(Salon) — An older, wiser, tougher and stronger President Obama celebrated the Martin Luther King holiday with a speech King would have applauded. Four years ago he promised to put away “childish things” like partisanship and mostly sounded high notes of harmony; this time he committed himself and the nation to making good the promise of the founders by fighting for it. And that sounded even better.

Like most liberals, I loved his invocation of our great civil rights struggles in “Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall,” knitting together battles for women’s rights, African American equality and gay rights in a righteous quilt of justice. But my favorite moment was when he practically called out Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney by name, denouncing their effort to pit American “makers” against so-called “takers:”

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