A Very Good Speech
11:54 AM, Jan 20, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
Having just listened to the speech, I think there was a lot to like there for those whose greatest concern is that Obama is soft -- that he doesn't appreciate the role violence has played in forging our democracy. Dianne Feinstein opened the ceremony by talking about how the ballot is more powerful than the bullet, how non-violence has made this day possible. It's a bizarre revision of American history that focuses on Martin Luther King rather than William Tecumseh Sherman or George Washington. It was the violence inflicted against British, Confederate, and German troops that made possible the inauguration of an African-American. Obama's speech acknowledged as much:
Obama closed by conjuring the image of Washington crossing the Delaware:
Obama also spoke of leaving Iraq 'responsibly,' which would necessarily dictate leaving a stable and democratic government in place. But, true to form, Obama would not allow the word victory to pass his lips when talking about the wars in which this country is currently engaged. In Afghanistan, Obama spoke of achieving "a hard-earned peace." Can we really have peace with our enemies in Afghanistan, or is victory a prerequisite for any real peace?
All in all though, a fine speech.