14

They are the ones we’ve been waiting for


 

Two attempts to assess our presented circumstance, two ideas of who is at fault and two concepts of who is responsible for putting things right.

Barack Obama’s inaugural address, marking the start of a new American administration

“Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age … Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.”

Stephen Harper’s third throne speech, marking the restart of Canada’s 40th Parliament

“Today we meet at a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty. The global credit crunch has dragged the world economy into a crisis whose pull we cannot escape. The nations of the world are grappling with challenges that Canada can address but not avoid … The present crisis is new, but the imperative of concerted action is a challenge to which Parliament has risen many times in our history. What will sustain us today will be the same strengths of character that have pulled Canada through critical times before: unity, determination and constancy of purpose.”


 

They are the ones we’ve been waiting for

  1. Stop it Aaron, you’ll start a brain drain. To be fair it is a difference in style that dovetails nicely with our respctive national mythologies. Still, it makes you wonder where this country might be if we had this level of leadership. Leaderhip that spoke to the best in us and expected so much more. I’ve only seen it once in my life-time and i don’t really expect to see it again. Good job too a lot of folks would grumble, we certainly don’t want to go there again.

    • Lippert ? Probably had a soft landing at the Fraser Institute , from whence he came. Interchangeable parts.

  2. Seems to me there is little difference between the two.

    However, since we are nitpicking…

    Obama sounds a bit like Mao – “you have a duty to the nation and I will be the one to tell you where you’re wrong”. Harper’s speech is more positive, along the lines of “times are tough but we will prevail”. I like Harper’s.

    • I’m sorry, was this supposed to be news? I’d say you’re as predictable as clock-work, but those require winding once in a while.

      Hell, Harper could say, “These are tough times, so I’m hereby ending parliament until they get better” and you’d be congratulating him on his acumen.

      • hmmm… if you think Harper’s is all wrong, maybe you could say why, rather than inventing straw men.

  3. “What will sustain us today will be the same strengths of character that have pulled Canada through critical times before: unity, determination and constancy of purpose.”

    “But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old.”

    Sounds pretty similar to me except that Harper/Cons message doesn’t sound fascist. Obama could just as easily have said ‘arbeit macht frei’ if he was looking to shorten his speech and it would have tied in nicely with his German rally of last summer.

    • Aren’t you the same guy whom so frequently cited Godwin’s Law to denounce those you disagree with?

      • No, I don’t believe I have ever invoked Godwin’s Law but I do get called a fascist all the time. It has come to mean someone/something I don’t agree with. I also like to stir things up a bit on this message board.

        Anyways, I agree that people throw Fascist/Nazi around far too often but Obama does really strike me as being fascist, but with a smile. Barack, and Michele, both talk a lot about how people have to change, have to work harder, to make the country better. With all of Obama’s talk about change, I assumed he was talking about Washington DC and how they do things there, but what he really meant was that people have to change and the pols are just delightful. I don’t think Obama’s another Hitler but they do seem to share some ideas about people and the value of ‘work’.

        • Nice labels you’re tossing around , jwl , but your crowd is going to have to get its’ act together. The Limbaugh coterie is calling him a communist. Maybe a distinction without a difference when ignorance is the product being sold.

          Personally , I wish I could call him an anarcho – syndicalist. But he’s not.

  4. “…that Canada can address but not avoid…”

    I humbly suggest Mr. Harper address any problems to Mr. Ignatieff and his Liberal Party who are clearly better equipped to solve those problems.

  5. Definitely Harper’s speech wins the day = got to the point then hangs up the phone. The thing is I love Obama’s speeches when he speaks the words as that’s where the juice is and I always feel like I need a cigarette afterwards!!! Reading an Obama speech is like thumbing through a thesaurus interesting, prosaic, a tad poetic … however …. vaguely unsatisfying as more often than not a form of mental masturbation if you (a nice way to waste a little time but unfulfilling at best).

    • For some reason this resurrects a vague recollection of ‘Portnoy’s Complaint.’

      Also, please see:

      http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=6033

      . . .

      But a kind of salvation is at hand. The boy is introduced by a friend to a band of extreme rightwing youths, dressed in uniforms, following a leader who rants about communists and socialist traitors . . .”

Sign in to comment.