Auguries of Experience, or: a short query…


…to My Progressive Friends on the Inauguration of President Obama


For all the talk before the speech about Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt and Kennedy, why did it come out feeling so much like Ronald Reagan?

–          Gordon Stewart, speechwriter to Jimmy Carter, NYT/SMH, 22/1/09, p. 7

President Obama delivered a deeply American inaugural address.

               –   Clark Judge, speechwriter to Ronald Reagan, NYT/SMH, 22/1/09, p.7

More than any other presidential candidate in recent memory, President Barack Obama has proved the master of branding. His slogans of ‘yes we can’, ‘hope’, ‘change’ and the famous O logo of the rising sun over a stylised ploughed field were instantly recognisable by the end of the campaign.

               –  A. Davies, ‘Registers ring with the presidential brand’, SMH 31/1-1/2/2009, p. 13

At Lincoln’s inauguration

the sun broke through the clouds

and bathed the square in light.

At Obama’s inauguration

the judge spoke the word faithful

in the wrong place of the oath,

so Obama hesitated with the word

and had to repeat the oath

the next day. Just to be sure.

On the morning of the original

failed inauguration, an eagle had appeared

in the freezing air above the Capitol.

Will the faithful lightning in the eagle’s claws

now coolly carry hope and change

as it strikes the collateral of un-people?

Will the grey-suited masters of the universe

continue humming ‘yes we can’

as they screw people and planet?

Will their lethal sun continue

to rise unchallenged above an earth

they have ground to dust for profit?


 We will not apologise

for our way of life, nor will we

waver in its defence.

(This poem was written in January 2009. Perhaps its publication is now appropriate almost a year after the inauguration of Bush-lite Brand Obama, its West Point speech, its Nobel Peace Prize war-is-peace speech and its current extension of the illegal war in Afghanistan.)



~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on December 10, 2009.

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