We're going to hear a lot during the next few weeks about the President's Inaugural Address. The liberal community has already come out in praise of the speech as justification for their support of this president throughout the past four years and as a motivation for their support for the next four. The conservative community, on the other hand is stunned and in some sense of disarray. The obvious signal of the address was that this President has an agenda that he plans to pursue during his second term. We are going to see President Obama seek legislation in the areas of weapons safety, immigration, climate change, women's and gay rights, tax reform, education, and changing the view of the nation as the foreign policy leader of the world.
There is an old saw that goes around Washington that a second term presidency is going to be inevitably weaker than the first term of the president. Second terms are usually dominated by small ideas, B team players, and small and large scandals that pop up or simmer to the top. President Obama has certainly made the case that, at least for the first area, his second term will not fall into that trap. These are not small ideas he is proposing. These are seed changes in our national psyche. They are roadways to the American future.
But what is the most evident in this president's inaugural speech is the growth and learning that President Obama has shown in his first four years in office. President Obama came into office four years ago with a vision for America that was Utopian and idealistic. He believed that idealism would trump politics and the nation would move forward. He was too naive to understand that as he took his oath of office, a cabal of republican leadership was already conspiring on ways to insure that his presidency would be a failure.
Yesterday, a wiser and less naive president, spoke directly to the people that mattered, the American populace. There were clear choices laid out in the election of 2012 and President Obama won convincingly. The people of this nation sent a clear message to congress about the direction they wanted to see our nation move toward, and this president articulated that people's voice yesterday. No more offering compromise with a congress that is unwilling to compromise. No more giving the football to Lucy so that she can pull it out from under the President as he goes for the winning field goal. No, now the journey goes through the electorate. It will be that electorate that pressures the obsequious congress into action. The president will use his highly effective bully pulpit.
The republican party has every right to be stunned. They are in a political no man's land. Their positions on almost every issue is on the wrong side of the public debate and the political discussion. They have only two choices. They can support the president's initiative's and sit on the right side of history and be remembered well in the history books of the future, though fostering primary fights on the right. Or they can continue to oppose the president on every piece of legislation that he proposes. This strategy might endear them to the furthest right wing supporters and insure their renominations in republican primaries, but it will certainly cement their historical legacy as an obstructionist, no nothing group of legislators who were part and parcel of the weakest and worst congress in history. An ugly legacy to leave to history.