Well, many conservatives did not like Obama’s direct and positive references to gay marriage, equal-pay legislation, and possible amnesty for illegal immigrants. They see these as liberal touchstones and possible wedge issues that might split the Republican Party.
Climate-change legislation is similarly low on the GOP agenda, yet Obama talked at some length about what he sees as the need to take action on this issue.
Obama defended Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as things that strengthen the nation. “They free us to take the risks that make this country great,” the president said.
Yet he said nothing about how he would fund these costly entitlement programs going forward, conservatives said.
“In celebrating the power of the government to lead the nation forward, Obama breezed past the costs of an ever-growing public sector and made only passing mention of the country’s most urgent problem as he took the oath to lead it: debt,” wrote Stephen F. Hayes at the right-leaning Weekly Standard.
In the short run, this may mean that in the coming months it is unlikely fiscal negotiations will produce any sort of grand bargain in which the White House accepts trims in exchange for GOP concessions.
That’s because he offered up few sweeteners to Republicans, writes Fred Barnes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.
“The highly partisan theme was a departure from recent second inaugural addresses,” according to Mr. Barnes.
In the longer run, Obama’s perceived tilt leftward will endanger red-state or swing-state Democrats, other conservative commentators claim.
There are eight such senators up for reelection in 2014: Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Begich of Alaska, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Max Baucus of Montana, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Mark Udall of Colorado.