Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Post-Game Blather on the Inauguration...

A few random thoughts right after:

* Reverend Lowery totally stole the show.

* Given that that speech was watched by more people than any he's ever made, that was a distinctly mediocre performance by Obama. Not anywhere near his 2004 convention speech, or his Iowa speech, or his race speech, or any of his other many speeches.

* I did, however, like his method of rebuking Bush, talking about returning to our values against expediency. And I thought that buried under a mass of cliche and a few unfortunate shout-outs to a pernicious right-wing ideology, there was a decent defense of liberalism.

* [Right-wing wingnut]Obama isn't really president because he flubbed the oath!![/wingnut]

* Shorter Dianne Feinstein: OMG he's black!!

* Rick Warren made it very specifically Christian, a nice fuck you to all the non-Christians in the country. But then, you invite a man like that to do the invocation, what do you expect?

* Elizabeth Anderson seemed to serve as the processional music to let people leave. About right given the place of poetry in our culture.

* [Right-wing wingnut]Hey, Obama hasn't fixed the economy yet!! He's a failure!!![/wingnut]

* Overall, quite anti-climactic. I felt a lot more moved by Pete Seeger & Bruce.

* I note with pleasure that Google has gotten around to adding "Obama" to the blogger spell-checker... but that the one that the Mac uses to check as you type hasn't.

Update, minutes later:

* I wrote all that without looking at other people's reactions. But Lowery is getting praise all over the place. Well deserved!

* One thing I've yet to see anyone note: When Obama said "Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath", he was, of course, wrong. Only 43 have. He's the 44th President because of the genuinely idiotic practice of counting Grover Cleveland twice. (You can't even say, "43 took it, one took it twice", because every President who was re-elected took it twice. (FDR took it four times.) It's just wrong, and dumb.)

Next-day Update:

I see I wasn't the only person to catch the error in Obama's claim that "Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath", although I've seen less note of it than I might have thought. Interestingly, that blog-post contains an (admittedly third-hand) claim that "the Obama folks... knew of the discrepancy and that it was less confusing to get it wrong and say 44". Which may be, in itself, the best argument I've heard yet against the truly silly double-counting of Grover Cleveland.

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