There has been little outcry over the hefty price tag so far — unlike four years ago when the cost of President Bush's second inauguration provoked liberal outrage. Salon.com described the event, in an piece by Eric Boehlert on Jan. 20, 2005, as "Bush's overblown celebration," the think tank Center for American Progress called it "lifestyles of the rich and heartless," and an article in the London Guardian by Paul Harri on January 9, 2005, said it was "an unashamed celebration of red America's victory over blue America."No doubt the listed talking heads are all very partisan. But it is almost hypocritical to complain about one and then defend remain silent on the other.
Eric Boehlert over at Media Matters gets in a tizzy over the bloggers calling him out. You'll note that he won't discuss the fact that Obama's is just as bad as Bush's and that he will only speak to the most outrageous of estimates on the cost.
Drudge today also linked to an article I wrote at Salon four years ago chastising the press for not asking questions about the cost of the Bush 2005 inauguration ($40 million), which at the time shattered all the spending records and occurred at a time when the war in Iraq was still front-and-center. (Although it cost roughly the same, Bush's bash attracted just a fraction of the crowd expected for Obama's swearing in.)My favorite still his finding that the Iraq war was a disqualifier while the recession doesn't seem to be an issue with him. He also lowballs the price for Obama's inauguration at $40M while most media I've looked at place it at least at $50M.
Drudge claims my article captured the "lefty outrage" at the cost of Bush's 2005 celebration. In truth, a strong majority of Americans (66 percent, including 46 percent of Republicans) thought that, in light of the fresh fighting in Iraq, Bush's inauguration should have been more "subdued."
I wonder where his equivelant study is viewing the outrage over Obama's inauguration, since he so handily throws the bush data at the reader.
Oh, and the crowd size apparently is all that matters. Though you can be quite certain that the money will be spent mostly on a very small number of people just as it was for Bush. Lot's of crowds in the cheap seats don't get you moral equivalence. Maybe he misses that point that the crowds don't change the equation by looking at his own FYI.
FYI, the $40 million figure for the Bush and Obama inaugurations is in reference to the cost of the swearing in and the activities surrounding that. The extra cost of state and federal security is not traditionally included in media references to the final tab for inaugurations. In the case of Bush in 2005, the cost of security added tens of millions of dollars on top of the final $40 million figure. The same will be true for Obama this year.Look, it's simple. If they want to spend the money fine, no matter who the elected party is. But to call Bush a fool for all the spending and give Obama a free pass is stupidity.