One of the best things of a second term, is that the President is no longer looking over his shoulder to a second term, and tempering his remarks accordingly. That this is so, is perhaps a fact of life that is regrettable, but it would be a lie to suggest that first-term presidents don’t.
That said, there is much disagreement depending on whose ox is being gored. From the left, and I think fairly from the middle one hears that the Inaugural speech was masterful, and depending on his success, it may go down as one of the best given. Mr. Obama painted a picture that surely speaks to the heart of most of us. We have problems, indeed we do, but the solutions should never be placed upon the backs of any one segment of the population. The poor, the old, and the suffering should not bear the burden of our answers to grave problems, at least no more so than those who shoulders are sturdier, broader, and relatively unburdened.
For many of us, the President’s call for real efforts to help cure our environmental ills comes woefully late, but still is welcomed. The naysayers, propped up by the coal and oil industry “think tanks”, will squawk that this is all a hoax, and the Christianists will point to self-servingly-interpreted vague pieces of scripture and suggest that it would be an affront to God to presume to be causally involved in the destruction of our planet, but the evidence is strong and uniformly speaks with one voice–humans have seriously compromised the health of this planet.
On the Right, of course one hears the laments of the loser–“I heard no statement of wanting to reach across the aisle,” whines Senator John McCain. One might respond, “well Senator, tell us once in the last four years when you have done one thing other than complain that WHATEVER was contemplated by the Administration was wrong.” Yes do tell us Senator.
The Right found themselves shut out and they are pouting. Well, they have shut themselves out and it is clear that whatever is done at this point will be done by revising the filibuster rules so that a majority can once again actually pass legislation in the Senate. It will be done if at all, by the House, if Representative Boehner has the moral fortitude to begin bringing legislation to the floor absent the Hastert Rule, an arbitrary rule which says, “thou shalt not bring before the chamber a bill for which you don’t have a majority approval of your own caucus.” In other words, we will pass no legislation with bipartisan support, but only if we, the majority agree as a majority.
Beyond this, the President will have to come to us, the public and impress upon us the need to push our own representatives in government, to get off pot and actually govern as we elected them to. That is what the Address suggested to me at least.
No minds were changed I would hazard a guess.
Mitch McConnell, cries tears, lamenting, “the age of liberalism” has returned.
Well, yes, damn it it has. We, the left are unabashed in our efforts to bring liberalism back. We glory in the liberalism of Abraham Lincoln who had that liberal idea way back when that no country could continue to exist while enslaving a portion of its people. We glory in the liberalism of Theodore Roosevelt who curbed the power of big corporations by breaking them up. We glory in the liberalism of Franklin Roosevelt who ended a depression by putting people back to work improving our infrastructure and instituting social security so that people had the piece of mind of knowing their last years were not going to be spent in grinding poverty.
We glory in the liberalism of Lyndon Johnson who finished the work started by Abraham Lincoln, giving all citizens the same ACTUAL rights previously entombed only on paper in some states.
We glory in the liberalism of Barack Obama who began what for many of us was a long quest to secure access to medical care as a basic HUMAN right, not a privilege for only those who could pay the price of ever greedy medical conglomerates and doctors.
We await the big issue of immigration where we seek to invite our Latino brothers and sisters to join us in citizenship. We await the full rights of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters coming to be across the land. We await fair wages for all. We await fair wages for women doing the same work as their male counterparts.
Yes, we are unabashed in our liberalism.
But has anything changed for the extremists and those who kneel before them? No I suspect nothing at all. If the following is any example, the Right will continue to fawn and bow before the tiny but vocal hysteria that is the howling extremism of nuttery:
Mitch McConnell sent out this frightening e-mail to his supporters near or on Inauguration day:
My friend, our freedom is under direct assault.
From those who want take your guns. From those who want to shred our Constitution, and as our good in friend Rand Paul from Kentucky says, from those who want to be King.
Let me tell you, Mitch McConnell is ready to lead the fight to protect your rights.
Nobody’s freedom is under assault Mr. McConnell, and to continue this sort of sordid partisanship is beneath the office you hold. Nobody is shredding the Constitution, and given your utter disdain for the President, if there was one single piece of information that he was, you would be moving heaven and earth to encourage a House vote of impeachment. No one is trying to take anyone’s guns Mr. McConnell, only perhaps trying to remove from the public domain weapons that have no legitimate purpose other than to kill as many PEOPLE as possible, as quickly as possible. Nobody is trying to be a King, and I would suggest that you might read up on your British history since you and Mr. Paul might be a bit limited in your understanding of what a monarchy is. Perhaps you might read Plato and get a firmer grasp of the various sorts of governments. Just a thought.
So, no nothing is changing. Because stupid men continue to act stupidly and in their own singular interests rather than for the common good.
- Senator McConnell Angry Over “Liberal” Obama Inaugural Address (lezgetreal.com)
- “Investigate Senator Mitch McConnell making $24 million in 6 years on a $193,400 a year government salary.” (goodolewoody.wordpress.com)
- Mitch McConnell Makes Congressional History: He Filibusters Himself (No Joke) (themoderatevoice.com)
- The Reviews Are In: Obama’s Inaugural Speech (billmoyers.com)
- The president liberals were waiting for is (finally) here (bangordailynews.com)
- Dennis Hastert Blasts Boehner for Violating ‘Hastert Rule’ (crooksandliars.com)
Nice summary. Pity it looks like Reed is wimping out on the filibuster reform. I can’t imagine why.