Ok, I went to bed early, so the day would end early and be done, at least in my world. I am excited that today is not yesterday.The fawning and the rudeness was too much of a combination for my nerves.I went into yesterday determined to give the Obama administration a fair chance, and I am still resolved to give him and his buds a fairer shake than they have given others. I am heartened to see the focus on the black family and the renewed call for the responsibility of the father in the family, the weakness of the black community that must be addressed for the black community to have real hope. I am heartened at the good public display of a husband and father he is to Michelle and the girls. It was the high point of the day and may very well be the most important thing to come out of this administration. The strengthening of the black family and the black community is of great import to all.
Mr. Articulate image blown
President Obama had problems repeating the oath of office which then threw off Justice Roberts, proving that yes indeed, he is human. It broke the ice and the stiffness of the day to be sure.
But,I was shocked that the articulation began to dissipate once he started to speak, namely, he had errors beginning in the second paragraph of his speech: "Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath". Wrong, he is the Forty-Fourth President , but only the forty-third man to take the Presidential Oath. President Grover Cleveland was the twenty second and twenty fourth President, (something a law professor and a speech writer should know and fact checked) The aura of the blessed intellect began dissipating immediately as the news corp remained mum. Maybe they didn't know basic history or maybe they were covering for him as has become habit.
The next paragraph he goes into a state of the union and into the beginning of his divisive spin. He stated:
"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."
There is so much here that I could write chapters, so I will just note a few items to highlight my thesis.
1. Our health care is too costly. We have the most advanced healthcare system in the world whose hospitals treat sick people regardless of ability to pay. Have a heart attack or a stroke or a baby in need of neonatal care and all of a sudden the focus is rightly on the availability of on demand healthcare in a world class system. One only needs to look to Canada or the EU to see how state controlled healthcare is nether world class or on demand and is bankrupting those countries. Are we to trust this congress with our health after they have squandered our wealth?
2. "our schools fail too many". Again, the problem is misdiagnosed. This leaves the impression that the problem is that schools are failing too many students. Schools are buildings made of brick and mortar and do not pass or fail anyone. They are places. It is the school boards and teachers and parents of children who fail to meet the demands of the educational standards required to compete in today's market.
This problem again is the epitome of what is wrong with the federal government and the Department of Education approach. OBE on a federal level assumes standards nationally can be applied which can only be successfully if the bar is lowered to the lowest common denominator if success is gauged by how many schools pass. I would still posit he is wrong. Our schools pass too many who are unprepared to meet minimal demands in today's market. The right prescriptive would be to dismantle the Department of Education and redirect the education responsibility to the states. Washington has failed the family and students miserably.
3. "that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet" We were graced to see the enviro-guru Al Gore who has gotten very rich off his human induced global warming scam in attendance yesterday, and there was not a wincing at all about those words by one of the biggest energy wasters on the planet, Then we got to see the new presidential limousine that gets four miles to a gallon. We get to see other enviro-wackos like Speaker Pelosi promise to bring about new energy standards while she demands bigger jets to travel back and forth to her home state.
What their assumption is that they need and can justify their overuse of energy, but you are stingy or a waster if you own a four wheel drive. Excuse me, those of who live in rural america need our four wheel drives to navigate our roads in the winter. Our needs are no less a need than theirs, but their elitist views is that their energy use is justifiable and ours is not.
Perhaps the leadership of this country should personally make the sacrifices for two years themselves before applying the proposed sacrifices they want us to make.
Three paragraphs into his speech, as noted above, we see the whole illusion of his intellect and post-partisanship completely dispelled as nothing but mere political rhetoric.
Beginning his division
"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. "
Now this may sound good but what did he just say? Define "an end to the petty grievances " and "worn out dogmas". Or better yet, who gets to define these things?
A democratic republic is based upon different views being debated and political discourse is a strength of our republic. A healthy republic is not one that advocates all getting along and calling the other party or disagreement over policy or economic or political theory petty or worn out.
Then he stated, "Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans." I could write an entire post on the implications of this statement alone, but I believe this is the "problem with President Barack Obama"
Why? He comes in positing that the problems he sees are in fact the problem abnd that the solutions he proposes are actually corrective ; therefore to disagree with his analysis and his solutions is being petty. Ok, he is trying to set the honeymoon stage, but when he says "the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply" he is suggesting that we sit down and shut up and follow the leader-dissent is not going to be tolerated for long.
A new day?
The thing we must be is fair minded and give credit where credit is due. President Obama has said he represents post-partisanship so I must take him at his word until he disproves it if I am to be fair. I will allow Presidnet Obama to lead by example and set the tone for the rhetoric.
At the new administrations revamped white house website- http://www.whitehouse.gov " we see a prime example of such post-partisanship allowing our new President to setting the tone for political discourse and lead by example:
President Obama will keep the broken promises made by President Bush to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He and Vice President Biden will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur.
President Obama swiftly responded to Hurricane Katrina. Citing the Bush Administration's "unconscionable ineptitude" in responding to Hurricane Katrina, then-Senator Obama introduced legislation requiring disaster planners to take into account the specific needs of low-income hurricane victims. Obama visited thousands of Hurricane survivors in the Houston Convention Center and later took three more trips to the region. He worked with members of the Congressional Black Caucus to introduce legislation to address the immediate income, employment, business, and housing needs of Gulf Coast communities.
President Barack Obama will partner with the people of the Gulf Coast to rebuild now, stronger than ever.
Throughout the campaign the one theme I brought up continually was that I questioned the judgement of then candidate Barack Obama. I did my best to keep it to the issues and not personally attack him. In fact, I expressed on many occasions he appeared to be a cordial man who was a excellent orator on occasion and he inherited the skills of his mothers anthropological training; he is a good observer and a good listener.
But I have also posited and stand by the observation that he is the product of his environment and upbringing in that it is reflected in his worldview and therefore in how he perceives issues. For example, President Obama never found it uncomfortable to be involved with people whom most Americans feel are radicals; the Frank Davis's of his youth, the ideology of Saul Alinsky at the core of community organizers, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, The New Party, or working with William Ayers and not seeing his educational philosophy as a adaptation of his radical terrorism being rechanneled into promoting his philosophy by becoming a educational innovator.
He was not uncomfortable and didn't understand the objection to his mentor Dr. Wright and Black Liberation theology and the Black Value System. In fact he viewed the problem to be one of other peoples failure to accept or understand him and the community he came from until it became a real political obstacle, and then he disavowed the man who was like a father to him and his spiritual mentor.
His nomination of Timothy Geithner to be Treasury Secretary is another," just what is this guy thinking ?" moment. Don't be distracted by the details of his nominees tax evasion while serving with the IMF even after notification of his owing taxes, but focus on President Obama, who now is the one constitutionally charged with being responsible for leading the executive branch charged with enforcing the laws of the land, and "the rule of law", not seeing his nominees tax evasion as problematic. This is the demonstration of what I have previously posited about his worldview is so radically different than the average americans, it brings his judgement into question. He is not acting as one who is charged with defending the law of the land acts when he nominates tax evaders to be Treasury Secretary, in charge of the very agency he was in violation of.
The secondary effect it has is actually undermining faith in the system and the the illusion that there is actually a rule of law or a constitutional government in place.
But if you had any remaining questions left about his judgement and learning lessons from the past, or his sincerity about be a unifier, yesterdays benediction should have iced the proverbial cake by his invitation of Rev. Lowery . Again, Rev. Lowery is not a unknown quantity, and President Obama is quite comfortable with Rev. Lowery, comfortable enough to have him at the Inauguration on his behalf, so if you found his remarks offensive, it again should have come as no surprise to anyone who knows Rev. Lowery, but instead is a direct relection of the judgement of President Obama.
Yes, it is a new day, and a day of both reflection and resolve to walk upright, with both eyes open and one in the rear view mirror . As one who trained new managers who came with much potential but normally little experience, one of the qualities we loom for a indicator was of their potential as a manager and a leader was there sense of judgement. Until we were sure of their development of this quality we maintained a close watch on their decisions. I have seen very bright and gifted people lack the ability to manage and /or diagnosis systematic problems.
In a time we are being advised that we are entering a age of sacrifice it would be inexcusable to not question the perscription to the problem that we are being asked to sacrifice for. We have already been asked to mortgage our future for the TARP program when we find out yesterday that the combined value of some of the institutions we bailed out does not equal the money we lent them. First, the doctors in Congress rushed to prescribe a solution that the people begged them to not prescribe because they could not afford it and the people doubted the prescriptive was the proper one. The people asked Congress to slow down, but Congress knew better and moved to save the day with the net result of the market losing more than the bailout anyway.
In other words, the headstrong Congress made us sacrifice for a failed solution and now they want us to shut up and go along with new bigger solutions that will also not solve the problem but will devalue our money and our savings. Congress is taxing us buy inflating our money and now we hear our new President saying, "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."
...nice try. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
In times of national crisis the greatest friend of freedom and the preservation of the republic is dissent and debate the public redressing their grievances , especially through the political process. The same document that grants the power to the President to hold office and defines the office and the terms of said also defines the peoples rights.
There is nothing petty about the peoples grievances and of their holding their representatives to account for their failures and the hubris of asking people to shut up and blindly sacrifice to a government who has ignored the people and encumbered us in debt for a "it might work", or "we thought it would work but it didn't", is not a reasonable request .
It's a new day ok. Same crap, repackaged, different day.