There was some actual news today in Virginia. Apparently with one of the Democrats from their evenly divided state senate away in Washington to see the inaugural, Republicans suddenly brought up and passed a mid-decade redistricting plan. In other words, a basic power grab. Unreal. If one of the states with a Republican legislature just decided to appoint Republican electors for 2016 and forget about the whole election thing, would anyone be surprised?
The good stuff today is all about the speech:
1. Irin Carmon, on going beyond inclusion.
2. This was the “inequality inaugural,” says Timothy Noah; Obama put income inequality front and center.
3. Andrew Sprung sees mainly continuity, with today’s speech continuing the main themes of Obama’s career.
4. “There was a time when merely stating the ideas Obama put forth would have gotten you killed.” Ta-Nehisi Coates, essential as always.
5. Jonathan Chait hears “wariness borne of harsh experience.”
6. Did Obama’s speech give liberals some leverage? Digby argues it did.
7. James Fallows: “This was the most sustainedly ‘progressive’ statement Barack Obama has made in his decade on the national stage.”
8. I’m always interested in what Alex Massie notices in American political rhetoric; he found the writing lacking but makes the “liberal Reagan” comparison.
9. Ezra Klein thinks the speech showed how much Obama has changed in four years.
10. Matt Yglesias notes Obama’s “twofold case for the welfare state” — that it’s not only the right thing to care for the needy but also good economics to do so.
11. Don’t miss Andrew Sullivan’s reaction.
12. Brian Beutler focused on Obama’s “spirit of muscular liberalism.”
13. Francis Wilkinson argues that it was a “pretty remarkable document of Obama’s moral vision.”
14, Meanwhile, Atrios calls it a “good start.”
15. And E.J. Dionne says Obama was “unapologetic in offering an argument for his philosophical commitments and an explanation of the policies that naturally followed.”