Inauguration Outrage

Several conservative commenters in recent days have noted that, four years ago, there was a flurry of newspaper editorials calling for a more restrained inaugural, saying a huge national party was inappropriate in a time of war.   It took a while but, as Steve Benen notes, those stories are coming out now.  He cites, for example, a piece by AP‘s Matt Apuzzo with the lede, “Unemployment is up. The stock market is down. Let’s party.”

What this demonstrates, yet again, is the cyclical nature of news analysis.  We have naturally recurring stories (elections, inaugurations, censuses, and so forth) and there’s only so many things that can be said about them.

Is Obama getting more favorable treatment than Bush did eight years ago?  Sure.  Reporters, especially those at major organizations, are left-of-center and they seem to particularly like Obama.  The “first black president” meme is also powerful.  At the same time, though, the easiest way to stand out from the crowd is to be contrarian.  So we’ll see plenty of stories kwetching about Obama’s extravagence, too.

AP Photo by Shizuo Kambayashi

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Triumph says:

    If it were up to me, the inauguration would be in Obama’s home of Nairobi. Let his patron, Kenyan dictator Adewale Ogunleye pay for this disgusting display of excess with his vast oil money!

    While there will be plenty of liberals hip-hopping in DC this week, most right thinking Americans will be home watching DW Griffith’s patriotic film, “Birth of a Nation” as a form of solace–unless, of course, Cheney and Bush step in to stop this nonsense.

  2. Eric says:

    most right thinking Americans will be home watching DW Griffith’s patriotic film, “Birth of a Nation”…

    Triumph, I never know if you’re being sarcastic or honest, but if honest then this last quote above really shows us your true stripes.

  3. Dennis says:

    “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

    Thomas Jefferson

  4. just me says:

    Well this poor peon finds most of this stuff rather extravagant and a waste of money but I also think Obama should have their chance to celebrate.

    I do think the whole train ride thing was mostly theatre and gimmicky.

    But this is a time for Obama and his supporters to celebrate-let them, just please make all the adoring biographical oriented coverage go away after Tuesday and actually focus on covering policy.

  5. Mike P says:

    Let’s not forget that Bush came into office under very different circumstances…did everyone forget Bush v. Gore? In some ways the nation still hasn’t recovered from that, so a big party to celebrate a president half the country viewed as being installed rather than elected didn’t lend itself to a party.

    Obama, on the other hand, won an election outright. You can make the case that having all the Hollywood star power in D.C. yesterday might be a bit much for the times that we’re in, but, as James says, Obama is far more popular than Bush was at the time of his inauguration and there’s a major historical angle at play as well.

  6. Bithead says:

    The “first black president” meme is also powerful

    A great point tat casts some question about the meme we’re currently being offered, today, about how MLK would have loved that Obama got elected.

    How could someone whose stated dream involved “being judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” have supported Obama whose skin color was so clearly the biggest factor in his assention to the throne election?

  7. Eric says:

    How could someone whose stated dream involved “being judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” have supported Obama whose skin color was so clearly the biggest factor in his assention to the throne election?

    If you think the color of Obama’s skin was the “biggest factor” in him being elected, then clearly you are the one with a fixation on skin color.

    I think one can more than demonstrate that the incompetent and disastrous presidency of GWB was probably the biggest factor in Obama being elected. People were so sick of GWB and his policies, that Nero’s horse could’ve been easily elected if it had been a candidate.

    For you to claim that skin color was more important than just about everything else, well, that merely shows how out of touch you and your ilk really are. I mean, you guys were annihilated in the the last two election cycles; I think that pretty much demonstrates that no one believed you guys then, and we most certainly do not now.

  8. Bithead says:

    You do have an active fantasy ife, I’ll give you that much. You tell me… if “the ‘first black president” meme is also powerful’, how does that qualify as being post-racial?

  9. HumboldtBlue says:

    Oooo, I love the “We’re at war” meme you clowns have been passing off since Bush’s disastrous invasion and occupation of a country that was not, and remains no threat to ours.

    We’re not at war, our military, ill-used and wasted by the incompetence of our modern Republican party, is at war, they and their families.

    Even that idiot you supported unfailingly for 8 years told you suckers to go shopping. This idea that we are at war is one of the silliest crutches used by those who think nothing of killing “other” people in a land far, far away.

    What cowards, what simple-minded cowards you are,.

  10. Diane C. Russell says:

    If the Bushies had insisted on all of the extra-legal rules being imposed (without any oversight or accountability) for this Coronation–virtual martial law; bridges closed; newspaper and mailboxes removed; can’t bring anything except your clothes; can’t leave your car parked in front of your house, etc.; most Dems would have accused him of a dry run for imposing a police state. But it seems to be ok for the ONE’s ascension.

  11. MM says:

    Eric,

    I would think that

    dictator Adewale Ogunleye

    would give you the answer.

  12. Eric says:

    how does that qualify as being post-racial?

    See, this is exactly what I mean when I say you simply don’t get it.

    The only people who think that, somehow, since we elected an African-American President, all racism goes away and everyone is truly equal and lillies in the field and golden age and blah blah blah are conservatives (especially the right-wing nutty kind) who are apparently projecting onto us what they think we think.

    No one believes your “post-racial” crap. People are simply happy at having someone other than GWB and the Republicans in charge–and, yes, he happens to be black, which adds to the historical significance. The fact that you simply refuse to believe that anyone could have voted for Obama for reasons other than race demonstrates how far in the tank you are for G-dub. I mean, Gitmo? Illegal surveillance? Katrina? Are these not reasons enough? WTF!

    When Reagan, or GWB, was elected (well, one of them was anyway), Christians everywhere rejoiced because they were big-time Christian guys. Tell me, Bitsy, were you also put off and complaining that you thought this was a “post-Christian” society and blah blah blah? Or is that OK, but, heaven forbid, we must all be post-racial or run the risk of having Bitsy assume that we voted for Obama because of skin color?

    I would think that Adewale Ogunleye…

    I have no clue what you are referring to. Isn’t he a defensive end for the Bears?

  13. bob in fla says:

    James, would it have been so difficult for you to have mentioned that the AP piece seems to be an outright lie? The AP used the figures (estimate) of Obama’s inauguration festivities counting both the costs of the celebrations + the security costs while the Bush figures did not include security costs. A $100M+ lie – or maybe it was just a careless mistake. But then, what else can you expect from a Rupert Murdoch owned news – er, propaganda – service?

    I realize you left a link to Steve’s post, which explained that in some detail. It would have been more honest for you to at least mention the reason you posted on the subject.

  14. James Joyner says:

    I realize you left a link to Steve’s post, which explained that in some detail. It would have been more honest for you to at least mention the reason you posted on the subject.

    It had nothing to do with my post, which is that the press is now kwetching about Obama’s inauguration just as they did with Bush’s. The excerpt I used to exemplify it didn’t mention the statistic in controversy.