“What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply,” said Mr. Obama, who in his campaign emphasized a commitment to reduce partisanship. “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.”It is not surprising that in class today we watched the inauguration. It was a history class after all, and this is history. One interesting note was that no one in class raised their hand when the professor asked if anyone thought this was a bad day for America. Not even me, as I don't find it any worse than yesterday or tomorrow, and see no difference whether the man with his hand on the Bible is named Obama or McCain. I certainly hope Obama turns out to be the best President we have ever had, wish him the best of luck, and pray* that he will make all his decisions - decisions that I would never wish to face - with God-given wisdom. While perhaps it is faithless of me to expect that prayer to go mostly unanswered, I cannot fail in my duty to ask. I will also rejoice in those small times when it is answered.
But Obama's inauguration is in some sense, "Mission Accomplished," as one will note that nothing in Obama's laundry list of what separates him from "the cynics" - those who still care whether government is too big or too small - is found in the Constitution. It is no longer at issue whether - as arises from my cynical reading of history or the document - it is the primary responsibility of government to manage employment or retirement or health care for individual Americans. Smooth words about an Era of Responsibility aside, it will not be Americans who are responsible for America, but America which is responsible for them. This is what we asked for. This is what we shall pay for.
For one brief, shining moment, the Congress stood against a $700 billion, budget-busting, blatant looting of the public treasury. 4 Months later, it accepts with precious little dissent trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see***, with the Democrats lining up shovel-ready Mob museums and Republicans begging for table scraps. Our government now looks foursquare upon Change, the institutionalization of that day when, as Tocqueville warned, it might spare us all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living.
God bless America.
* The day Clinton was inaugurated, or actually that night, I was at a Bible study and was asked to lead the (somewhat dejected) group in prayer. I prayed pretty much the same prayer that I pray for Obama, that God would give Bill Clinton wisdom, in accordance with 1Tim 2:1-2**. You could have heard a pin drop. It was apparently outside the conception of Republicans that a Democrat president might be used by God for our good. I'm afraid that most Christians' God is too small.
** "My desire is foremost that you will you will make requests and prayers and give praise to God for all men, and especially for kings and all those in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
*** Or as far as the dollar can stretch, which I suspect is significantly shorter.