From climate-change deniers to Confederacy buffs to Ayn Rand acolytes, Obama had a smack-down for every right-winger.
By Adele M. Stan
January 21, 2013
Before he uttered the first words of his second inaugural address on the national holiday that honors Martin Luther King, the nation’s first African American president made clear to his opponents on the right that he had a mandate, and he, Barack Hussein Obama, was done playing nice.
Offering the benediction was Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of the slain civil rights leader, Medgar Evers. On the right, Medgar Evers is not celebrated as a hero. Now, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, servant of the Tea Party movement, was forced to bow his head in prayer as a living testament to the ravages of intolerance prevailed upon the Almighty to bless him.
Then came Obama’s first musical selection: The Battle Hymn of the Republic, which just happened to be the battle hymn of Union forces in the Civil War. Message to the right, which today is deeply rooted in the South: the Civil War is over, and your side lost.
And that was just the beginning of Obama’s assertion of his political capital, and his acknowledgment of the coalition that elected him: African Americans, Latinos, single women, and LGBT people — pretty much everybody on whom the right makes economic and civic war.
To administer the oath of office to Vice President Joe Biden, the White House chose Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latin American to sit on the Supreme Court.