Eight years ago, when George Bush took office, liberals and progressives decided to give Bush a chance. Senator Ted Kennedy worked with the Bush administration on good faith. The Bush administration returned the favor by using Kennedy to gather Democratic votes and then pulled the rug out from under progressives by partially funding the program (No Child Left Behind). Many Democrats even went along with Bush’s initial tax cuts, hoping the Bush administration was trying to help all Americans and not just the rich.
Well, this is 2009 and it is a brand-new day. The Democrats hold both houses in Congress and have just taken control of the White House. Republicans are livid. If you don’t believe me, listen to Rush Limbaugh as he states that he hopes that Barack Obama will fail. Limbaugh does not wish that Barack Obama “sees the light.” Instead, he hopes for failure.
Republicans and right-leaning journalists have restarted their campaign of misinformation. CNN host Lou Dobbs (one of the most partisan of national anchors) and syndicated columnist L. Brent Bozell have begun comparing Barack Obama’s inaugural celebration to George W. Bush’s. They are throwing out a figure of $43 million for Bush in 2004 and over $170 million for Barack Obama. First of all, this is a non-issue. The money does not come out of the treasury. It is all donated. Unless Barack Obama starts giving Cabinet seats or ambassadorships to those people who donated money to his inauguration, this is not an issue. But, if you’re going to play this game, you should play it fairly. If you’re truly to make the comparison, then you need to mention that the $43 million does not include security, transportation or other incidental costs. Barack Obama’s inauguration is probably better estimated at $150 million.
Finally, there’s Glenn Beck (he is now over at Fox News) who took issue with Reverend Joseph Lowery. As I recall, towards the end of his prayer he asks the question if “the White will embrace what’s right?” Was that too racially motivated? I don’t know… maybe? What I do know is that Reverend Joseph Lowery is a great civil rights leader who has never been afraid to speak his mind. If you were somehow expecting him to cower from confrontation because he was giving the inaugural benediction, you don’t know this man. Was it a cheap shot? Possibly. Yet, I’m willing to let the Reverend Joseph Lowery get away with a couple of cheap shots because of who he is and what he’s done. I’m not willing to listen to Glenn Beck whine about it.
So, in these early days of the Barack Obama administration, look for the Republicans to try to obstruct things any which way they can. They will nitpick and badmouth without coming up with any new solutions. Just the same old answers, too, no matter what question you ask. The right answer is always tax cuts.
Update: Jon Stewart puts the cherry on this cake. He rounds up many of the right-wing knuckleheads and they are just going nuts. They are losing their minds.
Watch the video: