Monday, November 14, 2016

Obama's Last Waltz

There he was, at the lectern in the West Wing, giving his last press conference, or at least the last before he headed off to Europe, graying now, but still lean and youthful looking, thoughtful, pausing to pick just le mot juste, wry, funny in a low key way, humble, careful, saying exactly what he means and nothing more, nothing less.  In short, everything the 45th President is not going to be.
Mr. Bannon looking for the ideal woman, the Lebensborn
Mr. Bannon's ancestral inspiration

And on the way home, on NPR, I hear Stephen Bannon, President-elect Trump's "Chief Strategist" in a past interview saying that "the women who we want leading us into the future are Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, real women with kids, not some dykes from Seven Sisters schools in New England."

Ah, well. We always seem to do this in America, Bald, pale, gray, tired Eisenhower gives way to tanned, vigorous Kennedy; sweaty, twitchy Nixon gives way to sunny, toothy Carter; George W. , who had that dull boy's insecurity gives way to the easy confidence of a man who knows he's very bright. And now the cerebral Obama gives way to the boisterous, bluster of the bloviatator.  It's just the pendulum inexorably in swing. 
We'll get by it. 

And I loved Obama describing Trump, after a pause as "gregarious." That is truly the most generous description of the man anyone could possibly summon.
 It took the special brilliance of Obama to come up with that. 

There is brilliance out there, still. Witness Kate McKinnon opening "Saturday Night Live" the first show after the election. (Who knew she could play piano and sing like this?) The selection could not have been more appropriate. Leonard Cohen died the night before the election, thankfully for him. And the song, an elegy perhaps for our Republic, but then she turns to the camera and tells us what it means to her:

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