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1.18.2009

You're icky and that's sad.

I don't normally do any sort of political posting.  I simply don't have time to brush up on stuff like I used to pre-toddler.  Point is, if you read past this paragraph, and you get pissed off, don't say you weren't warned. 

This coming Tuesday is going to be a big day in the history of this great country.  And regardless of how you voted, you can't help but admit that it's exciting times.  For once, in our life times, we get to be a part of a huge moment that didn't involve the death of millions of people.  Or of Brad and Angelina adopting another shade of kid.

That being said, Barack Obama is just a man.  Regardless of the color of his skin, he is not going to cure the economy, he is not going to stop the fighting, he is not going to banish unemployment, and he is not going to house the homeless.  Sure, he may take steps towards that, but realistically, until he is in office for more than just one term, those steps won't even begin to matter.  The economy ebbs and flows, the wars will continue, the unemployment will fluctuate, as will the homeless numbers.

I mention all of this because of the outpouring of...well, complete and utter bullshit his presidency is starting off with.  I'm sorry, but travelling the same path Abraham Lincoln took the capitol via train for four days?  Seriously?  Not to mention the number of inaugural things and parties and blah blah blah that will go on on the 20th.  Exactly how much money is being dumped into this?  And out of curiosity, how is it AWFUL for a financial institution to take it's leaders on a retreat costing several hundreds of thousands of dollars, but perfectly acceptable for the same man who abhorred that specific kind of action to spend hundreds of MILLIONS of dollars on winning of a popularity contest?  Has it crossed the mind of the man who is going to take the reigns of the United States of America that his kick-off festivities are currently projected at running TWICE that of the bail-out?  

Look, I won't deny it.  I voted for McCain.  And sure, that is probably going to make me just a tad more cynical of the actions our new president takes once in office (and apparently in the days before).  That being said, despite the fact that I didn't vote for him, I hope he succeeds as president.  Regardless of who is driving, I'm still in the car, and I'm not going to wish for his failure simply because I didn't vote for him.  

But so far?  So far it's not looking good. 

8 comments:

christina said...

Okay, just so you know, I'm speaking as someone who marched in the inaugural parade for Bush's 2nd term and was a part of the "bullshit" parties that surround every president's inauguration. Because that's all they are, a bunch of rich people parading around in party dresses and tuxedos, congratulating each other, drinking, and dancing the night away. Getting a new president is a big social deal, and no matter what kind of state the economy is in, people who have way more money than the average person who is feeling the economic crunch right now are going to shell out the funds to have said parties.

Obama really looks up to Lincoln, and considering Lincoln is the one who was president during the Civil War and passed the Emancipation Proclamation and Obama is black, and all, it's symbolic. Besides, who cares how he gets to the capital anyway?

You're right, he's just a man, and thank goodness he's a different kind of man that is leaving the office in a couple days.

Me said...

The problem that I have with this is NOT the fact that wealthy people are partying down. No one enjoys a good party more than I do. The issue I take with it is that all these wealthy people are partying down at the tax payer's expense. Tax payers who can't afford to send their children to daycare, or go to college, or make rent/mortgage this month. Tax payers that can't even afford tickets to the party they are footing the bill for. Because let's face it. The $40 million in donations that has been pulled in? Doesn't even come close to handling the costs.

Bush's, and Clinton's for that matter, costs for their inaugurations came at a time when the economy was not suffering as it is now. It also came with warning from each's respective parties not to go too elaborate so as not to piss off the main street. And the only people complaining come time for the bill? The AP, but they bitch about everything.

Where are those warnings now? Where did this country, who is currently swimming its way through the largest deficit we've seen, well, ever, come up with the cash for transportation, security, entertainment, clean up, etc. for the shin dig that kicked off the FIRST DAY OF CELEBRATIONS?

I simply want to know why the man who was elected on the promise of fixing the economy, among other things, didn't step forward and say, you know what? This is a bit much at a time like this. Didn't he get elected on change? And what's the saying? Be the change you want to see? Not so much, I guess.

And the Lincoln thing. Well. I'm not going to even get into that, but I will say I don't give a crap about how he gets to the capitol. What I care about is how he spends the taxpayers money. And a four day journey by train for the President Elect isn't necessarily covered by the cost of a tank of gas.

Again, I really hope that Obama can take this country in a new direction. At this point it doesn't matter whether I voted for him or not, he's still my president. Whether I agree with his politics or not, he's still my Commander-in-Chief. As a former member of the armed services, I take that very seriously. But I also would hope that, at least during the honeymoon phase, he would show he's different than those who came before him. And I'm just not seeing how these extreme festivities do that.

And on a side note, Roosevelt, who was elected during the depression, decided that a charity ball was much more appropriate due to the economic climate at the time. As did Coolidge and Hoover. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

christina said...

So, I googled "Obama inauguration cost" and found this http://mediamatters.org/countyfair/200901180001

and this
http://mediamatters.org/columns/200901170003

which in turn led to this:
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Inauguration/Story?id=6665946&page=1

If you've set your mind to spend these next 4 or 8 years being disappointed, you will be.

Me said...

I'm unsure at the point you're trying to make with those links. That the AP is a bunch of liars that sensationalize and distort facts in order to create a mass hysterical frenzy? Um. Duh.

The point I'm trying to make here is that the man who was elected on a platform of change is waltzing down the same path of most of those before him (at least since the Truman era), and at a time when this country can ill afford it.

But hey. What do I know? I mean after all, it's only anywhere from a couple of million to a couple of hundred million (depending on which website you read). With the deficit in trillions, who's going to notice? Right? I mean, hell, that kind of financial thinking led us for the last 12 years, what's another four? :)

Me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
christina said...

I'm just saying that the figures were distorted, and to point out that a lot of the money that's going into the parties is in fact private donation.

As far as what's so awful about the leaders of the financial institutions spending millions of dollars on retreats is that that money was in fact taxpayer dollars, while the money Obama raised was not public funding but private donors. Yes the retreats were scheduled for before the economy turned, but I had to laugh when I heard it likened unto planning a birthday party for grandma, then grandma dies, and you go ahead with her party.

At any rate I am glad that we can have conversations about this stuff because in the past I've been unable to really put down into words why I think what I think. Also, it's been pointed out to me by my husband that I am terrible at arguing because I get all, "hey, did you ever think that you just might be dumb?" so excuse any instances of that, I'm working on it.

Me said...

Regardless of what the figures are, the donations don't, and aren't allowed, to cover the costs of the venues, transportation, security, traffic, clean up, port-a-potties, etc. Those are paid for by the taxpayers, and is probably 2/3s of what the total cost is going to be.

That birthday party comparison is pretty funny though.

I think you express yourself very well. You're probably the first person I've come across who can talk about Obama with some sort of insight as opposed to hailing him as the Messiah.

Oh, and I totally feel you on that whole you might just be dumb thing. That's why at work they don't let me talk to people... ;)

christina said...

yeah last night I was thinking, "crap, I didn't say that taxpayer money does go mostly to security." There's not much that can be done or said...what would Obama do? Say, "I know you're excited but STAY HOME." It's a historical time and people are excited and nothing will keep them from seeing him in person. I don't really have a problem with my taxpayer dollars going to the security of the president-elect. That's the crap thing about taxes, we don't get to tell the government how to use it. Or maybe we do and not enough people exercise that right.