I didn’t catch any of the inaugural. I regard inauguration the same way I regard the two weeks of Super Bowl hype - inconsequential to life on any level. Still, thanks to the new inventions of Facebook and Twitter, one could keep track of the festivities and of the all-important speech given by our recently re-elected president.
I read somewhere that inaugurals haven taken the usual shape since the Wilson administration, which is to not make pinpoint policy pushes but to aim more for an overview of the coming administration. Obama’s speech, at least the excerpts I read, booted that with a frame in mind of progressive causes du jour such as climate change, immigration and social justice.
Instantaneously, we’ve been transmitted from a world with 8-percent unemployment, little growth and a disappearing middle class. Instead, our main goals are to blend our tradition of self-reliance with a new approach to the common good, especially how it relates to the climate and civil rights. Happy that you recently traded your job as a manager at manufacturing firm in for a set of drive-thru headphones? Too bad.
None of this will happen. Climate change was tabled during the days before 2010 when Democrats overwhelmingly controlled the Senate and House. Cap-and-Trade, introduced during a 60 Senator Democrat majority, was dead on arrival. Despite Sandy, it sure won’t fly in the face of the 4-degree temperatures I’m currently enjoying here in the Midwest. There is no hope in the world of this getting through a Republican House, especially one that has built up an electoral wall as it has. Unless all House Republicans are revealed as charter members of NAMBLA during the next two years, this won’t happen, and even then, he has less than two years to implement.
Gay rights? Gay marriage has only been a common cause of the president for less than a year. He ran against gay marriage his first campaign. Who takes this seriously as a Seneca Falls moment when he recently came to Jesus with it, especially in as a calculating manner in which he did, as a fledge toward rich gays for donations? Apparently Obama is willing to get tied in this while millions look for work, or work for more pay.
Immigration? Here he has hope. A lot of Republicans, especially Marco Rubio, are changing their attitude toward the immigration issue in wake of the party’s falling with the Hispanic population from 2004 to 2012. It should also be noted that deportations stayed high during the Obama administration.
Obama has clearly become a victim of reading his own press clippings. He should have taken a page from Bill Clinton. Focus on the economy, focus on growth. Become a friend to business. That capital gains rate that Obama so excoriated Mitt Romney for paying? It was implemented during the second term of Clinton. Instead Obama has done the opposite, using the same rhetoric he has used since he entered office, the same rhetoric that FDR used, the same rhetoric that led the business community in this country to sit on over a $1 trillion that could be pumped into the economy at the present time. Business won’t invest if the climate isn’t right, Obama has not made the climate right.
Republicans have been waiting for a bright light in the days since early November. They found it and the president flipped the switch.