Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Flow Of History

Charles P. Pierce is a good writer; mostly he's funny and snarky, but once in a while he soars higher. I've linked to him before. Here's what he wrote (among many other posts, too) after the election. (The fact that it uses the same quote from Obama's speech that I did is coincidence, unless he reads me, a thing for which there is little evidence.) It starts with this, but it's worth reading the whole thing:

There is a story that they tell in Georgia politics about the first time that Barack Obama was inaugurated as this most improbable president of the United States. Shortly before the ceremony, they say, he met with John Lewis, the congressman and American hero who was nearly beaten to death on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama as he marched to demand the right simply to vote. The two huddled in the corner and the president-elect wrote something on Lewis's inaugural program. He walked away, and Lewis showed the program to the friends who had come with him. 
"Because of you," it said. "Barack Obama." 
Part of what drives people crazy about him — and if you wanted to see crazy, you should have seen the fugue state that overcame the Fox election all-stars last night, because I've seen jollier police lineups — is that he so clearly understands his own genuine historical stature, and that he wears it so easily, and that he uses it so deftly. It is not obvious. He does not use it brutally or obviously. It is just... there with him, a long and deep reservoir of violence and sorrow and tragedy and triumph out of which comes almost everything he does. He came into this office a figure of history, unlike anyone who's become president since George Washington.

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