Some commentators heard echoes of Natan Sharansky in yesterday's Inaugural Address. Others, like Fraters Libertas, discerned the source of much of the Left's hatred for George W. Bush. Their remarks are worth reading in their entirety:
Despite being marred by what seemed at times an awkward delivery, the content of today's speech was historic. Not just because of the principles the President articulated, although they were truly inspiring, but because unlike most speeches delivered by politicians, the world knows now that what George Bush says, he means.
The Left will object, as Jeannene Garafolo did tonight on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, that Bush's rhetoric about freedom rings hollow because he opposes a woman's right to kill her unborn child or because he opposes granting gays the freedom to marry, or because the Patriot act imposes onerous restrictions on Americans, or because the incarceration of radical Islamists in Guantanamo shows that Bush doesn't really care about freedom at all.
These cavils give further evidence, if any were needed, of the Left's increasing self-imposed irrelevance. People like Ms Garafolo would have us believe that unless one advocates letting everyone do anything they please one doesn't really favor liberty and justice at all. Americans, we are to assume, are toiling under the lash of oppression because we are denied gay marriage and other freedoms that truly liberated people enjoy. Perhaps Ms Garafolo might ask twenty five million Afghans, especially Afghan women, if they have a greater degree of liberty now, even though they don't have gay marriage and abortion on demand, or whether they were freer under the Taliban. Perhaps she might ask twenty five million Iraqis, particularly the Shi'ia and the Kurds, if they are freer now, even though some of them were wrongfully abused at Abu Ghraib, than they were under Saddam Hussein. We suspect that many of them would regard the inquiry as the question of a hopeless naif, and refrain from laughing in Ms Garafolo's face only out of courtesy and pity.
George Bush's speech yesterday raised the anxiety level of oppressors everywhere and gave hope to millions of people who still groan under the weight of tyranny. It was a speech for the ages.