Here are some of the commentaries I liked on Obama’s inaugural speech and what it implies about his second term agenda.
- [UPDATE: Read this one, please. A key point Obama made has been ignored: The need for government to adapt to the needs of the people asthose needs change. Government has no ideal fixed size. The ideal government is one that adapts to the times, to help resolve contemporary problems. Sometimes that means less government, sometimes more, and sometimes just government doing different things. The issue is not the size of government, but rather the need for governmen].
- Obama’s progressive second inaugural address. A must read. Money quote:
“The Obama who begins his second term is much more acutely aware that the opposing party rejects, at the most philosophical level, the definition of the good that he has put forward as the national creed. Four years ago he expressed a jaunty confidence that the differences must be bridged. Today he committed himself to the same goal, but with a wariness born of harsh experience.”
- This speech did not signal a big change in ideology. Obama always has been a liberal. What’s changed is that he now realizes that the other side does not even share the basic goals that he thought they shared with him. So, now Obama will try much more confrontation.
- A dissident, but still solidly-conservative commentator saw fighting words and wonders what the GOP will do now.
And, as long as we’re on the subject, here are two major articles on the future of liberalism:
- Don’t be fooled by Obama’s victory. Liberalism’s momentum is exhausted.
- No, this is vastly overstated. Here is what liberalism’s future should look like.
Finally, from before the inauguration, an incendiary call for Obama to do what the GOP does: Use every governing opportunity to try to break the opposing party. FYI, this guy is no liberal blogger. He’s a major force at CBS and his call for fighting back against the GOP’s total war is significant.
- Obama should break the GOP until it reforms because it needs to be broken in order to start the process of refashioning itself as a truly conservative (not a radical) party.
I’ll have much more on the GOP’s future – since that is next week’s topic – in a day or two.