Inauguration Day: Ho Hum

Doug Mills/NYT (Fair Use)

What a difference a term in office makes.

Look at the picture (at right) yesterday of the President becoming president again in an oval office ceremony surrounded only by his family swearing an oath administered by a Chief Justice he should be swearing at.

Today what fans turn up will cheer him on, but the die seems to be cast.

He is really alone, shorn of so many of the hopes and expectations his supporters invested in his candidacies.

Even his advisors are distancing themselves. So much for any sense of a grand crusade or plan for change!  He is a reactor, not an enactor, a conciliator, not a combative fighter.

We know him now, even if we wish we didn’t. Illusions keep disillusion away, but not forever.

Even his advisors are slipping away, leaving him to relay on managers and national securocrats  He may not have sold out–because he was always this way—but he surely bought in. And, in the process was bought up by the banks and all the others who poured money into the hands of his eager “bundlers.”

The New York Times reports:

“When President Obama offered a tongue-in-cheek lament last week that he was “getting kind of lonely in this big house,” he was referring to his two daughters, who he said were less eager to hang out with their dad as they grew older.

But Mr. Obama might just as well have been talking about the fraternity of middle-aged political advisers who have been at his side since before the 2008 campaign and who are finally moving on. Exhausted and eager for new careers, they nevertheless plan to create an ad hoc support group for the boss they are leaving behind.”

It has all become a matter of psychology, not politics.  He lives in a clubhouse but has no club, because the most powerful man on earth—so called—has no motivation/desire or power with which to really serve the people.  The press talks about how he has aged, not what he has done.

What captures his focus reports America’s newspaper of record:

“For all the chatter about whether the president socializes enough in Washington, friends know that he has always been something of a loner. And yet he does not always like to be alone.

During long rides on Air Force One, including his solitary flights to and from Hawaii over the holidays, he was busy rounding up players for one of his favorite pastimes: a hand of spades.”

Like so many of his predecessors, he has been done in by the power he thinks he has. Quotes La Stampa in Italy:

“We new men from the provinces are no better than those who came before us,” confessed Emperor Hadrian [ruled 117-138]. “Power only serves to soil us.”

Because power corrupts all who use it and induces them to turn it to abuse.”

Yes he has been soiled but doesn’t necessarily know it, because his “Approval” rating is higher than it was, reports the Inquisiter:

“President Obama has a 51 percent approval rating going into his second term, a sharp drop from how he started his first term but a steady improvement over the lows over the last two years.”

Break those figures are not quite what they appear, says the Rasmussen Poll:

◦                Strongly Approve: 31%

◦                Strongly Disapprove: 35%

◦                Total Approve: 55%

◦                Total Disapprove: 45%

Will his new term be better than his first? Veteran observer Al Hunt, doubts it, writing:

“Today, Barack Obama becomes the 17th president to be inaugurated for a second time, and historians offer useful context. “Obama has read the literature and understands overreach,” says Michael Beschloss, one of the more than half- dozen scholars who recently had dinner with the president. “This puts him one step ahead of most” re-elected presidents.

That sentiment contrasts with the mood of many Democrats these days. In conversations with a dozen Democratic politicians, with a few exceptions, there is a pervasive pessimism about the next several years. Almost all requested anonymity, not out of fear, they say, but to avoid giving solace to Republicans.

The political environment, they say, is as poisonous as it ever was. It isn’t much of an exaggeration to say that when most House Republicans wake up, their first thought is, “How can we stick it to Obama today?”

Politico reports that even his benefactors are sliding away, “Where President George W. Bush cleaned up for his second inaugural — 45 companies gave $250,000 each — only nine companies have ponied up for Obama’s. And donations from the deep-pocketed folks who helped Obama raise over $1 billion for his campaign haven’t been pouring in either.

One in-house Democratic lobbyist said there was little appetite to participate among executives he canvassed. “We don’t have one CEO that was really interested in attending,” the lobbyist said.

He was elected by the people,” said Lisa Gilbert of Public Citizen. “They are going to be the ones gathered at the Mall to hear his inaugural address. He should turn to them if he needs money.”

Who is celebrating?

According again, to the New York Times, not many:

“When the Monday festivities, with the traditional inaugural parade, balls and not least the re-enactment outside the Capitol of Mr. Obama’s swearing-in, will be less spectacular than four years ago, when the new president embodied hope and change for most Americans at a time of global economic crisis and two wars. This year fewer parties are planned, and fewer people are expected to swarm the National Mall.”

It all sounds like a bummer with the event overshadowing the national holiday honoring Dr King tomorrow. A victim of gun violence himself, an issue ion the agenda today, would he be with the guests or in the streets? The difference between the two can be summed up in two competing slogans.

Dr. King is remembered for “I have a dream.” Barack Obama for “I have a Drone.” How sad is that?

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  • Raz

    Obama in the minds of his supporters is more like a celebrity than a president. No matter what kind of crap he pulls, there is still gonna be a legion thinking he’s great.

    • zombieslapper

      I have to agree. Since the Bush admin I’ve regularly listened to “liberal” talk radio and where they were critical of Bush they let Obama slide. And any liberal who calls in to voice concern over something Obama has done is told they’re helping the teabaggers, GOP, etc. It’s pretty sickening.

  • Codgitator

    Banal tripe.

  • Mr B

    I generally liked this article, but am mildly irritated after reading this:

    ‘Mr. Obama’s swearing-in, will be less spectacular than four years ago, when the new president embodied hope and change for most Americans at a time of global economic crisis and two wars.’

    I accept it as technically true, but there is the implication that his relatively despondent supporters can continue to be characterized as *anti-war*.

    Some probably claim to be; but most are now inexplicably dancing to the beat of Fox News’ jingoistic drum.

    Which sadly renders my situation like someone forsaken in an interminable Twilight Zone-like dystopia; waiting for the evil World to mysteriously end.

  • Simon Valentine

    when did a country’s morale become psychology? that’s practically teleportation. that’s practically satire. research or it didn’t happen… and would someone stop whispering “dude. dude it’s private. you can’t have the information therefore you can’t make a legit statement. dude we’re the them that are here and mature and you suck man.”