Monday, January 21, 2013

4 years: Less Sober, Less Cautious, More Certain

Osama Bin Laden.

Debt ceiling, versions past and prologue.

Romney, who already seems to have half-faded into a spectral form.

Health care town halls, which now seem ancient, yet still striking in their call to shrill irrationality.

4 years.

I remember seeing the crowds of young people from my balcony, early on the morning of Inauguration Day, so filled with enthusiasm to reach the Mall that they raced towards the gates, like excited troops storming a hill, ready to take their nation back.

Obama's speech that day struck me as unusually sober--it left me with the feeling that he was scaling down expectations, a tone of seriousness, but also that if he could merely leave the nation in as good hands as when he entered, this would be a laudable, sensible target.

This tone--not too high, not too low--has shot through his Presidency, with intelligence and wisdom, with caution and over caution, as Americans became accustomed to a charismatic leader who at his core is not a spontaneous charismatic, but an introspective, at times introverted intellectual, who carries both vision and caution; his well noted pragmatism, a combination that likely was honed as it brought him to this place and position, and one, perhaps, that he has most wisely relied on, knowing that once reaching to extremism, in this nation, at this time, he would not be able to reach back.

And they would call him an extremist in any event.

He knew what they would call him if he actually began to act within the slightest parameters of their delusional fantasies.

So we are here. And crowds gather. We are in the slight remaining overcast of tragedy--one could not help but wonder just what he thought of as he thought of the events in Newtown, so close to his inauguration.

Yet, I am watching a crowd of children singing, and we are here.