January 20, 2005


Today, strange is as it is to say, is the final day of George W. Bush’s first term*, as Dubya will be sworn in tomorrow for term #2. Inauguration Day has always been one of my favorite times on the political calendar, as I’ve always found it semi-miraculous that we can turn on the TV and watch an orderly, ceremonial transition of power, whereas in much of the world, we’d be watching a war, a coup, or a mass assassination.

Others, alas, don’t feel that way. Upset that their endless protests throughout 2002-2004 failed to get Bush out of office and may have even played a role in his re-election, the Anti-Bush Movement has plans to protest/disrupt the festivities. There's the actual protests in DC, other "actions" taking place in other cities, and even this asinine campaign called "Not One Damn Dime," as though a one-day consumer boycott will somehow convince Bush to not take the oath of office after all.

But what, exactly, are they seeking to accomplish? In my opinion, nothing- their goal, more than anything concrete or substantial, is to feel good about themselves.

My new friend Michael Totten had a post on this yesterday, and he calls the phenomenon (originally coined in a Lip magazine essay), “activistism"- in reference to those more concerned with propogating activism and enjoying their own self-righteousness than in actually accomplishing anything politically. Here’s Michael:

Anyway, it finally clicked, what separated me from the left-wing herd for many years even before 911. So many of them are activists. I’m not – not in any way shape or form whatsoever. I’m a book-reader, an intellectual, and a writer. I’m interested in history and ideas. They are interested in activism and power.
Exactly. That’s how I’ve felt since at least high school.

Along the same lines, my blog twin has a great post in which he observes that the Blogosphere, despite its independence, is actually more partisan than the “MSM.” He goes on to state that the Blogosphere is the ideal place for “political hybrids” such as himself- and me, and Jarvis, and Totten, and lots of other people. Exactly.

*The colloquialism has always been that Bush’s father’s single term was “the First Bush Administration,” whereas Dubya’s is the second. So what do we call the new term? “The Third Bush Administration”?

Posted by Stephen Silver at January 20, 2005 01:02 AM


Posted by: A at January 20, 2005 10:03 AM

Doesn't a "ceremonial transition of power" imply that power is being handed over to someone else?

Posted by: norbizness at January 20, 2005 11:40 AM

I really liked Totten's essay on "Activism"...brought back some memories of my years as an undergrad ;-)

As for the blogsphere--more often than not, when you're visiting a blog you know you're going to get a partisan opinion (in some cases). It's like talk radio, you go into it with an expectation. This is in contrast to the MSM which theoretically is supposed to be a "straight-shooter" in reporting the news.

However, I agree with you that the blogsphere is great for political hybrids. The more you look at it, many people are indeed hybrids rather than stright party-liners. However, many of these people are overlooked in the blogsphere it seems.

Posted by: jaws at January 20, 2005 03:17 PM
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