Good Morning Folks,
Inaugural ceremonies are always extraordinary and the 57th was no different. President Barack Obama kicked off his 2nd term armed in a much different than he began his first. The same President who four years ago stood before nearly 2 million hopeful Americans and proclaimed, "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works," yesterday took the podium before half as many and, according to the LA Times, "made clear he views government as essential to fix the nation's problems and to guarantee the security of its citizens, reaffirming Democratic ideology stretching from the days of.. Roosevelt's New Deal." It was, they noted, a "sweeping liberal vision."
For many conservative and center-right Americans, however, it sounded more like the opening bell to round two of a prize fight. The message was clear, the era of big government is back, and it's badder than before. The Wall Street Journal editorialized, " Mr. Obama was laying down a marker that he has no intention of letting debt or deficits or lagging economic growth slow his plans for activist, expansive government." Charles Krauthammer said that President Obama declared "the end of Reaganism in this speech," which "was a hymn to big government." And Pete Wehner noted, "Mr. Obama’s speech was not a call to unity; it was a summons to his liberal base…." and warned that, "What we are seeing is the authentic Obama, a liberated and fiercely committed progressive who believes he is an agent for social justice and fairness. He feels the election completely vindicated him and his agenda. He has sheer contempt for his opponents. And in his second term he will crush them if they stand in his way."
The left responded to the opening bell with equal vigor. Paul Krugman announced that he "hated" Obama's 1st inaugural address, but this one made him happy and was much better. On CNN, The Washington Post's Sally Quinn praised the radicalism of speech and noted that President Obama never could have delivered such a bold and truthful vision four years ago. Ezra Klein claimed it revealed a President who would, "use his bully pulpit to make an aggressive and uncompromising case for why his side is right, and to not rest until the American people agree that the other side is wrong." And Mother Jones' David Corn correctly noted that the speech, "targeted Obama's people. He paid homage to Seneca Falls (women's rights), Selma (civil rights), and Stonewall (gay rights.) He spoke directly to those Americans attuned to those progressive struggles of the past and their present-day manifestations.."
Indeed, the speech was delivered almost entirely for the base of President Obama's winning 51% coalition and was more Wilsonian than Clintonian in tone. What does it mean? The transformation of Barack Obama is complete. Gone is that transcendent figure who took ownership of a new generation of politic one summer night in Boston eight years ago, boldy announcing, "There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America," and that, "We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."
President Obama's 2nd Inaugural Address should serve as a wakeup call to the center-right, American majority that many of us proclaim to be reality. Those expecting a return of the Barack Obama from years ago will be left wanting, and those unprepared to counter his aggressive liberal/progressive vision with our own will be left behind. It's time to answer the bell, get to work, and start offering some bold but practical solutions to the challenges real people face in 21st Century Amerca. It's time to answer the bell and modernize.
New from the YG Network: President Obama fails by His Own Standards – Forgetting His 1st Inaugural Address.
TOPS ON THE TWITTER FEED
@MorningMoneyBen “This is the worst poem I have ever heard. Cliche after cliche.”
@ByronTau “The Battle Hymm of the Republic is the only good patriotic song because it's about kicking ass and taking names.”
@Marincogan “Parade marching is quite obviously Joe Biden’s favorite vice presidential duty.”
@WashDCWX “Partly cloudy/windy today, high 25 (-4 C).
@TheAtlantic "From stonewalling to Stonewall: How Obama's position on gay marriage changed http://theatln.tc/VPqfY4 via @TheAtlanticWire"
@BrianJamesWalsh "Senate Dems haven't passed a budget in 4 years because they wanted to duck tough votes. Now Obama throws gun control & cap/trade at them too"
@AriFleischer "GOP shld make Reid lead. If Sen goes first on climate change, guns, and budget, O will see he has less support than he thinks"
OBAMA INAUGURAL ISSUE MATRIX
- Health Care.
- Financial Reform.
- Efficient Government.
- Global Warming
- Gay Marriage
- Entitlement Status Quo
- Comprehensive Immigration
- Health Care
ON THE RADAR
Debt Limit Move Provides Budget Deal Opportunity. “There is some thought that restoring regular order in the congressional budget process could represent the first step toward a historic deficit reduction agreement addressing both taxes and spending. That is largely because adoption of a budget resolution would make it possible for lawmakers to use the reconciliation process.”
Coming To A State Near You: Tax Reform That Might Get It Wrong. “Following an election that left half the states with veto-proof legislative majorities, 37 states with one-party rule and more than a dozen with governors who put tax reform high on their agendas, 2013 promises to be a big year for changes to state tax laws.”
Tax Reform Leaders In New Congress Support Credit Unions. “As credit unions hunker down in defense of their federal tax exemption, the industry does have one thing in its favor. There are no known enemies among leadership on the House Ways and Means or Senate Finance Committees.”
Obama Dodges “Hard Choices” On Entitlements. “President Barack Obama insisted four years ago that the nation must make “hard decisions” to preserve entitlement programs. But on Monday, the “hard choices” he spoke of on health care and the deficit came with a major caveat: He’s not willing to give up much.”
Obama Stands For Status Quo, Defends Health Care in Speech. Obama...made his position clear by stating in his inaugural speech that government programs for the elderly do not make the United States a "nation of takers." Although Obama said Washington must make hard choices to cut healthcare costs and the deficit, he also said: "We reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future
President Obama Calls For Stem Immigration Reform, Nudging Congress. “Today in his inaugural address, freshly reelected President Barack Obama took time to call for immigration reform, especially noting the need for rule changes to better accommodate those with upper-tier educations and high-tech skills.”
Axelrod: Immigration Reform Coming ‘Early’ In Obama’s Agenda. “While fiscal battles have dominated discussions of President Obama’s second term, a top advisor said Monday that the president will push forward with immigration reform early on -- possibly as soon as the State of the Union speech in three weeks.”
Terrorist Attack In Algeria. “We can now confirm the death of three U.S. citizens in the terrorist attack in Algeria: Victor Lynn Lovelady, Gordon Lee Rowan, and Frederick Buttaccio. We extend our deepest condolences to their families and friends. Out of respect for the families' privacy, we have no further comment. We are also aware of seven U.S. citizens who survived the attack. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further information to provide.”
THIS & THAT
Lessons For White House Reporters: Sharting in the White House = Exclusive First "Interview" With President Obama & Amazing Fun with Joe Biden
Videos of 14 Failed Fast Food Dishes.... Our Favorite? Wendy's All-You-Can-Eat $2.99 "SuperBar" and Constanza's "McDLT"
Seize the day....
Senior Advisor - YG Network