A mixed bag this morning, Bush, reflecting my scattered state of mind. The holiday season is on us with a vengeance. There's shopping to be done. Party preparations to be made. You may find that you get short shrift from me in the next few days. Advance warning, too: I may even miss a day or two.
Anyway, first, do I detect a slight change in attitude toward your Rumsfeld? Just a few months ago he was doing "a superb job", as I remember. Now, yesterday, at your press conference, it was only "a fine job," you said. A not-so-subtle difference, I think you'll agree. There's many out here, these days, who have concluded that he's doing a lousy job--need I go through the list? How long before you join them? After "fair" and "poor"? But that could take months, at this rate...
An image. You were there, you must have seen it, though perhaps not from the same angle as the television cameras, because he was sitting alongside you: John Williams, at the Kennedy Center Honors award ceremony, listening to his music for "Schindler's List" played by Itzhak Perlman. I was imagining the feelings coming up for him--not only those from the music itself, and the whole Weltschmerz (that's the world's pain, Mr. President), the immensity of grief that the Holocaust evokes; but also the feelings between artist and artist, between the composer who sits by and listens, and the great musician who brings his work to life. Basically, an act of love, and even on the television screen you could sense the love that flowed between them at this moment. I found it intensely moving, Bush. And I imagine you found it doubly moving, being there to witness it.
And Christmas. The Holidays. The outrage some of your furthest right supporters are expressing over their perception that Christmas is being taken away from them by politically correct leftists who recoil at the very word. What these guys seem to miss is the simple fact that Christmas was taken from them long ago, not by any vile conspiracy on the left, but by commercial rape. What is left of Christmas these days but jingle, overeating, overdrinking (there I go again!), overshopping, overgifting? Was this the lesson of your Jesus's arrival here on earth? Was it just about the word, "Christmas", and whether or not we feel entitled to use it? And whether or not we accuse other people of stealing it from us?
Growing up Christian, I learned that the message of Christmas was "peace on earth and goodwill toward men"--though I suppose the PC folks might boorishly insist on including women. I don't see much of either, Bush, from those bellicose left-bashers who spend their time spewing intolerance and cheerleading your bloody war, even as they petulantly whine about the theft of Christmas.