Jan 192009

Today marks the inauguration of a man very unlike his predecessor. Whereas our most recent executive office holder, George W. Bush, rose through the ranks of life due solely to his family connections, the newly elected president, Barack Obama, most definitely made his way to the top via at least some amount of personal effort.

The new president’s reputation, at the least, will include being known as a great orator, while Shrub will be known as possibly the worst speaker to ever hold the office.

Obama’s biggest advantage over Bush (besides not being Bush) is his intellect and education, regardless of any other criticism I have for newly elected leader, Obama has the abilities to think and operate a Blackberry. Neither are distinguishing characteristics our 43rd president ever exhibited.

There is something bothersome about the spectacles of the inauguration weekend, as well as the behaviors of those voting for Obama. During his campaign, the crowds absolutely devoured his rhetoric of “we are not red states, we are not blue states; we are the United States.” Pandemonium ensued every time he said it; the crowd couldn’t get enough.

If that is your position, then the celebration of Obama’s inauguration should not be treated and shown as an exuberant celebration of a victory hard won. He was voted in people; that’s all he’s done. He needs to do some positive things before we roll out the HBO coverage and half a dozen musical acts.

It amazes me that so many millions of people are so happy to have this unproven man elected to office, and show no reservation whatsoever to the fact that he hasn’t actually done anything yet.

By putting on this four-day spectacle, Obama is essentially allowing the celebration of a victory of blue states over red states, likewise individual liberal voters over conservative. If McCain had put forth this type of ridiculous, terminal celebration, liberals would be attacking conservatives for their poor sportsmanship.

The reality of the situation is that this elaborate celebration of the monumental moment that was a minority candidate winning the presidency is being ruined with the longest end zone celebration of all time.

Did the Democrats running this party not watch the hatred that developed for the New England Patriots last season as they ran up the score? By the time they got to the Super Bowl, 31 of 32 NFL markets wanted to see a Giants win.

We know this. In the ’90s, the Republicans took their “Contract with America,” rolled it into one hell of a large joint and smoked it with a young intern.

Meanwhile the Democrats showed little ability or desire to prevent that. Why? Because Democrats want more spending, more laws, more borrowing and less independence.

They prove it when they vote for legislation like the bailout, introduce idiotic firearms legislation like the Assault Weapons Ban — which, by the way, had zero effect on crime — and continue to advocate the idea that more laws will make life better for everyone.

Bush’s legacy is going to come down to whether or not he is simply one of the worst president’s in history or the worst president in history.

The deficit now belongs to four groups of people, the House, the Senate, Bush and the voters. By reelecting a Congress with a 14 percent approval rating, voters demonstrated their worthiness for the privilege.

For liberals to decry the bad moves Bush managed to complete without being equally critical of the Congressmen and Senators who allowed them is hypocritical.

Obama had the intellect to recognize that going against anything done by Bush would potentially pay off in the polls were he to run for the Oval Office; he was right, but he should have used his influence and speaking ability to try to make the inauguration less of a celebration, and more of a step forward.

Seth Stern is a junior undeclared major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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