Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcome, Mr. President and the New Era You Usher In...

Mikaela says:
Well, deed's done, and we've done it! I thought I'd have to watch online from work, but my boss came over and stole me away to his friend's house to watch the whole thing with a bunch of aging, white liberal strangers. Pretty great, actually. The best line was probably after VP Joe Biden was swarn in. Boss's wife says, "Now go arrest Cheney! I believe you'll find he's an enemy combatant."

They cringed at Rev. Warren and cheered Rev. Lowery, who I believe was the best part of the whole event. I can't wait to get the transcript and re-post it here for those who missed it. Just perfect.

And our President. Who can say enough about our President? I'm so proud of him, and of us. Proud to call him my President. Proud to call him the President of the United States of America. Just proud.

Here's my favorite part of his speech, or at least the part that got me, personally, the most:

"[W]e know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.

And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

Loved the John Williams piece w/ Perlman and Ma on violin and cello, respectively, and the totally hot clarinetist Anthony McGill.

The poem I thought was a little weak, but had a few great lines. I'll have to look at it again. It wasn't a good sign that no one knew when it had ended...

And the whole thing almost exactly on time, so that some of us could sneak out and back into work w/ relatively little delay! Thanks, Senator Feinstein! You did a great job not grandstanding at all and keeping things moving.

Welcome to a new day, a new era, a new hope spreading from our capitol all the way into this little political grinch's heart.