The Audacity of Hope at War With the Depression of … the New Depression.

The inauguration tomorrow has me, like so many others, all verklempt.  The excitement here in Chicago is palpabale, and now I’m regretting not taking the kids to one of Obama’s rallies during the campaign (public crowds make me uncomfortable even when I don’t have my kids with me; the idea of bringing my young children to a rally made me so uncomfortable that it was literally unthinkable).

I did, however, take advantage of Paste Magazine’s tool for making Obama campaign poster-style photos.  Here’s my YES WE CAN! pic:

yes-we-can

I am tremendously proud of my country for electing (1) our first African-American president, and (2) a really smart guy with good judgment.  I do have a lot of hope for the Obama administration, that he and his advisors will be able to make real progress in fixing some of the foreign policy and national security problems caused by the Dumb and Dumber administration, such as our lousy reputation internationally, the debacle in Iraq, and the all but ignored war in Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, I have very little faith in the government’s ability to deal with economic problems.  I believe that a sizable stimulus package may help short term, but I’m afraid that, if the proposed trillion-dollar package goes through, five years from now we’ll have triple-digit inflation and we’ll be burning wheelbarrows of hundred-dollar bills to keep warm.  And that’s my best case scenario.

So I used the Obamicon maker to make a more pessimistic image, not intended as a knock on Obama, but just to demonstrate my concerns about the mess he is walking into:

were-still-doomed

Update: For the perspective of someone who is embracing the hope without any “Yes, but,” check out Eric Zorn’s inauguration day column at the Trib.  He’s right, of course, and nails the right emotional tone for the day.  I’m a paranoid cynic (or a cynical paranoid), and it’s hard to let go of that, even for a day.

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