President Obama touched on gay rights, school shootings, climate change, and health care in his second inaugural address. Online chatter from the right, left, and center of the spectrum offered widely diverging takes on his points. But even if he polarized the audience, President Obama seems to have accomplished one difficult feat: In a Twitterscape easily distracted by memes and silly jokes, he got most pundits to discuss serious issues in a serious way. There were still memes and silly jokes, but let's take at the instant pundit reaction to specific segments of Obama's forceful speech, and what they might mean for the second term.
Obama's quote: "We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall ... Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."
Only thing I will remember from Obama's speech was Stonewall. Pretty amazing to hear that.— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) January 21, 2013
1st time a president of US in an inaugural speech has called for equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans, also referenced Stonewall.— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) January 21, 2013
It's genuinely shocking that Stonewall is now mentionable in presidential addresses.— Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt) January 21, 2013
Obama's quote: "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms."