Somebody Throw a Wet Towel on the Inauguration

Monday, January 19, 2009
Obama's going to spend a modest $170 million on the Inauguration. We're supposed to feel relieved that much of the money is coming not from taxpayers but from "rich donors" - i.e. banks, corporations, hedge funds, holding companies, private equity groups, lobbyists, Hollywood benefactors, and international creditors. And we're promised that this privatized Inauguration will be the most transparent in history; the proles will even be granted access to some galas and after-parties!

How much will Rick Warren, the megachurch preacher, supermarket bestseller, and Invocator Extraordinaire, pocket from this? It's funny that he anchored one of the presidential debates. Funny, also, that Gwen Ifill anchored a presidential debate when her book, "Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," is slated for release on Inauguration Day.

Obama's cabinet has been like a petty-bourgeois freakshow - if I may borrow just one Marxist term for a second. It's been a two-month shit-streak of disgrace. And, as his defenders so rightly point out: "He's not even President yet!"

Bill Richardson, a former presidential candidate, gives up the Commerce Secretary nomination because one of his big political donors got a state contract under suspicious circumstances. Commerce Secretary, indeed. Geithner, who's supposed to manage the IRS and the Treasury, dodges more than $30,000 in back taxes. Caroline Kennedy gets Hillary Clinton's Senate seat in exchange for the gold-plated Kennedy family urn, which is a talisman to the Obama presidency. Governor Blogojevich peddles Obama's Senate seat while extorting a children's hospital; Obama lies about his campaign's communications with the governor. After his indictment, Blagojevich goes ahead and appoints a black Senator (who's so power-hungry that he reserved space on his tombstone for a senatorial epitaph); he gets seated over impotent protests from the Democrats.

Everyone claps when Obama appoints a few scientists to oversee the environment and what not. Whatever. Bush gutted those regulatory agencies irreparably. Just look at how the Minerals Management Service in Colorado threw reefer orgies in its offices, paid for by the oil and gas companies. We're living in another Gilded Age; Obama is looking more and more like fool's gold.

But fear not, citizens! In the end, Optimism will win out over Cynicism. Look at all the blind, elderly and disabled people in California who won't see welfare checks past February 1st because their state government is absolutely bankrupt. I call them an Army of Hope.

So relax and enjoy the $170 million show. Don't worry about going hungry this year.

P.S. Any college students in California out there? Welcome to the Army of Hope. No more student loan payments for you after February 1st.