Hail to the…

Hail to the…

: It’s remarkable what a nonevent the inauguration is. The Golden Globes is less staged. That’s not a political statement; it’s true of inaugurations of both parties. It is a formality. And we Americans do not rest on formality. We don’t have queens and coronations and May Days and national parades. Oh, sure, we should have the ceremony. But I think it would be far better if they’d just go and produce it for TV; make it an event of the nation, not of Washington.

What this means on a practical level is incredibly insipid TV. On FoxNews this morning, they kept interrupting the discussion to follow Bush et al walking into and out of the church service. Yes, he can walk. Well, I suppose in the age of The West Wing, that is news. They got all excited on Fox when Bush got near enough a mike to say something. “We got a ‘good morning’,” the anchor said. We got sound!

On CNN, Paula Zahn agreed that this is a “majestic day.” I’d say the word is cold.

Fox reporters Blackberried notes on the sermon this morning out to the anchor desk. They read it as it arrived: The minister told Bush to unite red and blue and said that we are all one nation: “black, brown, gay, straight.” Bravo, Rev. But it’s not going to make any difference.

Most of the day will look like a slo-mo TiVo view of an LA police chase. They drive here. They walk there.

Oh, breaking news: Wolf tells us that Bush is riding in a new presidential limo. It still has that four-more-years smell.

I’m not being cynical. Really, I’m not. Our form of government is the best there is. The transfer or continuation of power is our best accomplishment.

But this is all style, no substance.

: LATER: I’m watching Dan Rather’s coverage. He keeps coming back again and again to his speculation that there are often scandals in second administrations. Bob Shieffer says uncomfortably, “Well, I don’t think anybody’s going to jail.” Dan doesn’t drop it. “Second terms of presidencies are marked by scandal… Those kinds of things have a way of developing in a second term. Are the Bush people worried about that?” he asks colleague Roberts. Oh, sure, Dan, the administration’s spokesman are going to go into the confessional and fret about misbehaving. The big problem with Rather is not bias. It’s foolishness. Always has been.

: RANDOM STUPID MOMENTS: Larry King “interviewing” Oscar de la Renta on inaugural fashion. Old fart on old farts about old farts.

Larry says at 10p that it’s past the Command in Chief’s bedtime.

Now Bush and his wife dance with soldiers, he with a she and she with a he. It is the most awkward moment I’ve seen since my seventh grade dance.

: Stupid Fox line from Hannity & Colmes: “Laura Bush, what an asset.”