I kept my head in the sand yesterday. I'll update this post with inauguration coverage worth reading. To start things off, people should check out Business Week's offering: Bush Sticks to His Guns:
You have to hand it to George W. Bush: He sticks to his guns, both literally and figuratively. In delivering his second inaugural address to thousands of loyalists, lawmakers, and dignitaries on Jan. 20, the 43rd President didn't reach out to defeated Democrats or alienated international allies.
The President expressed not a whit of regret at any decision he has ever made. Instead, he laid out his fundamentally dichotomous view of the world. Right vs. wrong. Good vs. evil. Us against them. In Bush's worldview, the U.S., through the force of its ideals and its military, is the anointed global defender of freedom and liberty. Whether you agree with him or not, there were no surprises.
Update, 9:52 PM 1/22/05:
Michael Berube: There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment and expose the pretensions of tyrants. And that is the force of human torture.
Ezra @ Pandagon: I don't think Bush, at this point, much cares what he says in public nor how closely it tracks to his agenda ("I'm a conservationist"). I've found he's never worth listening to but always requires watching (I'm a uniter, not a divider"). And that's why I had no interest in viewing his inaugural and Peggy Noonan was disgusted by it, we both know what the man is like -- though our attitudes towards him could hardly be more divergent -- and we both know yesterday's address had no relation to how he'll govern.
Matt Yglesias: Bush is more-or-less the reverse, a faux liberal. If you listen to his speeches, you would believe that his agenda consists of making the tax code fairer to people of modest means, improving the environment, expanding access to affordable health care, strenghtening New Deal/Great Society entitlement programs, and ending poverty. The fact that he isn't doing those things does, of course, matter. But the fact that he feels a need to pretend to be doing those things also matters. It shows that, roughly speaking, Bill Clinton succeeded in rehabilitating liberalism, even if he left office with the Democratic Party 100 percent out of power. The GOP has only been able to succeed by consistently adopting a pose of liberalism. This is a significant achievement, in and of itself, even if it would also be nice to win elections.Marty Sieff, UPI, Analysis: Chasing liberty. Sieff is undoubtedly part of the reality based community, though conservative. He disagrees with the wisdom of Bush's course rather than his honesty.