I remember a sense of great hope at the previous fall of the House of Bush, in 1993. Mr Clinton, we were told, was a breath of fresh air, a ray of hope and sunshine, and so on. And then, several wars, scandals, school shootings and moistened cigars later, we realised he was largely, if not entirely, similar to what had gone before.
It’s also worth remembering that it was Mr. Clinton who sowed the seeds for the credit crash we are currently suffering, by heavily encouraging credit institutions to give loans to people who would not normally get them. And this is the same credit crash that Democrats heartily blamed Mr. Bush for, and even though the man is an enormous cock, we can’t really pin that on him.
Now a new man is in the hot seat. This one looks like he might do something useful. And he has also enormous PR value for the black citizens of the US. But democrat or not, black or not, and nice speaker or not, there is not a great deal of difference he can make.
The US is still ran by lobby groups and big cash; its millitary must still be flexed on occasion to show the world who is in charge; and it will happily slap down its veto at the UN, in defence of whatever illegal actions it deems useful.
So Obama can give an uplifting speech. So could Mr. Hitler. It just remains to be seen if any of those fine words of his will actually be translated into action. I hope so. But from my previous experiences, I will need a lot of convincing.
Still, it could have been the old, angry guy up there today, accompanied by the scary squeaky lady, so that, at least, is something.
(And people, don’t forget volume 2 of the Strange Shores blog carnival, due to go online over at LadyFi on Sunday. Expats, get your blog links in, either to me or LadyFi, or to the contact mail on the carnival home-page.)