Pomp and Pompousness

The second inauguration of George W. Bush took place amid an obscene display of vulgar opulence by his base of the haves and have mores. Those supporters stormed Washington armed with their $250,000 ticket packs and an abundance of designer dresses, jewels, furs and custom-made cowboy boots. If there was any doubt that there is a class war dividing the country in an ever widening gap, a peek into one of the nine balls attended by the elite Bush crowd would remove all doubts.

The tenth ball for those in the military being deployed to or just returned from Iraq was the only one approaching normalcy. They may have preferred that their portion of the $57 million that includes $17 million for security, which was spent on the inauguration events was applied instead toward supplying Kevlar vests and vehicle armor. During the month of January, up to and including inauguration day, 45 American troops were killed.

I doubt that those eating caviar and drinking champagne at the other balls gave a thought to those young Americans whose lives oozed away into the blood soaked sands of Iraq 6,000 miles away. While they were listening to the music being played by the dance bands did they give a thought to the bombs and bullets the troops in Iraq were hearing?

The president never mentioned Iraq during the speech he gave immediately following his swearing the oath of office. Why spoil a $40 million party? Besides, that was the war from the last term. Polls show that the people are tired of that war with only 39% who still support it. The people need something new for the new term.

The theme of the inauguration's festivities was liberty and freedom and Bush's speech was peppered with those words as well as the word tyranny. Condaleeza Rice set the stage for the speech during her confirmation hearings for Secy. of State when she said there were "outposts of tyranny" in the world.

Bush launched his second term by setting an ambitious policy for the next four years. He said, "So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

Some of those nations with different cultures may object to our seeking and supporting our democratic culture imposed on them. That's why he asked America's "youngest citizens" to "make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself."

He ended with the proclamation, "America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength -- tested, but not weary -- we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom."

Some of those youngest citizens he is calling to serve might have told him that you can't force democracy down the barrel of a gun, but he had ten parties to attend.