Like many country-loving patriotic Americans, I spent much of my Monday watching the Inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama. (He goes by Barack H. Obama now, but we won’t get bogged down with that.) Frankly, there are few things I’d rather do with a day than watch a ceremony that reminds me why I am blessed to have been born in the greatest country on Earth. The peaceful transition, or continuation, of power that manifests itself in our Inaugural festivities is a testament to our republic and the generations of Americans that handed it down to our generation.
Because I respect the day, the Office, and the results of a long and hard-fought election; I refrained from commenting on the events of the day so I could truly just enjoy the historic occasion and recharge the patriotic batteries without getting bogged down in the political realities that inevitably serve as a source of distraction. But now it’s Tuesday; the batteries are recharged; and it’s time to get back to the real world.
After spending a day gathering thoughts, hearing reactions from political pundits, and fielding my share of “what did you think” questions; I felt like the best way to comment on the day’s events was to simply share some of the questions I was asked and the responses I gave – or would have given with the benefit of reflection and a second viewing. So here we go…
What did you think of the speech, generally speaking?
I thought the speech was pretty much on par with what I’ve come to expect from this president. A passionate delivery, vague and ambiguous ideas, and a doubling down on a promise of hope for something undefined or ultimately undefinable. A wise man once told me the only way to leave a dream or a goal truly unfulfilled is to never tell anyone about your dreams or your goals. I’m guessing Barack H. Obama received the same advice, but methinks his interpretation was a little different than mine.
Was the speech one that will be remembered a generation from now? Generations after that?
As I said earlier on Twitter in my only “day of” reaction, I thought this was an undeniably “historic day.” He’s undoubtedly a “historic figure” to be remembered by future generations for a multitude of reasons. But a memorable speech? Not so much. The only way this speech will be “remembered” by future generations is if his second term is successful in ending a three decade era of discomfort and distrust of big government that began under anew under Reagan and called upon the original vision of our Founders. Today’s speech was a punch to the nose of anyone who has ever uttered the words “Government is not the solution to the problem. Government is the problem.”
The president planted the collectivist flag and then spent the balance of his time trying to tie his misguided ideology to the ideals that guided our founding. Individual Liberty or Collective Action? I’m cool with Liberty.
What about the repeated use of the “We the People” line? Did that resonate with you?
Absolutely not. Simply reciting great words and plagiarizing grand ideas is not novel, innovative, or even inspirational. If one fails to understand what “We the People” was meant to represent, I hardly take any meaning from anything that follows those four syllables.
Did the president miss an opportunity to appeal to bipartisanship?
Yes. And No. Sure, a second term “let’s get things done” message would have been a refreshing, appreciated, welcomed… But did anyone really see that coming? Didn’t think so. And why would he? He’s spent four years “leading” from a hyper-partisan posture assisted by a complicit mainstream media that only feeds the sickness that is his chronic arrogance. Why would he suddenly morph into something he’s not? He clearly thinks he has a mandate to govern from the Left and he intends to use it. Beyond that, he knows that any and all “blame” for stagnation and stalemate will fall at the feet of House Republicans, not his own. Bipartisanship would be a concession that a substantial portion of this country still believes four years and no quantifiable progress toward improving the state of things means it may be time for a new approach.
Moreover, he thinks he’s just been given a fresh start. He remembers what “Day One” felt like four years ago – when someone in his inner circle must have convinced him not to focus on fifty other issues important to the Left (or a failing economy and rampant unemployment for that matter) so he could focus his attention entirely on health care. He’s now ready to finish the list. The only problem is… this time his party only controls one half of the Legislative Branch. I think he missed his window.
What did you think of the president speaking to the issue of marriage equality?
I commend him for the effort. I’m fairly certain he’s the first president to do so in such a fashion – let alone in an Inaugural Address. But as I’ve said before, I fail to see how mentioning marriage equality merits praise, or criticism, regardless of one’s position on the issue. Words without action is placation.
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
Is it more courageous than ignoring the subject altogether? Absolutely. That’s why I said I “commend him for the effort.” But at the end of the day, his position remains unchanged – Same Sex Marriage is still an issue to be handled at the state level. And that is a position that angers the living hell out of Lefties when it is taken by Republicans.
As to this line,
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
Perhaps, it represents a change of positions for the president. Maybe he now sees Marriage Equality as a “civil rights issue.” Maybe. That or he was merely pandering to a base with full knowledge that even the Democrat-controlled Senate will not act on the matter leaving it to be sorted on in the courts, potentially this term.
Placating, Pandering, Punting. Little more.
What about his renewed sense of urgency to doing something about Climate Change?
Good for him. He’s dreaming. But good for him. With this Congress, Climate Change legislation is a fairy tale to be told about a fantasy. Unless he’s talking about acting through Executive Orders, he’s really talking about something that amounts to a non-starter; especially given the fact that the price of gasoline is still nearly double what it was the day he took that same oath four years ago. Maybe he can figure out how to run “The Beast” on bubble gum wrappers and dehydrated bananas.
“We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. (Applause.) Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.”
Funny how “our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity” when he’s talking about Climate Change but not when he speaks to fiscal matters and an ever-growing national debt we’re going to kneecap future generations with…
What did you think about the fact that the president seemed to intentionally leave the economy and unemployment out of the speech?
My guess is that he left it our for one or all of four reasons. 1) Who wants a reminder that things are no better today than they were four years ago? Talk about a buzz kill. Dude just got re-elected. 2) The Obama administration has been selling for days the idea that this was Part A of a two-part speech to be completed at the State of the Union. They’re just saving the real world issues for the sequel. 3) Who would he blame for “inheriting” such a woeful economic outlook? Bush – four years removed? House Republicans? Himself? 4) This guy really thinks this speech is going to be replayed 50 years from now, so why give the kid paying attention in the public school classroom of 2063 a reason to raise his hand and say “If this guy was so great, why wasn’t he able to move the needle on unemployment or turn around a fledgling economy in four years?
What was your favorite line in the speech?
“Thank you. God bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.”