Matthews: Obama’s second inaugural was just like Lincoln’s

posted at 7:41 pm on January 21, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Presented sans comment.

Reminds me of another second inaugural — Lincoln’s. So much of Lincoln in that speech, the Gettysburg address to the second inaugural itself. I thought was interesting was an attempt to draw a balance. Of course, he’s a man of the progressive side, but, he tried to draw a balance there between a government rule by an elite and a government ruled by a mob, both being a problem. Then he talked about the government we want, which is infrastructure, education, regulation, all the good things, and then recognized that government can’t solve all the problems. I thought that was a reaching-out, if you will…

Mm hmm. Matthews may have found the speech to be balance-striking, but Chuck Todd wasn’t quite on the same page.

It was a robust defense of a lot of progressive ideals in a way, and, yes, you heard pragmatic pieces to the speech saying, you know, we’re not going to get everything we want, things like that, we do need to learn to compromise. It was pretty clear that he was defending government and defending progressivism in a way that you didn’t always hear on the campaign trail, frankly.

Krauthammer was certainly impressed… but, not in a good way. President Obama’s specific mentions of Medicare, Social Security, climate change, gun control, and etcetera, and yet a mysterious absence of what outsiders would call the biggest challenges we face, i.e. deficits and the economy, weren’t exactly balance-striking in his mind. More like scale-tipping:

Historically, very important. Not memorable — there’s not a line here that will ever be repeated — but I think very important historically, because this was really Obama unbound. And, I think what’s most interesting is that Obama basically is declaring the end of Reaganism in this speech. … This speech today was an ode to big government. It was a hymn to big government. … This speech was a declaration — the era of big government is back, I’m the man that will do it.


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