Saturday, July 05, 2008

Where will we be on Fourth of July 2009?

The fireworks show began a little behind schedule. That was fine with me, as my wife Chris, daughter Annie and I had just cleaned up from our annual Fourth of July Party and Bocce Ball Tournament. Chris was tired after a long day, so Annie and I walked to the corner to watch the show from the lawn of the Word of Life evangelical church. We gazed to the southwest, over the Air Guard base with its burgeoning fleet C-130s and choppers.

We saw nothing special, as far as fireworks go. But I kept wondering about Fourth of July 2009. Pres. Obama will be in the midst of his sixth month in office. Will he be removing U.S. troops from Iraq? One to two brigades a month, as he promised in speeches all over the country? Or will he have caved to political expediency? It’s easy making promises in front of 15,000 cheering Wyomingites in March in Laramie. It’s hard to make good on those promises once you’re the chief of the world’s super power, with lobbyists and legislators and citizens yapping at your heels every moment of every day.

It was the fervor of the antiwar crowd that vaulted Barack Obama to the Democratic Party nomination. Yes, it was also the economy stupid – rising gas prices, unemployment and all the rest. And the venality of the Republicans. And blatant mismanagement of the government. But it was the "Out of Iraq" crowd that made the difference for Obama. We pushed and pulled and cajoled. We could not support Hillary Clinton because of her votes on the war. That was the big difference between Barack and Hillary. Barack against the war, Hillary for it. Yes, she made statements to the contrary, but her votes and quotes are on the record.

With bombs bursting in air, I thought about John McCain. Warrior, senator, Westerner, old guy. He’d seen rockets rising to meet him during combat runs over North Vietnam. One of them tore through his plane and made him a P.O.W. He used to be a straight talker but is no longer. He hasn’t yet met a Bush policy he doesn’t like – or endorse. A Pres. McCain will never get us out of Iraq.

My reverie ended with the fireworks. When I looked around, Annie was gone and I was sitting on the grass with groups of disbanding strangers. In four months, we all troop to the polls and vote. Wyoming will go McCain’s way, but I’m voting for Obama, even though my vote gets lost among the electoral votes. Obama will win. I’ll wait at least until the fireworks go off this time next year to begin the criticism.


No comments: