In the Arena

Obama’s Triumphant Inaugural

  • Share
  • Read Later

This week’s print column: A flaming liberal agenda? Only if you’re still living in 1961. The President’s speech was more a ratification of the progress we’ve made than a roadmap for the future.

30 comments
subframer
subframer

klein, his head buried up there with so many other supplicant beltway liberal journolists....  so hard to take this idolatry seriously.  obama's speech was clearly divisive, clearly devoid of any nod towards negotiating properly, respecting the role of congress, etc.  what it was was a call to arms, for all his smarmy, arrogant progressive acolytes; people who's tolerance of dissent is just about non-existent.  actually, 48 million americans voted against this arrogant narcissus, so before you knight him, klein, you giddy feckless tool, maybe remember that this is not your progressive playground.  this is the united states of america, which operates via a constitution. and even your hyper arrogant (dear) leader is subject to its tenets.  you are, as always, an embarrassing read.....

carolerae
carolerae

You're correct, Joe, really not extreme liberal; just a speech we would have never heard from a Republican, so it was labeled liberal immediately.  I'm hopeful for immigration & background checks; but other than that, not much.  Richard Blanco was very appealing.  I think Obama must have been inspired by the Emancipation Proclamation 150th year, I have a Dream speech 50yr anniversary, and King's birthday.  Civil Rights made sense to me and it was an above average speech for me

HerbertKaine
HerbertKaine

it was pretty boring...kind of like Joe Klein

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

Agree with JK that the poem was really good.  The poet's line ".....impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won't explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever....."  was quite powerful, brought a tear.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

The only thing that could conceivably be considered "Liberal" was his full throated support of same sex marriage.  Everything else is a recognition of fact that Americans long ago came to terms with.

4/5 Americans believe in Global Warming (though only 49% believe it man made).  Medicare is one of the most popular programs ever.  Social Security is beloved.  Americans believe in Health Care being available to all and they believe in helping the less fortunate.  We know that Americans are opposed to conquering other nations for oil and money and they know that Iraq was a sham and they believe in higher taxes for the rich.

The speech wasn't really that progressive a speech....except for the fact that someone actually said it.

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

 Obama:

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. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we'll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people. (Applause.)


JK:

had nothing to say about civic responsibilities, though. There was not even the vaguest approximation of Kennedy's clarion call, "Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country." 

Joe was never one to let anything interfere with his favorite story.....


notsacredh
notsacredh

It's a great time to be alive and being a witness to such change.

kathy
kathy

After reflection it seemed to me mostly a rooting of the liberal point of view in the founding documents - and in that sense, I could see it as a ratification of progress.  Maybe not so much an agenda, either, as a statement of what he would like to see done if it could be done.  As he said, "our journey is not complete until..."

It took time to grow on me.  It flowed so smoothly I didn't realize it was 18 minutes.  I was just settling in when it was over.  As usual, Obama had his eye on future readers, and not just contemporary listeners.  His 2004 Grant Park election eve speech was very much that as well.  This is a very bright man who is very intentional when he has the time to be.


notsacredh
notsacredh

"The President’s speech was more a ratification of the progress we’ve made than a roadmap for the future"

.

When words become deeds and the promise becomes reality.

notsacredh
notsacredh

Us bleeding heart liberals  are like that. Empathy.

notsacredh
notsacredh

forgottenlord, anything that isn't a repudiation of a society that cares for the less fortunate is progressive now. If praises aren't sung and glasses aren't lifted to Grover Norquist and Ayn Rand, it's progressive and therefore unAmerican. 

grape_crush
grape_crush

Klein's been on kind of a know-nothing kick lately, hasn't he? 

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@PaulDirks Oh, *SNAP* PD!

Joe didn't have the time nor inclination to, you know, read Obama's speech, apparently...

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

It's Pavlovian with JK, he can't help it.

notsacredh
notsacredh

As he said, "our journey is not complete until..."

America is and has always been a work-in-progress. It's taking longer than many of us would like, but Obama is speeding up the process. Obama is looking more and more like a transformational President.

bobell
bobell

@sacredh I like to think that the sheer craziness of the Right is attributable primarily to their realization that they've lost the fight. The United States, for all the huge pockets of resistance, is socio-economically liberal.  All the schemes and stratagems of the Republicals can't and won't turn the clock back. Even within the hallowed precincts of Swampland, the sheer senselessness of the bleating of our resident Righties is evidence that their time has passed and is never going to return.

If I may borrow the motto of that Eastern bastion of liberalism where gun control is alive and well and the legislature recently legalized same-sex marriage, Excelsior. That's what Obama is telling us. We should listen and follow.

kathy
kathy

@sacredh I think his climate comments were also a signal to those who look back on this era that the President recognized the urgency, even if he couldn't do as much as he wanted to.  It may yet be that the next 4 years will heighten the sense of urgency.

Robbert5
Robbert5

Given the inevitable changes in life and science as well as world events, America and every other country in the world will always be a work-in-progress.  Something done at one point in time maybe an endpoint at that time but in the future will only be a starting point for more tweaks and improvements.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Florida's calling.   Seventy-two tomorrow.

notsacredh
notsacredh

kathy, yesterday morning and the morning before we had a windchill of 20 below zero here. We have caller ID and I got a call from a friend. As soon as I saw his name, I picked up the phone and said "Let me guess. Global warming my ass". Lol. It's like trying to argue with a rock.

notsacredh
notsacredh

AlistairCookie, mayvbe they won't admit it even to themselves, but they have to realize that demographics make it less likely with each passing election that they'll get back in power. I'm 57. I know I'll never feel again like I did when I was 40. Every passing year is putting more and more things in the rear view mirror. It's the same thing with them. For the republicans to get a candidate that is electable, they have to change and appeal to the very groups that they demonize. If they change enough, they lose part of the base that wants the 50's back.

.

They're not ready for that by a long shot.

AlistairCookie
AlistairCookie

@sacredh I think you've hit the nail on the head.  I think it is this reality that is making the TP crowd so insane.  Time marches forward, irrespective of whether you dig in your heels, or adapt with the changes. 

notsacredh
notsacredh

That's true. Even the recent past (for those of us with a half century or more under our belts), the days when schools were segregated, blacks had to use separate restrooms or drinking fountains and women were expected stay home and raise the kids seems like a bad dream. A black President and a two termer at that. Gays and lesbians serving openly in the military and same sex weddings. The future snuck up on us and became reality.