Watching the speech given by the 43rd U.S. President at his second inaugural I was astounded at what it contained and didn't contain. It contained practically nothing on the major efforts that he has announced and will surely attempt to fulfill to dismantle what is left of the gains won by U.S. workers in the previous century primarily in the programs of the New Deal and Great Society. Perhaps that is because he believes that requires no preparation, that the servile working people of his country will accept having the gains their parents and grandparents fought and died for rolled back to conditions of the mid 19th century without complaint. Maybe he's right on that one.

What I'm sure he's not right about is that the people of the rest of the world will allow him to impose the social order that made him, a singularly ungifted individual, POTUS, on the remainder of the earth.

What unparalleled arrogance is displayed in this! As if this person who never had to struggle for anything in his life, whose intellectual acumen is an embarassment to the English speaking peoples generally, this favored son of privilege and champion of mediocrity somehow had a divine mission to impose uniformly on the entire planet the particular and peculiar style of democracy that he deems appropriate.

This whole experience is fraught with absurdities of epic proportions. First there is the very limited extent of democracy in the United States itself, constitutionally established from the beginning and now having reached it's logical conclusion in an electoral process which completely excludes any possibilty of challenge to the established order and it's interests. Next there is the laughable absurdity of the puppet regimes being set up in Central Asia being touted as democracies. It is as if these people think that since their own populations accept the bullshit and lies they continually spew, the lesser peoples of other nations couldn't possibly object or see through them.

More troubling still, the fact of Bush-like figures nearly everywhere from London to Moscow, and elsewhere make one wonder about the very institution of democracy itself. If bourgeois democracy leads the people to such self inflicted harm, perhaps it is not the be all and end all that it is cracked up to be.

In any case it is clear that the final word on what form of people power will ultimately prevail on a global basis is not going to be spoken ex-cathedra from the White House.

Winston Churchill famously said that the American people can usually be counted on to do the right thing ... after they have exhausted all the alternatives. In view of what appears to be about to happen, one wonders if in this case such profligate use of the precious resource of time will be possible and at what cost?
Noung found our comments on the rollback of the safety net hyperbolic. Let's hope in the end he'll be right.