On the Jan. 22 op-ed page, the day following the inauguration, Michael Gerson [“Shoving idealism into the grave”] and Jennifer Rubin [“How to defy Obama”] lost no time in lambasting President Obama’s inaugural address. Mr. Gerson said that the president’s speech failed to acknowledge “shared fault” for the national condition. Ms. Rubin argued that Republicans must unify to prevent the nation from “sliding much farther to the left.”

Both pundits seem to have forgotten how the president won reelection. The electorate knew that it was the Republicans’ intransigence that doomed compromise on presidential initiatives. The president’s address was simply a forceful reiteration of his campaign issues, which were thoroughly digested by a majority of an informed electorate.

James Lombardi, Annapolis

Kathleen Parker’s Jan. 23 op-ed column, “He’s no patsy,” on President Obama’s inauguration speech, provided an excellent perspective on the new Obama who has emerged over the past two months. The post-election pivot by Mr. Obama to harsh, partisan rhetoric and a “take no prisoners” attitude has been nothing short of astounding. By moving so sharply to the left immediately after the election, he has greatly reduced the chance of addressing our nation’s fiscal problems and contributed to a national sense of cynicism about our government.  

It is time for moderates in both parties to find a way forward. Moderate Republicans have asserted themselves in recent negotiations. It is time for moderate Democrats to do so as well.

Bob Hugman, Woodbridge