January 21, 2013

"Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of [the words of the Declaration of Independence] with the realities of our time."

The words President Obama had just quoted, in his Inaugural Address, were: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

More from the text of the speech:
For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.  
God! God is well-represented in this speech. In addition to that "gift from God" (and "their Creator"), there's:
We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own....

We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise.  That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks.  That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God....

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service....

Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.
God is the source of our rights, God makes us stewards of the environment, public servants swear oaths to God, and the blessings of God are requested.

Obama also dealt with the question of federalism, the role of federal power. There are the things we do "together," he said, listing matters that call for uniform national policy: providing for "railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce," "schools and colleges to train our workers, regulation of the "free market... to ensure competition and fair play," "care for the vulnerable," and "protect[ion] ... from life’s worst hazards and misfortune."

But then he gives attention to some conservative ideas, "skepticism of central authority," rejection of "the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone," "celebration of initiative and enterprise," and "insistence on hard work and personal responsibility."

Turning back to the left, he asserts that "preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action." Collective action is needed "Now, more than ever," he says: "My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together." Made for this moment? That's an odd phrase, echoed later with "That is what this moment requires," which comes after vague references to "outworn programs, and the need to "harness new ideas and technology," to fix: 1. "our government," 2. "our tax code," and 3. "our schools." Nothing particularly "this moment" about any of that, so this "moment" theme fizzled. Maybe it was an incorporation by reference to his huge "This is the moment" speech from June 2008.

There's more to the speech — attention to the environment, national security, "our gay brothers and sisters," and so forth, and it finally comes back to the Declaration of Independence material. We need to "lift" our "voices... in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals" and "embrace... our lasting birthright... of freedom."

121 comments:

pm317 said...

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" about his words read from a teleprompter.

Tank said...

When a con man speaks ...

you are being conned.

End of story.

TosaGuy said...

And in four years, America will be sick and tired of you just like it has with with every two-term president since FDR.

Rumpletweezer said...

If only talk really were cheap.

Seeing Red said...

What's the left hand doing?

Seeing Red said...

Unalienable rights except for self defense.


Remember, Obama considers The Constitution full of negative rights.

bpm4532 said...

God! Obama tweets from church!

Perhaps he should pay attention in church and put the Blackberry down.

Hagar said...

That sounds quite different from his campaign oratory.

Which is the real Obama?

bpm4532 said...

When you sit down at a poker table and you don't know who is the mark, it's you.

700,000 marks standing in the cold January day.

Shouting Thomas said...

Doesn't everybody regard inauguration speeches as so much bloviation?

I do.

For Obama, this presents every more of a problem. The left wants him to be transformative and daring, so he has to respond to that demand. The left has 60 years of mythology invested in the belief that wiping out all vestiges of bigotry (as they bizarrely define it) will bring about Utopia.

It's bullshit. But, they believe that bullshit and they want a full serving of it.

carrie said...

It's full of God, but not necessary the Christian God. Someone should ask him to define what he means by "God" so that we know what he is really saying instead of letting us assume what is taling about.

Here is a quote by Anthony Esolen in an article about socialism and Pope Leo XIII that appeared in Crisis Magazine and which was reprinted in the 1-17-13 Catholic Herald:

"These things, then, are grave violations of Catholic Social Teaching: To proceed as if the child were the ward of the State; to seize from parents the oversight of their children's education; to intrude the law into the family circle except when that circle has been broken by serious crime; to enact laws that encourage the dissolution of families; to enact laws that discourage the formation of families; to pretend that the basic definition of the family is the prerogative of individuals or the State; to treat monetary issues solely as between and individual and an individual, or an individual and the State, without regard to the family; to seize property from the family at the death of its head; to relegate religion to the private sphere, so the State, or the wealthy, or whatever aggregate may wield power, need not concern themselves with it."

chrisnavin.com said...

Ah, the lofty rhetoric. I gave him the benefit of the doubt when he said he'd be my President too, 4 years ago.

But now I look at his record, his tactics, and his actions.

Let's try and limit the damage.

bpm4532 said...

There are people who evaluate inauguration speeches on their "grade level" Obama's first was junior high level (8th grade) and this was a tad lower.

People don't care what he says, they just like how he sounds and how good they feel in voting for him. They think he's cool, so they must be too.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

The Declaration of Independence is a dangerous document for someone in Barack Obama's position to cite.

I guess most people have never read past the opening paragraphs.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

In fact, I'm surprised that the government even allows the Declaration of Independence to be displayed.

Palladian said...

Did Obama happen to mention the Constitution in his speech?

Palladian said...

"My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment..."

I was made for October 16th, 1659, 11:21 AM.

EMD said...

He's hard at work writing the Declaration of Dependence.

Palladian said...

He's hard at work writing the Declaration of Dependence.

❤ ❤ ❤

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Nope. Never self-executing, indeed. They have depended upon well-armed citizens willing to use those arms when necessary -- and not on meek "civilians" for whom security is more valuable than liberty.

His speech demonstrates conclusively that he and his allies are collectivists, who are every bit as inimical to liberty and freedom as were the royalists of the 18th Century.

Ali Karim Bey said...

THIS IS THE BEST 2nd INAUGURAL SPEECH, EVER! IT will go down in the history and one-up on Lincoln's 2nd.

POTUS Obama framed the debate in a way he cannot lose. If the GOP fails to act, they lose. If the GOP supports the POTUS (as they have no other choice), he wins.

POTUS Obama gave all people a chance to witness why he is the greatest and the best Presidents of ALL our presidents, combined - that is, cumulative.

Tonite I will be at the Oval Room to hold my court for all those who believe in the same things I do. See you then.

Cheers!

Michael said...

Stonewall and Seneca Falls. Same as Selma.

Puke making.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

Stonewall was a bunch of drag queens throwing shoes at cops because the bar owner hadn't paid enough of a bribe to avoid a raid.

Ali Karim Bey said...

NB: Biden was the 2st VPOTUS to have a woman justice swear him in. He is the next POTUS, if not Hillary or Kristen G. from NYC (who could be Biden's VPOTUS) in 4 years.

GOP will now not come back before 2024.

NB: Paul Ryan was there, but not Mitt Romney. Clinton and Carter were there but not GWB.

mccullough said...

Tripe

edutcher said...

He's reading from a document written by a bunch of Dead White Men?

What did Moochelle have to say about that?

TosaGuy said...

And in four years, America will be sick and tired of you just like it has with with every two-term president since FDR.

It's been sick of him ever since Scalia said, "Not true".

The lowest-rated President just before the election, the lowest-rated after it.

Old Dad said...

"Never ending." Precisely.

Hang the teleprompter.

Kchiker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Old Dad said...

"Never ending." Precisely.

Hang the teleprompter.

purplepenquin said...

"In fact, I'm surprised that the government even allows the Declaration of Independence to be displayed."

Heh.

And not just the gov't either. This story always pops into my mind when this subject comes up:

"If he put together a “petition” that included key segments of the declaration and a few amendments from the Constitution, Hunter wondered whether folks on the day honoring the birth of the United States would sign it. He did just that, went to Vilas Park, and asked people there to sign his petition. Of 112 people he asked, 111 refused. Many told him that they were afraid to sign a petition these days. Others were sure it was something subversive."

Kinda funny how folks back then were afraid to sign a petition, and that was even before out-of-state organizations published their names/address online.

Kchiker said...

"GOP will now not come back before 2024.”

Perhaps not THAT long....some wandering in the desert for a while...

SteveR said...

He is unable to govern so he'll spend the next two years campaigning to get a democrat majority in the House. They'll double down on the emotional issues.

LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LilyBart said...

..that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth

Would love to know what HIS definition of freedom is.

purplepenquin said...

Actually, this story has a better quote about folks refusing to sign it:

When told that the “petition” was the preamble to the Declaration of Independence and seven constitutional amendments, one woman fumed that it couldn’t be America’s declaration, but rather must be the Soviet Union’s."

Sometimes all ya can do is laugh...

Paul said...

So Obama is now giving this, "what does 'is' mean" like Bill Clinton.

"Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of [the words of the Declaration of Independence] with the realities of our time."

'Bridge the meaning"? What? Parse it? Twist it to the 'realities of out time'?

Bunch of 1984 crap. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Yea, 'bridge the meaning'.

Seeing Red said...

America fell short.

Quayle said...

[Editor's Note: the following were found last night on sheets of paper in a garbage can behind a trendy bar in Washington DC frequented by the President's speechwriter. While authenticity of the writings have not yet been fully verified, it is believed to be portions of the President's address that were excerpted and saved for use at a potential third inauguration. ]

My fellow Americans, in these times of trouble and scarcity, when so many are struggling to find work and make ends meet, we must show our true compassion and concern, we must show what made this country great.

We have an obligation to such of our fellow Americans who are out of work and on life’s stormy shoals, to spend less and carefully watch how we manage our treasured national resources. But let us also not forget our duty to spend more, to fight the forces that would rob us of our inheritance as Americans, that would condemn our right to spend our inheritance and our children’s inheritance on those things that are most important to most people, and on our never-ending commitment to make and complete the great investment we have undertaken to provide the promised future we have promised.

As a people, we are destined to go the direction God has designed for us to go, and we will go that direction – strongly, boldly, and confidently under His, Her, or Its smiling providence - all the time not in the least neglecting our obligation to go the opposite direction at a pace befitting a great nation as ours, and indeed at time to go in any direction that one of our least values or cherished citizens thinks we should go, regardless of whether lesser nations than ours have ever recovered from ventures into those directions.

For it is in our diversity that we find strength. In the diversity of our objectives, goals, and morality; the diversity of our individual sense of compassion and justice; the diversity of how much we are willing to contribute to the common good.

For just as our engineers design the foundations for our great and majestic skyscrapers out of any substance or material that happens to blow by in the wind, so will we build the foundations of a great just and merciful society out of similar wind-blown theories and notions, and indeed we will build them out of no theories or notions whatsoever, as a testament to the bold and progressive vision that we have, and have always had, as a country.

Let us spread the freedom which is our birthright as Americans, and make sure that we enact and enforce strong and empowering laws against those that would leave us to the shattered emptiness of self-control, the terrifying and unacceptable risks of self-responsibility, and the condemning and self-defeating dangers of personal accountability.

In our great time, we must never allow our babies and children to walk, lest they fall and suffer the pain and humiliation of damage and injury, and we must do all in our power to make sure that our children are strong and healthy and vibrant young men and women, able to run in times of need, and able to jump to reach for the stars.

Brent said...

WORST.INAUGURAL.SPEECH.EVER

EPIC.OBAMA.FAIL.

Could have talked about the big things. instead talked about class warfare, debatable science.

Someone need to tell this small man that reading a speech passionately does not make it good or great. One can whisper Lincoln's second inaugural and feel it's greatness and be stirred to something better.

But Obama? No, this condescending man of small character chose to reveal his pettiness, his small vision, his lack of the understanding of America the idea . . . and America, the ideal.

Opportunity lost, never to be regained.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rusty said...

purplepenquin said...
Actually, this story has a better quote about folks refusing to sign it:

When told that the “petition” was the preamble to the Declaration of Independence and seven constitutional amendments, one woman fumed that it couldn’t be America’s declaration, but rather must be the Soviet Union’s."

Sometimes all ya can do is laugh

And blame an education system that treats teaching the constitution of this country as an odious chore.

In this case does, "Happiness" mean;

a) Giddiness

b) Fulfillment

c) ones own best interests

d) Property

Marshal said...

Hagar said...
That sounds quite different from his campaign oratory.

Which is the real Obama?


The real Obama is the one you see when he's trying to get something passed: the one appealing to hate and envy.

Chip Ahoy said...

It's like gilding a solid gold object, paint white all over a lily. It's like running a Zamboni over lake Mendota to make it smoother than it is in winter. It's having déjà vu POW right in the butt.

chickelit said...

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

This sounds new and unprecedented coming from him. Does that passage echo anything in his record?

Anyone?

Chip Ahoy said...

It will be good to get down to the business of campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning how many years is that? campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning are we half way there yet? campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning are we still having fun? campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning is this what you paid for? campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning satisfied yet? campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning campaigning I'm so glad that everybody's happy.

n.n said...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

He reads but does not understand. He speaks but does not believe.

He does not respect individual dignity. He does not recognize an intrinsic value of human life. He is pro-choice/abortion. He offers redistributive change (i.e. involuntary exploitation) as a solution.

He is an inveterate liar and charlatan.

[Health care:] Misleading Headline Of The Day
It lies in the cost-shifting, especially international cost-shifting. It lies in the production of goods and services for which there is no demand in the target markets at the market price, but there's plenty of demand (and thus supply) at a cross-subsidized price.
...
Cross-border cost-shifting must end immediately.
...
The same applies to cost-shifting within provision of services.


The problem is not, principally, with the producers; but, with immoral citizens, legal and illegal aliens, and the political opportunists they elect.

It is dissociation of risk which causes corruption. It is dreams of instant (or immediate) gratification which motivates its progress.

Chip Ahoy said...

He didn't do that.

I wonder who wrote his speech for him. That certainly does not sound like anything we've heard thus far. Piss off.

rhhardin said...

Government can't do it all alone. Citizens must obey.

Quayle said...

All of which, Chip Ahoy, points to a future wherein Obama will use the Presidency as a springboard to jump to the role of most powerful comunnity organizer in history - global in scope - unrestrained by law - with no official power except the unofficial power that arises from his say-so and the people that blindly follow.

The contemplation of which possibility is brightened in my mind by the fact that the Muslims think he's mostly full of crap and will never get on board with him, whether President or not.

Then the Muslims will turn out to be a great benefit and value to those of us that see Obama for what he is.

Hagar said...

On second reading, I think this was designed to sound more conciliatory than it actually is.

Methadras said...

All I heard was blah blah blah spattered with other ways to separate our wealth for his benefit.

Amartel said...

4 things from the re-inaugural speech:
-The constant drumbeat of racial references (which will be excused b/c it's MLK day);
-Grooming for more discussion about a living Constitution;
-The loud hectoring tone;
-The throwing out of the crumbs for everyone, including coopting conservative ideas into the speech which he will ignore in practical reality.
Bleh.

phx said...

I see the Republicans are doubling down on their emotions.

Ali Karim Bey said...

POTUS Obama was the the FIRST POTUS to talk about key issues in his 2nd inaugural.

- Climate Change/Global Warming.
- Immigration.
- Women rights in US and across the world.
- American workforce.

He is the best. He is the greatest. America is just darn lucky to have him as its POTUS.

Ali Karim Bey said...

POTUS Obama was the the FIRST POTUS to talk about key issues in his 2nd inaugural.

- Climate Change/Global Warming.
- Immigration.
- Women rights in US and across the world.
- American workforce.

He is the best. He is the greatest. America is just darn lucky to have him as its POTUS.

Rusty said...

phx said...
I see the Republicans are doubling down on their emotions.

I see you have nothing of substance to add.

Keep up the good work! We expect nothing more!

chickelit said...

Ali Karim Bey said...
POTUS Obama was the the FIRST POTUS to talk about key issues in his 2nd inaugural.

You left out the gays. Isn't that your qua non sinus?

phx said...


I see you have nothing of substance to add.


For Rusty and others like him, adding substance = "agreeing with me."

X said...

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

Kansas City said...

Speech to be immediately forgotten. Anyone remember what he said in his first inaugaral [sp?]? Strange that all these smart people labor over a speech that says nothing significant.

On the comical side, over at MSNBC, they turned over the first comments to crazy old man Chris Mattews and, surprise, it said Obama echoed Lincon's second inaugaral and Gettysburg address. How can he be so obviously stupid?

Paul Zrimsek said...

To bridge a thing is to treat it as an impediment that you need to get beyond.

Lem said...

One can intellectually capture something and still remain resentful of it.

Obamas actions, as president, speak for him.

Amartel said...

"to bridge the meaning of [the words of the Declaration of Independence] with the realities of our time."

It's a bridge to nowhere. The bridge is going to go over the Constitution. Or maybe he'll try to tunnel under. He's finally found a shovel-ready project.

Palladian said...

On the comical side, over at MSNBC, they turned over the first comments to crazy old man Chris Mattews and, surprise, it said Obama echoed Lincon's second inaugaral and Gettysburg address.

The Gettysburg Address: 272 words.
Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Address: 698 words.

vs.

Barack Obama's 2nd Inaugural Address: 2078 words.

That's one hell of a lot of echoing.

Kansas City said...

To what extent are Obama's words knowingly meaningless?

He knows the the Republicans control the house and will stop any major legislative initiatives. So, for things like climate change, he knows nothing will happen. Why does he chose to emphasize issues on which he knows there will be no legislation? I suppose he could be banking on winning the house in 2014, but that does not seem very realistic. So, is it just words to make his supporters feel good?

Ann Althouse said...

What's the point of talking for so long? It won't be remembered.

What I remembered (from reading, not listening) is: Enduring values of equality and liberty from the Declaration of Independence should be treasured but updated so that we can do all the things that ought to be done.

Colonel Angus said...

He say anything about how we can get our annual trillion dollar deficit under control? Or are we just going to print money?

Lem said...

It occurs to me... and somebody may have pointed this out already.

Obama will hold the record for the most presidential oath taking... passing the only 3 time president FDR... Is that right? I'm not completely sure.

Theres irony in these somewhere... where, out of all the guys that have previously taken it, the one that resents it the most, winds up, at least ceremoniously, taking it the most.

Amartel said...

Oh, cheer up everybody. A decade of war is now ending.

Obama sez.

Forward!

(To the next decade of war.)

Roger J. said...

I was not aware that Mr Obama delivered an inaugural address--probably a wise move on his part not to step on the NFL playoffs.

Mr Obama was elected by a majority of the voting polity. I hope Mr Obama lives up to the confidence that the majority of voters placed in him.

ricpic said...

Is the black man free yet?

IS THE BLACK MAN FREE YET?!?!

Goddamn the wreckers who stand in the way of total freedom for the black man. Kill them. Kill them all.

--Michelle's first draft of BO's inaugural, edited to "Forward!" by Axelrod, over Garrett's objection.

DADvocate said...

Nothing Obama's ever done shows me that he cares about liberty and freedom.

Titus said...

There is a really hot blonde secret service agent by his car.

Love her hair-pig tail that floats beautifully on her.

Seeing Red said...

Isn't that what we're arguing about, what ought to be done?

Bryan C said...

Tuned in for a few minutes following the speech and simply could not bear the fawningly inane commentary. He's a movement and a politician, all in one! He inspires the young people! He reaches! It's as though history had been reset and the last four years never happened.

RichardS said...

"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance."

rehajm said...

Why does he chose to emphasize issues on which he knows there will be no legislation? I suppose he could be banking on winning the house in 2014, but that does not seem very realistic. So, is it just words to make his supporters feel good?

Obama is the great orator. The mover of men (and Julias). If those intractable Republicans do not conform his will, he will orate some more! His media minions will shill, shill, shill until the force of opinion is so intense those who dare oppose the great orator will burst into flame, leaving only a greasy residue behind...

This, and yes, taking back the house.

Real American said...

yeah. it's freedom FROM government, not freedom that COMES FROM government.

Robert Cook said...

Whatever words he said, Obama was just talking shit.

Robert Cook said...

"yeah. it's freedom FROM government, not freedom that COMES FROM government."

Hate to spoil your patriot party, pal, but in a society of humans without government, only the powerful are free and the majority are slaves.

Freedom comes from rational and cooperative self-organization: representative government.

A government that is unresponsive to and punitive towards its citizens is no longer a representative government.

But...government is necessary if humans hope to have freedom.

SteveR said...

I suppose he could be banking on winning the house in 2014, but that does not seem very realistic

What choice does he have? Compromise and negoitiations are not in his plan. He'll go all in for that, and failing to achieve his dream, unencumbered by nasty evil republicans, he'll have blame covered.

Scott M said...

For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.

Somewhere Bill Maher is saying, "I spent a million on what again?"

Scott M said...

God is the source of our rights, God makes us stewards of the environment, public servants swear oaths to God, and the blessings of God are requested.

Why do I feel like he's just setting us up for Romans 13?

Paul said...

Obama should have been honest and just said....

"The beatings will continue until moral improves. And BTW, we won, so shut up"

That would have been a short but honest speach.

Lydia said...

Obama is doing the oratory for the history books.

He can't really be aiming for a takeback of the House, since it seems Republicans have used redistricting so well.

Plus, his gun control push is going to make more Democratic House members vulnerable -- as Bill Clinton has pointed out.

bpm4532 said...

Organizing for America will raise a ton of cash to be used against Republicans who vote against democrat initiatives. They'll have almost unlimited funds to give 'em the full Alinsky.

Roger J. said...

Mr Cook: you make the same argument that Thomas Hobbes did in the 1650s: in a world of absolute freedom, the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Government (the leviathan) is a necessary antidote.

Your subsequent comment is also germane--the leviathan draws its authority from the governed, and when it abdicates its responsibility, it ceases to have authority.

Appreciated your comment--it saves people from reading Thomas Hobbes.
:)

William said...

The curious thing about the Declaration of Independence is that it was written by a slaveowner. I suppose some, possibly even including Obama, would say that just goes to show you how hypocritical and self serving rich, white men can be. Perhaps others, including many here, would argue that it just goes to show you how hypocritical and self serving rich liberals can be. My own view, which is the balanced, mature one that you should have, is that very bright, very high minded people can sometimes miss the point, particularly if their own self interest can become impaled on that point.....Obama is blessed with some of Jefferson's contradictions. He doesn't so much aspire to equality as sit upon it.

ALP said...

Oh, Obama missed a great opportunity to quote Vic Mackey from "The Shield":

"God created man as equals, but once out of the womb, he starts playing favorites..."

creeley23 said...

What I remembered (from reading, not listening) is: Enduring values of equality and liberty from the Declaration of Independence should be treasured but updated so that we can do all the things that ought to be done.

Ann: Succinct.

That was my takeaway (from reading, not listening, too) -- with an emphasis that we (i.e. liberals) can do all the things we believe ought to be done.

It's not a reassuring speech for those of us who disagree that America needs to be "fundamentally transformed."

Revenant said...

while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing

That's a good line. I wonder who wrote it?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" about his words read from a teleprompter.

Good point. He should have been more an actor like Reagan, who memorized the lines he parroted.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

Obama should have been honest and just said....

"The beatings will continue until moral improves. And BTW, we won, so shut up"

That would have been a short but honest speach.


Well, it would have helped reinforce your sense of victimization and self-martyrdom, in any event.

Seeing Red said...

Hmmm, I think liberty from the Declaration of Independence is what he's really after, that and that pesky negative rights Constitution.

Roger J. said...

Perhaps it is my internal cynic, but my thought is that most political oratory--especially inaugural addresses contain little that will be remembered the next day. Two exceptions from my experience: Lincoln's second inaugural (the better angels of our nature) and JFK's ask not....

It is far more important to focus on the upcoming superbowl and other such transcendent events.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Stonewall was a bunch of drag queens throwing shoes at cops because the bar owner hadn't paid enough of a bribe to avoid a raid.

IOW, like the original Tea Party, but with a bombardment of britches instead of broken beverages.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

For Obama, this presents every more of a problem. The left wants him to be transformative and daring, so he has to respond to that demand. The left has 60 years of mythology invested in the belief that wiping out all vestiges of bigotry (as they bizarrely define it) will bring about Utopia.

And the right has what, exactly, to show for its investment in the mythology of reinforcing existing privilege?

Other than a Great Depression and a Great Recession, of course?

Other than un-budgeted perpetual wars?

Yes, we awaited the right-wing's utopia for long enough. Time to end that dream.

Unknown said...

That speech was the most astounding Niagara of dissembling hogwash ever uploaded to a teleprompter.

Seeing Red said...

This time it will be different.

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Palladian said...

Speaking of astounding Niagaras of dissembling hogwash, it's Ritmo, bringin' up the rear!

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

Palladian:

Why do you hate Obama so much? You probably didn't love any Republican politicians, either - but I'm sure you spoke less vituperatively of them.

And what of Ron Paul? Which libertarian would you support, or why?

At some point, certain decisions just need to be made. Doesn't wishing for anarchy ever get old?

Revenant said...

Libertarians aren't anarchists.

Pragmatist said...

What would an Inauguration be without a solemn bowing of the head to bronze age myths.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

If only his "philosophy" was that developed.

He's an intelligent and amusing guy, but to take one instance, I've never heard him voice appreciation for Ron Paul's articulation of war as an instrument for enriching the state.

He's anti-civil marriage, which is an interesting, if unhelpful and unrealistic stance. Although you're right that it's one that could be called libertarian without being anarchistic.

The problem with libertarians is that they're anarchists by default. They can't ever seem to gain a critical mass following; perhaps that's an intrinsic weakness to their philosophy. Why run for office if you propose to get paid for doing less... for doing nothing? It's at least paradoxical. At worst, nonsensical.

So what they do is instead act as a "spoiler", allying themselves with the right generally, and then begrudgingly admitting when the left is less culturally or militarily oppressive.

What they're really bad at, but what smarter libertarians are coming around to realizing, is that if they're nothing more than a shield for tyranny by the most powerful private actors, that's a horrible selling point. The public rightly sees government, no matter how bumbling, corrupted and bribed by the right, as a check against non-governmental tyranny.

I don't see an assault by a private actor as somehow more "noble" than an assault by an agent of the government, and it's time for libertarians to acknowledge that the role of government is to prevent the former. Democratic participation and constitutional protections restrains the latter.

EDH said...

For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.

Sounds like Obama is quoting Bob Marley... who's quoting Abe Lincoln.

Get Up, Stand Up

Most people think,
Great God will come from the skies,
Take away everything
And make everybody feel high.
But if you know what life is worth,
You will look for yours on earth:
And now you see the light,
You stand up for your rights. Jah!

Get up, stand up! (Jah, Jah!)
Stand up for your rights! (Oh-hoo!)
Get up, stand up! (Get up, stand up!)
Don't give up the fight! (Life is your right!)
Get up, stand up! (So we can't give up the fight!)
Stand up for your rights! (Lord, Lord!)
Get up, stand up! (Keep on struggling on!)
Don't give up the fight! (Yeah!)

We sick an' tired of-a your ism-skism game -
Dyin' 'n' goin' to heaven in-a Jesus' name, Lord.
We know when we understand:
Almighty God is a living man.
You can fool some people sometimes,
But you can't fool all the people all the time.
So now we see the light (What you gonna do?),
We gonna stand up for our rights! (Yeah, yeah, yeah!)

Seeing Red said...

Constitutional protections?

What a quaint idea.

William said...

I don't mind him speaking up for gay rights, but he should have used the same bully pulpit to speak up for gay responsibilities. His second inaugral address would have been an excellent time to speak out against the dangers of unprotected anal sex. If such an address saved just one life, it would have been worth the mild impropriety involved. Think of how many lives Mayor Bloomberg has saved with his forthright stances against large sodas......Well, it's not too late. He should take every future opportunity to hammer the message home. Obama's second term should be the era when at long last gay Americans achieved full rights and stopped having unprotected anal sex.

Colonel Angus said...

Somewhere Bill Maher is saying, "I spent a million on what again?"

I'm sure Bill is fine with a little God talk. Red meat to the masses and all that. Like myself, I'm pretty sure Bill is secure in the belief Obama is an atheist. That's part and parcel with being a narcissist.

Kansas City said...

If Obama and his party are really premising their plans on retaking the House in 2014, I suppose you need to give them credit for thinking big. It would be horrible for the country, but Obama did say in 2008 he intended to transform America.

But generally, Obama has has two shots at inaugaral addresses, and he has pretty much missed on both in terms of saying anything memorable. With his speaking/reading skills and the historical nature of his presidency, it is surprising that he could not come up with anything good.

Methadras said...

phx said...

I see the Republicans are doubling down on their emotions.


We tried to stop his ever encroaching marxism. You wanted it and got it. It isn't emotion, it's the clear vision that a usurper of wealth is in power and you love him for it. Fuck you.

Methadras said...

Ann Althouse said...

What's the point of talking for so long? It won't be remembered.

What I remembered (from reading, not listening) is: Enduring values of equality and liberty from the Declaration of Independence should be treasured but updated so that we can do all the things that ought to be done.


Translation: I don't like that i have to hold onto 18th century values of individual liberty and freedom that maximizes the individual as a sacrosanct entity within the confines of the union, but rather I'd like to update a collectivist ideal that will frog march us into a neo-european welfare state.

Hagar said...

Like his intonation, halfway between a campaign rally and an inauguration speech.

kentuckyliz said...

Did you read the linked paper I referred to yesterday in the language post? Even if not the whole thing...worth a skim. It's a good summary of how language was used as a tool by the Communist regime. We have a general knowledge of this but it goes into deeper detail.

Rusty said...

phx said...

I see you have nothing of substance to add.

For Rusty and others like him, adding substance = "agreeing with me."


Not at all. Why don't you shoot for something above snark and see how you're treated.

TexasJew said...

At least I never voted for this vicious nullity, unlike some pathetic fan girls.