Tuesday, November 11, 2008


As usual, The Onion demonstrates that satire is separated from truth by the thinnest and most permeable of membranes (if this isn't prescience, I don't know what is). I do indeed find myself re-entering the world of the living, tentatively, warily, toesomely testing the waters, if somewhat less pathetically than in the above video. My obsessive reading and re-reading of my favorite political blogs, while not entirely absent from my life, is more resistable; in fact, I sense less energy in them as well. Mine, too, for that matter.

I still want news; I'm still most interested in how the transition will unfold, whom the President-elect will pick for what positions. I look forward to his inaugural speech, and I anticipate with some anxiety the first few months of actual governing. I don't want to be disappointed in my belief that he'll be a pragmatist, searching for the best solutions from the best people, catering not too much to any political faction.

Mainly, though, for now there's a tremendous sense of relief, manifested in a certain lightness of foot. Ever take a long hike with a heavy backpack? Know that amazing feeling of lightness when you put it down, a literal feeling that you could float away? I guess it's sorta like that: as one who found the Bush presidency nearly unrelentingly leaden in its incompetence and disregard for the law and for reason and for us, there's a giddy joy in contemplating a government run by unapologetically smart and informed people. I don't deny that my glasses are erubescent: still, it's only the most partisan of dead-enders who could deny the difference in style and substance when listening to Obama speak, compared to his predecessor. How welcome, the sense of leaning forward to hear, as opposed to reaching to switch if off.

Are my expectations too high? No doubt they are, fueled by a longing to see things set right, and by the simple pleasure of feeling positive for a change. But I cling to the belief that if enough people demand it, our lawmakers might actually be forced, in numbers large enough to carry it off, to look beyond self and party. In this election, I sense the desire. It could happen. Couldn't it?


  1. "It could happen. Couldn't it?" Replace the rascals(and use of that label does not suffer from lack of supporting evidence)and things will be getting better,much better.As long as the incentives and restraints of the folks populating the governmental institutions remain essentially unchanged the transformative metamorphosis you yearn for will remain in the the category of "wouldn't it be nice to think so."

  2. As long as people hold onto the energy, it can happen.

    Also, I don't often see the word "erubescent."

  3. Sid wrote, "Are my expectations too high?"

    I hope not, but it is going to be a tough row to hoe with
    people like this

    I guess I still have a hard time understanding how so many people can ignore the travesty on our constitution, our right to privacy, starting a war, and the torture of prisoners, that has occurred over the past 8 years and then come up with stuff like this.

  4. Sid, I read your blog on surgery for a long time and truly enjoyed your insight. I wandered over here when you closed shop and relocated. I feel compelled to comment and let you know that perhaps this is a time for optimism. I say that because I'm a conservative, middle aged retired woman, and yet, I actualy feel very positive about what the next 4 years hold for us. I don't agree with everything Mr. Obama says but I think he's going to do a good job and I think things will get better, and we definitely needed a different direction. The Republican party no longer represents me. I'm a conservative, and yet-I'm pro choice, I support stem cell research, and I think gay people should be allowed to marry. The republican party lost me because they chose to pander to the extreme far right voters and to ignore me and all the other moderate conservatives closer to the middle of the road. I apologize for the long comment but I just wanted you to know-not all conservatives are hoping Obama fails. My guess is that most of us want him to succeed, and to succeed brilliantly.

  5. Very funny video, Sid. Thanks for posting it.

    How will I now fill my pathetically empty life?

    Let's see...

    I shopped at a new food market (Haggen's) yesterday. It's been open for years but I've never had the time.

    Two hours of swimming yesterday took care of the evening. More exercise! Everyone can use it!

    Walk the Washington Square Mall. I haven't been there in such a long time that they wrote me a letter and asked if I still wanted to receive their information.

    Contacting more (sane) bloggers. I've had to curb my argumentative "talkmaster" side and be more placid. It's better for my hypertension.

    I've volunteered at the local chapter of the Assistance League of Portland. They support dentistry for children in need. They might need some consignment store or office help.

    We're going to Palm Desert, Cathedral City, and Escondido, California for three weeks in December. Back just after the New Year. Of course, I will be watching the news to assess the people for whom I voted.

    What will you and your readers do to fill the political void?


  6. Sid,
    I allowed myself a brief period of euphoria, but I've settled down to earth. Oh, I'm mildly hopeful, but I don't underestimate the immensity of the problems Obama and his administration face. The problems are much, much larger than the assaults on the Constitution, our civil rights, our privacy, the two wars, etc. The financial disaster is just a harbinger of the tectonic shift in the way we humans are going to have to start living to survive on this planet. The notion that restoration of "growth" in the economy will solve the problem is simply wrong. We, the globe, doesn't need growth; it needs contraction. Growth is what's killing us and the planet.

    I do think that Obama is intelligent and agile enough to respond to these challenges, although I'd really like to hear what he thinks about these cosmic issues.

    What's not intelligent and agile enough is the American political system. I also do not underestimate the recalcitrance and obstructionism of people who hate him. Our own history as well as the larger history of humanity has not made me sanguine about future of bipartisanship.

    Have you any idea how many knuckleheads out there have already embraced Rush Limbaugh's latest calumny: "the Obama recession." Their name is Legion.

  7. baysage: I agree with you entirely. I've said many times that the model of the American economy -- the world economy -- based on continual growth and demand is doomed at some point, pretty much by definition.

    And I've said as well that I doubt our politics, as currently constituted, are able to deal with -- let alone even honestly enunciate -- real problems. The question, I guess, is whether the politicians might sometime catch up with the electorate who, I take it, have said in this election that they recognize the seriousness of our situation. Rush certainly doesn't, nor do his followers. There will always be plenty of them; likely too many for the realists to overcome.

    It might require that Obama actually be the superhuman that some think he is; which, of course, he isn't. But if he puts solutions above politics -- and he's the first in a long time even to suggest the possibility -- he could go a long way, even be re-elected. Maybe even effect change!

  8. On Nov. 5th I had a conversation with a co-worker who had supported John McCain. She was disappointed at the election results but said that as she watched the crowds in Chicago, New York, and across the country she too began to feel hopeful. Her comment, "I realized that Americans are inspired now, and when Americans are inspired we can't be stopped!" That's how we accomplished many great things in the past. And we have the chance now to start to mend...if we keep the inspiration going and work together. I believe it. Yes, we can.

  9. I'm right there with ya, Sid.

    Obviously, you're doing better than I am...I've only squeaked out one post in a week....and it had the Obamas in it.

    Perhaps I should get my house back in order...it's suffered in the pat several months. No really, it has.

    And, Christmas is coming, so I'd better get by butt in gear and finish up all my 'knitting for gifts' projects.

    I'm still on a high, though...and I can't wait for January 20th!


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