Nic, Bupkis and Nichevo

About Nothing, by Nothing, with German-flavored cleavage occasionally thrown in for local color.

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

You can email me at NicBupkusNichevo at aol dot com. Aren't you excited?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

History News Network reviews wartime inaugurations, past and present

Looking at earlier wartime inaugurations the trend was toward simple ceremonies such as James Madison's in 1813, Abraham Lincoln's in 1865, Woodrow Wilson's in 1917, Franklin Roosevelt's in 1945, and Dwight Eisenhower's in 1953. The simplest of all was Roosevelt's fourth inaugural in 1945 amidst World War II. However, the post World War II era saw inaugural ceremonies becoming increasingly more lavish affairs despite the fact that war or protest was ensuing. Lyndon Johnson's in 1965, and Richard Nixon's two inaugurations in 1969 and 1973 were large showcase affairs. The tradition continues this year with George W. Bush's $40 million inaugural celebration.

If Ike of all people didn't have a problem with big brass in wartime, why do we now? Most of the money for the second Bush inaugural was blown in the balls; Ike spent his parading the troops. What's more appropriate in wartime: tying up needed troops in ceremonial duties, or let them be off fighting the damn war? I suppose Eisenhower could have been making a statement with such a lavish production, about the fact we *could* be so wasteful with uniformed bodies at such a time, but I may just be reading too much into it. I don't know enough about the late general to know just how sneaky he could be. Personally, I've always liked the idea that the inaugurals are *supposed* to be a big party and celebration; especially in wartime, it seems to me, we should be showing the world that "Woo-hoo! We pulled it off again!"

But maybe that's just me.


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