His word is not his bond. All sides have been disappointed. He is too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals. Even the choice to use a bible belonging to the late Martin Luther King, Jr. has come under fire. From a Democrat. Calling it a "political calculation", Princeton professor Cornel West said:
“I got upset because you don’t play with Martin Luther King, Jr. and you play with his people, and by his people what I mean is people of good conscience, fundamentally committed to peace, and truth, and justice,” he said.
If we are to believe what was said in his second inaugural speech, all bets are off. President Obama is going full out progressive. The man intends to seize the moment.
This was no centrist conciliator. It was the speech of a committed, unapologetic progressive, an Obama doctrine for domestic policy that included concrete commitments in areas he made little progress on over his first four years. Above all, he was speaking to a changing America – the nation that propelled him to a second term, and whose voices he will need to channel to be effective over the next four years.
And he sees those opportunities mainly to his left. Obama made a firm commitment to pursue climate-change legislation, in addition to immigration reform and gun control. In an era of budget-cutting, he delivered a rousing endorsement of the social safety net, including Medicare and Social Security.
Obama cited the civil-rights movement and listed Stonewall – the 1960s demonstrations over a police raid of a New York City gay bar that galvanized the gay-rights movement – alongside Seneca Falls and Selma. He also promised equality for “our gay brothers and sisters,” apparently becoming the first president to use the word “gay” in an inaugural address.Included in the speech was plenty of direct slaps at Republicans as he called for working together, for mutual sacrifice from all. That is the real Obama. He does not have the ability of restraint to not overplay his hand. He is clueless on how to get along with his opponents while disagreeing on ideological points. The speech was directed at his base of support and they loved it.
Obama’s defining challenge as president has been to deliver on the hope and promise he rode into office on in 2008. He may never hope to fulfill the expectations that surrounded his elevation. But speaking to the largest crowd he’s likely to ever appear before again, the president sounded both more optimistic and more committed to progress on his priorities than anything in our current political system would suggest is warranted.
This was the real Obama. He is a progressive Democrat. He is farther left than a run of the mill liberal. He is a community organizer at heart and brought along in politics by the south side Chicago political machine. He goes for the throat of his opponents and believes in dividing them along the way to clear his path. His pretense of working with the other side and grand compromises are long gone. I would argue that it was all a ruse to begin with as he began his first term.
Along with the help of a Democratically controlled Senate, Obama intends to push his pet projects in these two years before the 2014 elections. He believes he has a mandate and that Americans now prefer a center left agenda, after decades of being a center right country. He fails to realize that while he may be personally popular, his policies have for the most part been distinctly unpopular with the majority of Americans.