Astronomers have a name for the phenomenon of an object appearing to be in different places, depending on the perspective from which it is viewed. It’s known as the parallax view, and could be seen on display for the 2nd Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States. Speaking of it, folks described events occurring on different planets. Some called it a disaster, some a triumph. Crime scene in a cave versus ascension on a mountain top. White knight to the rescue — Darth Vader choking off a windpipe.
No one denies it was an auspicious ceremony, with Beyonce lip syncing and Michelle Obama resurrecting a 25-year-old haircut, but Barack H. Obama’s last Oval Office induction ceremony was totally defined according to which side of the aisle you watched it from. Seen through the blue lens was one thing but through the red lens, something semi-similar only inside out, upside down and backwards. With poopy on it.
For Democrats, the January weekend of celebration was even more momentous than the first time around. Proving indubitably that America is the land of opportunity, where hope never dies and lots of little money for campaign coffers never hurts either. And if you ever get the chance to give a bunch of old people rides to the polls on fleets of rented buses, go for it.
For Republicans it was a three-day salt in the wound reminder of wasted opportunity. Exactly how bad a candidate Mitt Romney actually was. Think of it; in a lousy economy the guy managed to lose to a black incumbent, whose middle name is Hussein. The incumbent, not the economy. Permanent bruise, right above the knee, where the fist automatically slams down. At least twice a day.
Nobody could deny the emotional depth precipitated by the occasion of oath-taking on the Capitol’s west side in front of freezing multitudes. So much so, that even John Boehner seemed moved to tears. Which, admittedly, isn’t all that unusual. And kind of creepily, they were orange tears. Who sheds tears of Tang?
And while the event itself may have been polarizing, it paled like the cover of Sue Grafton’s “A is for Alibi” in the front window of a west-facing bookstore in Equatorial Guinea — compared to the speech.
The president waxed eloquent about a pursuit of progressive ideals; mentioning marriage equality, climate change and even slamming Paul Ryan’s claim that society is being ruined by the takers. So as you can imagine, right after the president was sworn in, he was sworn at.
Oh my. The hue and cry. He was called a socialist. A banana head. A foreign-born evildoer attempting to destroy the country. Unveiling a left-wing manifesto that finally reveals his true colors as a socialist usurper of all that is good and right and true and just. So... looks like, everything’s back to normal.
We the people, were given the impression that this time around the rebooted Obama 2.0 will be less likely to roll over on his back begging Mitch McConnell to rub his belly. After getting poked with a sharp stick for four years, this dog may have grown some teeth. But that’s where the parallax view kicks in again. Some see them as incisors and some vampire canines that enable him to suck the souls right out of our skulls.