Remember the Inauguration Day Eggs|
W. David Jenkins III
Michael Moore has done us all a large favor. His latest work, "Stupid White Men," contains something I needed to remember. Something we all need to remember. A day we need to relive whenever we feel like we're losing our grip. The day that redefined a collective sense of community between many of us in the face of something we never thought could take place in America. Something many folks refuse to admit took place.
January 20, 2001. The day "The Coup" became reality.
The first chapter in Moore's book recaps that dark and rainy day a little over a year ago. I remember feeling somewhat satisfied with the weather in D.C. that day. It seemed so appropriate and, at the same time, foretelling of things to come. It was as if Nature decided to cast a vote seeing that our votes, especially those in Florida, had been blatantly tossed aside. Nature took it upon herself to stand up for most of us and rain on the thief who would soon lift her garment in search of another dollar. And she followed him for months. Some of you may recall that many of Dubya's outdoor appearances were plagued by rotten weather early on in his "residency." Like the old margarine commercial used to say, "Never fool with Mother Nature!"
Do you remember where you were on that day? Do you remember how you felt? I remember hearing how Washington D.C. was going to have to add extra security on Inaugur-Auction Day. I remember hearing about the masses of expected protesters that were coming. I remember channel surfing and net surfing looking for hope. Looking for signs that the rest of America was as angry as I was. I remember seeing a sign reading DemocraticUnderground.com but the clip was so quick, I had to call a friend to make sure I'd seen what I thought I'd seen. I remember spending the months of the campaign going through Bush Watch and then zipping over to Voter.com and wonder what the heck was wrong with people? All these polls showing Bush either a little ahead or neck and neck with Gore. Of course this was before I knew what a "freeper" was and what they do to polls. And now, here I was with so many others, staring at my television in disbelief. Do you remember how sick and angry you were?
Then came that magic moment. I had switched to C-Span because I was growing sick of the commentators yakking it up or cutting away every time Dubya's motorcade came across one of the many thousands of robbed voters who booed him. C-Span was showing just sound and pictures, no talk. Then it happened. I had to look twice to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing. But there it was. So beautiful and so appropriate on this dark day.
The egg. That wonderful angry egg.
I remember the feeling of satisfaction seeing that blessed projectile slamming into his limousine. I tried to remember, did Clinton get egged at his inauguration? No.
Did Reagan or Bush Sr. get egged at their inauguration? No.
But there it was. And soon it was joined by another, and another. I remember wishing that the limo would be turned into a raw, dripping obscenity on wheels but soon the driver realized what the gas pedal was for and they sped off.
In the crazy days since 9/11, it's been difficult for some folks to re-visit the anger and sense of despair we all felt that day in January. For some reason, some people feel that Dubya woke up on Sept. 12th and became FDR. The media kept telling everybody that he had somehow "grown into the presidency" while we all shook our heads and said "Excuse me??" The underhanded way Bush had stolen away the will of the American people caused many to speculate as to what really happened on that tragic day last fall. We were and are being constantly told how united we are without ever once hearing somebody, anybody, speak on behalf of the misgivings many are having concerning all this mess. We find ourselves identifying with a roach like Trent Lott when he said in 1998 he could support the troops without supporting the president.
But unlike Senator Toupee and his jab at Clinton, it is not blatant partisanship that makes us question the actual motives in Bush Inc.'s policies. It's because we simply do not trust him or any of them! They do not now, nor did they then, have anything resembling a mandate. Yet they continue to prey upon our weakness and grief over September to try to make this country an ugly place. From a unified hatred for all things Muslim or foreign - to the wanton rape of this country in the name of "security." From the plundering of our civil liberties in order to advance a government sponsored form of xenophobia - to the denial of access to information concerning who really runs this administration.
Bush and Company have desecrated the memory of lost souls in September by using them as a vehicle to do what we wouldn't have allowed them to do prior to that horrible day. And every time somebody says "wait a minute," they have the audacity to point to the wreckage in NYC and say "this is why. This is why we want you to stay paranoid. This is why we are going to raise pollution limits. This is why you must spy on your neighbor. This is why you should stop asking questions about Enron. This is why I'm going to make Daddy rich with weapons the military says are useless and out of date. This is why you shouldn't pry into exactly how terribly I screwed up." It's not even a matter of reading between the double-speak anymore. They are being shamelessly conspicuous about it. And, so far, they're still getting away with it.
So we go back to Democrats.com, Bartcop.com and BuzzFlash.com to make sure we're not going crazy. We watch garbage passing as news on television and wonder if these journalist's are really that stupid or merely being manipulated. We zip back to Liberal Slant, Common Dreams or America Held Hostile because we crave to hear the voices of those who speak how we feel. Or we run to MWO and FAIR just to be sure somebody else knows that Rush and O'Reilly are ignorant shills. It's so easy to begin to feel like we're alone and that nobody is hearing how we feel. Then writers like Moore or Carville & Begala come out with something that reminds us that we're not crazy. That we're not alone. So what if Barnes and Noble or Borders hide these books in the back of the store. That doesn't stop us from bringing them back up front where they belong, does it? That's right. That's what I did. They only had five copies of "Stupid White Men" left, so I brought them up front and placed them on top of O'Reilly's and Buchanan's books. I like to call it "Stealth Activism." Try it out sometime because I guarantee you'll feel better.
There are signs recently that the worm is beginning to turn. Daschle and others, including some Republicans, are beginning to ask questions and put up roadblocks when it comes to Bush's War. People's tolerance for the secretive operation that is Bush Inc. is starting to fray and wear thin; much like the cheap flags they spent $14.99 for back in September. No matter how much the "freepers" have tried to discredit Moore's book, it's still a number one best seller. Things are starting to change for the Smirking Chimp (yes, another good site to check out) that we've been forced to call "Mr. President." Spring will be here soon and somehow it feels like this winter wasteland of a sham presidency may thaw with the ice and snow as well. Like a woodland pond in April, the ice will thin and George and Company will fall into the still frigid waters. It would make a great Hallmark card.
"Sorry to hear of your loss…..you Thief!"
But, alas, we know Bush won't give up. Not easily. He's going to keep on going and the media is going to keep on whitewashing and we're going to keep on getting frustrated. The little, fortunate draft dodging AWOL-er is going to keep nauseating us with his "Let's Roll" garbage while the folks from Fox will still become orgasmic when they speak of Bush's leadership qualities. That's when we need to remember January 20th. That's when we need to embrace the above-mentioned (and other) web sites that remind us we're not alone. That's when we need to remember "The Egg." That's when we need to go to the local bookstore and practice a little "Stealth Activism."
Trust me. You really will feel better.