The one and only op-ed I contributed to Georgetown’s student newspaper, The Hoya, was published January 27, 2009. It’s worth revisiting the first couple of paragraphs:
Last Tuesday at noon, the presidency passed from one tired, oft-maligned party to the opposition, led by a candidate widely hailed as a breath of fresh air for American politics. Despite a slip-up in the administration of the oath of office, Barack Obama did indeed become our new president, and the Bush administration was scattered to the four winds shortly thereafter. And that was that.
Partisan politics, lobbyists, Beltway insiders, late-night comedy and American democracy will go on. What most people in this country and the free world (now under new management) may not realize is the sheer improbability of the event they have just witnessed.
I didn’t write the headline, but the article was published under the title, “Inauguration Sets the Standard for Democracy.”
In the coming weeks and months, our democracy will face at least two tests: first the election, then the inauguration. In both cases, hundreds of millions (if not billions) of people will have to trust and accept both the process and the result.
How probable is a smooth transition this year? I’m not sure, but it doesn’t feel as high as I’d like.