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The New Era of …uhmm, something?

For me, the words “New Era” have become the latest buzz word in this political season.

America is entering a “new era” of peace.

Obama is leading the United States and the world into a “new era.”

It’s a “new era” for American politics.

I just saw an article the other day with the blurb, “Obama team faces new era of counter-terrorism.”

I honestly want to know what’s so new about it all. Sure, a black man as president is “new” but I don’t really care about that.

Looking around in the past few weeks, months even, it doesn’t look like we’ve entered a new era. In fact, it looks the same. The politicians haven’t changed; they seem worse than before. Tell me, how has Blago not been impeached yet? And Dems, where’s the conviction you guys fought so hard to get? Letting Burris take a seat seemed like the same ol’, same ol’ from the sorriest party in America.

Here’s the best part, supposedly under this “New” administration we’ll be changing for the better. You know, the one with roughly the same Democrat controlled Congress that didn’t do anything for for four years now, and we expect them to do something now? Ha.

The only thing that I’ve seen that’s new in the past 3 months is the Arizona Cardinals making it to the Super Bowl. That’s new.

So, I just want to know, I want someone to explain to me how and why this country is entering a new era. Because to be honest until Barack Obama actually starts doing new things as President it all looks the same to me. Then again, the world is giving Obama the best blow job he’s ever had, so I suppose that’s new, but not really.

  1. Scott says:

    Well, I have to admit that despite the poor quality I chose to present my issues with I at least got the intended effect.

    It got discussed. Which was what I was hoping for since I was legitimately looking for an explanation.

  2. Matt says:

    Oh I totally agree. But I think Executive Orders have been abused long before Bush, even. Clinton prohibited assassinations by executive order, Reagan used it to expand the powers of intelligence agencies and perhaps worst of all, Roosevelt used the executive order to lock up thousands of Japanese-Americans without charge. They amount to legislative power far beyond anything I think the Founders would have intended – or is constitutionally appropriate – for that branch of government.

    That being said, I really don’t see much wrong with reversing previous, and arguably misguided, Executive Orders with new Executive Orders. For the most part, that’s all that’s going on right now. If he issues an Executive Order requiring all gun owners to hand over their weapons to the government, yeah, that would be tyranny.

  3. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Well…correcting Executive abuses via a new Executive….is not really strange is it? Monarchial? I don’t know.

    I agree with the general tenor in that hero-worship is generally a bad thing that clouds people’s minds and reduces things to simplistic takes on complex scenarios. Obama is certainly in the midst of a lot of things that demand some attention, and so far he’s done a lot on the first day of his term. Well, second day.

    I can’t say which direction he’ll turn in, but it is certain (to me anyway) that he’ll correct the Bush-curve somewhat but not over-correct so far that he starts sounding like Eugene City Council meetings.

  4. Vincent says:


    As far as I’m concerned, too many people hope and expect Obama to act like a monarch, undoing at the stroke of a pen everything Bush did. For the last eight years, executive orders were horrible abuses of Presidential power. Now they’re absolutely necessary for the common good and the welfare of the Union?

    And unless I be misunderstood, I’m not necessarily pointing the finger in your direction here, Matt. It just seems to be a somewhat prevalent sentiment among some factions.

  5. Matt says:

    Yeah I dunno I think some liberals might worship the ground he walks on, but the average person is pretty much aware he’s not going to change everything overnight, and isn’t really expecting that. As for the media bubble, yeah, it seems they think he’s God. Or at least, they think “Obama is God” makes a good story and captivates readers, and therefore sells ads.

    Yeah, well, as of this morning, Obama has:
    – Instituted a pay freeze on White House aides, locking their salaries for the next few years, at least a minor immediate effort to cut some government spending.
    – Signed an order prohibiting aides who leave his administration from lobbying the administration for at least two years.
    – Drafted an order to close Guantanamo Bay, now circulating with Congressional leaders and DOJ officials for review.
    – Ordered a 120-day halt to all military prosecutions of Guantanamo detainees, pending further review of policy related to the detention site.

    It’s safe to say Bush wouldn’t have done any of these initial actions simply because, well, he didn’t do them. There will be a change of policy direction no matter how superficial. The main question is simply that the change is policy direction might not be any more than that required of a reasonable person by circumstances, and might not live up to the expectations of the Obama “brand name.”

  6. C.T. Behemoth says:

    “he is going to continue doing alot [sic] of things that Bush would have done”

    I find this very hard to believe. We will see, though I doubt it.

  7. Betz says:

    The only thing “new” about this era is that the presidential approval ratings are higher than 70% (or, rather, higher than 30%, which is more than Bush could muster). People were jumping up and down yesterday after Obama got into the white house. I think the moment that summed it up was this morning, as I was eating breakfest while watching the Today show, when Meridith mentioned “Now what?” in reference to Obama’s presidency.

    The point is this: so many people, and media types are the biggest perpetrator, have “over-branded” (thanks Matt, I like that usage) Obama to the point where everyone thinks that he is superman, and is going to sweep in and save the nation; but in reality, he is going to continue doing alot of things that Bush would have done. He’s already admitted that he is not going to be able to deliver on a lot of his promises that he made during the election.

    And after yesterday, what really has changed? Yes, the man JUST took office, and yes, I’ve mentioned on this blog before that he HASN’T done anything yet so its unfair to judge. But I just can’t point to any tangible thing, other than a subjective undercurrent of “hope”, or what-have-you, as a reason to believe that anything will be monumentally different.

  8. Matt says:

    This post just seems kinda whiny, I hate to say it. I mean, I think Obama is overhyped – or worse, over-“branded” – to a rather disturbing degree also, but to pretty much deny that today represents any kind of turning point at all in American history just seems so, well, out of touch?

    At the very least, we’re going to have a different Administration, and you could say that means a new “era.” I don’t think the streets are going to be paved with gold or anything, I don’t think anyone thinks that. I just think a lot of people are looking on new leadership as a chance to try something different, even if it’s not radically “new.”

    I mean, going back to Clinton-era policies, whatever you might think of them, is still “new” in the sense that it’s obviously different from the policies of the last 8 years. I’d argue that might not be a smart move, but I won’t argue it doesn’t represent some kind of vaguely notable policy shift.

  9. C.T. Behemoth says:

    I swear I posted something earlier…hmm Am I lost in the queue again?

  10. Vincent says:

    I would hope that everyone would be rooting for him to do so while having intellectually honest policy disagreements and informed discourse along the way.

    I’d hope so too. Alas, the last eight years of “honest policy disagreements” (read: “Bush = Hitler”) and the eight years before that (“Vince Foster was murdered”) and so on haven’t left me with a lot of faith that anyone on either side of the proverbial aisle is either capable or, frankly, interested in “intellectually honest policy disagreements”.

  11. Kenneth says:

    Your statement that Blago has not been impeached is false. He was impeached by the previous Illinois legislature, and the recently sworn in Illinois legislature voted to reaffirm the impeachment within minutes – Blago was still in the room presiding over the ceremony. The next step is a Senate trial in which he will undoubtedly be removed from office barring some unforseen events. The trial takes a significant amount of time to prepare for, but should begin shortly. In terms of sitting Roland Burris, there was really no choice in the matter. As long as Blago is the governor the Illinois supreme court ruled that he had the power and duty to appoint someone to the vacancy, with no constitutional way to block said appointment. I would also point out that any Barack Obama “new era” is completely unrelated to the events in Illinois as he was no legal power over any of them. I understand trying to keep the party in power honest, but if you’re going to complain about such things you should probably research the basic political procedures related to the topic. There is no doubt that President Obama has a lot of hype to live up to, but given the dire situation the Country is in I would hope that everyone would be rooting for him to do so while having intellectually honest policy disagreements and informed discourse along the way. At least let the guy unpack his toiletries before you start declaring him a flop, eh?

  12. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Scott. Thanks for clarifying. I am also wary of the gold at the end of Obama’s rainbow, but I am hopeful. (full disclosure: I voted for Obama) I’m just not sure if Leprechaun’s exist anyway…outside of Imagination Land that is.

    For the record, I’m with you on Congress sitting on their hands. You read articles from time to time that try to rationalize it all and to explain why they are (not) doing A, B, or C….but….well, it’s frustrating.

    Sorry I ranted a bit myself there. Just misread you.

  13. CB says:


    Your math is correct but your memory is not. Democrats gained control of Congress during the mid-term election in 2006; Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid become the leaders of their respective houses of Congress in January 2007.

    Republicans gained seats in 2004, which is largely why Bush/Cheney viewed themselves as having a ‘mandate’ from the voters to continue what they were doing.

  14. Scott says:

    I did the math, and yes, the Democrat party gained controlled of Congress during the Bush/Kerry election. That’s about four years.

    I’m not bitching about Obama. I’m complaining about the people who feel the need to put him up on this pedestal as though the world is about to start shitting rainbows and kittens.

    This isn’t “rant” isn’t really about conservatives vs. liberals or what have you, either. More it’s about the idea that nothing has changed. What I want is for people to stop handing out accolades before anything has been done.

    Obama will be breaking many liberal hearts.

  15. C.T. Behemoth says:

    So, let me get this straight. Obama has been President for a few hours and you’re already bitching about it? Sad. Pathetic really.

    Last I checked, Dems didn’t “let” Burris sit…the law “let” him and Dems figured it was in the best interest of the process to not just throw the law out the window. Brilliant move by Blago really, but it’s not like Burris is a total piece of shit.

    The Democrats have controlled Congress for 4 years? You need to do some electoral math.

    In any case, I think “new era” in the contexts you’ve outlined is more of a euphemism for ‘finally the negligent fucking numbskull is out of office’. Hell, if I was more of a conservative, I would be calling it a “new era” too. I’m not a die-hard conservative by any stretch, but I’m pissed off with the ways in which the last 8 years have corrupted the conservative movement and left it flailing around looking for answers…especially when it comes to Christian conservatives who have been lumped in with the fringe (much to their dismay).

    After reading your rant, I find myself thinking that, hopefully, there will be a “new era” of conservative thinking that sounds less like whinging and more like an attempt to rebuild the conservative movement in ways that are conducive to good governance.

    No offense.

  16. Timothy says:

    I’d embed this, but I’m at work.

  17. Betz says:

    Ossie: He was 18. As long as there’s grass on the field, Play Ball. (And yes, I do mean that in the punn-iest sense imaginable).

  18. Ossie says:

    For starters, our politicians now wait until legislative assistants are of age before having sex with them. They’re still liars; but hey, it’s a start.

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