I've had a very pleasant three-day weekend (thanks to the Martin Luther King holiday). And I've made an effort to pay little attention to the inauguration, but of course whenever I look at the headlines online I'm reminded. And I did, out of curiosity, read Obama's address. Fine words, some of them. And mostly either with very little meaning, or with a meaning that makes me pretty uneasy. I fell, just a bit, for his rhetoric when I heard it at the very beginning of the 2008 campaign, well before he had even been nominated: unity, good will, shared purpose, community, etc. etc. etc.
Most of the sycophantic press is stil buying into it, of course:
etc. etc. etc.
All three of those headlines are objectively false, because Obama's idea of "inclusion"--the general liberal idea--requires the exclusion of those who disagree. And those who disagree are not just a few cranks and malcontents, but somewhere around half the population. It has long since become clear that his idea of national unity is that we should see things his way, and that if we don't it's because we're misguided or malicious, and that we will do things his way, preferably voluntarily, but involutarily if necessary. Those of us who have opposed him, and are by now pretty used to the divide between what he says and what he intends ("the enormous and completely shameless disparity between his goals and his unifying, inclusive rhetoric," as Neo-neocon put it), see that mixed in with all the high-flown rhetoric about the American dream, rhetoric with which few would argue, there are clear notices that he intends to continue as he began: to enforce his and his party's will on those who disagree, with no regard for their objections, except insofar as the objections have to be dealt with politically.
And so I wait uneasily to see how much more damage he will do over the next four years. Which is not to say that I think everything he has done is wrong--I think he is right to end the war in Afghanistan, for instance (though I suspect we will be at war in that region again within my lifetime). But he has seriously damaged the already fraying fabric of the country, and he doesn't regret it, or intend to alter his course. I have no affection for the Republicans, but I hope they retain control of the House.