Thursday, December 10, 2009

Obama at Oslo

There are days when the hours pass by with me feeling like I'm swimming in a bi-polar amniotic fluid of sorts. These are the days during which I curse myself for having voted for Obama, for letting him instill hope--all right, not just hope but a ton of it.

Looking at the health care "reform" Congress is slated to pass, I am infuriated at what a hunk of nothing this issue has become. I am on the brink of cynical apathy. I am on the brink of psychopathic pro-action. I am on the brink of desertion of both political affiliation and country. All of those at the same time.

Was Obama a naive Wonderboy who dragged all of us believers along to Washington---a 21st Century Mr. Smith? Or is he the typical Chicago-style politician? It's maddening, what the election of this man is doing to me. On. Off. On. Off. There are days when the only answer for me is to be found in my half-gallon bottle of Seagram's gin (hey, there's a recession going on and we're pinching Abe Lincolns wherever we can).

The latest Afghanistan troop announcement sent me reeling. This is the aptly-named "graveyard of empires." Ask Ghengis Khan. Ask Alexander. Ask Brezhnev/Andropov/Chernenko/Gorbachev. I've been reading Steve Coll's "Ghost Wars" in order to understand our long, complex history of covert and overt involvement in this land, and the further I get into the 700-page account, the more horrified I become at the quick sand in which we're about to drown.

And then, there was this morning. I listened to The Kid give his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech via my computer, and--regarding the possible U.S. negotiations with the Taliban---heard this:

“I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach -- condemnation without discussion -- can carry forward only a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.”

Damn you, Obama. How can anyone not love the line: "...the satisfying purity of indignation." ? Maybe I'm severely blinded by cunning linguists. Maybe that's my problem here. I am, admittedly, a weak man; prone to corruption and much vice.

And so it goes...