Phinally. Philadelphia has a Champion professional sports team - the phirst in 23 years. I was in Scottsdale, AZ when they won - completing the longest World Series game in history, 46 rain-delayed hours after it started. We were at a dinner with a client, and kept trading turns to go check on the score until the ninth inning, when we adjourned to the bar to watch the phinal three outs. What a phantastic pheeling!
The curse of Billy Penn has been lifted at last. And when the next high-rise building goes up in Philly, I'm sure that the iron workers will not diss the man again.
Two days later I flew back to Philly, touching down around 2:45 p.m. As we approached, we came in over the city and from my seat on the right-hand side of the plane, I could see Citizens Bank Park filled with people and a huge swath of red all the way up Broad Street - an estimated two million people showed up to see the victory parade. It was impressive indeed.
That was Halloween, and I got home in time to put up my styrofoam tombstones, cobwebs and spooky candles in the garden and then sit on the stoop with my neighbors and pass out candy to the kids. It's a pretty good system - if you're not outside or have your door open, no one knocks. Best costume: a kid wearing black stockings and a pair of fly's eyes on his head, wrapped in what I would describe as a bright green taco with jagged edges - he was the fly caught in a Venus Flytrap. I wore the black cape that mom made for me back in my drill team days - very appropos.
Secondly, Happy (Belated) Anniversary to Mom and Dad! Fifty-four (phifty-phour) years! They celebrated by going to vote and eating hamburgers while watching election returns. You romantics, you!
Which brings me to . . . the election. And here are my thoughts:
Congratulations to Barack Obama for a marvelously effective campaign. You will be my President - no nasty bumper stickers on OUR car - and I will pray for you to have the wisdom to govern in a way that truly does transcend the ills you spoke of during the campaign and that you respect the 233 years of Democracy - and the Constitution - that goes before you.
You are not the person I voted for, but then again, John McCain, as much as I respect him and still believe he was the better person to face what lies ahead, was not the person I wanted to vote for either. I'm not sure that there was such a candidate this year, although the closest I found was Fred Thompson. Fred, like most of the tending-right candidates, was unable to get on-message in a way that appealed to the short-attention span media and public. His thoughts and concepts were great, but delivery was sadly wrong.
President Bush, while he has been vilified for many things, has not IMHO, been vilified for the correct things. The things he did for our national defense for the most part have been the right actions, and he has wisely not thrown the Iraqi people "under the bus", even though that would have been more politically expedient. But what he did that has distressed me greatly is to abandon small government principles and spend, spend, spend to create even bigger and more bureaucratic government agencies. The Republicans in Congress were even worse, and I cannot believe the pork and earmarks available at the trough for the past several years. You all deserve a time-out, but unfortunately you're going to be taking at a time when a balance in government is needed.
There is a brief amount of time for the Republican, conservative, right, libertarian-leaning folks to figure out a a solid message to go against a socialized United States. We don't have four years - although I really don't want to think too much about it for the next couple of months. But after that, some decisions need to be made about how to explain the economic realities of each path, and hopefully without having to learn it the REALLY hard way.
As I've posted in the past, one of my favorite writers is Steven den Beste, who gave up on his interesting mix of politico-engineering posting a few years ago. But he had a few words of comfort on the morning after:
The President of the United States is the most powerful political figure in the world, but as national executives go his powers are actually quite restricted. Obama will become President, but he won't be dictator or king, let alone deity. He still has to work with the House and the Senate, and he still has to live within Constitutional restrictions, and with a judiciary that he mostly didn't appoint.
The main reason this will be a "coming of age" moment is that now Obama and the Democrats have to put up or shut up. Obama got elected by making himself a blank slate, with vapid promises about "hope" and "change" -- but now he actually has to do something. Now he has to reveal his true agenda. And with the Democrats also having a majority in both chambers of Congress, now the Democrats really have to lead. And they're not going to do a very good job of it. It's going to be amusing to watch.
And the people who fell for the demagoguery will learn an invaluable lesson.
[God bless America.]
Quote du jour:
"OPPOSITION, n. In politics the party that prevents the Government from running amuck by hamstringing it."
Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914) US journalist, short-story writer
"The Devil's Dictionary, 1911."
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