We can be slow, as well, to give greatness its due, a mistake I made myself long ago when I voted against a federal holiday in memory of Dr. King. I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona. We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans. But he knew as well that in the long term, confidence in the reasonability and good heart of America is always well-placed. And always, that was his method in word and action — to remind us of who we are and what we believe. His arguments were unanswerable and they were familiar, the case always resting on the writings of the Founders, the teachings of the prophets, and the word of the Lord.
That’s John McCain, trying to apologize for voting against the federal holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. McCain spoke Friday, the 40th anniversary of King’s assassination, in front of the motel where King was killed. He was invited there by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which King once headed. The apology prompted jeers from the crowd.