Discuss Obama's inauguration speech

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derrick derrick's picture
Discuss Obama's inauguration speech

The homophobe has just finished giving his ironic/hypocritical invocation, Aretha Franklin is singing... discuss and debrief Obama's speech here.

Michelle

Rick Warren is over?  Okay, I guess I'll turn it on now. :)

Sharon

Michelle, I think I heard a little bit of booing when Rick Warren was introduced.  You don't usually hear the preacher booed -- so that was a good thing!

Michelle

Excellent!  Well, I can't hear the speech anyhow.  My internet connection sucks.  So I'll just follow the play-by-play here!

derrick derrick's picture

"We must pick ourselves up and begin the work of rebuilding America..."

 I think I read 'bootstraps' between the lines there, or am I being too cyncial, I'm sure the call for massive public works and corporate taxes is coming up here...

jas

Is that George Sr. sitting beside the Clintons? Looking all thoughtful and not at all smirking - !

Sven Sven's picture

Here's the transcript:

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations. 

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Sharon

Jude is doing a great job on Facebook, picking out and quoting the good lines.

Papal Bull

Dick Cheney in a cow boy hat.

josh

It was good.  He always gives a good speech.  But no memorable lines.  And I wasn't wild about the domestic portion of the speech.  I really wonder whether he's bold enough to take advantage of the opportunity presented him.

Tor Sandberg

Isn't the United States supposed to be a secular nation?

In any case, Obama's speech was, as usual, incredibly eloquent.

Papal Bull

The benediction is absolutely spectacular. I'm not a religious person, but Lowery has an amazing presence! Wow!

josh

I also got a kick out of John Roberts screwing up the oath.  But it's his first time and, unfortunately, he'll probably have at least several opportunities in the years to come to get it right.

jas

"... Help us to make choices of love, not hate. Of inclusion, not exclusion... when tanks will be beaten into tractors.... " Benediction by Rev. Joseph Lowery

That was a cool speech. 

 

Michelle

He'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat - but heaven forbid the US should give up any of THEIR nukes, right?

America is a friend of each nation of the world and they're ready to lead the world again?  Uh, how about screw you, America?  You're not doing such a hot job of leading yourselves, much less the rest of us.

Gross.

And I'd like to say a hearty thank-you to M. Spector for bumping all those threads about Obama's terrible appointments.  The whole reason we were supposed to ignore his disgusting foreign policy was because he was supposedly such a domestic policy god.  

Or not. 

josh

Tor Sandberg wrote:

Isn't the United States supposed to be a secular nation?

 

In theory, yes.Wink

But at least he mention "non-believers."  Which is a step up from Mr. Good and Evil. 

 

jas

It's prudent to include the religious stuff. It doesn't hurt anyone, and it may help build some bridges.

Caissa

Consider the alternative...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Is his speech over yet? Is it safe to turn the TV on now without being subject to all this ridiculous fawning?

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

He said most everything I wanted to hear, and most everything I didn't; so in the end: he said nothing.

However, I'm certain that when snipped into soundbites, there's plenty of appropriate political fodder for the MSM propaganda machine.

jas

I've never watched an inauguration before. I didn't know the former president accompanies the new president through so much of the proceedings. I like that.

Papal Bull

Michelle wrote:

He'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat - but heaven forbid the US should give up any of THEIR nukes, right?

 

Well, the DoD was fighting really hard to make sure that RRW program continued to receive funding and a few months back made a lot of rumblings about the American "deterrent" degrading and the legacy stockpile being at risk of failing. I imagine that Obama will at least dismantle some of the ridiculous spending that the Bush administration placed on new nuclear weapon development.

Michelle

Quote:

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

This makes me sputter with rage. After destroying Iraq, destroying Afghanistan, destroying pretty much every fucking country they touch with their military and their economics, they have the utter GALL to lecture anyone else about destroying instead of building.

If THEY are willing to unclench THEIR fist? The most militaristic nation on earth is telling OTHER leaders to unclench THEIR fist?

What's that I hear? The sound of laughter from countries around the world, from the villagers of Afghanistan and Iraq, to the leaders of Iran, to the sweatshop workers of "free trade zones" at such self-delusion?

"We just don't understand why they hate us. Must be for our freedoms."

jas

I'm watching Global. As the Bushes leave in a helicopter, the screen caption had "President Bush Departs East Plaza". Oops!

Buddy Kat

 Well it sure is good to see Bush gone..that's 2 neocons down 1 (harper) to go. The speech was 8 years to late...and when he started saying, we will go after those that kill the innocent...the first thought in my mind was they better hope Iraq doesn't here that..... 1.5 million innocent lives later.

 

They could elect Jesus Christ himself and it can't undo what they did...very hypocritical in that sense....kind of like air freshner and like air freshner it wears off and the stink still remains.

Maybe in the near future he'll address that problem...it is his first day. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkM5eyN8ytI&feature=user

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Best: Yo Yo Ma's beautiful smile throughout his performance

Worst: Rick Warren's invocation speech (Joseph Lowery deserved that honour and is a much more eloquent speaker)

Funniest: Dick Cheney packs his own boxes (what the hell is he hiding now?)

ETA: I believe the honorific "President" is used for all past presidents. 

Michelle

They call them "President" for the rest of their lives.  They still call Bill Clinton "President Clinton" now.

jas

laine lowe wrote:

ETA: I believe the honorific "President" is used for all past presidents.

Oops. Didn't know that. 

Jingles

Quote:
We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you. 

I see David Frum is working for Obomber too.

Fuck you, America.

I miss GW already. 

Michelle

Obama's going to defeat Israel??  Wow, that's fabulous!  Go Obama!

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

The American approach to electing a new president reminds me of a Catholic mafioso's approach to confession in the church: It's a clean slate, every time.

No need to contemplate your sins and errors thereafter; you are forgiven - and ready to start all over again. 

Hoodeet

In theory, Catholic confession also involves a commitment not to repeat the sin. The priest hands out the punishment (prayers, tithes, whatever) and says "Go forth and sin no more".  They used to in the old days, anyway.  Some currently active Catholic please correct me.

 

Hoodeet

Great unifying speech. That was the objective.  And not patronizing or a simple cheer-leading speech.

He's a fine orator, no question.  I agree that we need to keep up the deconstruction, though.

 

Jingles

Not patronizing? The whole thing is textbook patronization.

Quote:
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.
  

Quote:
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.

Also an exercise in triumphalism, Amerosupremecy, and soundbite blather.

 

Caissa

CNN reporting a Senator has collapsed at lunch with prelminary reports that it is Ted Kennedy.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Hoodeet wrote:

In theory, Catholic confession also involves a commitment not to repeat the sin. The priest hands out the punishment (prayers, tithes, whatever) and says "Go forth and sin no more".  They used to in the old days, anyway.  Some currently active Catholic please correct me.

The focus here would be less on the Catholic side, and more on the mafioso. Perhaps you'd like to invite their comments?

josh

Both Kennedy and Senator Byrd were taken away by ambulance.   Kennedy due to convulsions presumably related to his brain tumor or medication for treatment of same, and Byrd due to "eating difficulties."

jrose

MSNBC has just used both "convulsions" and "seizure" to describe Kennedy's condition.

DaveW

former Presidents are always officially called "President", esp. at former occasions:

 as in,  "We welcome the visits to Washington today by President Clinton, President Carter and President Bush"

........

Wesen ist was Gewesen ist

Star Spangled C...

My quick reaction to the speech was that it was good but not great. And the very thing that prevented it from being great was that it was so obviously consciously trying to be a "great" or "defining" speech. Someone once said nobody ever writes teh great American novel by setting out to write the great American novel. When something is trying so hard, you see the effort, you see the technique, you see the skill that went into it; you don't jsut see it for what it is. It's like how the greatest acting performances are the ones where you really forget that the guy is acting. Here, you couldn't help but notice how obviously Obama was striving for greatness, how badly he wanted to give a speech that would go down in history alongside the Gettysburg Address and MLK's "I have a Dream." Sometimes the simplest songs or the simplest meals are the msot satisfying; this speech had too many ingredients and too many notes and it all became distracting from the whole. He IS as talented an orator as I've seen in a long time, however.

 

Star Spangled C...

(On a personal note, in case anyone is interested, i would just love to share the very happy news from my life. Yesterday afternoon, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby boy!)

josh

Congratulations!

DaveW

Michelle wrote:

He'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat - but heaven forbid the US should give up any of THEIR nukes, right? ....

Ummm,

check out the mutual-reduction pacts signed, ratified and reciprocally verified between the United States and the Russian Federation 

 

Wesen ist was Gewesen ist

KenS

In spite of all they know his inauguration is not.... virtually all my friends and family in the US are proud.

As I expect I would be too if I was still an American.

His speech reflected that.

Doug

Jingles wrote:

Also an exercise in triumphalism, Amerosupremecy, and soundbite blather.

All firmly embedded aspects of American political culture that aren't going to go away any time soon and would probably be there regardless of who was giving the speech.

munroe

The US of A is the US of A.  Pomp and ceremony fit for any European monarchy.  Rhetoric that soars for all Americans to see.  Fit for a King or Queen for that matter.

 It is a good day as the Bush is gone and Obama has more sense in his little finger, but AMERICA is still the same paranoid, self-absorbed and militaristic nation it has always been.  For the moment it is a bit less dangerous.

I'll wait to judge the pudding when the eating actually begins.

CanadianAlien

Quote:
Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.

Its only a 'war' (on terror) because Bushco said so. 

It could've returned to crime & punishment by a statement too ... but apparently not now by Obama. 

Pity. 

Michelle

SSC, congratulations!  (Insert cooing baby talk here...)   :)

Sven Sven's picture

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:
(On a personal note, in case anyone is interested, i would just love to share the very happy news from my life. Yesterday afternoon, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby boy!)

That is wonderful news!!!  Congratulations, SSC!!! 

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

jas

And you're going to name him...Obama?? Yes? :)

Kara

All in all, pretty ho hum.  Obama's speech was rather disappointing, considering that he is a gifted orator who promoted idealism and change but shows the same old attitudes.  However, it is still a great day to see Bush and his gang of thugs out of office - too bad they aren't on their way to war crimes trials where they belong.

Mansbridge said they were told by the Obama people that Warren was chosen to give all people a voice.  As someone else mentioned, if gay hating misogynists deserve a voice then why not the KKK, Aryan Nations, etc., or in Obama's world is it only gay hating misogynists who deserve that honour.  Quite sickening that any bigotted hatemongers were included in such a significant day!

I don't have any great expectations for Obama because he's a politician more interested in power and politicking than in substantial change but even if he is far from perfect, he is a significant improvement from Bush.

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