Parsing Obama’s Inaugural: A Critique of Bush

Obama’s Inaugural address contains a speech within a speech. In this internal speech, Obama quietly takes Bush apart for his failures, such as Katrina and Iraq, for his lawlessness, and for his failure to honor his oath of office and defend the Constitution.

every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood

no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed.

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.

They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people

it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility

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