Thursday January 21, 2021
Brand New Day
When all the dark clouds roll away
And the sun begins to shine
I see my freedom from across the way
And it comes right in on time
And it seems like and it feels like
And it seems like, yes it feels like
A brand new day
A brand new day
-- Van Morrison, “Brand New Day”
I listened to Van Morrison's “Brand New Day” while making coffee yesterday morning, then posted the video later on Twitter. That was the feeling—mine and everyone's. By the time I woke, Donald Trump had left the White House for the last time as president. He was done. At 7:30 AM PST, when I woke up Patricia, festivities were already beginning. Have I ever watched an inauguration ceremony all the way through? I suppose 2009's, at a party, a brunch, but I don't think I watched with this level of scrutiny and caring and just overall relief.
And what a show they put on. It was exciting when each new couple strolled down the Capitol steps—the site, two weeks ago, of so much violence and chaos and horror. I even appreciated the Republicans there. I appreciated Mike Pence for showing up to represent the administraton since Trump didn't have the courage to do so; since he never realized the importance of the office; since he always thought it was always about him rather than the office. Moscow Mitch was there, too, so I stopped hating on him for a few hours. Roy Blunt gave a not-bad speech and made a not-bad snow flurries/Amy Klobachur/Minnesota joke. I loved the rendition of “This Land is Your Land” from J-Lo and the “Hamilton”-inflected poem from a 22-year-old former stutterer (like Biden). I liked Garth Brooks' “Amazing Grace” (but brother, put on a mask), but I particularly loved Lady Gaga's powerful rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Her phrasing, and the events of two weeks ago, not to mention the past four years, lent new meaning to the words, “... gave proof through the night/ That our flag was still there.” Words that I've sung literally thousands of times suddenly had new meaning for me. I felt myself tearing up.
And man did I love Biden's speech. He was serious and straightforward about our problems. This part:
Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies—lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies.
It's the part Republicans have seized on in the last 24 hours. They've cry like stuck pigs. But they know. They know what they've been doing. Double down, Joe. Double down.
I think he's the right man for the moment. He's worked in the federal government so long he knows how to make it work. He's both old enough to be crotchety and impatient, and been through enough tragedy to be empathetic. I don't think he'll suffer the many fools in the GOP. I want to hear a lot of “C'mon, man”s directed at Mitch, Lindsey, et al.—the ones who lie for power and profit. The ones who put party above country.
I still remember a dinner out with friends a few years back when everyone was talking up who they wanted on the Democratic side in 2020. This was Seattle so Elizabeth Warren was a popular choice. I said Kamala, with Joe a close second. I also said the best ticket, or the ticket that had the best shot at winning, was Biden-Harris. Glad I wasn't the only one who thought that.
Brand new day.