On Monday’s coverage on the Fox News Channel of President Barack Obama’s inauguration, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer explained that although the president’s speech lacked a memorable line, it was historically significant.
The speech was a declaration that big government is back and liberalism is expanding, he said.
“I thought it was an amazing speech — historically very important,” Krauthammer said. “Not memorable — there’s not a line here that will ever be repeated, but I think very important historically because this was really Obama unbound. And I think what’s most interesting is that Obama basically is declaring the end of Reaganism in this speech. Remember, he once said that Ronald Reagan was historically consequential in a way that Bill Clinton was not. And what Obama meant is that Obama had changed the ideological course of the country. In 1981, in his inaugural address within two minutes, Reagan had declared that ‘government is not the solution, government is the problem.’ Today’s inaugural address was a rebuke to that entire idea.”
“This speech today was an ode to big government,” he continued. “It was a hymn to big government. In his refrain, the three ‘we the peoples,’ number one I’m going to defend what liberalism achieved in the 20th century, where he mentioned Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Said, ‘I’m not going to let any of that be chipped away.’ And then second, he said the vision for the future is climate change and green energy, the new expansion of liberalism in the new century. And then the third element was his expansion of civil rights, where he talked about immigrants and gays, and he even shoe-horned gun rights under the rubric of security. He outlined the liberal agenda, the big government agenda in the future.”
Krauthammer also pointed out that some of the pressing issues involving the economy and the deficit were neglected in his speech.
“And Brit [Hume] talked earlier, remarkably there’s absence of any mention of the economy, of deficits, of what outsiders would say is the great challenge of our time headed over a cliff — a real cliff of debt into a sort of a Greek future,” Krauthammer said. “There is nothing of that in this speech. Obama has zero interest in that, and this was a declaration that his interest is to restore us to the liberal ascendancy of 60 years that Reagan stopped. He gave us three decades and Clinton in the middle of the three decades said in his ’96 State of the Union address that the era of big government is over. This speech was a declaration ‘the era of big government back. I’m the man that will do it.’ A remarkable speech.”