Friday, January 21, 2005

Arrogance and Condescension, Scorn and Shame
So Bush's second inaugural is history, and likely to be consigned to the oblivion that has awaited all but a handful of inauguration speeches in American history. It was full of lots of high-falutin' language, but if your spouse or a parent talked about his accomplishments and plans in language similarly disconnected from what you know to be real, you'd put 'em in a home.

The Internet-as-firehose metaphor is pretty apt this morning, with so much inaugural analysis floating around. Here are some links from my trip around the 'sphere:

The best analysis of the speech I've read yet comes from David Corn of The Nation, who heckles the president during the speech. There's another good deconstruction of Bush's text at Perrspectives.com.
In one short speech, Bush encapsulated all the defining traits of his presidency. The rhetorical flourishes of his global crusade for freedom, a post-facto rationale for the war in Iraq, only amplified the arrogance and condescension that have earned America scorn abroad and produced shame for Americans at home. The meanness of spirit and the mocking tone of opponents was also present, as was the staggering hypocrisy and irony were on display. And, as usual, Bush called forth God in ways that devalue our democracy and insult our history.
Armando at Daily Kos wrote about the catchphrase from the address, "the calling of our time."
If ever the phrase "watch what we do, not what we say" was appropriate, it is now. The Bush Administration has proven time and again that its words are meaningless, even on those rare occasions when they are true.
(On Inauguration Day, Dick Cheney found time to rattle his saber at Iran, which prompted Armando to remark, "Coming from the de facto President of the United States, I think those words may have some significance.")

At Best of the Blogs, Jerry Bowles captures the meaninglessness of what Bush says versus what his administration does in one simple photograph and two sentences from the inaugural--after which there's nothing more to say.

Turning back to Kos, Kid Oakland noted that the inauguration signifies the utter failure of the Ameican press. Media Matters' scoreboard of conservative commentators versus liberal commentators on the cable channels yesterday only underscores that failure.

Recommended Reading: One more inaugural moment, which might make you laugh, albeit in a sort of how-dumb-are-these-dipsticks way. But this is not quite so funny. It's a look inside the mind of somebody who was no doubt utterly fulfilled by Bush's inauguration yesterday. Bring a flashlight, because it's dark in there.

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