John McCain lived up to his billing tonight, although during first third of his speech it almost sounded like McCain was building up to anouncement that he was backing fellow soldier John Kerry:
So it is, whether we wished it or not, that we have come to the test of our generation, to our rendezvous with destiny.
And much is expected of us.
We are engaged in a hard struggle against a cruel and determined adversary.
Our enemies have made clear the danger they pose to our security and to the very essence of our culture…liberty. Only the most deluded of us could doubt the necessity of this war.
Like all wars, this one will have its ups and downs. But we must fight. We must.
The sacrifices borne in our defense are not shared equally by all Americans.
But all Americans must share a resolve to see this war through to a just end.
We must not be complacent at moments of success, and we must not despair over setbacks.
We must learn from our mistakes, improve on our successes, and vanquish this unpardonable enemy.
If we do less, we will fail the one mission no American generation has ever failed…to provide to our children a stronger, better country than the one we were blessed to inherit.
Remember how we felt when the serenity of a bright September morning was destroyed by a savage atrocity so hostile to all human virtue we could scarcely imagine any human being capable of it.
We were united.
First, in sorrow and anger.
Then in recognition we were attacked not for a wrong we had done, but for who we are – a people united in a kinship of ideals, committed to the notion that the people are sovereign, not governments, not armies, not a pitiless, inhumane theocracy, not kings, mullahs or tyrants, but the people.
In that moment, we were not different races. We were not poor or rich. We were not Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. We were not two countries.
We were Americans.
All of us, despite the differences that enliven our politics, are united in the one big idea that freedom is our birthright and its defense is always our first responsibility.
All other responsibilities come second.
We must not lose sight of that as we debate who among us should bear the greatest responsibility for keeping us safe and free.
We must, whatever our disagreements, stick together in this great challenge of our time.
But of course the biggest line of the speech was McCain’s blast of Michael Moore: “And certainly not a disingenuous film maker who would have us believe that Saddam’s Iraq was an oasis of peace when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children held inside their walls.”
The line drew a long ovation. And guess what? McCain was right. And I’ve warned of this since day one. Moore hurts the Dems much more than he helps. And McCain’s number one goal of this speech was to securely tie the rantings of Michael Moore to the Democratic Party. Because of the failure of more Democrats to slam Moore from the beginning, that knot will be difficult to untie.