Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Audacity of Hope

by Father

The mood on Election Night at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, after McCain's concession speech, turned ugly.  McCain's supporters continued to smear Obama, accusing him of planning to "turn us into a Western European socialist state," and wanting "to bankrupt the coal industry," among other things.

It's unbelievable to think that the Republicans, after eight years of the disastrous Bush Presidency, thought they deserved four more years in power.  Now that's audacity.

And how ironic it was for Bush, as one of his final and finest achievements, to bankrupt America in the closing months of his administration.  This hardly trumps his other great works, but it comes close.  What did you expect from a man who bankrupted just about every other business he ever owned?  (The one exception was the Texas Rangers baseball team.  Still, they have remained perennial losers, just like their former owner.)

The Republicans were thoroughly whipped across the country.  After big losses in the House and Senate, one lucky re-elected Republican congressman on TV, when asked how the GOP plans to regain power said, "The Republican Party has to get back to it's grass roots."  I hear the expression, "grass roots," and immediately have visions of dumb cows grazing in a field.  By "grass roots," are they talking about the GOP traditional values that we have all come to love, like racism, hypocrisy, government-hating, gay-bashing, ultra right wing conservatism, and xenophobia?  Or, do they have some new tricks up their sleeves?  I can hardly wait to see!

Just for fun, I checked the definition of "conservative" in the dictionary.  "Conservative:  Tending to favor the preservation of the existing order and regard proposals for change with distrust."  Now we know why the Republicans lost the elections.  They were trying to preserve the George Bush existing order.

The best Republicans can hope for from President Obama is that "as president, he should govern from the center," as they keep saying on Fox News.  May I suggest that he governs as he campaigned:  as a true Liberal, from the left of center.  It's time for bold new ideas and policies.  It's time for universal health care, for re-regulation of financial institutions, for the promotion of world-wide birth control, for the protection of individuals' rights to privacy, and for saving our environment and natural resources,  Oh, and I almost forgot, how about promoting world Peace instead of world Hate.  That would be a novel change, wouldn't it?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Jesse Jackson's Tears

by Daughter

When I watched the MSNBC electoral map turn blue on Tuesday night, I was elated.  When John McCain gave his concession speech, I was moved.  And when Barack Obama addressed the crowd in Grant Park, and us, on our couches across America, I was overwhelmed.

But nothing that evening held such power for me as seeing Jesse Jackson's tears.  It's impossible to know the totality of the feelings behind his tears; were they joy, mixed with envy, sadness, disbelief, and hope?  Were they the release of a lifetime of frustration and anger? Perhaps they were filled with regret for things he said about Obama along the way.  Sometimes you just don't know how you are going to feel about something until it actually happens.

I certainly didn't know how I was going to feel.  I didn't vote for Obama because he was a black man, but I became proud of our nation that he is.  I didn't vote for him because I thought he would change the world but now I believe we, the people, have the power to.  And I didn't vote for him because he gave good speeches, but now I realize how much they inspired me, not to see the good in him, but to see the good in me.

As I watched Tucker Carlson the following morning going on and on about how upset he is with the media for gleaning anything historic from the result, I thought that Jesse Jackson's tears were probably also mixed with the worry that some things never change. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

George Bush: The Great Uniter, Not the Divider

by Father

After almost eight years of broken promises and lies, Bush finally fulfilled one of his inaugural promises from the year 2000.  It took a landslide victory by Barack Obama and a humiliating defeat of the inane McCain to finally bring this country together.  By any standard, that looks a lot like UNITY to me.  I'm not sure that's what George had in mind, but it works for me.

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.  Barack Obama must have been bone tired from a year of campaigning and a very long Election Day, but there he was, in front of 100,000 cheering, emotional supporters, giving the best speech of the entire campaign, if not the last two or three decades.  It was an emotional, memorable moment, one that we'll be reminiscing about for years, as in "Do you remember what you were doing the night Barack Obama gave that speech in Chicago after he won the Presidency?"

God, can that man give a speech.  Beautifully written, brilliantly delivered, with no animosity or anger.  How about the "presence" he brings to the stage?  And does that guy look better than just about anybody in a blue suit and red silk tie?  One can only wonder how Barack can top this with his inauguration speech on January 20.  I noticed that he didn't drop a single "g" when he was speaking on Tuesday night.  Out on the stump, he sometimes lapsed into a more casual style of talking.  The only "g" that got dropped on Tuesday night was the Big "G" in the White House.  One commentator even said "George Bush is nowhere in sight tonight."  

Bush has now become as irrelevant as yesterday's newspaper, the one with which you line the bottom of the bird cage.  The newspaper that's so covered with "doo" that it has to be put in the trash rather than the recycle bin.

Out here in California, the night was not completely joyful.  Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in the state, won, and thus one segment of our society loses the right that the rest of us can enjoy:  "the right to happiness."  In a sad twist of irony, some experts are saying that this proposition passed because of the massive number of African American and Hispanic voters who turned out to vote for Obama.  This group of Californians may have been heavily proselytized by their socially conservative religious leaders in church.  Two groups of minorities who have for centuries suffered discrimination and intolerance may have turned against the equally long suffering gay community.  

Go figure.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Am I dreaming?

by Daughter

I can hardly believe it's true.  How exciting the possibility that a Democrat has won the presidency!

Me: I'm so excited, when will we know it's official?

Hubby: What do you mean "official?"

Me: You know, how long will it take to do the recount?

Hubby: What recount?

Me: You know, the recount they do when the Democrat wins!

Hubby: Are you high on crack?

Me: You know, when Gore won the election, we had to do that recount and then Bush became the president.

Hubby: We're not doing that this time.  Obama is the president.

Me: You mean no hanging chads, Supreme Court, and all that?

Hubby: Yes, you can go ahead and be happy now.

Pinch me!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

About Us

We are a father-daughter blogging team that is very happy to say "bye-bye" to our outgoing president.  We survived the Bush years and are now happy to have our turn, the Obama years.  No longer wanting to bury our heads in the sand, we are happy to watch, listen, read, and blog about it.


I'm a 71 year old, retired architect who is proud to have been a long-time liberal since the day I left home to attend UC Berkeley and said "goodbye" to the ultra-conservative, fundamentalist Christian upbringing of my first 18 years.

Don't get me wrong, I loved my father, a successful Christian church minister, and also my mother, a generous and loving mother and registered nurse.  I had a wonderful childhood in a small farming community in California, and loved the carefree life filled with laughter, swimming, and baseball.  My parents, who didn't have much to begin with, were the most generous people in the world.  

But living in such a conservative household was like having a giant C-clamp on my head that was periodically being given an ideological tightening, mentally very painful.

Since my years at Berkeley, I've watched the gut-wrenching events of the Kennedys' assassinations, the killings of Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers and the Freedom Riders, Lyndon Johnson's Vietnam War, the chaos of the 60's, the incompetence and resignation of Nixon, and finally, the horror of the last eight Bush years.

Now, I feel like I'm witnessing a new day, and the clouds of gray seem to have a slightly silver lining to them.  Let's hope America, with the election of Barack Obama, has turned away from that old conservative ideology that repeats the mistakes of the past.


I'm a 44-year-old, unapologetic Democrat living in one of those "anti-American" pockets of America along with all my cultural elite friends and family.  (Although I do have some backwoods fundamentalist relatives--they live close by in the "pro-American" part of this state over in the foreclosure capital of the U.S.)

I spent this election nervous the whole time, even with double digit leads in the polls.  I comforted myself by forcing myself to think "if those 47 million uninsured Americans don't have the sense to vote in their self-interest, to hell with them."  You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them think.

And then look, my whole faith in common sense was restored!

Will the next four years end these wars, restore our image in the world's eyes, put our economy back on track, and raise Americans' hopes for their future and their children's futures?  We certainly have newfound optimism.

We're going to blog anonymously so we won't feel so bad when the nut-jobs come out of the woodwork to attack us, after all, we might be related to some of them!