QUICK NOTE: Gov. Palin did a fine job on Glenn Beck tonight, thoughts on that later (hopefully with video).
Well, the circus has come to town, and I'm only blocks from the action. I'm not stupid enough to post my address online, but suffice it to say that I live in downtown DC. A lot of the locals are getting out of town, but some (namely myself) are hunkering down in our living spaces until Wednesday.
That said, I hope everybody in town for the inauguration has a good time. I went through Union Station on my way home Saturday night, and the throngs were just starting to hit town. Everybody seemed happy and bubbly, and it was nice to see that...even if I'm not half as excited about Barack Obama. I want them to have fun, because I get the feeling that the next four years aren't going to be all that fun for either of us.
Maybe it was because I was playing the role of the angry local, trying not to get trampled as I lugged my groceries through the crowded train station, but I couldn't help but think about what all of these happy people would be doing four years from now. What would the Obama presidency really represent when we are looking back on it, not forward to it? What happens when Barack Obama ceases to be the first black president and we remember that he is a fallible human bieng? When that harsh reality sets in, it could trigger the greatest crisis in race relations since the 1960s.
Like most presidents, Obama will start losing popularity once he starts making tough decisions. If his leadership is less than stellar, he will be vulnerable in 2012 - and if he does poorly, the man who set himself up as America's messiah could could be voted out in a landslide. That is how things work in a democracy, and the same formula would hold true for any leader. However, if Barack Obama is in danger of being bounced after one term, no one in the media - let alone the Democratic Party - will blame Obama's own performance. Instead, any consequences suffered by the President will be blamed on racism, and certain powerful people will be more than happy to encourage a race crisis in order to maintain power. Hence, while I think that Obama's election showed the defeat of racism in America, his time in power could fan the flames of racial tension hotter than they have been in decades.
To be honest, I feel sorry for the President-elect - nobody should be saddled with such high expectations. Unfortunately, this is the situation he has placed himself in, and thereby doomed himself to at least some level of failure. So, while I would love to see Sarah Palin run over him on her way to the White House in four years, I fear the consequences of an Obama failure just enough to hope that he doesn't fall completely on his face.