Drums of Valor, Ears of Tin

Imagine President Hillary Clinton orating about "The Joys of One Worldism" to the United Nations General Assembly, after the multicultural, multinational, multigrubbing delegates had been told by her aides to sit on their soft hands.

Imagine President Abraham Lincoln orating about freedom to former slaves on the White House lawn, after they had been ordered by his aides to remain docile and absolutely quiet at all times.

Imagine Prime Minister Winston Churchill orating about victory to bombed-out Londoners in Picadilly Circus, after they had been asked by his aides to stand mum.

Imagine President Ronald Reagan orating about the rights of the unborn to proud, loving, baby-carrying mothers in the East Room, after they had been instructed by his aides to cool it ("… and if your kid starts to cry, vacate the room at once!").

Yet in a crammed auditorium of uniformed Army stalwarts at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, President George W. Bush last night attempted to rally Americans and his plummeting ratings on the handling of the Iraq War before a nationwide (and worldwide) TV audience only after his aides ordered the assembly of bemedalled brave men and women, patriots all (despite the loss of 1,700 comrades in arms), to button their lips and stifle their calloused hands. (Obviously, the presidential nannies wished to avoid any Democrat criticism that the audience was rigged–something, of course, no pristine, ethically pure liberal would ever consider doing.)

Obedient almost 100% to their Commander-in-Chief, the troops faithfully camouflaged their love of country and fondness for Mr. Bush’s principled leadership until their pulsing spirits no longer could be suppressed, bursting into applause mightily, but only once, before his stirring speech ended in 30 minutes–a performance as carefully timed as a skillful Ranger or Green Beret maneuver in the heat of battle.

Never before have so many heard so little from so few who felt so much. The next time the President seeks to fire up the nation, he first should fire his asbestos-clad handlers.