First thing, hats off to the Secret Service and everyone involved in law enforcement. An uneventful day from a secuirty perspective.
As for the entire day, it was a great one for the country. We now have a black president and perhaps more importantly, a black first family. The Obama’s seem like the prototypical American family, happily married parents who clearly love each other and are raising their children with all the care and love required. The fact that they are an intact black family sends a powerful message to that community which has been devastated by several generations of fatherlessness.
The inauguration ceremonies at the Capitol left a lot to be desired. When the music is the highlight of the event, that’s a problem. It started with the classless Obama supporters booing President Bush when he was introduced. Several other things from the event were at odds with what Obama has been telling us he is all about. For starters, Rev. Lowrey’s invocation had an unfortunate closing.
Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around … when yellow will be mellow … when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen.
The inauguration ceremony was the wrong setting. Obama is supposed to be above that stuff. And for the record, it was white folks who got Barack Obama elected president because they judged him by the content of his character and not the color of his skin. When I think of the racial implications of yesterday, I think first of the black senior citizens of Rev. Lowrey’s generation who have lived through such an incredible arc of history. Too bad Rev. Lowrey seems not to have noticed how much things have changed since his days with Dr. King.
The stumbling over the oath seemed to me to be entirely Chief Justice Roberts fault. I couldn’t help but wonder if Roberts was punking Obama at bit for not voting to confirm him. Truthfully, I think it was a simple case of nerves.
The Obama speech was a major disappointment. He got the somber tone and call to action right. That’s about it. I thought Obama was bringing Americans of all political stripes together. I thought this was the time for solutions, not the politics of division? Instead, the speech was filled with cheap shots at the Bush administration. Those were beneath him and the moment. Beyond that huge sections of the speech sounded like standard campaign boilerplate.
The speech left me thinking about two America’s, the one I’ve been living in and the one Obama was describing. For example,
Obama, who says the scientific debate about the climate is “over” talked about “restoring science to its rightful place.” What a joke. Here is the quote of the day, Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan,
CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another. … Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so.
Stifling debate on
global warming climate change and demonizing dissenters is hardly restoring science to its rightful place.
Speaking of dissent, is it still patriotic now that Bush is back in Texas?
Obama also said “we are ready to lead once more”. WTF is he talking about? What does he think America has been doing since September 11, 2001? We’ve been leading the free world in its fight against radical Islam. Thanks to George W. Bush, the United States has taken the fight to the enemy on all corners of the globe, and we have left Al Qaeda in shambles for the Obama administration. That is in sharp contrast to what Bush inherited from Clinton, a fully formed global organization operating freely around the world and striking American interests at will and without consequence.
Again, when Obama said that we must “no longer ignore the suffering outside our borders”, I had to wonder which America he’s been living in. Jay Nordlinger at NRO asked,
“In fact, one of the biggest criticisms of Bush is that he has gone too far in trying to alleviate the suffering of others — “imposing our values” and all that. And will Obama better Bush’s Africa program? Fat chance.”
As for the evening portion of the festivities, the only thing I saw was the Obama’s first dance, to AT LAST sung by the talented and beautiful Beyonce Knowles. When I awoke at 5am this morning I was wondering about the Obama’s and how tired they must have been last night. A long day that is scripted down to the second, filled with stress and excitement, a parade and having to attend ten balls last night. This morning, President Obama meets with Gen. Petraeus. It really is a job like no other.
Despite my criticisms of the speech and certain aspects of the inauguration, overall a great and historic day for the country. Obama has inspired millions of Americans. He has more goodwill in the tank than any incoming president I can think of. Now it is up to him to use it wisely. The time for talk is over. For the first time in his life, Barack Obama will be judged because of what he does and not what he says. I wish him well.