Something needs to be said.
Merry Christmas, Senator Clinton. And to you too Senator Obama, and Messrs. Edwards, Richardson, Dodd, Biden, Kucinich and Gravel.
Really. No sucker punch here. No hooks or double meanings or sly asides.
Why? As we come into the Christmas season, people on my side of the philosophical line will be talking about all those updates on the War on Christmas and lamenting the absence of civilized discussion, thoughtful dialogue, the lack of Christmas spirit and on and on. So I thought I’d begin the Christmas season on an upbeat note. Just step out and wish the presidential candidates and all with whom I disagree politically, liberals one and all, a genuinely heartfelt Merry Christmas. Live the Spirit as opposed to just talking a good game.
This means I will talk here about what I like about each of the candidates. Obviously, I don’t agree with their party or their individual platforms (more about that later). But as a practicing person of faith I think I should do this, to remind at least myself if not others this Christmas that people who run for public office are in fact real people with real families and friends, and that while politics, as the famous Mr. Dooley said, ain’t beanbag, it is nonetheless always important to realize that the other guy — or girl — is a human being too. I think, in short, that my faith demands this of me.
So. Here we go.
* Senator Clinton: I think you’re a great Mom. Having been around politics my entire life and seen any number of political kids, your daughter seems terrific. Amidst all the stresses and strains of the life she has lived she has emerged as an obviously talented and, to the public eye, quite the well-balanced young woman. Whether you win or lose this election, there will be no accomplishment in your life greater than the way you (and yes, your husband too!) have raised Chelsea. You frequently discuss how you have fought for your issues for “thirty-five years.” This sentiment, indeed all the activism it implies, is a decided mark of the generation we share — the baby boomers. Many of us set our sights on involvement in politics when we left college. You have done just that, made a considerable mark, and there are in fact a lot of people out there who celebrate you for it.
* Senator Obama: Political courage is a good thing. You’ve taken on a hard task, stuck with it, taken your lumps and persisted with grace and considerable intellect. You might just win Iowa, too, and who knows what else beyond that. Surely it’s tough to do all this with young kids. Also, when you changed your mind about running you just said so with no evasion. Good stuff.
* Senator Edwards: Keeping your head in the middle of a presidential campaign with the full knowledge of your wife’s condition is doubtless a hard task. You — and she — are surely inspiring a lot of people in similar situations regardless of their politics to just keep their heads down and stay on their respective tasks in life. To keep on keeping on. Bravo.
* Governor Richardson: To confess on live TV with an amiable shrug and a grin as you push the whole aliens-in-Roswell business that, hey, you’re the governor of the state and attracting tourism is part of the job. Now that was great! A sign that you take your job seriously but not yourself.
* Senator Biden: Your decision years ago after your first wife died not to move to Washington but to train daily back to Delaware to take care of your two young boys. Surely it kept you off the all-important (for a young Senator) Washington social circuit, something that you surely knew would work against your ability to have DC types to get to know you. I think this did in fact hurt you when you ran for president back in 1987. You never blinked. Good Irish values. Your family Christmases are doubtless merrier today, your sons much blessed, because of that decision.
* Senator Dodd: Staying true to your Dad, and making sure people remember his work as the lead prosecutor at the Nuremburg trials. Also, precisely because of the way your father was treated towards the end of his Senate career, you have resisted the constant push to get on the borking bandwagon with every single person thrown into the Senate arena for confirmation.
* Congressman Kucinich: Knowing full well that your chances are slim, you nonetheless are unhesitating in stating your cause, surely inspiring others in the political world at all levels that if they just stay true to their beliefs they can in fact win respect if not votes. And not backing away from your friend Shirley MacLaine during the UFO dustup was an illustration of character.
* Senator Gravel: Go for it! Persistence is a great character trait!
Phew!!! That didn’t hurt too much!
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?