Along with the annual turn of the calendar from one year to the next comes the musing over where our lives have been and where we hope they'll go. This year the icy currents of our musings as a people will run deep.
Certainly, they won't be equivalent to a nation fighting a bloody Civil War. Nor do we face the daily trauma of a Great Depression with one of four Americans unemployed. Nor are these days as ominous as when we were reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor and suddenly at war with powerful and evil nations in Asia and Europe.
This time, the threats ride in on a slow tide, now washing around our ankles as we wonder just how deep the water will become. This time, it's different. This time, we lack what we always assumed would emerge when America found herself facing a crisis. We lack presidential leadership and will for at least the next two years.
There's no immediate value in reviewing the litany of presumptions and assumptions that brought us the current regime. But the consequences of the 2008 election are there for all with eyes to see and ears to hear. Besides, it's a long-done deal -- just not the deal that many who voted for the freshman senator from Illinois thought they were getting.
To prove that, all we need do is review the trail of broken promises in President Obama's January 2008 inaugural address. Back then he said, "We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents."
But, during the Obama administration, the Constitution has become a founding document to be subverted rather than served.
Obama said, "Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age."
But the irresponsibility over several administrations whereby banks were forced to artificially support a sub-prime interest rate that led to the housing bubble and brought down a financial house of cards gets translated into the president's distorted notion of class warfare, where the greedy and irresponsible "some" are at fault.
Obama said, "On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord."
But hope and unity have not been byproducts of the Obama style of boot-on-the-neck governing -- one that most closely resembles the one-party tyranny of his hometown, Chicago.
Obama said, "On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogma that for far too long have strangled our politics."
But petty grievances and false promises have flourished during the last two years as recriminations and worn-out dogma rule. And the promise of a post-partisan era of politics now seems, in retrospect, at best to have been adolescently naïve and at worse duplicitous.
Obama said, "We will act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth."
But even Pollyanna must admit that new jobs are not being created, and the only new foundation being laid for growth is a thicker concrete upon which debt grows toward national bankruptcy.
Obama said, "We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together."
But when none of that happened, he announced that there really never were any "shovel ready" projects after all. It's like the punchline from the old skit from "Saturday Night Live..."Never mind."
Obama said, "We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its costs."
But the legacy media never asked, "Just what does 'restoring science' mean?" And anyone today who thinks that Obamacare will lower costs is delusional. It's clear now that government control was always the primary goal -- never lower costs.
Obama said, "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply."
But the translation to that became "I will decide the lay of the land, and I'm not interested in any political debate, since I won the election. And those who oppose me are cynics."
Obama said, "Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day[.]"
But the myth of federal government transparency is as great, if not greater, than during any previous administration. And major legislation drafted during the last two years was done, out of all places, least often "in the light of day."
Obama said, "The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous."
But the nation doesn't prosper at all when its leader pits one group of citizens against another and plays the Marxist class warfare card over and over again. It's a big world. And the big money will find somewhere else to go, just as the deep-water drilling rigs that the Obama administration has banned from the Gulf of Mexico are today moving elsewhere.
And, two years ago, Obama also said, "With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet."
But the nuclear threat from Iran and North Korea has increased. And the hoax of man-made global warming has been exposed, as has its High Priest, a former U.S. vice president, who's made a mess of his private life and a fool of himself.
Finally, the president closed his inaugural address by quoting George Washington.
America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words: with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come; let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
These were Obama's truest words -- read by him, but not his own. And ironically, today the icy currents of our common dangers are borne to us largely by the inept leadership of the president who quoted them two years ago.