I was very much struck by his final three paragraphs, which I will quote without interruption before I offer my thoughts below the fold.
In the flood of anniversary commentary, notice how often the term "the lost decade" has been invoked. We know now, as we should have known all along, that American strength always depends first on our strength at home - on a vibrant, innovative and sensibly regulated economy, on levelheaded fiscal policies, on the ability of our citizens to find useful work, on the justice of our social arrangements.
This is not "isolationism." It is a common sense that was pushed aside by the talk of "glory" and "honor," by utopian schemes to transform the world by abruptly reordering the Middle East - and by our fears. While we worried that we would be destroyed by terrorists, we ignored the larger danger of weakening ourselves by forgetting what made us great.
We have no alternative from now on but to look forward and not back. This does not dishonor the fallen heroes, and Lincoln explained why at Gettysburg. "We can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow this ground," he said. "The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract." The best we could do, Lincoln declared, was to commit ourselves to "a new birth of freedom." This is still our calling.
There are remarkable things in that documentary. And I will discuss them.
But my focus is this - in this documentary I saw real courage, real heroism.
I do not deny the courage of those that go into combat. It is real.
But imagine just this. The first tower has come down. You see fireman walking towards the remaining tower, with hoses, and axes. And they go in. They are trying to save lives. They will lose their own.
However, for once their nihilism was brought dramatically to the attention of the American public by Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) who vigorously shamed the Republican Representative from NY, Peter King, shouting him down and refusing to be intimidated by the usual Republican screaming. It was such an effective public shaming that Fox News brought the two Representatives on the morning show, intent on redeeming the reputation of Republican Peter King, and painting Democrats as ineffective wimps by raising the question: "If Democrats are in the majority, why can't you get anything done?" While Representative Weiner once again refused to be intimidated and managed to show up the Republicans, I regret to say he never really answered the question of Why Democrats, being a majority, could not get the bill passed. Guess we need another shouting match in public to explain the Republican maneuvering and the way the floor rules work. See below the fold for the two You Tube videos on Representative Weiner at work.
Hat tip to Salon.com for providing the videos.