Monday’s inaugural speech brought very limited ceasefire time from Republicans, because they started criticizing the president’s speech before the inauguration parade had even started.
A lot of analysts praised Obama’s speech for reaching out more to younger voters and throwing a wider tent to cover gay rights, people of different color and references to climate change—than any preceding inaugural speech. But true to Republican inability to adapt to a changing electorate or issues of importance beyond taxes and spending, there were many that couldn’t even take a deep breath before jumping back on their attack-Obama high-horses.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) expressed surprise at the “liberal-themed” speech, while simultaneously trying not to sound like an out-of-touch politician on a day usually reserved for Congressional civility.
“Well, a lot of that speech I would have been proud to have given. Particularly the first part,” Hensarling told Roll Call. “(but) a fair amount of it, not so much.”
Fox News pundits Shepard Smith, Amy Stoddard narrated the initial part of the inaugural parade while the presidential motorcade slowly moved past the cheering crowd. Smith and Stoddard’s major talking-point revolved around why the president and first lady hadn’t gotten out of the car. The weather was cold, but sunny, so they should have no excuse for not getting out of that car to greet the crowd. When President Obama and Michele did get out of the car, Smith and Stoddard almost sounded disappointed, perhaps thinking their big criticism of the day had just evaporated.
Neil Cavuto, waiting for the inaugural procession to arrive at the parade viewing area, complained about the cost of building so many temporary structures for the day’s ceremonies. Cavuto lined up a series of political talking-heads to share their negative views.
Ben Stein, a regular Fox analyst slammed Obama’s speech, calling it “trivial in very important times.” Stein went on to marginalize everything the president said, because he didn’t mention “terrorism even once” and he didn’t mention the “debt-monster” even once. Stein griped that Obama’s speech was a great gift to the liberal crowd, but it had no great phrases.
Someone should mention to Stein that Obama still has the State of the Union speech coming, which many consider to be a more appropriate platform for Stein’s sought after topics.
Perhaps it was the biased Fox News atmosphere, but even neutral guests seemed loath to say anything that might be construed as too positive about the president's speech.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich as quoted in Roll Call, “The climate change part was, on one level, frankly strange. I think he believes it, I think he’s sincere, but it’s still strange. The great energy revolution we’re living through is called oil and gas.”
While other channels were showing the festive parade activities, Fox News spent the time dissecting every part of Obama’s speech with a new round of critics every hour.
The battle will resume on debt ceiling issues in the coming days, but it is a shame that right-winged neocons, who are clearly still pouting from their election loss, couldn’t zip their criticism for a few hours of one single day.
Could it be from fear that giving President Obama even a hint of respect would cause their brains to implode or could it be fear that their Tea Party backers might abandon them or have they simply become so partisan that moral decency no longer exists?
Sources: highlighted links