The Inauguration

Holy shit the crowd!  Unprecedented opening of the National Mall just to see his inauguration--wonder if they can all even hear it?  At any rate, the expected chant of "O-BA-MA!"

God, I really wish the newscasters would shut the fuck up.  Seriously, it's "race race race," "Hussein Obama," "terrorism terrorism" "race race," worse than Bush's reiteration of 9-11, etc.  On the other hand, they've ever-so-usefully pointed out that the cold snap has worn off in time...funny, it's sort of like when the night of the election was clear and totally warm compared to the past week. :O Do we sense the hand of a god?!

(Totally kidding.  Seriously.  But I can easily imagine some idiot seriously making this connection.)

Quick thing on the current situation: economy fears becoming almost commonplace (well, at least in the media), the Gaza situation solving itself...nice.  Much better than a week ago.

Ok, so I'm a tiny bit amused by the mention of Israel in the invocation (and far more amused by the fact that the rest of it is pretty much about Mr. Obama being African-American, something he never really played up during his campaign...oh and hey, actually asking forgiveness for the country?!  No president, Clinton in Rwanda included, has ever asked for that...maybe, maybe having a religion, or at least its moral code and belief in the afterlife, is a good thing).  Oh hai...is Biden going to say the "Our Father" in Latin?

Also, the Star-Spangled Banner is so dumped.  Aretha is doing "My Country, 'Tis of Thee"...hopefully with a minimum of unnecessary notes.  (Of course; she's Aretha.  And I'm still confused that she's alive...how old is she...??)

As for the assholes who don't like that Mr. Obama wants to name God: the whole point about being a liberal is giving other people the right to do what they want.  Including calling upon a deity that some of us do not believe in.  How are we better than the conservatives who expect everyone to display a faith if we force people to hide theirs?

Huh...did not know that the Vice Presidential Oath demands the absolute defense of the country against foreign and domestic threats.  Cheney's term seems like even more of an insult now.

Haha, Yo-Yo Ma gets his own cheer, louder than the rest of the musicians.  Also interesting: a classical instrumentalist can become a personality.

Well, guess Biden is president for five minutes.... (Bush's term expired at noon, the music ended at 12.05 p.m....)

Mr. Obama be eager and horribly nervous.  No surprises there!  Also: FINALLY.  Hmm, no God added to the oath.  Not too surprising though, they're not going to change tradition that easily, even if it is in a direction promoted since the '50s.

The speech.

Polite as always, respectful of the 43rd.  Nature as a metaphor, used to ease the transition into a discussion of the chaos: expected.  And talk of failure to "prepare the nation for a new age"...hey, he is actually talking about promises he made during his campaign!  And mentioning hard facts as well as the "sapping of confidence."  "The challenges we face are real...but know this, America, they will be met."  If anyone doesn't know why he was elected, watch now and learn.  Impressive force.  "All deserve a full chance to pursue their measure of happiness"...prescribing moderation as well as hard work.  No shortcuts, no leisure--can't help but think of The Onion's spoof (lazy nation worried about Obama's plan to create jobs).

"For us..." ode to the military.  Good for him.

"We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on earth"...he has to say it, how much does he believe it?  Is change necessary to maintain this position or retake it?  (Either way, it's going to happen, though, so maybe this is a moot point.)  "We will restore science to its rightful place"...yaaaaay!  Damn straight.

For the people, the cynics, who question the viability of all this transformation: "stale political arguments...no longer apply."  Even better, the fact that the size of the government is less important than whether or not it works (and yeah, that was the original difference between Republicans and Democrats).  As for the market: "its power to generate wealth and freedom is unmatched," but a "watchful eye" is necessary so that not only the prosperous are favored.  Mentioning the GDP...nice.  This speech is more than fluff; he's done his research.

"We reject as false the difference between our safety and our ideals."  So we will be going forward with war?  [Later] "Our security emanates from the justness of our cause."  Yeah, seems like that, but only for the sake of peace (which, by the way, was Wilson's rationale for entering WWI).

Finally, a small reference to the situation his father was born in.  That aside, though..."we are ready to lead once more"...America is behind the times, then.

"We will not apologize for our way of life."  To the terrorists: "...and we will defeat you."  The strength of "our patchwork heritage"...hey!  He also mentioned Hindus and nonbelievers.  See, this is why we need multicultural presidents.

History has a "wrong" side...but still, an appeal for diplomacy made once they "unclench [their] fist[s]."  But the thing is, there's no leader of that side to extend a diplomatic handshake....

Hey-hey, mention of Arlington.  I reiterate: all declarations of war should be made from there.

Summation.  "A new era of responsibility...duties to ourselves, the nation, and the world."  And we'll take them on because we know that we are doing the right thing..."the price and the promise of citizenship."  Remember America's past, in particular how far we've come since then.  Which is good, because America seems to have forgotten how far we've fallen behind, relative to the Europeans, in terms of 'progress'--or at least liberalism.

Back to the nature.  And an appeal to the future and how we will be described in history...particularly relevant because of the sudden eye on eight years of Bushisms.

P.S. This speech best listened to with a subwoofer.  His voice booms most impressively.

No comments: