I was not too excited by the spectacle of the inauguration. The peaceful transfer of power has a certain value in and of itself, and Obama unlike Biden or Michelle has been reasonably classy. Unfortunately for his high-minded talk of transformation and post-partisanship, his supporters have been stupidly partisan, even booing Bush, which is about as petty as the egg-pelting Bush endured in 2000. (They say both sides have such people, but the Democrats frankly seem to have more of them.)
Obama’s speech, like all of his speeches, was unmemorable and vaporous, as if important sounding phrases like “responsibility” “the times” and “historical” were put into some random word generator. You can never tell listening to his words what he’ll do and how he’ll do it. He just is. And his being itself is supposed to make everything better. His supporters often admit as much.
I have to wonder with the size and scale of this inaugeration and its long windup if America, like the bride who spent years planning for and looking forward to her “magical” wedding, will have a bit of depression. After all, now he must do things, and most will be unglamorous. One of the first things he’s done–shutting down a prison for the worst terrorists–does not exactly do much to shore up his national security credentials.