Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First Thoughts on the Inaugural

I heard it in patches, and read the prepared text -- my preferred mode of assimilation. It was an excellent speech by political standards; and a good one by any standards, being coherent and well-put-together. That said, the last sentence was atrocious bombast:
Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
I think it's unjust of Obama to attribute bad prose to our children's children.

A few highlights/flags:
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

signals foreign policy realism, new Iran policy.
We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers.

note the nod to Richard Dawkins, the not-so-subtle repudiation of evangelical excesses. More on this theme here:
We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to
raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

i.e. Close Guantanamo? Will he?

1 comment:

James said...

I think he's all but certain to close Guantanamo (in the sense of transferring the prisoners, not ceding control of the military base), unless he turns out to be more of a love-hair's island than I think.