That was my reaction as President Obama invoked those three milestones in the civil rights struggle in his second inaugural address, that we carried live at the end of today’s show.
His speech was a goose-bump inducing in a few places, like when he said “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”
It was a powerful, moving speech. Of course, liberal detractors pointed out that this was only a speech; what we need is action. I agree. But to quote FDR, “Make me do it!” It’s our responsibility to make President Obama follow through on the words he spoke this morning.
Let’s begin today – by urging Harry Reid to follow through on his promise to fix the filibuster by bringing the plan proposed by Jeff Merkley and Tom Udall. (Watch the segments on this subject from Up with Chris Hayes yesterday here.) Reid’s office number is 202-224-3542.
I began this morning’s show by talking about the many things that have happened or are happening today. It’s an odd historical convergence. Obviously, today is President Obama’s second inauguration. Today is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The fact that our first African American President is also the first to be inaugurated on MLK Day is something that we should strike us all with awe. (The last time the inauguration had to be held on Jan 21 because the 20th fell on a Sunday, there was no MLK Day holiday!)
Today is also the third anniversary of a dark day in recent history. On January 21, 2010, the US Supreme Court ruled that money equals speech and that corporations are people with their ruling on Citizens United vs the FEC. It was that same afternoon that Air America Radio ceased operations. A dark day, indeed.
But the future is looking a bit brighter…
I felt that way after speaking with Toi Hutchinson this morning. Toi is an Illinois state senator who threw her hat in the ring to run for the House seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr. from Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District. I hope you’ll listen to the interview in today’s show, and join her for a chat tomorrow afternoon (2pm ET) at Crooks and Liars.
After a report from Justin Duckham of the Talk Radio News Service at the inauguration, it was time for our weekly visit with Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars who watches the Sunday talking head shows so we don’t have to.. We discuss the pertinent points in a segment we call Fools on the Hill. Here’s what Nicole brought us today:
Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes? This appears to be the new tactic by Republican Party and their enablers in the media. The election proved that most Americans are not buying their ideology, their values or pretty much anything they’re selling. So what’s an imploding party to do? Just lie through your teeth.
So new tea party poster boy Ted Cruz can say with a straight face that it was President Obama that ‘exploited dead children within minutes’ of the Newtown massacre.
And Peggy Noonan can complain about how mean President Obama has been to the Republicans. Because you know, we see the president on television daily calling them Kenyan socialists fascists bent on destroying the country. [8 min clip…the Peggy Noonan part starts around 5 minutes in]
And Rick Santorum (why is he on my television again?) can say that armor-piercing bullets are a ‘right in this country’.
And Tom Brokaw can look at an NBC News-created word cloud of the concerns of Americans and turn it into a call for cuts to ‘entitlements’, even though there’s no mention of it on the word cloud at all.
There’s at least one person who is telling the truth, though. Joe Scarborough, who has been incredibly critical of his party of late, dismisses the mandate that the GOP claims they have by retaining majority in the House, calling it ‘just gerrymandering.’
But Fox News goes one better. After Politifact, who will bend seven ways to Sunday to give a Republican the benefit of the doubt on his lies called Mitt Romney’s “Jeep is sending all production to China” the Lie of the Year, Fox News decided to double down and insist that it was actually true.