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January 13, 2009

New Tomdispatch


In a Dark Valley
Barack Obama's Inaugural Address

(By Tom Engelhardt)

In my lifetime, presidents have regularly come before you, the American people, proclaiming new dawns or hailing this country as a shining city upon a hill, an example to the rest of the world. But on this cold, wintry day, I hardly need tell you that we seem to have joined much of the rest of the world in an increasingly shadowy, sunless valley.

We -- not just we Americans but all of us -- are living in a world in peril, one in which we have far more to fear than fear itself. And don't imagine, having just taken the oath of office on the Bible Abraham Lincoln laid his hand on in an earlier moment of national crisis, that I don't have my own fears about the task ahead. I can't help but worry whether my abilities are up to challenges, which would surely have been daunting even to a Washington, a Lincoln, or a Roosevelt.

Nonetheless, you elected me. You have, I know, invested your hopes in me in these trying times. And fortunately, I sense that you are at my side now and will, I hope, remain there, encouraging and criticizing, praising or chiding as you see fit, through the worst and, with luck, the best of times. I'm thankful for that. Without your support, your wisdom, what could I hope to accomplish? We -- and in this presidency, when I use that word, I will mean you and me, not the royal "we" to which American presidents have become far too attached -- we can, I think, hope to accomplish much, but only if we're honest with ourselves.

The rest.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at January 13, 2009 06:04 PM

Hang on...lemme search for just the right response to this bit of pwoggie-bloggie political fantasy.

Oh, here we go.


Posted by: AlanSmithee at January 13, 2009 06:16 PM

Words that would be considered unkind truths at best, uttered by the ultimate politician of our time. He he. He's just as likely to end it with "Guards seize them!".

Posted by: tim at January 14, 2009 12:13 AM

When I encounter the word 'pwoggie' in a comment, I stop reading right there.

Posted by: Nell at January 14, 2009 11:28 AM

OMG Nell didn't read my comment. I'm crushed. Really.

Posted by: AlanSmithee at January 14, 2009 12:35 PM

AlanSmithee: Keep laugh like that and the New President will be a Blackman.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 14, 2009 02:49 PM

Given your tremendous personal charm, Alan, I can't imagine why millions haven't flocked to your vision of a better society.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at January 14, 2009 03:06 PM

Well of course the sole intent of everything I write is to persuade people to adopt my point of view. Gosh, you sure have put me in my place Jon. Again, I'm crushed. Really.

Posted by: AlanSmithee at January 15, 2009 07:15 AM

Well of course the sole intent of everything I write is to persuade people to adopt my point of view.

I've always assumed that the sole intent of everything that Alan Smithee writes is to persuade people to adopt the point of view that Alan Smithee is an asshole.

Mission accomplished, Alan.

Posted by: SteveB at January 15, 2009 07:00 PM