Breaking Down the Inaugural Address: Obama on Civil Rights

 

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began, for our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to theirefforts.

Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to oneanother must be equal, as well.

Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.

Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students andengineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.

Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.That is our generation’s task, to make these works, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American.

A laundry list carefully calibrated to to the tastes of some coveted voter blocs to be sure. But how does the GOP respond without sounding small?

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Members have made 28 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Douglas Member

    “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law”

    They are. But don’t let that stop us from elevating a vice into a civil rights movement.

    • #1
    • January 22, 2013 at 5:16 am
  2. Profile photo of publius 49 Inactive

    Without sounding small? Is this an echo of Norma Desmond – only the GOP politicians got small? The GOP needs a vigorous, unafraid, clever rhetorician like – who? Christie? Rubio? Ryan? We shall see. As Bill Buckley said, baloney fears the grinder, but we do need a grinder.

    • #2
    • January 22, 2013 at 5:18 am
  3. Profile photo of Larry3435 Member
    Redneck Desi: Our journey is not complete until the average American is paying 50% in taxes · 9 hours ago

    Hmmm, I thought it was when the average American pays no taxes, and the most productive Americans pay 99%

    • #3
    • January 22, 2013 at 5:24 am
  4. Profile photo of Joseph Eagar Member

    We could say, “Mr. President, if you mean what you say, do something about it”. Highlight his weakness. Other than that, I don’t think America has become any more tolerant of liberal special interest politics than it ever has, and I stand by my prediction that Obama’s coalition will crumble within a year or two.

    • #4
    • January 22, 2013 at 5:55 am
  5. Profile photo of Joseph Eagar Member
    Douglas: “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law”

    They are. But don’t let that stop us from elevating a vice into a civil rights movement. · 39 minutes ago

    That whole line was strange. Equality under the law for non-heterosexuals isn’t perfect, but it isn’t as dire as he implies, either. What worries me is the next sentence, that God created the ability of each human to love equally. That’s such a far left thing to say, it goes right off the charts.

    • #5
    • January 22, 2013 at 6:02 am
  6. Profile photo of DrewInWisconsin Member

    Obama-to-English translation:

    Our journey is complete when we have gay marriage, internet voting, open borders, and no guns.

    • #6
    • January 22, 2013 at 6:04 am
  7. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor

    We should ignore this drivel and point out that none of this is worth anything if there are no jobs for these people, and we should remind the American people that this President has not met with his Jobs Council in more than a year.

    • #7
    • January 22, 2013 at 6:05 am
  8. Profile photo of Redneck Desi Inactive

    Our journey is not complete until the average American is paying 50% in taxes

    • #8
    • January 22, 2013 at 6:06 am
  9. Profile photo of DrewInWisconsin Member
    Joseph Eagar
    Douglas: “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law”

    They are. But don’t let that stop us from elevating a vice into a civil rights movement.

    That whole line was strange. Equality under the law for non-heterosexuals isn’t perfect, but it isn’t as dire as he implies, either. What worries me is the next sentence, that God created the ability of each human to love equally. That’s such a far left thing to say, it goes right off the charts.

    Well, the strangeness of it comes from the suggestion that love — not marriage or civil unions, but love itself — requires legislation. “For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to oneanother must be equal, as well.”

    Of course, it’s just more meaningless words strung together because they sound good.

    • #9
    • January 22, 2013 at 6:08 am
  10. Profile photo of Leslie Watkins Member

    A decade of war is now ending. Absolutely breath-taking. Perhaps pride will go before even his fall.

    • #10
    • January 22, 2013 at 6:22 am
  11. Profile photo of Joseph Eagar Member
    DrewInWisconsin Well, the strangeness of it comes from the suggestion that love — not marriage or civil unions, but love itself– requires legislation. “For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to oneanother must be equal, as well.”

    Of course, it’s just more meaningless words strung together because they sound good. · 10 minutes ago

    That’s a good point; that was weird. 

    • #11
    • January 22, 2013 at 6:23 am
  12. Profile photo of Rocket City Dave Inactive

    From this moment on Obama is the past. Ignore him.

    His speeches are irrelevant. When we speak we ought to endeavor to not mention the President even to criticize him.

    We’re better off forgetting about him and focusing on substance.

    As far as equality I’m worried about the millions of children raised without fathers in unstable homes with diminished prospects in life. What about their unequal station in life?

    Instead our silly culture is obsessed with whether two men or two women get to play house with government approval.

    I suspect the next marriage controversy will be whether individuals can marry computer programs that mimic human intelligence. That sounds like the weird sort of non-issue that the liberal cultural elites will drum up in the 2020’s.

    • #12
    • January 22, 2013 at 6:41 am
  13. Profile photo of cdor Member

    We can not help the weak if we are not strong. That is the simple truth. Every day this country is getting weaker with our tremendous debt. If we do not reverse this trend, everyone will suffer.

    • #13
    • January 22, 2013 at 7:13 am
  14. Profile photo of Capt. Spaulding Member

    The front page of The New York Times amounts to a coronation keepsake. It’s little wonder that the low-attention citizenry can’t see through the posing when the media are complicit cheerleaders. One of the headlines: “Inaugural Stresses Theme of Civil and Gay Rights — Safety Net Praised.” Yes, those sets of rights are separate and distinct. Next up, undocumented immigrant rights. Or perhaps adolescent rights?

    • #14
    • January 22, 2013 at 7:14 am
  15. Profile photo of Douglas Member
    Paul A. Rahe: We should ignore this drivel and point out that none of this is worth anything if there are no jobs for these people, and we should remind the American people that this President has not met with his Jobs Council in more than a year. · 54 minutes ago

    I fear that, like FDR, this man is a kind of messiah to more Americans than not, and they simply won’t care. I think he could defecate on the Wailing Wall, and Jews would vote for him. I think he could limit Asian immigration, and Asians would vote for him. I think could place sanctions on Mexico for it’s “backwards” Catholic beliefs, and Hispanics… yes, Mexicans included… would vote for him. I think the economy will continue to stink and skip along the bottom, and whites from the coasts will still vote for him.

    We have a cult of personality president. Again.

    • #15
    • January 22, 2013 at 7:19 am
  16. Profile photo of Malcolm Robertson Inactive

    “Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.”

    Obama forbid that sacred right take longer to exercise than listening to one of his speeches.

    • #16
    • January 22, 2013 at 7:36 am
  17. Profile photo of Scott R Member

    His legislative agenda is for “all” our children to “always” be safe from harm? And we thought his healthcare law had lots of pages.

    • #17
    • January 22, 2013 at 7:44 am
  18. Profile photo of Mark Lewis Inactive

    An interesting analysis of strawman arguments President Obama’s second inaugural speech. Would that we interpreted every political speech with similar rigor.

    • #18
    • January 22, 2013 at 7:46 am
  19. Profile photo of Scott R Member
    Paul A. Rahe: We should ignore this drivel and point out that none of this is worth anything if there are no jobs for these people, and we should remind the American people that this President has not met with his Jobs Council in more than a year. · 1 hour ago

    “I promise jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” — Governor You-know-who 🙂

    [Edit: Which is to say, wasn’t the Romney campaign roundly criticized here for supposedly taking exactly this non-ideological, it’s-all-about-the-jobs approach?]

    • #19
    • January 22, 2013 at 7:48 am
  20. Profile photo of Casey Member

    I haven’t had a chance to hear the speech yet but this snippet is embarrassing. Particularly so given that so many of us spent some time today having our souls lifted by the great Dr King.

    • #20
    • January 22, 2013 at 7:50 am
  21. Profile photo of SecondBite Member

    We respond by pointing out that all of those issues have been discussed in detail by principled and thoughtful people whose work is readily available and then by debunking the myth of the awful America that these bogus issues portray. Then we throw back the rhetoric of the imperfect process to refute the need for comprehensive change, and hammer on the need to evaluate any necessary changes on the basis of established classical liberal principle. Tough to do, but it seems like it should be possible.

    • #21
    • January 22, 2013 at 7:58 am
  22. Profile photo of Joseph Louderback Member

    Our journey is not complete until we don’t have to listen to crap like this.

    • #22
    • January 22, 2013 at 8:18 am
  23. Profile photo of Sandy Member
    Paul A. Rahe: We should ignore this drivel and point out that none of this is worth anything if there are no jobs for these people, and we should remind the American people that this President has not met with his Jobs Council in more than a year. · 2 hours ago

    That may be a good reminder, but if his administration would back off and leave us alone, he wouldn’t need a Jobs Council.

    • #23
    • January 22, 2013 at 8:23 am
  24. Profile photo of Scott Wilmot Member

    Over 1,000,000 children in this great country of ours will be denied the right to life this year through abortion. This is the greatest civil rights issue of our day. I am sickened when I hear President Obama say that he cares for and cherishes the life of all our children and wants to keep them safe from harm – nothing can be further from the truth. Our President will not follow up his hollow words with action.

    Today, January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Church proclaims as a “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.” Please offer prayers and penance for these precious lives. May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

    Lord have mercy.

    • #24
    • January 22, 2013 at 10:01 am
  25. Profile photo of outstripp Inactive

    Our journey is not complete until we have mobilized every tired cliche.Our journey is not complete until we have run out of gas. Our journey is not complete until gay men can obtain govt funded abortions. Our journey is not complete until every illegal alien has won the lottery at least once.

    • #25
    • January 22, 2013 at 10:19 am
  26. Profile photo of Lavaux Inactive

    Obama will bankrupt the country by making the perfect an enemy of the good. We can’t afford perfect, and the way we’re going, pretty soon we won’t be able to afford good, either. So tuck in your pouty lips, tune Obama out, and praise God for the good things you have while you still have them.

    • #26
    • January 22, 2013 at 10:26 am
  27. Profile photo of dittoheadadt Member
    Malcolm Robertson

    “Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.”

    Obama forbid that sacred right take longer to exercise than listening to one of his speeches. · 4 hours ago

    Hey Obambi, you think it’s bad waiting hours to exercise the right to vote?? Any idea how long it takes in some states to exercise the right to bear arms??? What a piece of…work. And the people who are so brainless that they lap this apcray up are pieces of…work, too.

    • #28
    • January 22, 2013 at 11:57 am