As anyone indulging in the All-Inaugural-All-the-Time cable news shows knows on the eve of the inaugural, Dick Cheney has injured himself moving boxes from the White House to his new home. Cheney will be attending the inaugural in a wheelchair. No matter what else gets said about this story as it progresses, or doesn’t, remember this: If Dick Cheney was moving those files himself; it means he didn’t want anyone else moving them for him. Why?
You know he could have had someone doing this sort of thing for him, he’s Dick Flippin’ Cheney. But seriously between secret meetings on energy policies, torture, WMD lies, and his overall war on the US Constitution, one wonders how many files Cheney would rather the rest of us not know about. No one may ever know which dossiers Cheney wrenched his back to keep secret, but given the repression and secrecy his office has come to represent in America, you can bet it wasn’t his collection of thank-you cards.
In other inaugural news, with hundreds of law enforcement jurisdictions under their control and more than 10,000 national guardsmen on hand, the security for tomorrow’s massive main event is the most intense ever created for an American event and will make a border checkpoint look like a 300 lb security shack reject snoozing off his lunch. This particular pageant could include as many as two million spectators on a pilgrimage as holy as Ramadan itself--to see Obama take office. For its sheer volume and impact on society, Obama’s inaugural itself can count as the first of his new jobs programs.
However in reading the fine print, the do’s and don’ts in the president-elect’s guidelines for attempting to exercise your right to visit your capital city tomorrow include the obvious prohibitions against firearms and explosives, but further all residents and visitors to Washington DC are forbidden to carry “sharp objects (of any length) … sticks or poles … pockets or hand tools, such as “Leatherman,” packages, backpacks, large bags, duffel bags.” So all you Macgyvers, dog owners, Andys and Opies, travelers, anyone bearing car keys or toothpicks and those wearing pockets [?] stay away! This is the people’s inauguration. Glad we got rid of that last fascist in time for this new one.
Still it’s hard not to have hope at a time like this. Obama’s the hottest marketing gimmick this side of carbonation because he truly is a dream come out of left field and yet come true. His vision has seemed as of yet hazy, but clearly different. And after 8 years of the same old Bush, everybody’s buying different. Promises of swift action to end the war, supposed executive orders addressing reversals of Bush admin stances on birth control and Guantanamo Bay, and new fuel efficiency standards, have the pundits swooning. It could be an actual component or two of steps to that viable future we’ve always known to believe was impossible as long as it was the same old guys running the same old game in DC.
But maybe this time it’s not.
Maybe the guy many of us hoped we were voting for is actually still in there somewhere and tomorrow a new future for America begins. So, here’s to dreaming the impossible. Though outgoing CIA director Michael Hayden went on record stating he expected no Obama investigation in Bush torture policies, AG nominee Eric Holder acknowledged that he considered waterboarding torture, so maybe there’s hope yet, that some justice could be done.
For years we have been told that there was no way to address the indignities that the Bush admin was perpetrating because he was in power, well as of noon tomorrow he’s not. Once he is no longer president, Vincent Bugliosi has loudly claimed that private citizen George Bush can be arrested as soon as he leaves office. We all know those crimes demand justice or the stain of the Bush legacy continues to spread to all us Americans who have stood by and let him get away with these murders and then say they were in our names. Now is the time calling on all people, of all countries, starting tomorrow, to clamor for Bush's arrest as loud as any protest ever known. If there will ever be a time when Obama will listen to the American people regarding Bush, this is it.
Business as usual says that Obama will let Bush get away with it for the sake of expediency, but it doesn’t have to be that way with this inauguration. Business as usual is not what the American people voted for. Besides, business as usual is not the way to start a new day, is it, President Obama?
-mikel weisser writes from the left coast of AZ.