Thank you, Mr. Hanks
For the record, let me plainly state that I believe Tom Hanks to be one of, if not the finest actor of his and many other generations. He has been honored by a myriad of institutions for his work as an actor (two Academy Awards) as well as a producer – most recently of the exceptional docudrama chronicling the life of America's second President, John Adams.
For the record, I think Saving Private Ryan was robbed of its true status as Best Picture. But I digress.
So, when I heard that Mr. Hanks had called me, and all the other member of the religion I follow "un-American" for having supported California's Proposition 8, I was taken aback.
Today, I am heartened by Mr. Hanks' apology. It takes a big man to admit having crossed a line in acceptable public discourse. Its good to know there are still some people who can do that.
Tom Hanks and I don't see eye to eye on the issue of same sex "marriage". Somehow we can both be civil about this difference of opinion. I just wish the rest of the anti-Prop 8 crowd would get that memo.
Here endeth the lesson.
Why I Stand With W
In 1986, Sylvester Stallone starred in the cop/action movie “Cobra”. It was the quintessential Stallone hero flick which basically consists of Stallone delivering cheesy lines whilst firing several automatic weapons at the same time.
The movie’s opening scene consists of Stallone’s character Martin Cobretti pulling a John Wayne and waxing a dozen or so thugs who had taken over a Los Angeles supermarket. Having saved the day, he walks outside only to be accosted by a throng of media. A wimpy looking reporter sticks a microphone in Cobretti’s face and asks the question:
Did you use unnecessary deadly force?Cobretti’s response, delivered deadpan was:
I used everything I had.
The legacy of President George W. Bush (hereafter referred to as W) will be the subject of much debate for years to come. It will take a long time for the BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) infested MSM will be able to get over itself and manage to produce something about W that doesn’t include the name “Hitler” or “tyrant”. With all the blame shoveling Team Obama will do in the next two years, I’m not optimistic as to how W will be treated by those whose view of history is shorter the attention span of a gnat.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I voted for W – twice. In 2000 he was the obvious choice over Bill Clinton’s designated tree hugger Algore – Florida’s confused electorate notwithstanding. In 2004, he was the even more obvious choice over Massachusetts’ junior senator, John “Lurch” Kerry – MSM exit polling data notwithstanding.
There is one major reason why I – to this day – stand with W. Faced with the first attack on the continental United States by a foreign aggressor since the War of 1812, W had to make a decision. He could – as his predecessor Bill Clinton had – choose to handle the latest terrorist attack as a criminal matter that could be “managed” and “dealt with” without the need of messy foreign military and political entanglements. He didn’t take that route.
Instead he chose to stand in the gap and fight back. He stood atop the ruins of lower Manhattan and declared that those responsible for “knocking these buildings down will hear from all of us real soon.” Even as W made this declaration, MSM luminaries like the LA Times’ Howard Rosenberg were lamenting how W’s image “fails to fill the screen”.
In taking America to war, W has ruffled a lot of feathers and irritated a lot of sensibilities in the way he has used the nation’s resources to fight a faceless and state-less foe. Instead of just rattling America’s saber, W saw fit to actually use it. After nearly a decade of mothballed disuse, W unleashed America’s intelligence gathering apparatus and ordered it to find, detain, and yes interrogate those individuals desiring to make September 11, 2001 a normal part of American life.
W did not, despite the maniacal rantings of the 9/11 “Truthers”, intend to be a wartime president. However, having been handed the responsibility of leading the nation during wartime, he has used every tool and resource at his disposal to preserve, protect, and defend the United States against a very determined foe. America had a lot of catching up to do as this enemy, in one form or another, had been waging war against her for over three decades.
War, by its very nature, is unpredictable. George Patton once quipped that “battle plans seldom survive first contact with the enemy”. W had to manage a new type of asymmetric warfare – one that transcended national boundaries – on a battlefield which ranged from the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the shifting sands of Iraq. Mistakes, of course, were made. W, like Abraham Lincoln, went through many generals until he found one who could deliver victory.
Throughout this conflict, W has endured the relentless drumbeat of partisan criticism amplified by the democratic party’s public relations arm – commonly known as the MSM. What would have been branded as treasonous in past wars was dressed up and called “loyal opposition”, “whistle blowing”, and “true patriotism”. Elected representatives, senators, and even presidential candidates declared the war on terror to be a lost cause. That America must come to an “accommodation” with the Islamofacist Murdering Thugs nearly became accepted conventional wisdom.
Through all of that, W remained stubbornly in the gap – refusing to acquiesce to the demands of an increasingly hostile Congress and a plummeting approval rating fueled by the MSM.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t agree with everything W has done while sitting in the Big Chair. I wish he’d done more to secure the border. I wish he’d listened less to Ted Kennedy on NCLB. I was not a fan of the attempt at immigration reform. I really wish he would’ve objected more strenuously to the sunset provisions which congressional liberals inserted into his tax cut package. In the end, however, those are details which we have the ability to haggle about because, though at war, the business of the nation still gets done.
In just under two weeks, W will step down from the watchtower he has faithfully manned for eight years. For a time there will be an ecstatic release from the BDS crowd – especially those afflicted with the Hot Molten Crazy strain of the disease. Eventually, however, I think his presence on that wall will be missed by the very people who have spent so much time and energy pillorying him and burning him in effigy. To paraphrase Aaron Sorkin’s fictional Colonel Nathan Jessup, they wanted him on that wall, they needed him on that wall. Now that wall will be manned by a president who has never before confronted any crisis of any type. Those same people who vilified W for doing his job now hold doubts about the man they elected in his stead.
“Domestic policy”, according to the elder Bush, “can get us thrown out office but foreign policy can get us killed.” In the final analysis – whenever it is written – I believe history will be much kinder to W than will the current BDS MSM crowd. I believe he will be seen as a president who defended his nation to the best of his ability. In short, he’ll be able to confidently say that he used everything he had.
Here endeth the lesson.