Nowhere to Bridge

9 Jan

In prepararation for the Inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama, bridges leading into the District of Columbia from Virginia will close at 2:00 a.m. on January 20.

Four bridges to close for Inauguration
The Washington Times

The Key, the 14th Street, Memorial and Roosevelt bridges will all be closed on January 20 when Barack Obama is sworn in as President of the United States at the Mall, making the commute from Arlington to the District, which is done by millions every day, a nightmare.
Read more.

Hype has been building for this day since before Election Day. Nothing personal.  Not me.

I’ve been to two Inaugurations.  My wife and I went to the Inauguration of George H. W. Bush in 1989.  We actually hadn’t planned to be at the ceremony, but we were visiting around the Cannon Building and congressional staffer friends gave us a pair of tickets.  As the Mrs. was four and a half months pregnant, after the ceremony we went to Bullfeathers and sat at the bar to watch the parade.  Later that evening we went to an Inaugural Ball at the Kennedy Center.  We’ve been there.  We’ve done that.

In 2001, I took my oldest son, then almost 12 to the Inauguration of George W. Bush.  It was a moment in history that he needed to experience.  Four living Presidents were in attendance.  Carter, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II.  Had the election turned out differently, I had planned to take my youngest, almost 9, to see President McCain and Vice President Palin sworn in.  But, in case you haven’t heard, it didn’t work out that way.

I guess you could say I’ve actually been to 2 1/2 Inaugurations.  In 1993 we took my Mom and Stepdad to the parade.  Or the parade route.  We did see the limos heading up to the Hill.  But it was bitterly cold, so we gave up on waiting for the parage.  We heard the broadcast of the ceremony, then headed home to get warm.  I didn’t get quite warm enough.  But I did get bronchitis.

I do understand the historic significance and the reason thousands, if not millions, of people want to be there for that day.  People who once found it difficult to vote, or even ride the bus, will see the first African American become President.

As much as I may disagree with the policies of the President-elect (at least the ones we can yet identify), his winning the White House brings to close a painful chapter, or several chapters actually, of our nation’s history.  No, we’ve not achieved racial reconciliation, but we’ve made great progress.

It’s been a long, slow journey.  For me, I started to school the first day schools were desegregated in my Southwest Virginia County.  To me, it was normal, I didn’t know any different.  In retrospect, I understand why others saw it as a big deal.  Years later, Virginia elected the nation’s first African American Governor and sent him to an office in the building that once served as the Capital of the Confederacy.

Now, in just a few days an African American man and his family will move into the White House, where not that long ago, his ancestors could have only entered as servants.

But this Inauguration has more than historic significance.  What we still don’t know is “can he lead?”

I’m hoping that I’m reading the news right and that the President-elect has had a few “Oh Snap!” moments in the briefings he has received.  And I hope that he’s realizing that his message of “Hope and Change” may have been enough to win an election, but it’s not enough to govern a country in difficult times.

Yet my hopes may be dashed in the next few weeks.  Today in an economic policy address, the President-elect said:

It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth, but at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe.

Only government can break the cycle that are crippling our economy…

International Herald Tribune:  Text: Obama’s speech on the economy

He’s from the government.  He’s here to help.

That’s not an economic policy Mr. President-elect.  It’s a punch line.

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2 Responses to “Nowhere to Bridge”

  1. Alex January 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    Cute that you take the time to type out Obama’s middle name while only using the initial for Bush’s. Stay true to your hysteria.

  2. Michael January 11, 2009 at 10:31 pm #

    The President-elect has chosen to use his full name when he’s nominated. And he’s indicated there’s no problem using it.

    If he doesn’t have a problem with it, it’s really irrelevant if you do.

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