Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 12:01 PM,
I watched Obama’s inaugural address last night and was pretty happy about it. Others have found it somewhat disappointing and strangely flat. In fact I think part of the genius of the speech was its apparent flatness. What was great was that it did not seem like the start of a revolution or radical disruption but a return to something normal. I think he lives up to the idea recently described on Progressive Strategy Blog. “Ideology is the most powerful when it is not perceived as such, but instead is passed off as ‘common sense pragmatism.'” (http://progressive-strategy.blogspot.com/2009/01/divergent-fiscal-philosophies.html)
Nothing seemed all that dramatic but if any of those points were made in the last eight years they would have been condemned as radical, socialist, unpatriotic and un-American. Obama makes them seem sensible and “centrist.” I am fine with Obama moving to the center, as long as he is taking the progressive agenda there with them.
He also said that Americans need to sacrifice, make tough choices and accept responsibility. And when he says that he comes off more like a JFK or Martin Luther King, not Jimmy Carter. I’m sure that is deliberate, but it comes off different than Clinton, whose speeches always seemed somewhat sentimental and manipulative.
Anyway, still cautiously optimistic. I keep watching http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing_room/executive_orders/ hoping there will be several hundred entries by noon today—validation that the nightmare is ending.