Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Deconstructing Barack Obama's Inauguration speech

Now that that first day hullabaloo is behind us, we can take a step back and carefully consider what Obama said and put it in context. This is a necessary exercise because, admit it, you’ve been so caught up in the movie-premier that was his inauguration, you failed to view his speech with a keen, critical eye.

Whatastupidity has decided rise above the blindly pro-Obama rhetoric and review his inaugural address with a fiercely neutral eye. Usually we would leave the political analysis to our sister site, fiverupees. However, my noble and most respected fellow writer Ahsan goes goo-goo eyed whenever Obama appears on the television, so he may not be the most objective source in this instance.

Forgive the length of the post. Ive cut down the speech to the relevant bits which caught my attention:

My fellow citizens

A controversial beginning if there ever was one! I know for a fact (and through personal knowledge) that a couple of foreign university students were present at the inauguration ceremony. So what is Obama trying to say? Is he relaxing citizenship laws? Are bright foreign college students not going to be allowed to go back to their home countries under the auspices of a sham asylum? By extension, can illegal immigrants breathe a sign of relief? Clearly Obama has opened a can of worms right off the bat. Lets hope he calms down as the speech progresses.

I stand here today humbled by the task before us

Full defeatist talk already. A Republican would have said something along the lines of: “I am fully aware of the enormity of the tasks ahead of me and they can kiss my white ass because I’m totally going to own them.” Obama’s already getting down and negative. This is not what the red states want to hear. More temerity and less humility.

"Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms."

Who’s writing his speech, Al Gore? Talk about not trying to hide your environmentalist convictions. The Greenpeace office must have collectively orgasmed at such figures of speech being used so early. I had a sneaking suspicion that Obama was a tree-loving hippie.

our schools fail too many

Bit harsh calling the youth of the nation a bunch of dumbasses.

Or is he saying that schools should artificially raise test scores. Again, a questionable message to send out.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real.”

No yaar, they are fake. We were just imagining them. Oh seriously.. they’re real? Shit thanks for letting us know. We thought the crumbling economy, collapsing property market, overburdened armed forces and dwindling energy supplies were figments of our imagination. Thanks for the heads up.

It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.

This said with a bunch of Hollywood celebrities sitting around him. Most of Spielberg’s last couple of films have sucked ass and he still rakes in the dough. And Courtney Cox was really working hard on those last few laugh-less seasons of friend, wasn't she. And don’t get me started on her chutia of a husband.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Come ON. How pretentious is that Khe Sahn reference? Full throwing in an artsy, cult reference in the middle of the crowd-pleasers. That’s like someone saying their favorite movies are Godfather, Jurassic Park and then throwing in Requiem for a Dream to try and prove how unconventional and deep they are. This Khe Sahn reference really bothered me. Just stick to My Lai, man. Oh wait, no. The other side got screwed there. How about that battle in the “Black Hawk Down” movie?

Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.

Yeah, they just got fired because their faces were funny looking.

We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.

I’m sorry but only God Almighty has true control over the elements. Please don’t overstep your boundaries.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them.

Hahaha! Oh man! What a CRUEL bitch-slap directed towards U.S. critics in earthquake-hit parts of the world which express any kind of cynicism towards American policy, such as Iran, China, Pakistan and South Asia in general. I have to admit, I loved this subtle little dig by Obama, reminding America's detractors about how they got screwed over by natural disasters. The red states are probably loving that. Oh snap!

And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day.

Bet those vampire voters are regretting voting for him now.

know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.

You know that things are going to be awkward when someone wants to be “just friends”. Bad choice of words. Tension usually just builds during the uncomfortable “just friends” period, which usually climaxes (heh) with a big fight over a petty misunderstanding.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.

No, it was pretty much just with missiles and tanks. Or at least the deterrent threat of using them.

you cannot outlast us

Okay he’s young but it’s a bit presumptuous of him to act like he’s unlocked the mystery of eternal life.

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers.

Suck on it, Mormons! Even the frigging atheists got a shout out. Unifying leader, my Aunt Fanny.

“…but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

What a softy. Republicans are going to construe this as indecisiveness on his part. He really makes himself sound naive here. So what, if I unclench my fist after socking you a couple of times with it you’ll just forgive me? How could you NOT try to mess with a country which sends out that message?

And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.


Invoking the image of being possessed by an outside force? He’s using scare tactics to influence the electorate faster than Bush did.

there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

Please be more specific about the KIND of difficult task I need to undertake which will satisfy my spirit.. Counting every grain of said across a stretch of beach is a difficult task but certainly won’t build my character. I’m afraid he has lost me here.

and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

In Obama’s dad’s case the reason they didn’t let him in was not because he was black, but because he was a cheapass tipper.

and with eyes fixed on the horizon.

Any coach will tell you that you should keep your eyes on the ball rather than look into the distance so the metaphor Obama is going for falls flat.. This whole “looking ahead to the horizon” thing of oft-used and needs to be recognized for what it is: a misleading and dangerous piece of advice. You should always be focusing on what you are going to do which will GET you ahead and towards that horizon. See, this is what’s wrong with America: you’re always looking ahead at the idealized goal you have in mind rather than look down and complete the task at hand.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

Hah! Another subtle bitch-slap. This time, by mentioning God twice, it was directed at the non-believers he was championing earlier. That love affair didn’t last long. So much for bringing about a change in Washington politics – he’s like any other politician in his ability to switch loyalties within minutes.


  1. Brilliant!! I laughed out loud at

    "Suck on it, Mormons! Even the frigging atheists got a shout out. Unifying leader, my Aunt Fanny."

  2. Brilliant stuff!

    Oh and the statement: "Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath," is wrong. Forty three have taken the oath - Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President.

    So much for a 'Harvard education!' Well, affirmative action Harvard education anyway.

  3. How about some credit for the mormon joke?

    Solid stuff, sir. solid stuff.

  4. somethingrichandstrangeMarch 29, 2009 at 10:23 AM

    hahaha this is so good!