Pomp and Partisanship: Barack Obama’s 2nd Inaugural Address

Today the president was sworn in publicly, after which he gave yet another partisan speech in true Barack Obama form.

While we know him to be one of the most partisan presidents of our history, he is still the President of the United States, and thus serves as every American’s president. Sadly, today, he demonstrated his affinity for “serving” or “catering” to a select few Americans, so long as they fall into certain racial, economic, political, gender, or other social categories. If you’re not a progressive, a woman, an immigrant, a homosexual, you weren’t honored into today’s speech. Rather, if you’re anything but what the president lauded, you were being scolded. You were being preached at from the very city on the very day honoring a man who hoped to live to see a day in which each American would live free of the chains of racism, while at the same time admonishing his following not to “seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” A wonderful man Martin Luther King Jr. was; so far greater a man than the one who swore his “oath” of office his very Bible today.

Buckle up, readers- this is another long one . . . though nothing like the next 4 years will be.

It had the feel of acid clothed in silk, if you can imagine such a thing. Clothed in flowery words and historical pomp, the undertones were anything but free from “bitterness.”

Some of the gems:

 “Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.”

Says the man who seems to delight in trampling that very document:

Consider:

-Obamacare, which for the first time in U.S. history, requires that each citizen purchase something (in this case, health insurance) as a condition of being ALIVE.

The “Anti Conscious” Mandate, which violates the right of religious institutions and organizations to provide or not provide—based on their conscious—birth control in its various forms to their employees/students etc.

-Obama’s unconstitutional appointments.

-Obama’s Executive Order “dictating that the Dream Act be implemented by fiat”—in other words, without Congressional approval.

-Obama’s arbitrary change to welfare work requirements.

The list goes on. And on. And on.

“. . .Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time.”

Translation: In other words, how can we continue to bend and interpret the Constitution to our hearts’ content?

“. . .Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free.  We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.”

While our nation began realizing the ills of slavery as early as the Founders themselves, and later remedied the 13th and 14th amendments . . . and through Civil Rights, Obama loves to bring up this portion of history and continue to pick at it. He does say we “made ourselves anew,” yet I’m still waiting for him to retract his 2001 comment that the Constitution was “deeply flawed.”

“. . . Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.”

To be certain, no one expects us to keep trucking around in the horse-drawn carriage of the Founders’ day, but we certainly aren’t to expect full federal funding and control of the aforementioned. And yet, see it every day.

“. . . Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.”

If he truly believed in a free market that thrives when there is competition and fair play, would he mind explaining to me how it was “fair” to chooses winners and losers by bailing out a failing GM—which by all definitions of a free market should have gone under to allow for a better, more efficient, SUCCESSFUL alternative to surface—was “competition?” Furthermore, it is the federal government’s modus operandi to get involved in interstate commerce ONLY if one state prohibits another from participating in said commerce. . . not at the behest of one’s biggest donors or other advantageous political moves.

“. . .Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.”

Except instead of “aiding” the vulnerable, his administration has overseen the massive expansion of the poverty rolls and food stamp recipients. . . not because under prior administrations nobody cared, but because under HIS administration and HIS dismal economy, the need GREW and continues to grow exponentially. How about we “care for the vulnerable” with an economy that fosters JOBS?

“. . . 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.”

“We” have never relinquished our skepticism of a central authority? Barack Obama is clearly no skeptic. He’s done everything within his power to make sure he IS that central authority.

Furthermore, if he celebrates the initiative of enterprise, hard work and personal responsibility, he owes Mitt Romney a massive apology.

“. . .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.”

Translation: “We need to scrap the Constitution because it doesn’t let me do what I want. It’s commendable, but at the end of the day a worthless relic of a primarily white, male, slave-owning past.”

“. . .This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience.  A decade of war is now ending.  An economic recovery has begun.  America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands:  youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention.”  

Translation “Unless you get rich within the private sector. Then we’re going to demonize the heck outta ya. Oh, and we’ll approach these coming years with a mind open to diversity. .  .so long as you aren’t pro-life, pro-gun, pro-traditional marriage. . . basically, as long as you agree with me.”

“. . .For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.  We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.  We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.  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.”

This president acts as though no one in this nation has ever been able to rise from the depths of poverty to the rafters of success. He acts as though there are castes in this nation. It’s not a lack of opportunity holding back the next generation in this nation; it’s the mountains upon mountains of regulations that make everything from groceries to gasoline to healthcare massively expensive; regulations that make it nearly impossible to start a business; taxes that make it nearly impossible to KEEP that business. In a span of just a few generations, we went from driving horse-drawn carriages to putting a man on the moon. Don’t sit there and tell me our nation doesn’t foster prosperity. . . something it was doing quite well until the iron grasps of collectivism began to sink its unrelenting teeth into it.

By the way. . . it won’t be prosperity resting on the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. . . it will be poverty. We cannot, I repeat, CANNOT, redistribute wealth in the manner he describes. It always has been, and WILL be poverty that is redistributed, for “socialism is the equal distribution of poverty.” Unless he’s speaking of a expanding middle class thanks to a healthy, capitalist economy (and clearly, he’s not), this will not succeed. History shows us no such outcome.

“. . . But while the means will change, our purpose endures:  a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American.  That is what this moment requires.  That is what will give real meaning to our creed.”

Still waiting for that apology to Mitt Romney, and the rest of America’s “rich.”

“. . . We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.  For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.  We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few.”

America cannot care for its future if we chain our future generations to the slavery of massive debts and deficit. He’s certainly one to talk about tackling the deficit- he’s accumulated more debt per his policies than any other president from George Washington to George H.W. Bush, combined. This is also a president who promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first time, yet somehow managed to nearly triple it. That’s right- Bush left what the Huffington Post called in 2008 a “record deficit” of 455 billion dollars (boy, don’t we yearn for those days?), and in October of 2012 that same publication had to write that Obama’s 1.1 trillion dollar deficit  was “higher than any other year since 1947.”  By the way, that same publication fibbed when it reported that he “inherited . . . a deficit in excess of $1 trillion.” WRONG.

It’s not the American people or the House Republicans who have spent away the next generation’s future- it’s leadership like his.

 “. . . We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity.  We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.  Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science. . . .

 . . .  That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.  That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”

“The overwhelming judgment of science”? Hardly. I seem to have missed the day when science declared global warming anything other than a theory. In fact, I’d think the Prince of Green himself—Al Gore’s recent sale of his TV channel to Al Jazeera speaks volumes as to the validity of the green movement’s claims. It’s not about the environment, campers—it’s just not.

Funny how he demands that we preserve our planet, commanded to our care by GOD. . . yet he seems to skip over that passages when life is addressed as beginning at conception; or that marriage is between a man and a woman; or that thou shalt not STEAL. . .I suppose when one is too busy updating the Presidential Twitter account in church, it gets a little hard to remember everything.

“. . .We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.  Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage.  Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty.  The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm.  But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.”

No, no- it doesn’t require perpetual war, but it does require a deep respect for our allies and a firm hand towards our saber- rattling enemies, something which seems to have alluded our dear leader. I hope the knowledge of their sacrifice stays impressed upon his mind, as more men and women in uniform have died under his watch than during the 8 years of Bush.

“. . . We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law.  . . We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.”

It’s a little difficult to talk about upholding values both here and abroad through the rule of law when he doesn’t don’t seem to care much for the ones we have here. It’s also a bit hard to hear him talk about strong alliances when he’s all but spit in Benjamin Netanyahu’s face, and a first in his repertoire of “international affairs” consisted of returning a bust of Winston Churchill to the United Kingdom. His intent to “spread democracy” certainly has been more subdued than his predecessor’s, yet his desire to apologize to the world, and in some cases to appease our enemies has been tenfold.  Where was he in 2009 when the Iranian people had a shot at democracy—and even reached out to the great “supporter of democracy”—and nothing but crickets were heard from the White House?

“. . .We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.”

Martin Luther King Jr. talked about uniting a people. Obama has divided a nation; he’s pitted rich against poor; and if we’re being honest, race against race. He hardly earns the right to evoke Martin Luther King Jr. in the context of HIS presidency.

“ . . .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.”

Oh this is too much. The President has the nerve to talk about equal pay when the women in his administration STILL make less than the men? Please.

“Until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote”? What is that supposed to mean? And furthermore, what is he suggesting? I must say- I’m at a loss for this one.

I couldn’t agree more with him as it pertains to making it easier for those who wish to immigrate here LEGALLY. He has done nothing but propagate illegal entry by sending a message to all who do so—-“wait long enough. . . and your sin of crossing the border illegally will be absolved.”

“. . .That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American.  Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness.  Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.”

“Life,” Mr. President? Say that to the hundreds of thousands of souls that are extinguished each year through the practice of abortion; a practice he refuses to condemn; a practice he, to this day, condones.

Liberty has but one definition. Liberty, simply put, is freedom, plus morality. Where one may differ is one’s definition of happiness. Liberty, however, has one definition.

There is no “debate” as to the role of government. Our Founders were quite clear, and it worked quite well. Where debate has surfaced it has been men like Barack Obama who insist upon veering from those principles. He has caused the debate. Not the Founders.

“. . . For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay.  We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.”

He certainly is one to talk about absolutism. He who shreds the Constitution in the name of progress, and attempt to smear, silence, and destroy those who disagree with his practices. . . he is the absolutist. “Spectacle?” He forced his healthcare bill through without a single bipartisan vote. He has spent like a drunken sailor and then demanded that the Republicans “pay their bills.” He speaks of future generations, yet doesn’t seem to worry about the terrible legacy of debt and deficit he’s leaving behind. “Name calling”? Dare we remember the little nuggets from his friends in the media that the president refused to condemn? Then there’s always his little gems:

Americans who “cling to their guns and religion.”

Republicans are “social darwinists.”

Republicans want “dirty air, dirty water…”

Then of course there’s the legions of names and accusations the Obama campaign threw at Mitt Romney. . . my persona favorite? Mitt Romney’s a tax cheat, a felon, and a murderer.

 “. . . 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.  But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream.  My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.”

No different than the oath a soldier takes when he or she signs up for duty or when an immigrant realizes his or her dream? Might I remind him of those oaths—both of which include the phrase “will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. . . ”

Unless he plans to change his ways, he took no such oath today. That is, he took no such oath truthfully.

“. . . You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.”

If he were to simply embrace the value system he personally touts without shrouding it with the veneer of constitutionalism and respect for the Founders, I MIGHT have a shred of respect for the man, despite my utter disagreement with his policies. But the fact that he insists upon appearing like the constitutionalist he ISN’T while he governs like the socialist he IS, is absolutely beyond me.

“. . .With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.”

Our future is uncertain thanks to men like Barack Obama and the mortgage they have taken out on my future, and those of millions of Americans yet to come. THAT will be our “common” demise.

Welcome to the next 4 years of our lives.

2 thoughts on “Pomp and Partisanship: Barack Obama’s 2nd Inaugural Address

  1. I greatly appreciate the suffering you must endure to present these detailed accounts of his words. I cannot listen to this man’s pompous voice, so thank you for sparing me the horrible sound of the dictator’s tongue. Your excellent point by point comments give us specific insight to his hypocrisy and his corruption of the Constitution. I love it when your poetry pops into your prose. (more, please) It helps me choke down the sad reality of our national condition.

    • Can I just say thank you SO much for your continued commentary and encouragement? Just last night I was lamenting to Gil over whether or not the blog was worthwhile; whether or not it was helpful to those who read it. Right now the readership is still quite small and as such I wondered if I was reaching enough people. But then I remembered something that I said months ago, that if only 1 person was able to get something out of my blog, then I’d be happy. So, I thank you again this morning for being that person! I’m so glad to hear that you find it helpful.

      Please let me know if there’s anything I can ever do to promote your blog- what you have to say is so needed; it is so important that people understand it.

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