Then there was the prominent place given to the creepy nominee for Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, at the luncheon. I’m not saying that Geithner is a crook. If I were on the staff at the Capitol, though, I would have made sure to count the silverware before letting him leave. He seems to have trouble knowing what is his and what belongs to the government.
Most importantly from the day, though, I did have the surge of hope. Somewhere in the middle of Bush’s second term, I could no longer even watch the news because the sound of his arrogant voice sent me into a tailspin. Sure, I kept informed by reading about the day’s events, but live-action shots were out of the queston. It was an astounding day of relief that we now have a president who is smart, kind, and at least wants to do the right thing for the nation and world. Basic competence is so refreshing!
Much like election day, though, Obama’s inauguration proved bittersweet for queer folk. While I hardly think that the inclusion of homophobic Christian minister Rick Warren is tantamount to sending gay folk to concentration camps, it didn't really suggest that the gays are anything other than a second thought for the new administration (as are Latinos, I might add). Most of us want to believe in his soaring rhetoric and promises of justice (VUBOQ sent me the link to the WH’s promises for LGBTQ people). It's clear, though, that all us queers are going to have keep pushing that gay agenda. Fortunately, unlike the previous administration, this one appears willing to listen and open to being convinced.
Since I am sure that the new administration is waiting breathlessly to know the recommendations of an obscure blogger, here are some of my own ideas for Obama’s first 100 days in office:
* Mobilize your landslide victory and astounding approval ratings for rapid changes. I appreciate being cautious, but the people actually support you. Use the rosy glow of their approval to accomplish your priorities: Economic stimulus? Foreign Relations overhaul? Painting the White House a nice mauve color? Whatever you think is the most important issue, do it now while there is still time. Except the people who live in Texas and South Carolina, all of us are behind you 110 percent.
* Crush Texas and South Carolina.
* Give Michelle Obama something more profound to do than model pretty, pretty dresses. Okay, I will confess that when I had a drink with some of my gay peeps on inaugural night, the first item of discussion was her yellow brocade number (Two were in favor, one opposed). Still, she can look fabulous and do something that draws on that Princeton degree. Heck, I sometimes get the impression that she might be a wee bit more savvy than you.
* Remember Mexico? Well, with the all the drug wars, political corruption, and kidnapping, it seems to need some serious help at the moment. Since you have never been south of the border, this might be a good time to brush up on your Spanish.
* Either allow me to keep my shoes on through airport security screening or take liquids on board in quantities bigger than three ounces. I’m willing to settle for one or the other.
* Hire more gay, Latino historians to work in your administration. What? I can’t have some petty self interests?
* Update the twenty dollar bill. The Bush regime couldn’t stop fiddling with the money – color changes, font adjustments, security stamps. Apparently instead of keeping an eye on the economy, they went crazy with Photoshop. Well, they aren’t the only ones who can be creative with our currency. Take a look at my proposal:
It looks good, doesn't it?
* Stop sending me e-mails asking for more money. I was happy to donate to your historic campaign, but it seems downright tacky to keep asking for more after you have won and taken office. Hit me up again when it’s time for your reelection, or, at the very earliest, midterm elections.
* Lay off the Abraham Lincoln parallels for awhile – We get it, you like yourself some Lincoln. Seriously, though, we better not see you sneaking around the White House in a stovepipe hat and mutton chops.
* Sign an executive order that destroys all copies of the “prequel” Star Wars movies and order that we, as nation, never speak of them again.
* Don’t, under any circumstance, trust political advice offered by Tom Daschle. His reappearance during your campaign, and now in the cabinet, sends chills through my spine. He too often compromised (or flat-out gave into) the Bush administration. For many like me, he represents the worst elements of the old Democratic party: Cowardly, weak, and unwilling to fight the hard fight for justice. He will almost certainly recommend compromising when you shouldn’t.
* Sign an executive order ridding foods of high fructose corn syrup. The agri-corn-empire recently started advertising on television to convince us that high fructose corn syrup is not as unhealthy as some suggested. Such a move can only mean that is even worse than we suspected. High fructose corn syrup is the most toxic thing on the market since Philip Morris experimented with those asbestos-flavored cigarettes.
* Figure out a way to turn Air Force One into a hybrid vehicle. Failing that, see if you can turn it into a Transformer robot.
* Recruit some drag queens to work in the press room. If you want witty retorts to reporters’ tough questions, they are your gals.
* Reconsider keeping Guantanamo Bay Prison Facility open, but only for former members of the Bush administration. They built it, they might as well enjoy it and its many amenities.
* Try having a bit more of a sense of humor in public. You know that I think that you are a doll, but do you have to be so serious all the time? FDR, John Kennedy, and, yes, even Abraham Lincoln all liked a good joke. Maybe you could ask Jon Stewart to the Oval Office for a few lessons.
* Remember that the gays love you (for now) and most [white straight] Christian Evangelicals never will. It might be nice, therefore, if you stop treating the gays as if we are the subject of a high school debate where a “big tent of disagreement” should be entertained. Our basic rights are not some trivial matter, like arguing over whether the bald eagle or the turkey should be the national bird.
Besides, we gays have much better parties. Have you ever been to an Evangelical party? It’s nothing but cheeze-wiz and generic 7UP.
Come to my house and we’ll listen to Billie Holiday on the hi-fi while I serve my current cocktail du jour, the Palmer (Citrus, bourbon, and bitters – Simple, but beautiful). Never heard of a Palmer? Stick with the gays -- we are always one step ahead.