Yesterday my reaction to the extravagance of the Obama inauguration was that it came off more like a coronation than an inauguration and the costs were tremendous. (a word to those who think all costs were borne by private donors: pfft, right).
However, today I read an argument by David Warner over at the Volokh Conspiracy that’s changed my mind:
The real battle is between the guy we actually get to elect (Bush/Obama) and the guys we don’t (the permanent bureaucracy). The purpose of all the pomp is to impress upon the unelected the fact that the elected guy does have a large gang behind him. We’d do well to remind them more often, if the Bush Administration is any indication.
Thinking through the psychology of the opposite approach, I think he’s right. At least until we can get rid of the large unelected bureaucracy. One way to check this would be to understand the perception of Utah’s governor, who reportedly insisted on a de minimis inauguration. Any politicos from Utah reading?