Monday, November 10, 2008

Changing of the Guard

The Obamas visited the White House today and were treated with great courtesy by President and Mrs. Bush. Pictures and commentary have been on all of the news talk shows, and I have found myself being oddly moved by it all. What the hell; this happens every four to eight years. And then I realized: Zimbabwe.

In that unhappy nation elections are held and the losing incumbent refuses to relinquish power. The UN has to step in and work out a “power sharing” arrangement, and the losing incumbent refuses to honor that agreement, maintaining office by threats and the use of terror tactics on his people.

Here we have had eight years of a presidency that took executive privilege to unheard of extent, that gave new meaning to the term “unitary executive.” This is a president who has wrapped himself in the title “Commander in Chief” and called himself “the Decider.”

And yet when the time comes, he meets his successor at the door of the White House, shakes his hand and says, “Welcome to your new office.”

This is a great nation.

Noted in passing:
Chris Matthews referred to the office in passing as “the nation’s chief executive.” Thank you, Chris, that was music to my ears. I hope it is a sign of things to come.

Robert Reich, financial advisor to Barack Obama, in discussing the financial crisis and pending ways of dealing with it mentioned Obama, “mobilizing the people to be pressuring Congress to be sure things get done.” Not even a week since he was elected and here is a hint, however small, that Obama might be keeping his campaign promise to make “change happen from the bottom up.”

And I'm going to have to quit bragging about the weather. It's clear today, but it rained almost a tenth of an inch yesterday and the high today was only 67. It could reach 90 this weekend though.

(Obviously that last was snark and I'm still bragging.)


  1. Everything is frozen around here, some of it pretty much solid. It only got up to 30 here.

  2. Anonymous11:43 AM

    maybe we should meet in the middle? Say Nebraska? Oh wait, they are nearly as cold and wet as Ms. Coffeeyarn.

    Yes, this is a hallmark of a great nation when they have a peaceful transfer of power & leadership - especially right after a peacful free election. Whatever your political incinations are, you got to admire this.

  3. Anonymous7:42 PM

    Actually, Nebraska ISN'T "frozen solid", but it IS windier than ____ [fill in your favorite expletive]. They didn't close I-80 when winds were 35mph gusting to 60+.
    Last Thursday they DID close I-80 because of "icy roads and windy conditions". Apparently vehicles were, quite literally, being blown off the road. If I hadn't developed an air leak in Laramie and wasted two or three hours waiting for a fix-it truck, I would have had to detour through Denver and taken I-70 through Kansas. Which would have taken an extra two to three hours. So time was a wash, but the idea that I could get blown off an over-pass, or into another truck, is a bit intimidating!

  4. Anonymous8:18 PM

    This Thursday (13 Nov) they closed I-80 again, and having driven on it before they did so, I'd say they should have earlier. The road were icy enough that my trailers couldn't get enough traction to resist the wind. My back trailer was sliding sideways a half lane or more with every gust of wind (at 45 to 60mph). I got off the road, of course, my first opportunity. But it was too late for several other folks; a Wyoming state trooper told me that there were several trucks and cars stuck on the side of the road -- they were not involved in accidents, they had SLID off the highway.
    I'll take cold, even that sub-zero for days I grew up with, with trying to deal with glazed pavement and 35mph winds. And I will take 30 below and no wind over 60+mph gusts at almost any temperature!