Monday, November 10, 2008

Hey! How was the weekend? Mine was good.
Friday night I went with some friends to see Calexico at Antone's. It was a really good show. Calexico is just really good at doing their thing, and they seem to effortlessly blend country, rock, and Mexican folk and mariachi-style music in a natural and seamless kind of way. Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, Calexico is one of those bands that kind of carries the resonance of their home. They just kind of sound very Southwesternish, with their Mexican and country influences combining with rock and rockabilly sounds in a unique sort of way. Anyway, the band seemed to be enjoying themselves, and the sold out Antone's crowd was really into it as well.
Sam Beam of Iron and Wine came out to sing with Calexico during their encore. He's got a great voice, and sounded really good with the band (he's toured with them before, so they're obviously pretty comfortable with each other). I guess he lives in Austin.
Anyway, that was Friday.
Saturday I got up and kind of putzed around (watched part of the UT-Baylor game). Later in the afternoon I went out to my parents new house to help them unload some furniture that they had brought up here from Houston. The house is looking pretty good. Afterward we went out to eat at a small Italian restaurant called Pasta House out near their place. It was pretty good.
Sunday I got up and had lunch with Ryan, Jamie, and Jamie's friend, Rebecca, at Curra's. Afterward, Ryan and I took our dogs to the dog park at Riverside. We ran into my cousin, Susan, over there. She was with her Corgi, Pierre, so we spent some time catching up with her and talking about holiday plans.
After the dog park I had Mono Ensemble practice. All five of us made it, and we sounded pretty good. We experimented with a few new cover songs, and dusted off some of our originals that we hadn't played in awhile. It was a good practice.

So that was the weekend.
Now here's the part where I annoy some conservatives. If you're conservative, but you're waiting to give Obama a fair chance and see how he does as president, please feel free to skip this. For those of you who are dying to see him fall on his face, well, hey- this is for you!!
I also watched some news shows this weekend, and, of course, ended up talking about the Obama election with some people. I'm kind of chagrined to hear some conservatives openly talking about how they can't wait to see the country fall apart under Obama so that they can start blaming him for the problems that the country's facing.
Here's the thing. First- I find it sort of disingenuous for a party who supposedly pride themselves on their patriotism to be hoping that our country falls apart just so they have some good ammunition to use in attacking the Democrats. And another thing- if that's what you're hoping for, you don't really love your country. You just love your party. And second of all- it took a combination of neglect and active destruction over an eight year period by Republicans in order to cripple our economy, lower our esteem in the world community, trash the environment, shred our civil rights, and wreck the national budget (and before someone pipes up- yes, I know the Democrats had a two year control of congress, but it's pretty hard to get any meaningful legislation through when it's just going to be blocked by fillibuster or Presidential veto, anyway [I give you the children's health insurance program as exhibit A]). Even with Obama working at full steam for four years, he's going to have his work cut out for him in just repairing the damage that's been done, let alone making any significant improvements (besides the major issues of the economy, the Iraq War, and our energy issues, he has a laundry list of "minor items" to deal with, including The Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, readdressing issues of torture and rendition, subsidies for Head Start and SCHIP, readdressing all of the environmental regulations that have been rolled back [even this week, the Bush White House has pulled back laws restricting uranium mining along the Colorado River], issues of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, and many, many other areas where the Republicans have chipped away at the quality of life in this country and weakened our position as a world leader).
So back off on the attacks, conservatives. And be put on notice now. No- the left is not going to let you sit there and complain about Obama as he seeks to repair damage and make positive changes- not without reminding you with each and every whiny complaint that you guys had eight years to run this country, and all that you did with that time was add wealth to the richest part of the country while driving everyone else into the ground. We're not going to let you rewrite and revise history while we try to clean up your mess.
Hopefully Obama stays true to his rhetoric and reaches across the aisle to try to foster some more bipartisan efforts in facing this country's problems. It would be great if we could all work together. But the first step toward getting our country on track is decidedly not going to come about by sitting back with your arms folded, hoping our country implodes so that you can make fun of the president.
I've criticized the Bush White House a whole lot over the last years, true, but I've been wanting the country to do better- I've donated to causes that I thought were being neglected under his watch (Amnesty International for human rights, World Wildlife Fund and Sierra Club for environmental issues, Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders for people who weren't getting health services, etc.), signed petitions, sent emails, and marched in protest in order to try to get my voice heard on different issues (the war, the environment, etc,), and donated small amounts of my time (to groups like the Capital Area Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, etc.).
Point is, I didn't just sit on my hands and hope the world would come to an end so that I could blame George W. Bush. When I complained about Bush it really was because I was disturbed about what I thought he was doing to the country- I wasn't gleeful about the country suffering so that I could celebrate Bush's failures (and yes, I'm glad The Surge has worked, insofar as it has, and... well, I'm trying to think of something else that has gone really well for Bush...). I'm not so full of hate for Bush that I'm going to begrudge him his victories when he does something really good for the country or the world- I just think those times have been extremely few and far between.
Ooookay. End of Rant.
Once again- that rant was not aimed at all conservatives. Just the haters. You know who you are.


Queenie said...

Somehow that last line does not reassure me that you want to keep any of your conservative friends. Quite the opposite is what I gathered from the post, actually. Which is a shame. And makes me feel badly that you don't give "us conservatives" more credit than that for being good human beings.

Steanso said...

I'm VERY interested in keeping conservatives as friends, but not under the precondition that I'm not allowed to speak my mind, and (especially on my own blog, which no one is under any obligation whatsoever to read), and not if the precondition for that friendship is the fact that I have to sit idly by and watch people make attacks on someone that I support and who I think is trying to do the right thing for the country.
Like I said, this post wasn't meant as a response to all conservatives, but I've already heard three people in my personal life (two up at work, and one outside of work) and many more TV pundits talk about how happy they're going to be while watching the country suffer through hard times over the next few years because that's going to teach all the Democrats a thing or two. I find this viewpoint unpatriotic and meanspirited, but I certainly hope that MOST conservatives would rather see the country prosper than suffer, no matter who the president is. I hope that a lot of this talk is just people blowing off steam after a tough election.

Queenie said...

Of course you're free to post whatever on your blog...and I agree about the meanspirited attitude many have. People are competitive, Jason. And elections hit home for many on so many different and diverse levels. And for some it will take longer than others to come to terms with Obama being the new President. I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but cannot imagine anyone wanting other fellow Americans to suffer or fail just to prove a point. That seems to go against everything our forefathers believed in and, personally, that I believe in as a Christian. But that is just me. So, glad to know the post was not directed toward all conservatives....

The League said...

Perhaps its because this was such a heated past few months leading up to the election, but I've heard similar things as Jason. And, yes, its very weird to hear someone saying they hope things get worse because Their Guy didn't win.

Believe me, had the opposite happened, we would have heard a landslide of the same in regards to President McCain in our little blue dot here in the middle of Texas. There are always those who say things that suggest they're not seeing the forest for the trees.

The Pope said...

I voted for William Jennings Bryan and the mighty Populist Party!!!

You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!!!

I can't wait for all you gold lovers to realize just how right silver is.