It was another door-buster inauguration. Not quite 2008, but still a pretty sensational showing.
Watching thousands and thousands of people streaming on foot from miles away to stand in the bitter cold and watch power peacefully not transfer hands is inspiring, no matter your politics.
The throngs were joyful and generous with waves and smiles. They arose early and came by car and bus to the old RFK Stadium. From there, they walked the miles to the Mall in front of the Capitol to watch their president be sworn in.
For so many making the pilgrimage, it was not about politics. It was not about Democrats vs. Republicans or liberals vs. conservatives.
It was simply a moment in history to be very proud and to patriotically wave the little American flags they carried with them. Old people who never thought they would see the day walked alongside young children who will never understand just how impossible it all once seemed.
Watching the unending procession, it was impossible for those who love this country and are mindful of the arc of history not to swallow their petty partisanship and political arguments. No time for nitpicking about how judging people based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin is a two-way street.
It was simply a welcomed and unifying respite from all the nasty acrimony and thuggery and divisive politics of the past year.
And then he spoke.
Following in the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln, President Obama could have delivered a great speech that unified a country far more torn than we are today. He could have written a speech that would be etched in history. He could have said something that healed.
Instead, he gave us a low, divisive, political bleeding of the spleen that sounded pretty — if you were not listening to the actual words.
He could not get one paragraph in without bringing up race. How is that living the dream?
He paused to pay homage to the Declaration of Independence, only to immediately offer some edits so that the outdated document might better conform to the “realities of our time.”
Thomas Jefferson and our Founders were bright enough, but they were no Barack Obama.
Then he tossed in some more of the class warfare that served him so well during the campaign. “The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob.”