Can we, or can’t we?


It’s been a great relief to me that the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has finally ended. I am thrilled that Barack Obama will be the Democratic candidate. (At the same time feel some pangs of sadness of what could have been. I still like Hillary Clinton, overall, frustrated as I was with her campaign and some of her positions.¹)

I am both excited and optimistic about the idea that Obama can be the next US President.

I am also, at least equally, frightened and a bit nauseated by the possibility that he will not be.

I know many of you have seen these videos. They came out in February. But it’s come to my attention recently that some of my friends have not yet. This seems as good a time as any to share them myself.

First, the “Yes we can” video by Will.i.am and others, which was distributed in February or so. It takes parts of Obama’s speech, and integrates them into a powerful song:

Next, the response videos, which came out only days after the Obama “Yes We Can” video. (If you haven’t seen the above video, or haven’t seen it in a while, you should at least watch a bit of it before seeing the responses.)

Here is john.he.is:

In looking up john.he.is, I also came across this other video that came out right around the last one, but which I hadn’t seen: “No, you can’t.”

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In somewhat related news, you have probaby realized that I’m a self-proclaimed bleeding-heart liberal. Magpie has put together a badge which she has encouraged others to steal and share. I thought I’d oblige:

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¹ I was going to put this bit as a footnote, rather than a parenthetical. But a friend has suggested that I am “headed down the wrong path” with all my recent footnotes. I don’t know what she means. I can stop any time I want.²

² Really, I can.

11 thoughts on “Can we, or can’t we?

  1. I have vowed to myself not to get too political in the blog-o-sphere, but my only productive words are these…

    1. The government never gets smaller once it grows.

    2. The federal government has a horrible track when it comes to doing things correctly when they do get their hands on something. Make an objective list of what it does well, you’ll find the list smaller than the fingers on one hand.

    3. Make a change on the local and state levels. If ANYONE is looking to the federal government for answers to problems, you are going to be disappointed four years from now…regardless of which party holds the office of President.

  2. mte-
    Clearly we strongly disagree on many points. I really don’t have time to go into details now. I deliberately posted something short because I have work to do, and very little time to post at all. But because I don’t want to leave your points without a response, please refer to this article. Here’s an interesting point, as an example:

    Because liberals have historically welcomed government while conservatives have resisted it, it should come as no surprise that the Federal Emergency Management Agency worked so well under Bill Clinton and so poorly under Bush I and II.

    Aside from that, this post was primarily about the videos. I don’t have time at this point to write an essay on the foundations of my political ideology or to respond adequately to yours.

    (Also I need to get to bed.)

  3. Didn’t mean to get too serious.

    I fall in the middle of the political spectrum (neither Conservative or Liberal), so the fact that the Conservatives can’t do it right either just makes my point stronger, but the assumption that either one of these two people are going to make a drastic change to the system that has failed us for the last 65+ years is either overly optimistic on your part or overly pessimistic on mine.

    I will support the candidate ends up in the office.

    Didn’t mean to “bring down the room”.

    :(

  4. wow. thanks for sharing those videos. i think i actually liked the parodies better than the original, maybe because the “yes we can” seemed pretty over the top.

  5. I didn’t watch the videos right now (I’m at work) but it scares me a bit what the right wing will through at Obama. And I’m also a little sad about Hillary for the same reasons you outlined. It’s going to be an interesting next few months.

    Fn. 1. I’m likely putting that badge on my blog too!

  6. I love your footnotes. And I am going to try to come up with some ice cream recipe/smoosh ins between now and the social that allow expression of our pinko-commie-ness. Beets for the commies? Strawberry or bubblegum for the pinko-ness? Or vodka for the commies? Yeah! Vodka! A strawberry/vodka pinko commie float! And then we will eat it/sip from the straw with our left hands.

  7. jen-
    Likewise.

    mte-
    Thanks for coming back. Though I still disagree about the drastic change. I’ve seen drastic changes (for the worse) these past 8 years. And I’m pessimistic enough to believe that damage can happen a lot faster than progress. While the optimist in me hopes for better, I worry most about the potential for further backwards momentum if McCain is elected. (How’s that for bringing down the room?)

    magpie-
    You rock, too. And thanks for the footnote endorsement.

    maja-
    I have mixed feelings about the Obama video. I’m resistant to having my emotions manipulated. But in spite of that, I do find it powerful.
    But the parodies are much easier to watch.

    andrea-
    It’s funny the mixed feelings that so many of us have resulting from the end of the campaign for the nomination. It was a truly groundbreaking contest.
    And yeah, the months leading up to the election are likely to be harrowing…
    (Oh, and thanks for the implicit footnote solidarity!)

    Ashley-
    Aw, thanks. I probably can’t stop anyhow.

    blc-
    Oh, goody! More footnote endorsements!
    And I look forward to the revolutionary ice cream!

  8. likewise, very very very sad over HRC. debate what you will over her issue positions, her campaign, her whole ideology…but it was a great run, marred by shocking moments of chick-hatred.

    but Obama? i can get behind that, too, no prob. and mccain terrifies me, so let’s really hope that most people get behind Obama with me/us.

    footnotes: you’ve inspired me to figure out how to use them on wordpress, THAT’S how much i luv ’em.

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