Wednesday, June 15, 2011
An Inaugural Fail
By Alan Caruba
We are all now so accustomed to Barack Obama’s delivery of a speech and have heard so many Tele-Prompter recitations that his habit of raising his chin, of gazing off into some future only he perceives, and his now-annoying way of breaking a sentence into small chunks that render it a monotony is taken for granted.
After all the campaign speeches he delivered in 2008, the carefully-staged events, by January 20, 2009 the nation was ready to hear what the then-new President, the 44th, had to say. With the exception of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech and one or both of Lincoln’s, few such speeches are long remembered.
President Obama’s was no exception and, as he begins his campaign to be reelected, it seemed to me a good time to revisit it.
Believe it or not, he began by saying “I stand here today humbled by the task before us…” and I daresay there are few who would apply the word ‘humble’ to Barack Hussein Obama, then or now.
Here was a man who had already written two memoirs about a life without any of the touchstones of achievement we normally look for. He had never run a business or met a payroll. As a legislator, he was either absent or voted for liberal programs without fail.
He had leaped swiftly from being an obscure Illinois state legislator to being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004. By February 10, 2007 he announced he was a candidate for President.
By November 2008 he was elected. It is a cliché to note that virtually the whole of the nation’s mainstream media did everything in its power to secure that outcome.
As he continued with his inaugural speech, Obama acknowledged that “Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred”, but we would learn in the months that followed that Obama would never put a name to it, never identify it as an Islamic terrorism network and, following the Fort Hood shooting, it would take weeks before the words “Islamic extremism” were even applied to it.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the inaugural speech was its rather mundane enumeration of the huge economic problems that faced the nation at the time. “We will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.”
Based on his words, that speech was a huge fail. Based on the actions taken or not taken by his administration, jobs by the millions disappeared. The housing market is one of foreclosures from coast to coast. Consumer spending and consumer confidence remains stagnant.
We were, said Obama, to ask “not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works…where the answer is no, programs will end.” Instead, his administration embarked on huge spending programs dubbed “stimulus” that vastly increased the national debt and, by common agreement, achieved little or nothing to get the economy moving.
As this is written, the Obama administration adamantly refuses to agree to any spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. The waste continues as various elements of the government pour millions into obscenely stupid programs and grants. The government continues to grow larger.
Rather than concentrate on the economic problems of the nation by cutting taxes and eliminating regulations, the Obama administration literally forced a 2,000-page piece of legislation dubbed Obamacare on Americans who largely opposed it. It is currently wending its way through the courts as 26 states have joined in rejecting it.
Obama’s inaugural outreach now seems infantile and naïve. “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.” Both were and are scarce, but Obama has ensured that the U.S. remains dependent on imported Middle East oil by thwarting every effort to explore and extract our domestic reserves.
His Libyan military adventure just adds to his list of failures, save one. Based on his predecessor’s groundwork, Osama bin Laden was delivered to justice.
Guantanamo remains open for business and 9/11’s terrorists will not be granted the protection of constitutional rights that belong solely to Americans.
In sum, present and future historians will conclude that Obama’s inaugural speech on January 20, 2009 was just so much blather and significantly devoid of any substance. That’s a pretty good description of the 44th President of the United States.
It is also a very good reason to ensure that Barack Hussein Obama does not get to deliver another inaugural speech in 2013.
© Alan Caruba, 2011