also the day that the half-witted son of Reagan's vice-president became commander-in-chief. Within minutes of vowing "to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States", George W. Bush signed an unconstitutional executive order that sealed the Reagan papers, as well as those of his father's administration, forever.
It was George W. Bush's first act as president of the United States. Why did he do it? Obviously there was an urgency to do so. What made hiding the Reagan papers so urgent? It is obvious that there are things - many, many things - they do not want the public to know about. What the American people need to understand, what we must teach them, is that the administration of Ronald Wilson Reagan was the second most corrupt in American history. The reason they resorted to such desperate measures to install Dubya in the Executive Mansion in 2000 (stealing an election is certainly an act of desperation) is because the very last thing Poppy Bush wanted was to have the felonies he committed between 1980 and 1988 revealed for all to see. When his ne'er-do-well kid was selected by an ideologically dysfunctional Supreme Court, the deal was set in stone. History, for the time being anyway, would be locked away from prying eyes. We should demand that President Obama reverse that order.
I know this sounds a tad totalitarian but I can't, for the life of me, come up with a better word. Forgive me but America needs to be re-educated - not with propaganda but with the truth. In an excellent piece, David Michael Green wrote the following:
"This president - and indeed the entire movement of regressive politics these last three decades (which I refer to as Reaganism-Bushism) - can only be properly understood as class warfare. Its purpose was never to make America a better place. Indeed, if we define America as a country belonging to its 300 million inhabitants, then the purpose was actually precisely the opposite. The mission of this ideology was in fact to diminish, if not impoverish, the vast bulk of these citizens so that the already massively wealthy among them could become obscenely wealthy."
The point Green was making is that viewing the Bush Mob as a bunch of incompetent, prat falling, frat boys is missing the point. The fact is this is one of the most successful administrations in history - for the purposes they were seeking. They sought to loot our national treasure. They sought to damage and destroy the fundamental structures put into place seventy-six years ago by the New Deal. They sought to distract our attention in the so-called "war on terror" by illegally invading the (Deal with it) sovereign nation of Iraq. They sought to make the already insanely rich, disgustingly rich. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Their success is our ultimate failure.
I love you, tomorrow!
You're always a day away!
The inauguration of Barack Obama tomorrow as the fory-fourth president of the United States might very well be the dawn of a new age of progressive enlightenment for this country - or it will be a mere fluke of a detour down the road of America's economic suicide. If the citizens of this troubled, nutty republic had much of an understanding of their history, they would not consistently - foolishly - continue down that road. As was once said (and Damn! I wish I could remember who the hell said it!) "Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it" - or words to that effect. Hopefully President Obama will be able to redirect our national purpose. We shall see.
As I write these words, the small black and white TV in my office/kitchen is tuned to MSNBC's Morning Joe. Pegging Noonan, noting the festive mood on the eve of Barack's inaugural, just made the statement, "This is just like Ronald Reagan's inauguration in 1981. People are dancing in the street!" That's not true - that's not even close to being true. While there was a lot of dancing going on twenty-eight years ago tomorrow, all the dancing was going on inside ballrooms at private, closed-to-the-public parties. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the dancers were white. The overwhelming majority of them were wealthy. That's the big difference between 1981 and 2009. Remember that.
by Robert Kuttner