Day: December 24, 2008

Obama and the Lincoln Bible

It will be an historic moment when Barack Obama takes the oath of office as the first African American President of the United States on January 20, and it is now made even more historic by the fact that he will be sworn in with his hand on the Abraham Lincoln Bible, which has never been used since Lincoln’s time for the inauguration of any other President.

Obama is looked to as a transformational President, just as Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt were in earlier equivalent moments of crisis.  It is profoundly hoped that Obama will fulfill the need for great presidential leadership as we face the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The fact that Obama began his presidential campaign in the Illinois State Capitol of Springfield where Lincoln once served, and is now using the Lincoln Bible for his inauguration, is inspirational and all Americans need to pray for his success in the White House, as his fortune will have a tremendous impact on the present generation of Americans and in the long term history of the United States.

The Unrepentant Dick Cheney

Here we are with about one month to go to the inauguration, and Vice President Dick Cheney is defiant and unrepentant about his views, behavior and actions as Vice President of the United States for the past eight years.

Even President Bush is willing to admit that some of the actions of his administration have not worked out and to show a human side by belatedly admitting errors.  But Cheney continues to assert that he has no regrets about anything, and states that it was perfectly fine to use curse language against his critics, and to back waterboarding as appropriate to get information, and that we would have gone into Iraq no matter whether it was known that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Cheney shows a level of arrogance unusual in American history, at least in a public forum.  One can be thankful that he never had to take over the powers of the Presidency, although he is certainly responsible for bad advice to Bush and advocated the most extensive use of Presidential power without congressional or court backing in modern history. 

Cheney has been rated by many as the worst Vice President in American history, not on the basis of competence or intellect, but simply on his wildly abusive interpretation of his role and of the President’s authority, something even formerly close friends and aides in the first Bush Administration, when he was a much milder and more moderate Secretary of Defense, have expressed with shock and disbelief.

It seems to me that, due to his unrepentant nature and unwillingness to admit errors, Dick Cheney should face the bar of justice and be investigated for what many see as criminal behavior while in office.  The future Vice President, Joe Biden, will thankfully restore the dignity and respect that the office needs, and still at the same time, will play a significant role in policy making and advice to President Obama.