OPINION: It's funny how political and other realities change officials' minds

Thoughts and opinions on various and sundry topics:
Frankfort, Ken., is the state capital.
There for many years a Christmas tree has been displayed on the capitol lawn during the month of December. Well, last week the governor or the Bluegrass State, Steve Beshear, decided he would just change the name of the tree to a “holiday tree.” His spokesperson said he wanted to be inclusive of Thanksgiving Day, Hanukah and New Year’s Day. The only problem (as citizens of Kentucky have since reminded Gov. Beshear) is that the Christmas tree has always been the Christmas tree. There is no record anywhere of Thanksgiving trees, Hanukah trees or New Year’s trees. Gov. Beshear made this one up himself.
American Family Association sent over 35,000 e-mails into Kentucky letting people know what the governor had decided to do and gave them his phone number and e-mail if they wanted to give their opinion on this move. Well, they did and as Gomer Pyle would say – Shazzam!! – the governor announced Thursday morning he had had a change of heart. He is going to call the Christmas tree the Christmas tree after all.
And he invited the public to a lighting ceremony Nov. 30.
If you pay attention to what is going on across the country, there is an attempt to diminish the specialness of Christmas because the very name of the holiday itself honors the founder of the Christian faith – Jesus Christ.
The most hypocritical aspect of this is when retail stores want you to Christmas shop at their stores, but they don’t want to acknowledge Christmas. Take the Gap, a well known clothing store, for instance. Here is what they say is the reason you will not find the word “Christmas” in their advertising or in their stores. amp”Gap recognizes that many traditions are celebrated throughout this season and we feel it is important to display holiday signage that is inclusive to everyone.amp”
What garbage. There is no such thing as “holiday” shopping, unless the “holiday” you are referring to is Christmas.No one exchanges gifts at Thanksgiving. The kids don’t run downstairs on New Year’s morning at 6 a.m. in search of gifts and toys. People don’t holiday shop, they Christmas shop. Take the tradition of trading gifts at Christmas away, the Gap goes out of business. In fact, take the tradition of trading gifts away at Christmas and the American economy goes out of business.
I have told the story before about driving on Interstate 40 between Knoxville and Nashville and trying to pass a truck. I had to speed up to about 80 mph to get around it. About the time I was coming up beside the cab I noticed a Tennessee state trooper just in front of the 18-wheeler. So I slowed down and tried to pull back in behind it.
The problem was there was a car right behind me who was wanting to pass. When I slowed I could see him in my rearview mirror throwing his hands up in the air and yelling something unpleasant. So I slowed down more, with him right on my bumper, and got in behind the truck. Then the guy sped up, so I decided to get behind him and see what he would do. Well, he got directly where I had been a couple of minutes earlier and guess what? He saw the state trooper and slowed down. He didn’t pass the truck. I couldn’t help myself. I stayed right on his rear end and when he looked in the rearview mirror I threw my hands up – with a good Christian attitude – and asked him what the problem was.
President Bush must feel like me right now. A year ago Barak Obama was unmercifully beating up on President George Bush on the campaign trail about the war in Iraq and how wrong it was to hold the 200 or so hardcore terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Well, you know what? President Obama is finding out why President Bush did some things that he did.
Last fall, Obama proudly announced that he would be closing the detention facility by January 2010. This despite the fact that he had no plan with what to do with them. He still doesn’t. As President Bush understood – it’s just not that easy to find places to house Al Qaida murderers better than the situation we have at Guantanamo Bay.
With respect to the war in Iraq, candidate Obama said he would have the troops out within 18 months of being sworn in. He was unable to keep this promise and, in fact, has pledged to keep as many as 50,000 troops inIraq after the “pull out.” Leaving 50,000 troops inside Iraq does not constitute a withdrawal of the American forces.
It ain’t easy, this president stuff.
Tim Wildmon, a resident of Baldwyn, writes as a community columnist. Contact him at twildmon@afa.net.

Tim Wildmon