The issue: Monday’s presidential inauguration.
Our view: Meeting the challenges our country faces will require a team effort, and the president must pledge to be a part of that team over the next four years.
Barack Obama set the stage for a new beginning during his inaugural address in 2009.
“Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed,” he said four years ago. “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of remaking America.”
Obama was typically eloquent in his remarks. He brushed aside the assertion that the nation’s best days were behind it, and he called on Americans to join in the effort to build a brighter tomorrow.
Obama covered a lot of ground during the 18-and-a-half minutes he spoke, calling his inauguration as the nation’s first black president a moment to recall “that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.” He also paid tribute to those who “endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.”
Obama sent a message to the world that he planned a new day in American foreign policy.
“To the Muslim world,” Obama said, “we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”
He warned “leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict” that they would be judged by what they built, not what they destroyed.
On the home front, he called for an end to “the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.”
And though we’d hoped Obama envisioned a new way of doing things, those grievances, recriminations and dogmas remain. They must be put aside if we are to address — finally — our unsustainable national debt.
Obama and his Democratic colleagues in Congress must work with Republicans to adjust Medicare spending and benefits so that it will continue to insure future generations of retirees. And the GOP must work with Democrats to cut spending on our national defense.
Without cutbacks in these two areas, we’ll never take control of our spiraling debt. To do anything less is just counting paper clips.
Obama faces enormous challenges in his second term, but most Americans seem to understand Washington can’t continue to spend money as it has during the president’s first term. They also need to understand, of course, that Obama won’t be able to do this job alone.
As Obama said in his last inaugural speech, meeting the challenges our country faces will require a team effort. He must pledge during Monday’s inauguration to be a part of that team over the next four years, and we must all roll up our sleeves and do our part.
The time for putting off unpleasant decisions concerning Medicare and defense has passed, indeed.
The issue: Monday’s presidential inauguration.
- Locals won't wait for state Educators at Indiana University just two weeks before classes began in 2006 reported public schools should begin instruction earlier than kindergarten. A statewide preschool program was needed to ensure Hoosier students succeed in college and at work
- MARK HEINIG: Will 'virtual schools' enrich or replace traditional education? When Hoo siers my age recall the school consolida tion struggle of the mid-20th century, we could say, "Been there, done that!" Until recently, I considered that battle finished. Maybe the interest in school consolidation is reviving. Does school co
- March 7, 2014: Letters to the editor Draft standards: wolf in sheep's clothing 2014 started with great optimism for thousands of concerned parents, grandparents and many educators from around the state. The governor spoke of his support for "uncommonly high standards written by Hoosiers
- Students must be helped Despite the good efforts of those who supported Common Core educational standards for Indiana schools, the Indiana Legislature has shut the door on the new standards adopted by most states. Instead, Indiana will be adopting its own homegrown school s
- Take city up on its offer It was about 2 a.m. when the tornado touched down in Henderson County, Ky., Nov. 6, 2005. The twister crossed the Ohio River and churned into a mobile-home community near Evansville, picking up some of the trailers and pitching them into a nearby pon
House of Burgess: Like déjà vu all over again
A historic photo seared into my brain at an early age came back to me this week. It was taken May 28, 1963, in Jackson, Miss., by photographer Fred Blackwell of The Jackson Daily News. “Those are the bravest people I’ve ever seen in my life,” Blackwell told The Associated Press on June 2, 2013. “What they went through ... pictures don’t tell the story.”
- March 5, 2014: Letters to the editor Senate bill is harmful to God's creation The Indiana House of Representatives amended Senate Bill 340 last week to obliterate a statewide energy efficiency program, known as Energizing Indiana. Still in its infancy, this successful program has alread
- TOM LoBIANCO: Money pledge exposed in Indiana gay marriage fight A former Repub li can Party chairman's pledge to provide campaign cash to protect House members who were considering voting against a constitu tional gay marriage ban offers a rare look at the private power game that plays out on tough issues at the
- Words can discourage development Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, incensed some Howard County Republicans won't stop badmouthing the city's dealings with developer Jeff Broughton, took a jab at Howard County Republican Party chairman Craig Dunn in his State of the City speech last week.
- Prepared for a disaster? Even before we closed the book last May on our five-week series of disaster preparedness, headlines came pouring in about tornadoes ripping through Texas and Oklahoma. And the season was just getting started. Bulldozers used to clear the way for resc
- More Opinion Headlines