Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

What I wanted to hear

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.


phyllis said...

It was a great speech and a great cermony. The only person who disappointed me was John Roberts, who flubbed the oath and overall lacks the gravitas of William Rehnquist. But then he is the new guy in the job too.

mq, cb said...

Yes, John Roberts should have practised his pauses. There's a man who'll be praying for a do-over in four years' time.

Anonymous said...

John Roberts made me think - did George slip him a tenner on the way out?"
I found Rick Warren entirely creepy but seeing Dick Cheney in a wheelchair made up for it.

Linda Grant said...

The sight of Cheney caused an American friend I was watching the inauguration with to remark: That should make him think about all the boys he sent home from Iraq in wheelchairs

Deja Pseu said...

I was very glad to hear that too, and did you see how pissy Bush looked as Obama spoke those words? My other favorite bit, "a nation cannot prosper long when it only favors the prosperous."

Anonymous said...

The flub by John Roberts was surprising. He was a (smart) grind at Harvard College, someone who worked all the time and was known to carry around a bottle of Malox. He had a brilliant career as a lawyer, which requires huge amounts of prep work and I believe he was a distinguished appellate advocate. Even at that level, esp. at that level, they have practice sessions to simulate the argument before the court.

Guess he got nervous. I found it slightly funny and endearing as well as shocking, although then I realized that some people would blame Obama, and they have.