22 Jan

For all the hope and inspiration caused by Obama’s election it perhaps feel a bit funny to include this criticism of him, but dissent is patriotic, and he has encouraged it.

“To those who cling to power through … the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history.”

Ask not what your country can do for you…

Paul Krugman has an interesting post on his blog about the historical nature of Obama’s call for a “new era of responsibility.”

The Daily Show on Jan 20th had a brilliant montage of segments from Obama’s speech, and speeches from former President Bush. They were largely the same.

Obama is if nothing else a brilliant politician. While he campaigned on change, his speech demonstrates his talent for saying something that pleases everyone. The oldest political trick in the book is to simply say what those who are listening want to hear. When everyone is listening, you say everything. Obama did that.
The part of Obama’s speech which gave me the most pause is this section:

“We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.  And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken — you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.”

This is fire with fire. This is us vs. them. This is not change. This is not hope over fear. This is more of the same.

Part 3 tomorrow.


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