President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address - Washington Wire - WSJ

The Inaugural Address reveals a lot about Pres. Obama.
President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address - Washington Wire - WSJ
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.
I wish I could believe he meant those words, but too often it seems Pres. Obama has faith in central planning, that bureaucrats do know best what is "right" for the rest of us. He is insufficiently skeptical of government, its expertise, and its power.

The next section is more along the lines of "You didn't build that…" (a statement I and many others have explored in context of his full campaign speech). The president reminds us that "collectively" we stand. A false argument, since nobody is arguing against all government.
But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.
Elections have consequences. Expect more, and more complex, government programs.
We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher.
The following, near the end of the address, packs several simplistic slogans into what should be a speech of unification. There are a great many logical and factual twists, which I won't detail fully here. The paragraph demonstrates the ideals of this president.
It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. 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. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.
The problems with the above range from "earn a equal living" (which requires an entire book-length treatise to examine) to notions that somebody else is expelling immigrants from this nation. There were more women and minorities in past presidential cabinets — having a mixed-race president doesn't excuse his insularity and the homogeneous nature of his cabinet. Isn't immigration enforced by the executive branch, and isn't this administration the most aggressive with deportations in history? The conclusion is nothing but rhetorical flourishes, without substance.

That this administration pays women less than men, deports more illegal immigrants, and has done little to help either urban cores or rural towns while supporting crony capitalism belies the inaugural address.

I had hopes the president might, just might, try to recalibrate. I miss Bill Clinton more each year.


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