President Obama’s First Inauguration, Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Peace and Freedom Commentary
By John Francis Carey
We watched President Obama’s first inauguration, like most Americans, touched by the “Hope” he seemed to embody and filled with pride as America had done something that never before seemed likely or possible: the people of the United States of America had elected the first Black person as President of the United States.
President Obama’s speech that day, like many of his speeches during the presidential campaign, sounded lofty, hopeful, possible and significant.
“America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we, the people, have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents….
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many — and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned.
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”
We talked about what might be ahead after this great day. One of my friends suggested that President Obama would surely realize that he could play an immediate and profound role by working with the Congress and business leaders in America to return the American economy to a state that my Grandfather used to call: “The envy of the world.”
Maybe, one friend said, President Obama would put the nation back to work on some mega-project like a high speed train from New York to Los Angeles or something else that would put money into everyone pocket by creating jobs, wealth and prosperity.
I could hear my friend James Carville repeating one of the phrases that made him famous: “It’s the economy, stupid.”
After all, Hope can only get you so far without money.
Remember the stimulus and “shovel ready jobs”?
But no matter. The president still had a lot of time left on the clock — his presidency was just in “the first quarter.”
He turned toward what we now call The Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare.
The president said “You can keep your plan. You can keep your doctor.”
Neither of those things were true. They were lies.
The President also said the Affordable Care Act would not add to the already burdened national debt or make further economic complications for an already struggling economy.
Remember MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber? He said ObamaCare took advantage of what he called the “stupidity of the American voter.”
On the opening day of Obamacare, the project many journalists called “his signature achievement,” The Department of Health and Human Services delivered a useless (but very expensive) computer system that nobody could use. And everyone, even President Obama, was stunned that his “signature achievement” was in fact an albatross of mismanagement and government waste.
Around America, the light started to come on in many minds that the Obama Administration was far from any Super Bowl team. The Obama administration showed us they were capable of lofty speeches — but no lofty achievements.
In the run up to the nation’s second election for President Obama, four Americans were killed by radical Islamist Jihadis in Benghazi — but the Secretary of State and the President had a “get out of jail fee card” — that killer mob in Libya was reacting to a video insulting to Muslims. The Secretary of State had been in close contact via email with the likes of Sid Blumenthal in Libya. She knew what was going down so she went home to bed.
While Sony Pictures was reeling from apparent Chinese hackers, and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that virtually all files of security clearance holders in the United States for almost a generation of Americans was “lost,” probably to China, the U.S. Secretary of State was conducting the business of government on an unsecured email system. She thinks that’s just peachy. I know a six year old that knows more about the importance of cyber-security and our national secrets.
The nation known around the world for putting the first man on the moon and for the rebuilding of Japan and Germany after World War II — suddenly couldn’t tie its shoes, couldn’t hold people accountable and couldn’t be trusted to tell us the truth.
But President Obama seemed blissfully above it all. The Islamic State was the “JV” team. There was not a “smidgen” of corruption at the IRS. The Veterans Administration was doing fine until it wasn’t. The EPA was doing a terrific job until government contractors warned EPA managers about the potential for a “blowout” at an abandoned mine in Colorado. Before you knew it, EPA was responsible for millions of gallons of waste-water that polluted rivers in three states.
On the environmental front, President Obama, the former Law Professor, along with John Kerry, found a way to make sure the Paris Agreement would not be a treaty subject to Congressional review. Like the Iran nuclear deal and many of President Obama’s executive orders, President Obama intentionally bypassed the democratically elected Congress. Instead of showing leadership by working to preserving the longest lasting democracy on earth, President Obama treats all Republicans, the voters and those elected — like they have no right to express their views. President Obama has turned the Jonathan Gruber notion that the American voters are stupid into the Obama Doctrine.
So much for transparency and the lofty principles President Obama talked about in his first inaugural speech.
Flash forward to today.
By almost any measure, the United States is less well off today than it was the first day President Obama went to work in the White House. Racial violence has returned. Law and order seems to be in a tailspin. Americans are buying guns in record numbers — not because Americans fear invaders or want to kill more deer. Americans are buying guns because Americans in large numbers fear their own government.
The American Middle Class is shrinking — and the American Dream is harder to achieve than ever before. You can ask my kids.
The national debt is ballooning. The economy is on life support. More people receive government “benefits” — we have the largest population of people who have stopped looking for work since the 1930s.
Putin’s Russia has stolen a large part of Ukraine and all of Crimea. China has planted its flag (and military) in a position to control almost all the South China Sea. Our Middle East “allies” are confused or worse. Israel is already making itself ready for a nuclear-weapon armed Iran.
But the most dreadful thing is this: At a Christmas Party in San Bernardino, fourteen Americans lost their lives to the “JV” team because the Obama Administration had a policy that barred investigators from searching through social media sites while examining people seeking visas to enter the United States.
It was just not the politically correct thing to do.
President Barack Obama’s First Inaugural Address
The Reason That Shovel Ready Stimulus Didn’t Work Is That There Wasn’t Any Stimulus
Tags: Affordable Care Act, American economy, Benghazi, China, Corruption at the IRS, deficit, democratically elected Congress, economy, high-speed train, Iran, Iran Nuclear Deal, IRS, Islamic state, it's the economy stupid, James Carville, Jihad, Jonathan Gruber, JV team, middle class, nuclear weapons, Obama, Obama Administration, Obama Care, obamacare, Putin, Russia, San Bernardino, Sidney Blumenthal, South China Sea, Tashfeen Malik, U.S. jobs, Veterans Administration, Visa program