Straining To Say Nice Things About The New Guy

I have been to the mountaintop! A left-handed person elected in my lifetime.

President Obama's first act of office was to proclaim the traditional National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation. It's nice.

As I take the sacred oath of the highest office in the land, I am humbled by the responsibility placed upon my shoulders, renewed by the courage and decency of the American people, and fortified by my faith in an awesome God.

We are in the midst of a season of trial. Our Nation is being tested, and our people know great uncertainty. Yet the story of America is one of renewal in the face of adversity, reconciliation in a time of discord, and we know that there is a purpose for everything under heaven.

On this Inauguration Day, we are reminded that we are heirs to over two centuries of American democracy, and that this legacy is not simply a birthright -- it is a glorious burden. Now it falls to us to come together as a people to carry it forward once more.

So in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, let us remember that: "The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

Followed by the boilerplate common to all such proclamations.

His first executive orders today froze his staff's salaries, instructed federal agencies to comply more readily with Freedom of Information requests (a good move!), and lengthened the time public officials must spend in the private sector before they can be lobbyists. All good or unobjectionable moves.

I caught Rush griping that the salary freeze is merely symbolic. And? Symbolism is important. I am laboring mightily not to become like an Air America host and be unable to recognize anything harmless, wholesome or good in my political opponents.

We're all braced for the reversal of the Mexico City policy. Expected it today, but as of 4pm it hasn't come. For another 24 hours I'm grateful.