In President Obama's inaugural address we heard perhaps the strongest argument for an activist government and the strongest evocation of progressive values from the president to date. It was a regenerative narrative that Americans needed to hear. And it needs our support.
On Monday morning, we watched history unfold before our very eyes. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived at the studio that evening, the temptation to be distracted from our mandate as Americans was already in full effect.
I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when Republicans started complaining that President Obama's second inaugural address was too "partisan" and lacked "outreach" across the aisle. But who was left out? What did they find "partisan"?
That day, as in the inaugural address, the president gave pride of place in our country's story to victories won on the military battlefield and in the battle for equality. Placing Stonewall in that pantheon makes his historical narrative even more fully inclusive.
Many Democrats are celebrating the results of the last election as a reflection that the progressive viewpoint is where the majority of citizens want to go. This is foolhardy and creates a tremendous opportunity for Republicans.
Some African Americans felt "dissed" by the president's speech. The linkage of their civil rights struggle with that of LGBTQ Americans did nothing to quell their dislike of the comparison. For them, the fact that it was spoken by this president made it sting more.
President Obama's second inaugural speech, like his first, soared on rhetorical wings, leaving the rest of us far below, gaping up -- and that's a problem for the president, because eventually, reality will crap in our upturned faces.
When President Obama invoked the name of Stonewall before millions watching and listening throughout the planet, chills radiated down my spine, and I felt the excitement that comes with the prospect of righting a wrong.
A post-racial society is more like a continuous improvement process that requires incremental improvements over time rather than a "breakthrough" improvement that happens all at once as the result of a black American as president.
Billed as the most accessible Presidential Inauguration ever by organizers, attending the swearing-in ceremony was a mixed bag for people with disabilities.
Richard Blanco was the perfect choice for inaugural poet, embodying the rich kaleidoscope of our nation's people. He was conceived in Cuba, born in Spain, and came to the U.S. when he was two months old. Like Obama, he grew up negotiating different identities. And like the president, he loves his country.
If young Lauren can be thinking of the President and others as she lies in a hospital bed awaiting the removal of a half of her brain, then it is the very least we can do to fight as hard as we possibly can for her and so many others.
So can we expect the president to take the sort of leadership on the climate that many have hoped for since his 2008 campaign? In particular, will he stand up to the pressure of the fossil fuel lobby?
With one thundering line President Obama gave recognition to the commonality of our civil rights struggles, from women's suffrage to African-American civil rights to LGBT equality. He took the LGBT community's fight for equality and folded it completely into the fabric of what America means.
Not surprisingly, people have tended to hear Obama saying things consistent with their ideological predispositions. Liberals were thrilled with his explicit references to gay rights and climate change, and conservatives have taken the speech as a pledge to defend the status quo.
We have truly entered a new era. Prior to the inauguration, the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council condemned any strides forward by the gay community, but now they have waved a magic wand to make our struggles disappear! It is so nice of them!