Obama's Inaugural Speech: Live Thread

12:08 pm: President Barack Obama begins his inaugural speech, expected to last 20 minutes.

The full text of the speech is here.

On challenges: "Know this America, they will be met."

He acknowledges the different religions, including "non-believers." Followed by tough talk against those who need to "unclench their fist."

12:26 p.m. Speech over. We have a new President. What a relief.

This is a thread for your reactions. I'll be back tonight to cover the televised inaugural balls.

< Inauguration Live Thread One | White House Gets a New Website >
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    Should not be thanking Bush (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:11:10 AM EST
    For anything.  Period.  Sorry, I can't stand this.  Without the Bush admin. being held criminally accountalb, nothing will change and the same power grab and abuse of authority will happen again and again and again.

    Without the egregious wrongs of Bush (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by scribe on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:28:49 AM EST
    and by Bush, this day would not be happening.

    I saw some political cartoon somewhere (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:44:16 AM EST
    that said that Bush should be allowed into the Civil Rights Hall of Fame. It was his unparalled failure and corruption that allowed the first African-American President.

    To all who wish to argue, I'm not interested. I'm just talking about a cartoon. Not interested in the philosophical debate about this entire election season. I'm done with that.


    The same old sh&t.... (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:50:57 AM EST
    will happen again, no doubt in my mind.  He does have a D after his name, not an I or G.

    But I don't know what kicking the dog named Bush would accomplish at this point, our chance at accountability long since passed, the Dem congress in '06 holding impeachment proceedings was our only shot at that.  They didn't deem it important or politically possible.

    Besides, I doubt anyone really believes it was a heartfelt thank you...more of an obligation to just be nice and gracious in victory.


    Would be niceer without the teleprompter... (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:16:57 PM EST
    The teleprompter's verbatim format lends a robotic quality and fosters the illusion that the speaker is a super-human who's committed an entire prepared text to memory. On the other hand, it might also appear that the words are just coming to his mind, in the moment - but in a strangely precise manner.

    It would have been truly amazing if Obama could have actually delivered this one straight from the heart and the head.

    Short of that, imo, there's an inherently organic and authentic quality to a speech that's written in point form - preferably on paper. The speaker is compelled to deliver the text in a non-rote, more immediate and spontaneous manner. It creates a much more engaging and dynamic experience for both the speaker and the listener.

    I would have expected Obama to have a better command of that format, given his background as a professor/lecturer. I do hope he'll develop a less-rehearsed style, over time, as POTUS.


    Not so subtle dig (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by CCinNC on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:13:02 AM EST
    "... the time has come to put aside childish things ..."


    It's a biblical dig, so... (none / 0) (#105)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:23:08 PM EST
    of course, it's not subtle. 1 Corinthians 13:11

    "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."

    Imo, if one cites the Bible, there's an especial obligation to credit the author.


    He Did (none / 0) (#110)
    by daring grace on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:37:55 PM EST
    "We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things."

    From the NY Times version of the transcript here.


    I didn't say he didn't - thanks just the same (none / 0) (#129)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:18:21 PM EST
    (In reply to comment #110)

    We need to stop (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by SOS on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:16:03 AM EST
    referring to ourselves as "consumers." This degrading moniker, used for decades unthinkingly by everyone from The New York Times Nobel Prize pundits to the Econ 101 section men of the land-grant diploma mills has been such a drag on our collective development that it has extinguished the last latent flickers of duty, obligation, and responsibility for the greater good.

    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    and we need to stop using the word "trash" and bring back "waste".  "Trash" implies that it goes on a garbage truck and has a place to go.  "Waste" is exactly what it is and calling it what it is will make people think differently about how much they consume and as a byproduct, "waste."

    I do not understand (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:05:34 PM EST
    the aversion to the ethos of conservation and preservation in this country.
    Why can't we ban plastic shopping bags, like other countries, for instance? I mean, I would have to figure out an alternative, but I'm sure I can do it!!

    Why do we have to ban them... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:22:36 PM EST
    I just tell the clerk I don't need a big plastic bag wrapped around my gallon of milk, the jug has a handle on it already...it is not hard.  

    I see it now...the plastic bag police working undercover to stick retail clerks with fines...we don't need another law and another way for the state to part you from your money, we just need to educate people about the plastic bags filling our landfills for 10,000 years.


    Silliness. (none / 0) (#83)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:53:52 PM EST
    Why not ban them? Even China has done so.

    I don't disagree (none / 0) (#85)
    by CST on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:58:20 PM EST
    But China is a baaaad example

    They also banned having more than one kid.


    Even totalitarian China? (none / 0) (#88)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:02:53 PM EST
    Well that settles it:)  Should we put a cap on how many kids you can have too?  The world is overpopulated and rescources are becoming scarce...why not, right?

    China...not a country I want to live in...for very reasons such as this.  Ban, ban, ban...too many rules, making it impossible for people to live free without breaking laws.

    There is more than one way to skin a cat...you can deal with problems without the blanket "ban it!".  A tax break for stores that don't offer plastic bags, for one example.


    Also (none / 0) (#89)
    by CST on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:06:23 PM EST
    There is bio-degradable plastic available (made from corn).

    So an all-out ban on plastic could go too far.  They should definitely give incentives to companies who don't use plastic bags, it's not really the affordable way to go for them either.


    Think we should start (none / 0) (#98)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:33:56 PM EST
    with nationwide deposits on bottles on cans.  Works really well in Michigan - sales of pop and beer have not decreased because of a 10 cent per item deposit.

    Yes! (none / 0) (#59)
    by sj on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:47:16 PM EST
    I could be wrong but it seems to me that it started about the same time that the word "employee" got replaced by the word "resource".  Which is also degrading and depersonalizing.

    our power does not entitled us (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by byteb on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:19:22 AM EST
    to do as we please...

    Hello, Dick.

    listening to his economic points (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:21:06 AM EST
    i'm struck by how stuck, for the most part, it still is in the past paradims.  we're at the end of money as we know it.  only money as we have never known it will solve this financial crisis.  that is, by finally, as a nation, deciding just what money is and what it will do for us as a people, will we solve that problem of spreading the wealth.  until we are clear on what that means, until we agree on what it means, we cannot even attempt to go forward and really change anything.  ultimately, what determines the value of the dollar is the vast personal fortune paradigm, the lottery mindset.  Replace that with the vast peaceful and stable society paradigm (while still rewarding, if less lavishly, personal accomplishement and initiative and invention) and things can change overnight.  But if we cling to these tired and dying paradigms, we will as a nation tire and die with them.  We have the opportunity to redefine, in a more democratic and humane manner, the entire concept of what an economy is.  Because we control money, it does not control us.  

    A revolution.... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:44:17 AM EST
    of that magnitude was never in the cards Dadler...it needs to get a lot worse to break those chains in our minds, sorry to say.

    Science FTW (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:22:30 AM EST
    The bit about believing in science was one of those times I wish there was a split screen so I could see Bush's reaction.

    I liked it (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:29:18 AM EST
    Honest, to the point, returning to the idea of "commons".........the right wing for so long has convinced too many that common cause was communism and evil and the "us against them" mentality.....was "American."

    It does take a village. I think President Obama made that clear.  I hope and pray more and more Americans LISTENED, really, really LISTENED AND HEARD AND CARE.

    He had me at 'we the people' (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:31:31 AM EST
    Very strongly delivered. What more can I say?

    Let's get to work.

    A brilliant allusion to Valley Forge (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by scribe on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:31:48 AM EST
    There are few places so bone-chilling in the middle of winter, and few rivers so daunting to cross as an ice-choked Delaware.  That's where we are, and we must go forward.

    And a nice shout out to those who are, or have been, the winter soldiers of our nation.

    Check out the new (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:35:08 AM EST
    That's cool (none / 0) (#28)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:39:48 AM EST
    Too much religion (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:37:49 AM EST
    Just too damn much.  Tired of it.  We are a secular nation.  Can you even imagine a specifically atheist speaker being allowed at one of these?  Sigh.  Whatever.  The amen is nice.  Get it on.

    We are a secular government (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:03:31 PM EST
    Not a secular nation.  I think in the case of this event it is good to have both religion and non religious tributes.

    I Have No Problem With The Religious (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by daring grace on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:29:41 PM EST

    I'd rather not be referred to as an 'unbeliever', however. THAT (to my sensitive ears) defines my beliefs in terms of belief in others' creeds.

    Uh uh.


    Yea (none / 0) (#57)
    by CST on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:40:35 PM EST
    The "non-believers" was an awkward line.

    I was thinking - what about us agnostics? Maybe "and those who aren't sure what to believe" but that's kinda long...


    It WAS awkward (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by sj on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:52:26 PM EST
    But I don't have a better suggestion either.  Heathens?  (for the humor impaired:  that really is a joke).

    I think the intention was good and meaningful even if the execution was just a tad jarring.


    He could have said agnostics & atheists (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:58:40 PM EST
    that would have covered it in more accurate, and less loaded, terms.

    To my mind, the word "non-believers" is a religious term and is generally used in the context of condemnation. Perhaps that is more obvious to people who've had a religious upbringing.


    OK (none / 0) (#66)
    by sj on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:00:28 PM EST
    I'll buy that.

    we are a secular nation (5.00 / 0) (#67)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:01:57 PM EST
    but a religious people.  I am a non believer but statistically speaking I am in the minority and as much as I appreciate zero religious references from any pol, I realize that a substantial portion of our population wants to hear those references.  Separation is a fine line and I have grown comfortable with the inferences rightly or wrongly.

    Re: Too Much Religion (none / 0) (#53)
    by rea on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:31:01 PM EST
    For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

    It was interesting (none / 0) (#63)
    by themomcat on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:57:14 PM EST
    for those of us who are Wiccan, that the poem mentioned the Wiccan Rede .....First, Do No Harm. Blessed Be.

    Elizabeth Alexander (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by liminal on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:38:38 AM EST
    I think I quite liked the poem Elizabeth Alexander wrote for the inauguration - but I do not like her style of delivery, which I think of as the Contemporary American Poet delivery style.  It is so stark - boring, disjointed, stilted and flat, all those staccato words lose their meaning when they are disconnected from the whole.  

    She should have taken some lessons from Garrison Keillor.  There's a man who knows how to read a poem aloud.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#125)
    by DFLer on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:20:26 PM EST
    shoulda had Maya read it for her.

    Sensational ending to the (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by oldpro on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:38:48 AM EST

    Well, yes (none / 0) (#34)
    by joanneleon on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:44:44 AM EST
    and I was cheering him on and have great respect for the man.  Until he found it necessary to insult every white person in the land.  That really shocked me, and angered me.  So unnecesary.

    "When white will embrace what it right"??  After cheering on every other race?  That's not right.  What does he think he is witnessing today?

    His benediction was otherwise wonderful.  Why did he have to ruin it with that?  He owes an apology.


    your view is certainly not shared (5.00 / 0) (#35)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:45:58 AM EST
    by most people, thankfully.

    Thanks a lot, Jeralyn n/t (none / 0) (#102)
    by joanneleon on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:12:46 PM EST
    asdf (none / 0) (#104)
    by joanneleon on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:18:53 PM EST

    This is a thread for your reactions. I'll be back tonight to cover the televised inaugural balls.

    You offer a thread and ask for reactions, then you ridicule.

    I was, by far, not the only one who felt hurt and/or offended by that statement.


    Both the beginning of his prayer and that ending (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by byteb on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:56:47 AM EST
    were from the civil rights era.

    Close (none / 0) (#133)
    by FreakyBeaky on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 01:32:15 AM EST
    This little song that I'm singin' about,
    People, you all know that it's true,
    If you're black and gotta work for livin',
    Now, this is what they will say to you,
    They says: "If you was white,
    You's alright,
    If you was brown,
    Stick around,
    But if you's black, oh, brother,
    Get back, get back, get back."

    Get Back (Black, Brown & White) Big Bill Broonzy, circa 1951.  Somewhat predates the civil rights era, I think.


    Oh, for heaven's sake... (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:09:26 PM EST
    Do you think the "yellow" people are upset about the use of the word "mellow?"  Or are they insulted at being called "yellow?"

    I chose to look at it as him finding a word that rhymed with "white" - just as he found words that rhymed with black, yellow, red and brown - not that he was looking to offend or insult anyone.


    White...Outasight! (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by daring grace on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:31:43 PM EST
    Sorry. My sixties roots are showing!

    Or as I like to tell women of color... (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:25:04 PM EST
    once you go white, you're back every night:)

    As a woman of color, (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:09:01 PM EST
    I will attest to this.

    I am shoulin4, and I approve this message.


    Agree to Disagree (none / 0) (#118)
    by CST on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:21:13 PM EST
    On the merits, but I loved that comment nonetheless :)

    I'm only tellin' the truth. n/t (none / 0) (#126)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:21:09 PM EST
    Oh for heaven's sake (none / 0) (#106)
    by joanneleon on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:24:47 PM EST
    there's a big difference between yellow and mellow, and suggesting that white people do not embrace what is right.

    Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around -- (laughter) -- when yellow will be mellow -- (laughter) -- when the red man can get ahead, man -- (laughter) -- and when white will embrace what is right.

    black, not asked to get back
    brown can stick around
    yellow will be mellow
    red man can get ahead, man
    white will embrace what is right

    One of these things is not like the other.  One is an insult.  On a day when a country with a white majority inaugurated a black man as their president and the most powerful man in the world.  


    Joanne, in the totality of what Lowery (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:49:59 PM EST
    said in his benediction, it is clear that he was not intent on insulting anyone.  He reached back into an uglier era, when it was the white man who wrote the laws and perpetuated policies that kept people down, and today, he prayed - in essence - that the society that is still predominantly controlled by whites embrace what is right; how is that an insult?  

    I guess you can choose to be upset and insulted by what Lowery said, but if you are not one of those whites who needs to be told to embrace what is right, he wasn't talking to you.


    Nicely Stated (none / 0) (#113)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:57:55 PM EST
    I would agree with you completely (none / 0) (#119)
    by joanneleon on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:48:50 PM EST
    if not for the way it was stated.  His prayer was directed toward the future.  Yes, he reached into the past for the verse he used, but his prayer was clearly saying that in the future, he hopes that white people will embrace what is right.  Given the context of the inauguration of America's first black president, and the tremendous support he received from white people and all races, I think it was unfair, even spiteful and vengeful, intending to judge, and hurt.  

    "we ask you to help us work for that day when...white will embrace what is right."

    I'm going by the man's words.  You are making assumptions.

    How can you not interpret that as a slap in the face to white people?  His statement implies that "that day" has not yet come.  And he didn't make any exceptions for "these white people" or "those white people".  He lumped us all together.  Did he forget that he was standing on a platform with the new president, a black man?  That's reaching into the past and being stuck in a past, and not acknowledging that things have changed drastically, that people have worked hard to bring about those changes.  Frankly, it makes me question whether there can ever be a resolution with a mindset like that.  

    The way I've lived my life, and the attitudes of my three children are a testament to the fact that I am not "one of those whites" so it's not a guilty conscience that taints my interpretation.

    I'm so tired of racism, sexism, religious bias and all discrimination.  I know what it feels to be treated badly because of heritage, sex and religion.  It's time to knock it off and treat people fairly regardless of what they are.  Rev. Lowery, a man who I had an incredible amount of respect for, should have known he'd hurt feelings with those words.  

    Here's the deal.  We're working toward treating people fairly and not stereotyping and lumping an entire race together while making statements.  Heck, I thought that's what racism was, no?  Lowery knows that, but apparently his rules only apply to others, not himself.  Sometimes the righteous reverends need to look in the mirror.

    Maybe he didn't hurt you, but he did hurt others, including me.  I don't much care if people think it's justified or not.  I rarely get emotional these days, but those words brought me to tears.  It would be nice if people could just accept my reaction for what it was and perhaps try to see another point of view, instead of judging, scolding, and telling me I'm wrong, but there it is.  I don't require the affirmation.  

    We'll just have to agree to disagree.


    When You Are A Member (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:03:33 PM EST
    Of the dominant culture, or power base, which means being treated on a daily basis differently than people of color in most of the US, I think it is more than fair, for a representative of one of the most historically oppressed groups in the country to remind us, that as a rule white people have more power than people of color, and there is a horrible legacy regarding misuse of that power. That legacy is still going on.  You may not be carrying it on but others are in your name.

    Seems to me acknowledging that legacy, owning it so to speak, is tantamount to changing it.

    Most white people in the US take their position of power for granted. Dr Lowery was pointing that out by giving us a flashback, to the present.


    Ummm....you don't know (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by oldpro on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:33:48 PM EST
    the phrase "white is right?"  Where it comes from and what it has meant historically?  And not only in America, though in America still in far too many places.

    I've been told (none / 0) (#108)
    by joanneleon on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:28:47 PM EST

    Because this is what Black people heard (and still hear to a large extent) as American:

        If you're Black, get back.
        If you're Brown, still around.
        If you're Yelow, you're mellow.
        If you're White, you're alright.

    It's the first thing my mom taught me about the reality of race in this country. Young White folks might not have understood the reference, but most older White and every Black person did.

    It was very appropriate.

    Not a joke.  Not a harmless rhyme.  A statement about racism of white people.


    Correction (none / 0) (#109)
    by joanneleon on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:30:56 PM EST
    The commenter corrected part of that rhyme in a follow up comment:

    "If you're brown, stick around"

    Speak For YOurself (none / 0) (#111)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:41:20 PM EST
    Until he found it necessary to insult every white person in the land.

    I was not in the least bit insulted.


    You know, (none / 0) (#116)
    by Lil on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:15:34 PM EST
    I wasn't personally offended but I sure wished he hadn't said it; I will give you that. I cringed a little if only because I believe others will be all offended and take away from what I believe was a glorious day (except for Kennedy's health problems). So, I sort of think I know what you were trying to say.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#138)
    by joanneleon on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:30:16 AM EST
    for listening to what I had to say, and trying to see my point of view, even if your point of view was different.  I appreciate it more than you know.  

    It was a clunker (none / 0) (#134)
    by FreakyBeaky on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 01:33:54 AM EST
    I'm not going to get bent out of shape about it, but nevertheless the last line was a clunker.  

    Let's put it like this: I'm a bit of a skeptic about Obama, but I never expected to see an African-American president.  Actually, that's not quite right.  I expected to never see an AA president.  Today's events show that I seriously underestimated many of my fellow citizens.  So while I appreciate the historical point Rev. Lowry was trying to make, this is rhetoric that should be left in the past.  Things have changed.


    Thank you (none / 0) (#139)
    by joanneleon on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 07:37:23 AM EST
    for being open minded and understanding about it.  As a mom of three boys who are essentially colorblind, I whole heartedly agree that things have changed.  Part of the reason, perhaps most of the reason they treat people equally is because of the way I brought them up.  When they were very young, they didn't know what racism was and nobody taught it to them.  When they found out what it was, they inherently knew it was wrong and that belief has been reinforced at home ever since.  Their choice of friends is diverse and I welcome that, in fact I rejoice in that.  One thing I would never tolerate is for them to insult someone from another race or creed, which is clearly something Rev. Lowery doesn't mind doing.

    A Sober Speech... (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by santarita on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:39:33 AM EST
    I thought.  And appropriate for the times.  I also thought that he used the opportunity to make everyone aware that he isn't George Bush and he is not following the Bush-Cheney Doctrine in foreign policy and national security.

    Thank You Dear Lord, (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by easilydistracted on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:46:16 AM EST
    Bush and Cheney are gone.

    But the evil that men do lives after them (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:56:17 AM EST
    There is no good to be interred with Bush's bones.

    It would be wonderful to say (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by pluege on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:54:31 AM EST
    Our long national nightmare is over.
    But it is only the wretched source of our nightmare
    That has finally been extinguished.
    Our national wreckage is profound and pervasive.
    A very long days night of repair and redemption

    My favorite part (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by CST on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:07:13 PM EST
    Was when he talked about protecting the country without compromising our ideals.  I thought that was a pretty good FU to Bush/Cheney.

    I wonder what "ideals" Obama meant (none / 0) (#78)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:31:06 PM EST
    when he talked about "protecting the country without compromising our ideals".  

    One can imagine what he means, but that will vary according to the individual. Imo, Obama needed to put a little more meat on the bones of that statement.


    Maybe, maybe, baby... (none / 0) (#107)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:26:39 PM EST
    to quote Janis Joplin. I'm done with the maybes.

    Where's the substance? (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by SarahinCA on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:08:36 PM EST
    Am I the only one wanting to hear some substance from the president?  I am realy tired of this rhetoric that has no back-up, no plans, no clear path forward.

    I'm sure you are not (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Lil on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:14:05 PM EST
    but come on, he just became President an hour ago.

    it's the same old thing (1.00 / 0) (#51)
    by SarahinCA on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:18:57 PM EST
    with Obama.  He has never had substance, plans, facts, figures, or pp presentations as Anne mentions.  

    Short order is right.  He hasn't said much during transition, so he needs to get to it.


    I am as much a skeptic as the next person (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by snstara on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:44:33 PM EST
    about the actual delivery on promises of hope and change.  And we do need specifics, and quickly.


    Today, I am putting aside my disbelief and allowing for the moment.  This moment ends the Bush years and allows for the possibility of a better nation.  And this moment is extraordinarily meaningful for a vast section of the nation who never thought we would see an African-American president.  Nothing brought that home to me more than hearing Aretha Franklin this afternoon.  

    So today, I say good riddance to Bush, Cheney, and their disrespect to our nation; and think of another Aretha standard, which might have been far more fitting here.  Today, I will allow for hope, and change, and R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for our new president, who at a minimum respects our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    Tomorrow, all the demands of the reality-based community will begin again.


    Well, I think that might (none / 0) (#99)
    by oldpro on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:38:21 PM EST
    have been more appropriate if it had been Hillary.

    What, R.E.S.P.E.C.T.? (none / 0) (#127)
    by snstara on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:29:40 PM EST
    Yeah, I had that dream, too...  

    But too relieved that Bush is finally gone to dwell much on that today.


    Agree. (none / 0) (#132)
    by oldpro on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 10:13:56 PM EST
    bah (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by wystler on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:16:42 PM EST
    You ask for a State of the Union at the inauguration.

    Gotta wonder: when he delivers that speech, will you ask why there was such a dearth of lofty art?


    An inaugural address (4.63 / 11) (#49)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:13:24 PM EST
    is not a power-point presentation of facts and figures and plans; it is ceremony and ritual that is meant to inspire and challenge.

    That being said, I am ready for some facts and figures and plans, too, and I think Obama is going to have to come up with them in short order; today was just not the day.


    I'm sorry (none / 0) (#91)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:11:45 PM EST
    that 1 rating was supposed to be a 5.  I'm an idiot when typing on my blackberry, I apologize!

    You can fix it (none / 0) (#92)
    by CST on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:13:03 PM EST
    By choosing five and hit "rate" again

    Wow! (none / 0) (#101)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:51:30 PM EST
    I didn't know that. See you learn something new every day! Life is a slice. Now if there was only spell check.

    One analysis of the substance (none / 0) (#128)
    by cymro on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:57:11 PM EST
    A word tree for statements beginning "We will".

    obama (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by capitalistfloridaboy on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:58:39 PM EST
    settle down everyone....now comes the real test.......he will have to do something. I really hope for everyone's sake this is a wake up call for black Americans......anything is possible if you work hard......Obama needs lead by encouraging black males to be fathers to the kids the produce, follow the laws and respect the law as well as teachers in school. The level of black on black violence that is happening in this country today is a disgrace. To many "black" leaders shy away from these issues, he must not.

    Bush gets polite and meager applause. (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:10:06 AM EST

    Appropriate. . . (none / 0) (#10)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:21:23 AM EST
    in the context.

    What he's saying is (none / 0) (#3)
    by SOS on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:12:35 AM EST
    reality will set in and the heavy lifting will commence.

    Not watching (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:23:54 AM EST
    But did he say this? (from the transcript)

    Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.

    Or did he correct the error?  Only 43 Americans have taken the oath (Cleveland had two non-consecutive terms)

    I think that (none / 0) (#61)
    by themomcat on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:51:26 PM EST
    President Cleveland was portly enough to be counted as two American Presidents.

    I know funny... (none / 0) (#70)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:15:22 PM EST
    and that sir was funny

    Bonus points (none / 0) (#73)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:20:25 PM EST
    for humor!

    Is Obama not reading or on a teleprompter? (none / 0) (#13)
    by thereyougo on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:24:25 AM EST
    If this is the case, he is truly a change from the bumbling booby the American people have suffered through the past 8 years.

    Speeches = teleprompters to left and right (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by andrys on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:57:06 PM EST
    Notice he hardly ever looks in the center.  He looks to one side and then to the other side.

      They used these heavily for the last half of the primaries.
    I did wish he had depended less on the teleprompter today because unless you're listening very closely, everything starts to sound the same.  It's oration vs conversation and I think it's better with a bit of a mix - really looking at the audience itself once in a while, and changing the pacing.


    Teleprompters. (none / 0) (#14)
    by oldpro on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:27:49 AM EST
    Absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:28:27 AM EST
    It would have been foolish not to use one.

    CJ Roberts should have (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by brodie on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:35:53 AM EST
    used a teleprompter to deliver what is a rather simple oath, certainly less complex than the elaborate one given to the VP.  

    Wow, what a mess.  And Obama seemed a little anxious too ...


    I thought Roberts did it on purpose ... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:40:26 AM EST
    to kill the soundbite.

    Interesting observation, (none / 0) (#39)
    by brodie on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:53:09 AM EST
    especially in the context of Obama's Nay vote on the CJ.  

    We were only listening on radio, so maybe there's something in the video which we couldn't pick up on the wireless.

    Wouldn't surprise me at all though if Roberts really was going for some payback ...


    While I thought Roberts was rushing the words (none / 0) (#81)
    by andrys on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:40:33 PM EST
    for a purpose, maybe -- I don't think he wants to go down in recorded (youtube) history as the Supreme Court Justice who couldn't get the most specific quote from the Constitution right.

    Transcript from ABC News blog

    Roberts rushed him, not letting him finish his own name!

      I then wondered if Roberts was trying to throw him...

      Then Roberts got the words mixed up, and Obama halted exactly where Roberts missed a word and Obama realized it.

      I think Michelle looked somewhat amused that he seemed nervous for once (since she likely didn't know it was Roberts who flubbed,  I certainly didn't know, at least).


    I doubt it (none / 0) (#40)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:54:23 AM EST
    The way of the village is not to make petty mistakes like that.

    I agree (none / 0) (#95)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:15:41 PM EST
    There's no way to prove Roberts changed it on purpose, but he clearly added the words "So help me God" at the end.  WTF.  Roberts owes Obama and us a public apology.   Nervous or not, there's no need to add his magic sky being/vengeful deity to a constitutionally defined oath of office.

    It's also possible that Roberts (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:33:01 PM EST
    asked Obama if he wanted to include the "so help me God" in the oath; I am not a Roberts fan, but I do not believe he would disrespect the moment by, in essence, forcing Obama to recite words he had not wanted to say.

    I think Roberts was nervous and Obama clearly had memorized the oath, which was why he was taken aback when Roberts flubbed it.

    As decisions go, I would be more inclined to pillory Roberts over his judicial actions than his ceremonial one to forego a notecard with the oath written on it.  It's a "pick your battles" thing for me.


    Perhaps Roberts was thrown (none / 0) (#115)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:04:27 PM EST
    by the implied rebukes of the outgoing Admin in the inaugural speech.

    Except for the fact that the speech (none / 0) (#131)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 09:22:14 PM EST
    came AFTER the oath, not before.

    Only Bill Clinton (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by oldpro on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:36:33 AM EST
    can get away with that.

    there was a teleprompter attached to his podium (none / 0) (#117)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:18:10 PM EST
    I saw it in a photo somewhere.

    I liked it (none / 0) (#24)
    by phatpay on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:38:29 AM EST
    I was looking to hear something along the, "Ask not...", lines, and it was there, just not as poignant.

    Of course, I'm just waking up and I'll have to review it.

    Very cerebral speech. (Bush slam: Did he need an interpreter?)

    I loved the reaching out across the globe aspects.

    First impression is it was (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by brodie on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:42:58 AM EST
    a sturdy but not quite stellar speech.  Pragmatic words delivered in a solid but not stirring fashion.

    I'd give it a B+.


    But there was no (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by SOS on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:46:31 AM EST
    no propaganda, hype, and misleading words about whats ahead of us.

    It is so wonderful (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:05:41 PM EST
    To have a government that talks to us as adults.  Love it.

    Off to the Oval Office (none / 0) (#30)
    by SOS on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:41:55 AM EST
    and get right to work.

    "What a relief" (none / 0) (#55)
    by Andreas on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:32:00 PM EST
    One of his first major activities was to support the war in Gaza.

    Relief for whom?

    Really? What did he do? (none / 0) (#56)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:38:27 PM EST
    I just want out new President (none / 0) (#60)
    by kmblue on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:48:43 PM EST
    to show me some steel in his spine, and to realize that playing nice with Republicans doesn't work.
    Be a leader, please, Mr. President.

    I thought his speech was good.

    And that bigot Warren went on too long.

    chill out daddyo (1.00 / 1) (#93)
    by capitalistfloridaboy on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:13:25 PM EST
    Liberals are very accepting of everyone (unless they disagree with your view), they are all for freedom of speech (but surprisingly it's just the liberals that interrupt speeches with screaming and tantrums as demonstrated this past election), they are true Americans that support our military (yet they are the only ones who protest the recruiting stations). You need to chill with this silly talk about "playing nice doesn't work", the Democratic party is not perfect by any stretch.    

    I don't think Warren is a bigot (none / 0) (#69)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:06:30 PM EST
    Imagine believing the bible is the authentic word of god and having to live by such standards.  Although it is highly convenient that his church all but ignores the "rules" set out about women not speaking in church because our societal standards have accepted equal rights if not equal pay for women, yet the church sticks to the dogma espoused in the lesson of sodom and gommorrah.

    I would choose to label him less-enlightened.


    I think (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Lil on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:19:33 PM EST
    you are too understanding of his selectivity of the Bible. Bigotry can be  and often is nourished by selective embracing of the Bible.

    hence (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:39:57 PM EST
    I draw the comparison to women in the old testament.  

    It is widely accepted at most US churches that women do not have to be covered in church etc., but being "out" is seldom tolerated.  So it makes sense that he would be with the mainstream of his followers.  A braver and more enlightened man would lead his followers away from that dogma but then again, a braver man might have a much smaller congregation.


    Warren... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:22:43 PM EST
    "less-enlightened" than who and what? ;-)

    less enlightened than (none / 0) (#79)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:36:25 PM EST
    than the percentage of the population who believe that homosexuality is perfectly natural...and I believe we are still in the minority which oddly enough correlates with the percentage of americans who define themselves as "religious".

    on the question of whether the majority of Americans view the LGBTQ community in a negative or positive light.

    It wouldn't surprise me if public opinion is actually more progressive than Democratic politicians on that issue. After all, pols generally tend to lag behind the public and only adopt a progressive position after it becomes, quite evidently, safe. We've seen that with Iraq and a host of other issues.


    As usually, Christian leaders have misread (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:49:27 PM EST
    the very book they claim is the "word of god."  The supposed sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was not homosexuality, the sin was related to hospitality toward travelers.  Ironically, in that very same story (Genesis 18:16-19:29) Lot offers his virgin daughters to the rapists at his door.  Biblical stories like this one make me wonder if these fables/"words of God" are just distorted stories selected and repeated to preserve and justify oppression in Christian societies.  

    Rick Warren is decidedly a bigot.  He selectively uses the Bible to oppress a specific group of people.  He deliberately ignores other verses in the Bible that do not support his financial and political goals.  

    The same strategy and verbiage were used to oppress African Americans, and our country will not achieve our progressive goals as long as we allow bigots like him to relegate gays to the status of second class citizens.  


    Spigot? (none / 0) (#74)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:22:19 PM EST
    The tap from god's beer keg, opiate of the masses..

    You know what they say ... (none / 0) (#100)
    by andrys on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:41:09 PM EST
    You tend to believe what you want to believe...

    I (none / 0) (#121)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:52:51 PM EST
    just think that Warren sounds stupid.

    Quite Beautiful (none / 0) (#114)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:02:13 PM EST
    The whole thing. I am getting teary because I am so touched over this historic event. Big surprise, I usually do not get emotional about this sort of stuff..

    Why (none / 0) (#120)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:50:50 PM EST
    Why does America have to "lead"?

    Because Others are Following? (none / 0) (#123)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:05:03 PM EST

    who? (none / 0) (#124)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:20:16 PM EST
    Well Let's Just Say (none / 0) (#130)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 09:10:58 PM EST
    That if the world were a mall the US would be one of the top department stores.

    If you google around you will see that much of the world is hopeful about Obama's wisdom as world leader.

    I know that it is somewhat provincial to say this but the US is probably the most famous place in the world.


    "My fellow citizens ..." (none / 0) (#135)
    by FreakyBeaky on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 01:36:07 AM EST
    "Our long national nightmare is over!" I said while stuck in traffic in Chinatown listening to NPR. :)

    A few minutes later, (none / 0) (#136)
    by FreakyBeaky on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 01:41:30 AM EST
    I just about ran over some lady who was so happy she walked right in front of my van as I was trying to park.  That would have made it an interesting day for sure ...

    michelle obama's gown (none / 0) (#137)
    by maggiefie8 on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 03:10:20 AM EST
     president obama said dosnt my wife look handsome tonight, i just want to say she is beautiful from the out side in, i thought today
    turned out great and im so excited about his being my president.