As the Inaugural commentaries came to a close, the single parroted phrase that repeatedly surfaced was "The Era of Reagan is Over."
Because President Obama was elected?
Because taxes "must go up"?
Because gay marriage appears to not be universally rejected by the younger demographic?
Because the first legal abortion from 1973 is now four decades old in the dust of the earth?
And what indeed was the Era of Reagan?
Yes, but much more.
Lower taxes? Sure.
Pro-life legislation? Well, not so much in that category.
Feel good times? The economy recovering? Businesses starting?
To many, yes, these are all true.
But why did people in politics and outside of politics feel good about the 1980's?
As one who was deeply involved in politics during those days, allow me to advance the following thought:
The Era of Reagan was a time of political opposites, who deeply disagreed about policy, coming together to work out the day-to-day details of law believing the highest and best of each other, working with respect and common concern for our nation.
Maybe the commentators of today have it right about the era of the past. Even Charles Krauthammer may be correct on the demise of Reaganism.
But that's not really the Era of Reagan, is it?
We are engaged in an uncivil discourse that finds action in political policies that have very little common ground between the two polar intractable positions.
Conservatives refuse to budge, or so it is reported. Liberals view compromise as getting 100% of the pie. And conflict erupts.
Every organization takes on the characteristics of its leader. Reagan was strong and humorous. Obama is strong and humorless. Reagan was an extrovert, Obama a serious introvert.
And America listens to its leader, era after era.
The Era of Obama may very well be an apt description, not only of our President's persistent policies to socialize the economy of our nation but of the disloyal opposition's desire to fight him every step of the way.
The politics of today are often surly and foolish, where each issue ends up becoming a battle with bullets of a different caliber.
Make no mistake, the Era of Reagan is only over for those who embrace an angry, caustic attitude of demonizing their opponents - something Reagan would never have done to an opposing American political leader - like Tip O'Neill, Ted Kennedy or George McGovern.
Grace has its place in politics.
Just not right now as we begin the Era Of Obama, it seems.
Keep in mind, though, that Eras come and go.
Even President Clinton said this in 1996: "We will meet these challenges, not through big government. The era of big government is over."
The Era of Obama will be over in time.
Maybe the Era of Grace will be on the horizon.
It is so much bigger than a single President.