March 25, 2008

Those Speeches

I keep returning to the apology, even after the all fuss has died down. Short, eloquent, thoughtful, moving, measured, appropriate, no weasel words, well-delivered: this is the way it should be done. Sometimes words matter, sometimes even small gestures symbolise a deeply significant change in attitude and circumstance.

After all these years I don't really think it took much courage to say it; the real question is what it took Howard's government not to say it. What took courage was living what it describes….

And that other recent speech? As many commentators have said, it's refreshing to be spoken to on issues like this like a grownup, something that augurs well for Obama as a person, but (judging by the childish response from a lot of the right-wing press here) might endanger him as a candidate. The courage in this instance wasn't talking about race per se, but doing so in ways that didn't condescend by substituting simplistic sound bytes for thoughtful complex analysis. He'll probably pay dearly for that.

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