It occured to me as Mojo and I were driving home from the lovely Will and Meghan's Inauguration Party that I'd kinda-sorta been here before.
Y'see, I remember that day in August, 1974 - I was seventeen - when I heard on the car radio that Dick Nixon had resigned. I think I jammed on the horn of the Ford Pinto station wagon (and THERE was a chick magnet, let me tell you; I don't remember getting laid that year and I'd like to think the Pinto was to blame...) and shouted out the window with excitement. I wasn't a real political kid but my mom and my cousin were; they'd gotten me following the Watergate Hearings and by '74 if there was one thing I knew it was that Tricky Dick was a Grade A rat-bastard prick that hanging was too good for. But resignation would work in a pinch.But here's where the picture was different. There was none of the elation then that I feel from many of my friends today. I checked in on facebook when I got home and read many friends' comments about excitement and gratitude and happiness. And in a sense it is good; the election of a young man, a man who promises hope and change, is a good thing after the past eight years of stupidity, shame, war and wastefulness. I listened to President Obama's inaugural address and thought that it was a good speech. Full of many of the usual bromides of promise and hard work, hope and freedom, yes, but also somewhat realist and clearly thought through.
I don't think that things will change, not that much, and given the wretched economy and the fact that he's going to have to govern with Rush and Michelle and Anne and Newt and the other monarchist and Christopathic traitors meeching and shouting and praying for Obama and America to fail so that they can do their mean little "I told you the nigger was too stupid to govern!" dance I wouldn't have the Presidency as a gift.
But back in '74 we had Jerry Ford. Not the Jerry Ford we have now, overlaid with the moronic bumblings of Chevy Chase, but the pallid, competent timeserver from Michigan, an Organization Man, and one that we hoped, at best, would try and "do something" about the mess Nixon had left behind. Of course, what he did was pardon the sonofabitch, and so we've had to put up with the wretched refuse of Nixon's teeming execuive shores, the Cheneys and Rumsfelds and the like. Gaaah.
But as Nixon-pardoning, mediocre, and lame as Jerry Ford was, he was just lame and mediocre. His little country-club-Republican-lawn-jockey-kiss-the-wealthy's-ass-nightlight flckered feebly beside the neutron star blackness of Nixon's pure monarchical evil. So that when that power-sucking dark star imploded the light admitted, the remaining shadow cast by Ford was a little less dark than the black hole of Nixonism we had loured in before.
So perhaps that's the real best that we can say that about today; the darkness that was Bushism is officially gone. Our work now is to illuminate the shadowy corners that remain and relight the light of democracy and government of the People, by the People, and for the People.