Static: Wednesday, January 21, 2009
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Oh Say, We Can See

Static, who, at least when it comes to writing, is generally quail-free, quails at the thought of summing up in any little piss-ant, 500-word column what Tuesday meant to this country and the world. How can you capture the importance of an event that set so many hearts at ease — including many Republican hearts of Static’s acquaintance — and applied balm to so many wounds?
What can you say about a speech that at times seemed to leave a million people or more (and those were just the numbers there in person, on the National Mall) breathless? (What you don’t say is any reference to Gerald Ford’s “long national nightmare is over” speech, referring to the dark days of Richard Nixon. A quick internet check shows that thousands of other people thought of that one first.)
What do you say when the President of the U-nited States stands up and says, in the kindest way possible, that the last emperor had no clothes and that his policies were about as morally threadbare as his invisible underpants?
“We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals,” Barack Obama said. Oh, please make it so.
“We will restore science to its rightful place,” he said. (Texas State Board of Education, are you listening?
“A nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous,” he said. Dick Cheney spun in his … oh, he’s still aboveground.
Obama even talked about poor people. Poor people in other countries.
“We are a nation of Christian and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and nonbelievers.” Oh my stars, he mentioned Muslims right after Christians. And then nonbelievers.
Those who manage the public’s money, he said, will be made to conduct their business “in the light of day.” Now, wouldn’t that just change the world right there?
In Fort Worth, the usually bustling West 7th Street seemed almost deserted during the speech, and Weekly staff writers reported difficulty in getting ahold of sources, who were glued to TV screens.
Cynics whose tear ducts have grown closed from disuse admitted to getting a little weepy. Those same cynics, embarrassed, are already looking for the slip-ups and failures of a new crew in the White House, and no doubt they’ll find them. But for the moment, there is de-foliage of Bush and lightness of heart. A world that has grown increasingly skeptical of a bullying, imperialistic America has seen this country reverse course and elect as its leader a black man with common sense and a Muslim name.
It’s a start.

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