Ken Masugi likes it and thinks that, domestically, it responds to FDRs 1944 State of the Union Address. William Safire rates it very high, as does David Brooks. Brooks: "Bushs speech, which is being derided for its vagueness and its supposed detachment from the concrete realities, will still be practical and present in the world, yielding consequences every day.
With that speech, President Bushs foreign policy doctrine transcended the war on terror. He laid down a standard against which everything he and his successors do will be judged." William Kristol thinks it will prove to be a historic speech, as it is powerful and subtle, sophisticated, and nuanced. Details of policy aside, Kristol writes, Bush is right on "the fundamental American goal." And Victor Davis Hanson has some smart words for those who are inclined to castigate idealims, either of Bush or Epaminondas.
And, of course, some are critical. Orlando Patterson thinks Bush misunderstands freedom, and the speech will anger the world.
The socialist Eric Hobsbawm argues that the speech is based on a dangerous illusion and Bush will fail.
Bill Buckley thinks the whole speech was confusing. Peter Robinson says that the speech proves that Bush is not really a conservative. (Hes wrong.) Roger Kimball throws out a few paragraphs about Wilson, Fukuyama, and Hegel, and leaves it there. David Kusnet, a speechwriter for Clinton, parises Michael Gerson, the author of the Inaugural, and concludes: "Bushs critics can and should challenge how hell translate his poetry into policy. But meanwhile, they ought to mimic, not mock, his invocations of democratic values. In public debate, those who speak movingly about democracy have seized the high ground. Bush tried to do that yesterday; his critics should try to do that in the days ahead."