Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugural Thoughts

It's amazing how simple the actual ceremony was.  From start to finish the ceremony was about an hour in length, which is about the time of an average church service.  In that short of time power was transferred and a page was turned. 

Given the political niceties required by the occasion, I thought it was clear that a change in how government is done is coming to Washington.  Obama made it clear with this statement, "we reject the false choice between our safety and ideals... Those ideals still light the world and we will not give them up for expedience sake," that he plans on ending the Bush terror policies.  Obama also made it clear that he plans on putting his administration at the center of securing good paying jobs and health care for all people.

This address seemed to me to be focused on the agenda of the Obama administration and it is an ambitious agenda.  Obama is focused on creating a new political consensus that will last a generation.  By restoring the rule of law, repairing the economy, and increasing health care coverage, Obama wants to set the ground rules of politics for the next 30-40 years.

A couple of other points.  I loved the ensemble and "Simple Gifts."  The song means a lot to me because liturgygeek and I walked up the aisle to it at the end of our wedding.  Rev. Joseph Lowery's prayer captured the meaning of the day better than anything.

In a bit of historical irony I conclude with the words William L. Yancey used to greet the selection of Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederacy: "The man and the hour have met." 

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