Justin Washington's Blog

From America’s First Black President to America’s Second Black President and Everything In Between: The Bookended Decade‏ (Part 1 of 3) | January 5, 2010


What a decade these first 10 years of the 21st century turned out to be, ending with a blue moon — literally, which happens on December 31st only every 19 or so years; I hope this turns out to be an auspicious occasion rather than a harbinger of more hard times ahead.  


 
We started the first decade with the clock ushering in the year 2000 as we partied like it was 1999 (because it was and not just because strange symbols formerly known as Prince said so); we were relieved primarily that the civilized world — such as it was — did not end due to Y2K fears, perpetrated primarily by companies seeking to drum up business for their nerdy programmers who in the 1990’s became unlikely “rock stars of business” during the Internet boom but more resembled rats deserting a sinking ship in the wake of the ensuing overhyped, overinflated Internet Dot Com balloon bust by 2000.  
 
Speaking of inflated balloons, 2000 was also the tailend, pardon the pun, of the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton, the second US President to ever be impeached as well as “our first Black president,” to quote American, Nobel and Pultzer-Prize winning author, Toni Morrison; Ms. Morrison also went on to say about Clinton that he was “Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children’s lifetime.” Since less than 8 years later, the country would go on to elect Barack “Urkel” Obama, I guess “the children” to whom she referred were fruitflies with very short lives.  

Urkel

 
Our first Black president Clinton and our second Black president Urkel Obama bookended the presidency of our first Fratboy-in-Chief, George “W” Bush who just so happened to be the son of former president George Herbert Walker Bush who preceeded Clinton.  (The country is only thankful that Hillary wasn’t elected so we could break what appeared to be an emerging pattern:  Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton; with Bush’s brother, Jeb, in the wings, and Chelsey Clinton coming of age, how long could these two dynasties have continued to play leap frog in the White House?)

The Bush Dynasty

 Normally, a sitting vice-president has a decided advantage over his opponent during a presidential election, especially when that opponent is someone with the gravitas of George “W” Bush over whom the Democrat-sympathizing media ran roughshod.  However, Al Gore, Clinton’s vice-president and the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee, with all the warmth and personality of a stump was dealt a terrible hand:  in the 2000 election, he won the popular vote but lost the electoral votes to his challenger George “W” Bush.  Florida turned out to be the stage upon which foggy-headed Floridian seniors were so confused by their now notorious “butterfly ballots” that they inadvertently voted for Buchanan when they really meant to vote for Gore (or so goes the story).  The confusion is natural since Buchanan’s and Gore’s politics are as similiar as day is to night.

On election night, Gore conceded, but upon learning that he was a mere few hundred votes shy of winning, he un-conceded, and then promptly attempted to sue his way into the White House, holding the country hostage for several months as Lord VoldeGore unleashed his Death-Eaters in the form of demented attorneys on three cherry-picked counties in Florida.  Seemingly endless recounts ensued during which time, “chads” became a household term almost reminiscent of a new chapter of “Harry Plotter and the Chamber of Chads.”  (Despite what one may think, a “chad” is not someone who vacations in Key West during Spring Break but is instead a term used to describe the small, square bits of paper punched from ballots.)  

The Dark Lord Commanding Attorneys to Invade Florida in 2000

During this time, the world also learned from political pundits eager to see Gore elected that Democrat operatives, playing Karnack the Magician, had the supernatural power to divine what the true intent of an individual voter was by carefully peering at chads that were dangling, hanging, dimpled or even those eaten and ingested by hopeful Democrat polls.  Remarkably, the “true intent” of the questionable ballots always seemed to result in yet another Gore vote!  

Clearly another Gore vote...

 
Despite these machinations, Gore’s tally never exceeded Bush’s.  Consequently, the whole ordeal left a bad-taste in everyone’s mouth and a less than flattering impression of old people in the south of Florida and of all Americans by the rest of the world.  (Former US President Jimmy Carter was rumored to have suggested that the UN should send in official representatives to ensure the validity of US elections much like they do for other third-world banana republics.)
 
Eventually, there were so many lawsuits filed that it appeared we wouldn’t know who the “real winner” was until after his first term was up — 4 years later.  Finally, the lawsuits ended up in the laps of the US Supreme Court justices where two major decisions were made.  The most important of these decisions was not even close with a decision of 7-2, so it was the second, less important and more narrow decision (5-4) that is the one Gore supporters point to in declaring that Bush was “selected” by a “partisian” Supreme Court.
 
Basically, all of this meant that roughly half the country was angry that Gore lost to an imbecile who was born with a “silver foot in his mouth,” and the other half were relieved that the heir-apparent to all Clinton’s attendant impeachment/Chinese communist fund-raising/stained Lewinsky blue-dress dirty laundry was not elected.  This group would have voted for a wooden dummy over Gore, and the other half would say that’s exactly who was elected.

 
The country’s wounds had not yet healed when less than 9 months into the Bush presidency, 19 Muslim extremists hijacked 4 commercial jetliners on September 11, 2001 — a date that will be forever seared into our collective memories.  Two planes were flown into the Twin Towers in New York, one into the Pentagon but one destined for the White House was miraculously diverted and taken down in an empty field in Pennsylvania by several brave everyday Americans who fought back against the lunatic hijackers.  In all, almost 3,000 Americans and other civilians from over 90 nations were murdered in often gruesome circumstances such as jumping out of two of the tallest buildings in the world or risk being burned alive.
 
As a result, we ended up waging two wars against terrorism:  one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.  From that point forward, Bush was regarded as having done the right thing by many or being called “Hitler” by others.  In the meantime, the media were eager to push microphones and cameras into the faces of any person who wanted to compare Bush to Hitler or the village idiot.  Those with ripened and developed intellects such as people who sing or dance or act or tell jokes for a living were thrust into the daily news with their sometimes teary/sometimes indignant tirades against Bush while their supporters in the media claimed how brave they were for standing up against Bush’s tyranny.  It became all the rage to show one’s “patriotism” by railing and ranting against Bush and against the US waging “illegitimate wars” against Afghanistan and, especially, Iraq where no WMD’s were found (perhaps if thousands of dead Iraqi Kurds could speak, they no doubt could attest to the fact the Sadam Hussein HAD some WMD’s up his sleeve at one point).  

However, after Obama was elected in 2008, those in the media had apparently changed their collective minds and decided that it was simple racism to dissent from or oppose Obama’s policies in anyway as well as just plain, well, “unAmerican.” 

It’s amazing what a few short years will do to one’s perspective…

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2 Comments »

  1. Hysterical. The images are just cracking me up. Love the “frat-boy in chief”.

    Comment by seppy — January 5, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

  2. Very crazy and good!

    Comment by Brie — January 6, 2010 @ 12:37 am


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