Former President Bill Clinton apparently was not captivated by freshly sworn-in President Joe Biden’s inaugural address.
About halfway into the approximately 20-minute remarks in front of the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2021, the nation’s 42nd president appeared to be nodding off.
At that point in the speech, Biden was discussing what defines us as Americans.
“I think we know. Opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honor and, yes, the truth,” he said.
“The recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit,” Biden continued.
It wasn’t clear what he meant by the whole lies-told-for-profit thing.
“And each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies,” Biden said.
And it was about this time that Clinton appeared to take a little snooze.
Joe Biden puts Bill Clinton to sleeppic.twitter.com/TsM4jc4wx7
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) January 20, 2021
Like most presidential inaugural addresses, Biden’s was forgettable, with bromides about unity as he prepared to implement the most liberal agenda in American history.
He did so with the slimmest of majorities in the House and an evenly divided 50-50 Senate, by the way.
“I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days,” Biden said.
“I know that the forces that divide us are deep and they are real,” he said. “But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart.”
The contrast with the faith and love another Democratic president, John Kennedy, expressed in his inaugural address 60 years earlier was significant.
“We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution,” JFK said. “Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans — born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage — and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.”
Another contrast with Biden was Kennedy’s most famous line: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
Today’s Democrats have flipped that script.
One of the most memorable lines of Clinton’s presidency came in his 1996 State of the Union address: “The era of big government is over.”
Well, for Biden and the Democrats, that ugly D.C. leviathan is alive and well once again.
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