I'm embarrassed to ask but...isn't the Obama Inauguration coming up?
Absent the historic nature of electing the nation’s first black president and amid a slow economic recovery, expectations and planning for President Barack Obama’s 2013 inaugural aren’t near the historic levels of 2009.
But with stars such as Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Stevie Wonder lined up to perform, plenty of celebrations on tap, and tickets being auctioned off at 50 times their value, public interest remains high and planners are prepared to deliver a major celebration.
Four years ago, a record-breaking 1.8 million people lined the mall for Obama's swearing in and attended other inaugural events in Washington. This year, expectations are lower-- some D.C. officials place crowd estimates at 600,000-800,000—but still promise a heavy influx of visitors to witness the swearing-in, parade, the inaugural balls and a wealth of unofficial parties, events and festivities in around the city.
The official group behind the inauguration, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC), say that overall their scope has decreased in comparison to 2009.
“In keeping with the precedent set by previous second inaugurals and in recognition of the ongoing economic recovery, this Inauguration will be smaller in scale than the historic ceremony four years ago," PIC spokeswoman Aoife McCarthy told Yahoo News in a statement. "We expect the 57th Inaugural to capture the same excitement that we saw throughout this campaign and to reflect the values that the President will continue to bring to his second term."
The ten inaugural balls the president and First Lady attended in 2009 have been condensed to two. There is no inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Planners are organizing fewer official events overall.
But the scope remains grand.
OK, so we're not having a Grand Immaculation as happened the first time out. Still, there's a noticeable lack of interest here that deserves some note.
One thing I keep hearing is that Republicans are more "depressed" with the imminence of the Obama second term than Dems were at the prospect of the second Bush term. Looking back, here are the main complaints I recall from the glory days of the compassionate conservative hegemon:
1. The Iraq War
2. The PATRIOT Act
3. The suppression of gay marriage
4. Oil companies manipulating gas prices
5. the "jobless" recovery - when we had virtually full employment
Other complaints - Hurricane Katrina, Cindy Sheehan's dead son, Global Warming, the spendthrift GOP Congress - were to come later, but looking at that list I am struck by two thoughts:
(1) that most, if not all of these problems were not problems that directly affected querulous liberals. I mean, you can complain about the Iraq War all you want, but the war resolutions passed with large numbers of Democrat votes. Not only that, the war had no bearing on your life unless you were in Iraq proper. Similary, no American (excluding bogus "Americans" like al-Alwaki) was inconvenienced by the PATRIOT Act. Hurricane Katrina was a fiasco, but it wasn't Bush's fault that the Pelican State's Democrat establishment was so biblically corrupt and incompetent. And so on.
(2) gas prices, unemployment, and gov't debt - in other words, the things that do affect most people - have gotten worse under Obama to no discernible complaint from the loudmouths who used to excoriate Bushitler.
On the other hand, what are the issues that bother Republicans about Obama?
1. $5 trillion in debt with another $5 trillion on tap
2. the prospect of endless trillion dollar annual deficits
3. a trillion dollar stimulus that was a classic pay-off, and which is being renewed annually thanks to base-line budgeting
4. Obamacare with its attendant fines, tax increases, and premium increases
5. the pathological desire to raise taxes
6. and so on
Then there's Obama's repeated personal attacks on Republicans and their ideas. Say what you will about George Bush, but you never heard him use the sort of rhetoric - "bitter clingers," "you didn't build that" - that Obama routinely uses against conservatives.
The difference is that anti-Bush libs were upset about things that either did not affect them directly or have gotten worse under Obama. Anti-Obama conservatives are upset that Obama policies are aimed directly at them, and are often crafted specifically to weaken, if not destroy them. And no one seems to care. Not only that, Obama is the "likeable" one!
A depressing prospect all around.