David Drucker at Roll Call laments the President’s “appropriation” of “tea party” language in his Inaugural Address:
[...] Obama essentially asserted that America could only live up to its most cherished virtues when citizens are protected by, rather than from, the government.
“We have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action,” Obama said. “We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” [...]
Congressional Republicans and conservative activists no doubt gnashed their teeth over Obama’s appropriation of the very language that became a rallying cry of the 2010 tea party revolt to support a domestic agenda at odds with their call for the country to rediscover its roots as a federalist republic whose constitution reserved most power for the states.
But in responding to Obama, conservatives and congressional Republicans have to ask themselves this key question as they look ahead to the 113th Congress just under way and the 2014 midterms and 2016 presidential election: Are they engaged in politics to achieve an emotional catharsis or to rally the public in an effort to influence public policy? This is a particularly relevant question for the Republicans serving in the House majority.
If conservatives outside Congress and Republicans on Capitol Hill are serious about winning the Senate in 2014, recapturing the White House in 2016 and earning the ability to govern that would come with those victories, they’ll stop complaining about Obama. They will stop complaining that he won the election or is winning the argument because he didn’t or isn’t telling the truth.
And, they will stop sounding so eager to shut down the government and risk federal default, while describing their own policy goals as the country akin to having to ‘take its medicine.’
Apparently in the minds of The Villagers, “We, the people” is only reserved for tea partiers and rightwing extremists? If conservatives are serious about remaining a major political party, they better start recognizing that more than half of the country VOTED this president in, along with his agenda. And those voters find this president’s interpretation of the founding principles better reflect their beliefs as citizens of this country and wish the government to better serve WE, THE PEOPLE — and not a group of screeching extremists who like to refer to themselves as patriots, but who ultimately represent the financial agendas of wealthiest one-percent.
Kevin Drum at Mother Jones saw the Inaugural Address as “surprisingly barbed” and gives the following as evidence:
To Mitt Romney: “The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security….do not make us a nation of takers.”
To the climate change denialists: “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.”
To the neocons: “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”
To the voter suppression gangs in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and elsewhere: “Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.”
To the NRA: “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.”
To the entire tea party wing of the GOP: “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.”
Drum says, “Did conservatives take these lines as obvious, personal attacks? You betcha. I would too, if I were them.“ So you see, when Obama expresses his opinion on issues and reminds us that he is, in fact, a Democrat with democratic values, that’s called a ‘barb’ or ‘personal attack’ aimed directly at his political opponents. I guess if a Democrat has an opposing viewpoint, s/he should just be really, really quiet about it or it’s a direct personal confrontation?
Only Republicans could see remarks meant to be inclusive of all as excluding them specifically; remarks meant to highlight the safety and security of future generations as a personal threat to their freedom; and a call to more reasonable negotiation and dialogue as an insult. What a bunch of children — OR what a bunch of fake outrage.