I’ve been sailing through The Ether on a ship made of discarded Solyndra solar panels fishing for the best, most insightful commentary on the repugnant spectacle that was the inauguration of Julius Obamacus Nero Crassus Caesar in the imperial capital…
-Quin Hillyer [worth quoting in full][emphasis mine]:
President Obama has become a master at the trick of couching progressive prescriptions in the language of the traditional American creed — thus effecting a deliberate inversion of that creed’s actual meaning. That’s exactly what he did with his second inaugural address, using the language of the American Founding to promote collectivism in almost all areas of life. The hinge came in a single clause which sounded oh-so-reasonable and inarguable, but which instead was a non sequitur in terms of its logic and a bastardization of the principles of that creed. “Preserving our individual freedoms,” he said, “ultimately requires collective action.” From that moment on, he was off and running toward a vision in which individual initiative is not just unavailing toward its ends, but actually suspect.
But why is “collective action” required to “preserv[e] our individual freedoms”? Or, even if one acknowledges that of course we need common defense and basic structures of government, which means “collective action” of a sort, does it necessarily require the kind of collective action Obama seems to advocate? There is the voluntary “collective action” of individuals acting without compulsion, which is fully consonant with the American tradition. But the rest of Obama’s speech, and his entire record, shows that his dream is of centrally directed, compulsory “collective action.” If this were boilerplate, it would be merely foolish. But because Obama is deadly serious about it, this is dangerous. We stand forewarned.
-During the invocation, the word ‘God’ was left out of The Pledge Of Allegiance.
Protein Wisdom commentator geoffb:
Such a modest President, removing references to himself from the normal program. We are so blessed that he has come to be with us now.
He truly is the Messiah…I should know, I’ve followed a few.
-Powerful, but spot-on sentiments from Donald Douglas:
…Obama made only the barest, most perfunctory reference to our Creator. He simply doesn’t ground the source of human dignity in a higher power but in the all-enveloping arms of the state. And in making his case, he smacks the Founders to the pavement and abuses their theories in the name of state power. It’s perverse and obscene. I don’t know this country anymore.
Luckily, America is an idea that rests in the souls of those who value freedom and liberty.
-Like many of us Peter Kirsanow skipped the speech [I preferred to have my head nailed to the floor], but his reason for doing so makes a lot of sense:
Like many, I didn’t watch the speech or any of the coverage. I’d already read Peter Pan when I was five.
-Colon [yes, you read that right] Powell provided some color commentary [pun intended because he thinks we’re all raaaaacists] yesterday.
In an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos during ABC’s special inauguration day coverage this morning, former Secretary of State Colin Powell lashed out at people in the Republican Party who spent the last four years spreading “birther nonsense” and other “things that demonize the president,” calling on GOP leaders to denounce such talk — publicly.
“Republicans have to stop buying into things that demonize the president. I mean, why aren’t Republican leaders shouting out about all this birther nonsense and all these other things? They should speak out. This is the kind of intolerance that I’ve been talking about where these idiot presentations continue to be made and you don’t see the senior leadership of the party say, ‘No, that’s wrong.’ In fact, sometimes by not speaking out, they’re encouraging it. And the base keeps buying the stuff.
“And it’s killing the base of the party. I mean, 26 percent favorability rating for the party right now. It ought to be telling them something. So, instead of attacking me or whoever speaks like I do, look in the mirror and realize, ‘How are we going to win the next election?”
“The Republican Party ought to be out there not restricting voting by voter ID, but saying we want everybody to vote,” he told Sawyer and Stephanopoulos. “It’s a party that has to stop saying, ‘We are going to appeal to you with new messages.’ You need policies — the country is becoming more minority.”
What the Hell do you know about the base, Powell? You’re nothing but a Perfumed Prince who associates only with fellow Elitists, who has very little understanding of what conservatives believe because you have shown by your words that up despise us and everything we stand for. Your life is an American Success Story and it’s so damn sad that you have no appreciation for the country that allowed you to be successful.
As Leo Amery said to Neville Chamberlain [quoting Cromwell]:
You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
Yes, go before you destroy the few positive feelings decent Americans still have for you.
…The tone that [Obama] set: What was it? Reading through the speech (I will be honest: I couldn’t bear to listen to it live, I just couldn’t), I was haunted by an echo. The speech reminded me of something, of someone. Who was it? Woodrow Wilson? Yes, in part. But there was another ghost in the wings . . .
Got it: “Peace in our time,” the president said, “requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.”
Now, I am as keen on tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice as the next gun-toting bitter-ender. But “peace in our time”? Where have we heard that before? Who was the last politician to strut across the world stage proclaiming “peace in our time”? Why, Neville Chamberlain, of course. He stepped off the plane that brought him back from his meeting with Adolf Hitler on September 30, 1938, and the crowd cheered as Chamberlain told them about his meeting with the German führer: “My good friends, this is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honor. I believe it is peace in our time.”
Turns out, Chamberlain was wrong. But others knew that even then. Winston Churchill, for example. Maybe that’s part of the reason that one of Obama’s first acts when he became president was to send the bust of Churchill that had occupied an honored place in the White House back to the Brits. Churchill didn’t fit Obama’s narrative. But then, the world didn’t fit Chamberlain’s.
-William Jacobson makes an interesting connection:
Throughout the speech, I kept trying to remember where I’d heard another president invoking the Constitution as a Chinese menu applicable only to liberal policies, and dismissing or criminalizing the rest.
Finally I remembered. It had come straight from the mouth of President Andrew Shepherd [fictional CinC in the movie The American President].
So, could we call this a composite inaugural speech?
BTW: With six constitutional entrées you get eggroll.
-From Newsbusters, Matt Hadro reporting, we learn:
CNN correspondent Jim Acosta was positively giddy while covering President Obama’s inauguration parade on Monday afternoon, and didn’t hold back his feelings on-air. “You know, I feel like I should pinch myself right now, Wolf. I can’t believe I have this vantage point of history in the making,” Acosta gushed. Acosta later added that “It’s good to be the President. It’s almost like being a rock star on every street corner of Washington on this day.“
Jim Acosta is so gay. He acted like a teenage girl who wet herself at a Bieber concert – ‘I should pinch myself’…what a fag.
I agree with commentator walls over at Bill Jacobson’s place:
Read today that some LSM loser lib [I know I'm being redundant] from CNN got so emotionally choked up over The Choomer’s speech that he said “pinch me”. My gut reaction to four more years of the Kenyan is to have somebody “shoot me”.
-Accoster wasn’t the only media person to soil his knickers…
Even Wolf Blitzer did, as Donald Douglas reports:
Even the normally staid Wolf Blitzer couldn’t contain himself. He was screaming for the attention of “Mr, President, Mr. President,” like a giddy schoolgirl needing to be restrained. Sheesh.
Actually, Donald, it was another ‘sh-’ word I was thinking of [as you'll see below].
-Stacy McCain sums up things quite well:
Our nation is being destroyed, and the press corps is reduced to the role of partisan pom-pom girls for The Great Destroyer. Meanwhile, the alleged leaders of the opposition have no clue of how to rescue themselves from their current condition of helpless impotence….
-Doug Ross succinctly sums-up the behavior of the MSM yesterday, calling it: ‘A cacophony of butt-smooching’.
Dead solid perfect.
-Charles Krauthammer [via William Jacobson]:
I thought it was an amazing speech, and historically very important,” Krauthammer began. “This this was really Obama unbound. And I think what’s most interesting is that Obama basically is declaring the end of Reaganism in this speech.”
No shit, Charlie.
One of the especially striking aspects of Obama’s agenda-setting Second Inaugural address was its treatment of the entitlements question. His speech offered the sort of full-throated celebration of America’s real, existing social-welfare system that has not been heard from a U.S. president in decades—possibly since the Sixties.
No surprises in that: at least, none for anyone who has paid the least bit of attention to Obama’s lifetime of work and thought. But there was an ominous turn in the president’s rhetorical flourishes as well. For the president also fired an unmistakable warning shot: He signaled that he is in no mood to listen to criticism of our entitlement programs over the next four years.
Here is what he said:
We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.
Now, we all know that inaugural speeches are meant to be heavy on vision and light on detail. Yet the vision of the American welfare state presented by the president is utterly idealized. Not even a nod to the notion that there may be trouble in our entitlement paradise.
More disturbing still is the “let’s shut down this debate” tone of the president’s formulation. (We are not a nation of takers — got that? Now, let’s move on . . .)
The change in tone is significant. We are, evidently, no longer in the “if you have a better idea, let me hear it” phase of the Obama presidency.
Remember “mend it, don’t end it”? That was the Clinton administration’s slogan for dealing with dysfunction in the U.S. welfare system. Don’t expect to be hearing anything like that from Obama.
The new stance is: There is nothing in the entitlements archipelago that needs mending. Got that?
No shit, Nicholas.
Let it be said, the city feels like a police state
No shit, Brian.
-Ed Driscoll speculates on what Williams meant:
Considering where Brian works, in which fellow employees of NBC utter statements on air such as “I am a socialist. I live to the extreme left, the extreme left of you mere liberals,” and describe themselves as “roughly to the left of Mao,” (and Brian himself compares our founding fathers to terrorists on multiple occasions), presumably he means this as a complement, right?
Good point, Ed.
-Mark Steyn on his favorite inauguration:
…let me cite my favorite presidential “inauguration.” I’ve written before about how much I enjoy visiting the Calvin Coolidge homestead in Plymouth Notch, Vt., and how it embodies the republican ideal of the citizen-executive. It’s very moving to stand in the small, humble sitting room where, just before 3 in the morning, Colonel John Coolidge, a notary public, administered the oath of office to his son by kerosene lamp. The character of the place and its moment in history are as far away from the palaces of mighty emperors as you could get, and uniquely American in their spirit. Granted, Coolidge assumed the presidency in very different circumstances, but I don’t think he’d have missed Kelly Clarkson or the poem guy — and I wish there were a little room for that spirit amid all the celeb-stuffed bombast.
It seems to me, if we ever achieve victory in our effort to restore The American Republic, we should demand that all Presidents from that point onwards hold simple swearing-in ceremonies on a balcony like George Washington did.
-God help us these next four years.