Saturday, November 22, 2008

Obama, the YouTube President

We worked for a while, a long long time ago, in the less-than real atmosphere of Washington D.C. The endless Vietnam-Cambodia-Laotian War was still on, Yuppies continued cavorting in the streets, thousands of draftees were hunkered down in Canada, FBI undercover ops (the guys with the shiny leather shoes) repeatedly were registering for college classes so they could spy on kids with suspected liberal leanings, and grieving Midwestern farm mothers frequently were taking out full page newspaper ads in political protest. The country was near revolt.

Then, as now, it was remarkable in D.C. how you could just sense, without reading about it or being told, that the president was out of town. Something in the way people walked slower or talked more easily or held their heads a little higher, we suppose. Less work got done, more play got played. The rest of the nation might have been on the edge, but in D.C. the clouds parted, the sun shown a little brighter, and the air breathed a little cleaner.

We're far from the Village now and circumstances have changed dramatically. But the nation is still at war, the FBI is still spying on us, and the Bush Recession has everyone at the edge once again. Now, however, it's the whole world that senses the president is out of town.

Bush has checked out of planet Earth, even when he's in Peru. And Obama isn't able to sign in yet.

More than any lame duck president we can think of, including Nixon for his last night in the White House after that humiliating resignation on TV, Bush has become worse than irrelevant. He's like the smelly old uncle who overstayed his invitation and now won't come down out of the guest room.

After a few ill-conceived morning press statements, each of which drove the stock market deeper into the red, Bush has pretty much remained holed up in the White House, playing presidential library games and planning what surely will be the broadest, most egregious stay-out-jail pardon in human history.

Under the 20th Amendment, the Obama administration cannot be born until January 20, 2009. The president-in-waiting has no choice. He must wait. The best that can be done in the meantime is a "YouTube Presidency."

Here's today's "radio" address:

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