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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"My way"

Has the real Barack Obama finally emerged?  The themes enunciated in this second Inaugural Address would seem to suggest yes.

Obama continued his so-far unrequited call for unity, for setting aside the divisions that have paralyzed us from acting. But in having won the war, his call for action that embraced gay marriage, climate change, immigration reform and income equality is clearly the agenda liberals have yearned for him to champion.

The speech will not go down as one of the greatest inaugural addresses. I fact, it ignored Lincoln's embrace of "malice toward none and charity toward all" with a sharp jab into the ribs of the vanquished opponent who was not there:
“These things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us: They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”
In addressing issues important to his liberal base -- the one that has not felt the love in the hammer and tong battles with the Tea Party minority -- Obama was looking to rally the troops for the battles over social programs that lie ahead.

And he chose some of the most powerful symbols of the progressive past to do that: Seneca Falls, Stonewall and Selma.

Perhaps the most surprising element in the address was the love branch to environmentalists. It offered an even sharper slap at those who continue to mock the path laid out by Al Gore and "tree huggers."
Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms,” Obama said in urging America to lead the search for renewable energy.
Now comes the hard part. After the feel good speech and the warm embrace of supporters who lined Pennsylvania Avenue, it's back to the battles with the Tea Party zealots who would wreck the world economy rather than fund social programs -- but who think spending billions on being the world's policemen is still appropriate.

The warm words about equality and unity were meant to carry us through the long, cold months ahead as the battle is rejoined.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't watch or attend, had to work.

January 22, 2013 10:13 AM  

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