I have to admit that I chuckled when he flubbed the oath of office. I guess he did need a teleprompter to aid him in that difficult moment. Of course, if Bush had done that, the media and the left in general would have jumped all over him. In this case, the left actually blamed Chief Justice Roberts for deliberately messing up the oath to make the Messiah look bad. Wow, talk about stretching things.
Given the vitriol aimed at Bush over the last eight years (some of it deserved, most hardly so), I would say that the left would have already been plotting to undermine a McCain presidency through various means. Now, however, the conservatives must bow to the spirit of "bi-partisanship" because he's The One, to which I reply...Yeah, Right.
After having watched his inauguration speech earlier, I felt the need to actually look at the speech text several hours later. I found a few tidbits to pick apart...
"That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet."
It's nice that the left has finally understood the nature of the terrorist threat, or should I say that they are at least paying lip service to this issue. However, I cannot help but wonder where they were between 9/11 and the present day? Obama himself seemed determined to undermine the war effort, but now freely acknowledges (gasp!) that there might be a problem after all. How...convenient. Well, it's all in the spirit of "bi-partisanship", to be sure.
As for the economy, it is true that greed and irresponsibility caused much of it. It also had much to do with government interference (let's just say that forcing lenders to hand out money to those with very bad credit rating isn't the most logical solution). I'm at a loss as to what "our collective failure to make hard decisions and prepare the nation for a new age" has to do with the economy. If he means making decisions in the stock market, well, it's a win/lose situation. Sometimes you come up big, sometimes you don't. That's why people with no knowledge of how the stock market works shouldn't be doing it. As for preparing the country for a "new age", I can only imagine what that'll be. I could say Socialism, but that would be mean, and I know how conservatives are perceived. It's probably not the Age of Aquarius that he's talking about (although maybe it is...he is of that generation).
Homes were lost because people made stupid economic decisions. Putting your house up for collateral to take money out is not exactly the most intelligent decision, but apparently those of us where were very responsible will have to bail out the super irresponsible. But hey, that's how life is in the Age of the Messiah (note: the whole bail out thing is not exclusive to the left...those who were "conservative" and supported the bail out know who they are).
So we'll make more jobs and keep businesses running by taxing the living hell out of them? Yeah, sounds like a sound economic strategy to me. That's what Obama essentially proposed in his campaign theme. Tax the rich. Make them pay. It's a wonder that we'll have any capitalism at all in four years. I won't even comment on health care at this point. As for schools, since the left runs the educational system, perhaps the problem lies in the teaching process. Perhaps teaching students the concept of math and science as well as history (yes, it's hard to believe, but we do actually have a history and...this will totally blow your mind...some of it was actually good) will make students better able to critically think, instead of this kumbaya bullcrap that's peddled today.
"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord."
Yeah, some of that unity I keep hearing about. Newsflash...trying to demonize your opponent is not a good way of promoting unity. As a conservative, I'm a little insulted by this line. So I fear the future? Depends on what that future holds. Fear isn't necessarily a bad trait to have. In fact, it's a basic human condition to keep our otherwise insatiable curiosity from getting us killed is certain circumstances. I know this is a real issue with the left, but conflict and discord have always been around and will always be there. The messiah will not change this. And what exactly is so wonderful about "unity of purpose"? I mean, it sounds a little like we should be good automatons behaving exactly like what our Dear Leader dictates. He's the president, not a deity. Let's keep things in perspective, shall we? This country was founded on discord and conflict because we didn't agree with Parliament on how the colonies should be governed. Hell, we had a conflict in order to create the United States for crying out loud. From the very beginning, there was argument on the style of government (see Federalist and Anti-Federalist). To say that conflict is evil undermines the very spirit of this country. It's an absolute necessity for having a democracy, since without two sides, it's kinda hard to have that type of government (but then the left does want a socialist dictatorship).
"For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do. "
Woo Hoo!!! The Golden Age of the Messiah has begun in earnest! However...
Not to be a killjoy on this joyous celebration of True Socialism in our lifetime, but how exactly are we going to pay for all of this? I know, it's leftist drivel and they thrive on emotion (instead of that evil reality that we conservatives live in), but its certainly something worth asking. But I get an answer in the following paragraph.
"Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage. "
Ah yes, that part about me lacking courage to face the New Age. My memory isn't exactly short. It's a valid question. We've had 200+ years to get to where we are today. Rome wasn't built in a day, and yet the Messiah is telling the populace to ignore that basic fact. And as silly as it seems, all of this "can do" spirit will still require a royal assload of money to implement, so I ask again (at the peril of sounding too fearful), who's going to pay for all of this?
"What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government. "
Since I'm a cynic, I feel compelled to answer this. First of all, I felt some amusement at this, since I conjured up an image (probably believed to be a generalized fact among many leftists) that I (and likewise others of the same political persuasion) was an evil creature being shoved back into the dark crevasses of the earth by the Light of the Messiah. Although this will sound arrogant (maybe it is), I don't feel the ground has shifted beneath my feet. On the contrary I feel that a lot of naive people have been duped into believing a charismatic person who peddled a lot of fluff in order to get elected. Time will tell whether the tired old arguments no longer apply. Hey, don't get me wrong, I'm all for a bright future. But like I said earlier, there are many possible futures that we can move into. Simply pretending those problems don't exist will not change them. As to the rest of the passage, I won't hold my breath.
"Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint. "
Say what??? Sturdy convictions? Yeah, it helped those pro-democracy demonstrators in Tianemen Square. They had nothing but conviction, and it didn't stop Chinese tanks from rolling them over and blasting them off the face of the earth. Sturdy alliances are always backed with military might (unless it's an economic alliance, in which case it's money). An alliance among nations without military might is nothing. Check the UN and Bosnia(Sebrenica and Zepa in particular). Let's face it, harsh language and simple "conviction" would not have stopped Hitler in World War II, nor would it have stopped the thousands of Soviet T-72s and T-80s massed in East Germany and Czechoslovakia. If this is the nonsense that the Messiah will bring to the table against our enemies, then it'll be a long four years. We'll see what humility and restraint will get us when Iran lobs nukes into Israel or if al-qaeda, God forbid, sets off, nuclear, chemical or biological weapons on our soil. I can already see this is a recipe for disaster in the making.
"To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it. "
I ask this tiresome question again. Great, but who's going to pay for all of this? We're not even a full day into this administration and already we're seeing signs of gumdrop flowers, lollipop trees and sugarplums dancing nonsense. None of this happy horseshit will solve any of the existing problems that we have.
And finally..."So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood."
Yeah, this is what you get when you take history out of the curriculum. It becomes morphed into something incomprehensible. I'm assuming that he was referring to the Battle of Trenton, which he totally muffed. I know that it's not cool to know anything about history these days, but I must say something about this. Actually, they moved to the Delaware River, they never actually encamped there (did he mix this up with Valley Forge the following year? Not sure). There wasn't really an actual capital, since the Congress was generally where the British weren't. Far from advancing, the British went into winter quarters, confident that the Americans would fall apart over the winter after their previous reverses around New York. The fact that the Hessian mercenaries were totally surprised in Trenton certainly suggests that they were doing everything but advancing. The blood didn't stain the snow until the Americans attacked.
What does all of this mean? It may be that I'm nitpicking an otherwise "glorious" piece of oration, but how many Americans actually know what I just described? I believe far too many. It's like watching that scene in Animal House when Bluto is revving up the frat brothers about the "Germans bombing Pearl Harbor", Otter said "Germans?", and Boon said "Forget it, he's rolling (btw, I loved that movie)." I thought of that scene when I heard that passage today. But then, we don't need to know history.
We're going to see how this guy does. As Karl Rove said, he'll find it harder to govern than to campaign. The pregame festivities are over. It's time for him to put his money where his mouth is.