Political Animal


January 21, 2013 5:30 PM Day’s End and Night Watch

By Ed Kilgore

It’s been a fascinating day of sights, sounds and words, and I’m sure we’ll be talking about it off and on for the rest of the week. Before I forget, let me express gratitude to the Secret Service and all the other law enforcement officers working the Inaugural for avoiding the ever-present possibility of tragedy.

Here are some final thoughts for the day itself:

* Charles Pierce impressed by Obama speech, which is good reflection of general reception on Left.

* Meanwhile, Erick Erickson calls himself part of the “loyal opposition,” and tells conservatives to stop being “professional victims dialed up to 10 on the outrage meter.” Wow.

* One of America’s great experts on speechcraft, James Fallows, adjudges the address “the most sustainedly ‘progressive’ statement Barack Obama has made in his decade on the national stage.”

* At TNR, Jonathan Cohn places Obama’s speech in the context of past Second Inaugural Addresses.

* In honor of Obama’s emphasis on equality, check out Phillip Longman’s essay on how inequality shortens life-spans, from the January-February issue of the Monthly.

And in non-political news:

* Fashionistas start weighing in on inaugural garb.

Here’s a video of the Inaugural Address in case you missed it:


Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • bluestatedon on January 21, 2013 6:07 PM:

    Erickson complaining about wingnuts is like a meth dealer complaining that his customers are crazy, violent addicts with rotting teeth.

    After all, it wasn't too long ago that Erickson called David Souter a "goat-fucking child molester."

  • Memory Serves on January 21, 2013 6:38 PM:

    Re the speech:
    In the words of John Mitchell to reporters after the Nixon's'68 victory: "Watch what [they] do, not what [they] say."
    I'm not quite ready to join the cheerleading squad.

  • Fess on January 21, 2013 6:59 PM:

    Erickson:"...too many outrage pimps on both sides of the aisle..."

    Yup,yup, we all do it. Yeah? I'm waiting for a list of an "outrage pimp" on the Democratic side of the isle. Being Rs, they probably would insist the Ds generate their own list.

  • tcinaz on January 21, 2013 8:10 PM:

    Just went to RedState to read what Erickson wrote. Beside the equivocal nature of it and the fact that he has never been "loyal" opposition, the comments show why the right is in such disarray. Their divorce from reality couldn't get much greater and has been accomplished with much help from Erickson. Thanks Erick, without your "loyal" opposition today probably couldn't have happened.

  • Grumpy on January 21, 2013 8:36 PM:

    ...“the most sustainedly ‘progressive’ statement Barack Obama has made in his decade on the national stage.”

    That's insane! It'll be another almost two years before Obama will have been on the national stage for a decade.

  • Joe Friday on January 21, 2013 8:41 PM:

    New CBS News/NY Times Poll

    Who do you trust more to handle the economy ?

    50% - Obama

    35% - Republicans in Congress

    Oh snap.

  • JoyousMN on January 21, 2013 9:32 PM:

    Ed, as others mentioned, you should really go to Erick's site and check out the comments. These folks are so far gone it was less than 10 comments in before Obama=Hitler with the "you're so right, dude! Erick is a stupid sell-out" follow ups.

    BTW, today was the first (and probably only) day I was glad to see Fox News on in the break room. The commentors all looked like their dogs had been run over. I would NOT have been surprised to see hankies and tears. It made my day.

  • Mimikatz on January 21, 2013 10:09 PM:

    Now that it has all ended happily, am I the only one who thinks that the inaugural party looked pretty tense during the swearing in and speech, and the parade, and that the President and Michelle looked like they were wearing Kevlar vests during that time and when they walked in the parade? I'm willing to bet there is a back story here which we may or may not ever know. Thank the gods it all ended well and we can get on with the tasks at hand.

  • Mrs. J on January 21, 2013 11:04 PM:

    I hit the same sites earlier--went to ultra conservative redstate to see how the foul air was--and caught the Erickson attempt to soothe and rein in. Commenters remained inconsolable.
    And as Barack and Biden were walking outdoors way long- kept thinking--you are too exposed...get done with the walk!! Can't trust these looney tunes. Are you wearing protective vests...get into shelter. Gees Joe Biden--quit running to the sidelines like a Green Bay Packers wide receiver jumping into the stands!!
    I too appreciated the good work of the secret service staff members. I spent all day watching the inaugural with great delight.
    Well said, Ed--and political animal commenters.

  • gueast on January 22, 2013 3:26 AM:

    thanks for sharing your wisdom with this newbie it is much appreciated!

  • rea on January 22, 2013 7:42 AM:

    Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes... The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!
    And Erick Erickson making sense . . . sort of . . .

  • Eric on January 22, 2013 9:49 AM:

    After reading a few of the comments at RedState,,, they didn't even read the article. I just point and laugh anymore.