Of the 57 inaugural addresses delivered by presidents of the United States, a mere 17 have been second inaugurals. Very occasionally — as in the case of Abraham Lincoln’s, which is inscribed on a wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington — and in the case of George W. Bush’s, the second inaugural has been better than the first. So what trajectory is America going to follow for the next four years, as judged by Obama’s second inaugural address on the National Mall?

Second inaugurals have seen soaring, but also disappointing, oratory, ranging wildly in terms of their rhetoric, yet rarely — if ever — has one revealed actual cowardice, which is what President Barack Obama’s did when he delivered it to an audience of hundreds of thousands from the West Front of the Capitol on Monday January 21.

It was cowardly because if he had enunciated the highlights of his policy agenda during the election only ten weeks previously, he would have lost. Gay marriage rights, climate change regulations, healthcare costs, entitlements, voting without proper ID and registration, the legalisation of illegal aliens, and gun control are all important issues in American politics. Yet they were ones that Obama either largely ignored or strenuously downplayed during the presidential election in order to win his “historic” 51.1 per cent to 47.2 per cent popular vote victory over Mitt Romney. Had he emphasised those issues in his campaign — which in his second inauguration speech he put at the top of his agenda for his next term — he would undoubtedly have put off the 2 per cent of electors who would have needed to change their votes in order for Romney to win. His true liberal agenda has only emerged now it is too late for the American people to vote against it.

In his 18-minute, 2,100-word speech, Obama delivered a paean to big government, something that only truly resonates with a minority of Americans. Union membership in the private sector has fallen from 24 per cent of workers in 1973 to 7 per cent in 2011, for example, although over the same period in the public sector it rose from 23 per cent to 37 per cent. This was more of a State of the Union speech masquerading as an inauguration speech, so replete was it with policy statements and digs at opponents, as opposed to the overarching worldview expected of presidents on such occasions. One suspects it will not be inscribed on any walls anytime soon.

In almost all political speeches there is some banality, of course — Obama actually said: “You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course” — but close analysis of Obama’s banalities gives clues to his intentions. For this was the “You didn’t build that” speech, full of what government had achieved for the country, albeit through the repeated use of the straw man argument, as in: “No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.” The fact that nobody has ever suggested that one single person could train all America’s hundreds of thousands of maths and science teachers makes that sentence as otiose as: “Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.” Small wonder that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has interpreted the speech as meaning that “the era of liberalism is back. His unashamedly far-left-of-centre speech certainly brings back memories of the Democratic Party in ages past.”

LAWRENCE HAAS: THE COWED WEST STRIKES AGAIN….FACILITATING ANTI-SEMITISM nother attack on free speech. Another cowed governmental response. Another speaker in hiding. Another incident for the media to ignore. Ah, just another day in the West. The latest outrage comes from the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands, where a doctoral student who interviewed a group of teenaged Muslim-Turkish immigrants on TV about […]

The old paradigm that a country has the right to decide who enters it has been decisively overturned in Europe, it’s under siege in such first world countries as America, Canada, Australia and Israel by the creed that says it’s the human rights obligation of every nation to accept every refugee.

Given a chance a sizable portion of the third world would move to the first, a minority because of oppression and a majority because the opportunities and freebies are much better there. Even low ranked first world nations still find themselves swamped with refugees looking to move in.

International law does not assign any priority to a nation’s citizens over any person who happens to stray across the border. At the ground level that means the end of borders and the end of citizenship which is why immigration isn’t just a touchy issue in Arizona, it’s a touchy issue in Sydney, Tel Aviv and Birmingham. You can hardly open a newspaper of the liberal persuasion without being treated to another group of refugees in some troubled part of the world walled up behind fences and trying to get over to London, Sydney or New York.

This sort of thing can’t be called immigration anymore, it’s a straightforward migration and it has no apparent limits. However many you take in, there will be more waiting and always burdening you with an unsolvable crisis.

One approach is to try and stabilize whatever crisis they are supposedly escaping from. Too many Libyans running away to Italy? Just bomb their dictator and they’ll go home again. At least that’s the theory, it doesn’t work too well in practice. For one thing Libya is more dangerous and unstable than it was under Gaddafi. Stabilizing it would require an Iraq level investment of money and manpower, and Iraq isn’t stable either. And London is still full of Iraqi refugees dating back to the 1980’s.

The disparities that make migration aren’t fixable, but nor is mass migration a viable option. There’s a reason that the refugees are running away and they are often part of the problem. Every nation is troubled in its own way and mass migration imports those troubles. It’s why beheadings have come north of the border and the Jihad has set up shop in countless Western cities.

The melting pot myth was that people leave their identities behind to join in a mass identity. That worked only marginally back in the day, it doesn’t work at all today when the refugees are immersed in their Little Mogadishus, which have popped up in a frightening amount of American cities foretelling the day when those cities will become as violent and broken as the original Mogadishu.

In place of the melting pot is the No Go Zone, which is the inverse of integration, it sets up tribal encampments in major cities which run on the laws of the tribe. That sort of thing has always been around in one form or another and it is survivable in limited numbers so long as those zones don’t also become factories of violence. That’s the difference between Amish Country and a Muslim banlieue, it’s also the difference between separatism and supremacism.

RUTHIE BLUM: BARAK SALUTES HAGEL The 13th annual Herzliya Conference kicked off on Monday afternoon with the usual PowerPoint presentations illustrating that we Israelis feel more confident about the state of our nation than is commonly perceived. This, according to graphs and charts, is an internal strength which will stand us in good stead when confronting the many external […]

VICTOR SHARPE: A BRIDGE TOO FAR? Britain’s Prince Charles is currently on an official visit to Jordan, Oman and Qatar. But stepping foot in nearby Israel by any member of the British royal family is officially banned by the British Foreign Office. Prince Charles’ latest trip is one more of the many routine visits by various members of the royal […]


“Now, I just want to ask you, would Sally Quinn or Carl Bernstein or any two other American liberals ever go on television and say that Islam has to recognize people of other color and homosexuals if it’s to remain relevant? Would they ever say that? Would they ever go on TV and warn these militant Islamists, “Hey, look, you guys, unless you start recognizing women, tell ’em to get rid of the burqa and people of other color and homosexuals, you are going to become irrelevant.”

RUSH: The College of Cardinals is now entering the Sistine Chapel to begin the conclave to elect the next Vicar of Christ. For those of you in Rio Linda, that would be the next pope. For those of you who are Italian, it would be Il Papa.

You may not know this. Yesterday on CBS, Slay the Nation, they had a roundtable. Bob Schieffer had Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn and Carl Bernstein on from Vanity Fair. Bernstein of Woodward and Bernstein fame. And they were talking about the church, the Catholic Church, and the selection of the new pope. Listen to this.

QUINN: It’s on the way to irrelevancy if they don’t start including women, and certainly people of other color, and ultimately homosexuals. And so, I mean, they’re all against homosexuality, even though so many priests are gay, that it seems…

SCHIEFFER: Now you can’t say that as a fact. I mean…

BERNSTEIN: Well, if you have friends in the priesthood…


Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner Comes the news that Frederick Cohn, the Jewish defense lawyer for Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, asked Brooklyn-based federal judge Eric Vitaliano to exclude Jews from the jury. Shehadeh is charged with three counts of making false statements in connection with his attempts to join jihadis in Pakistan. “Your […]

Courage? The State Department? by Nonie Darwish If the U.S. government is truly serious about honoring those who want reform in the Muslim world, why is it not honoring those people who are sticking their necks out in stating their love for America and peace for Israel? America has been pursuing a policy ever since 9/11 to honor what it perceives […]


Arab Americans who met with Obama said he blamed the Israeli government for refusing to make concessions, blamed the U.S. congress for providing cover to the Israeli government, and he planned to bring an additional $500 million in aid for the PA. Most reports about the meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and several […]

Muslim Brotherhood Propaganda Comes to Tallahassee, Florida Muslim Brotherhood Propaganda Comes to Tallahassee, FloridaWith great fanfare, in mid-2012 the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) embarked upon a $3 million public relations campaign to promote Shariah (Islamic law) in America.For obvious reasons, this campaign raised eye brows across the country, especially since $3 million was more than the annual budget for […]