By Jessica Hobby Catto
In St Luke's nativity story, 2:7, Jesus was born in a stable manger because there was no room at the inn. Well, some 2008 years later, we have a new twist on the legend. A similar lapse of hospitality has raised its petty, miserable head in Washington.
The Bushes have told the Obamas, who are coming to town too, that Blair House, this year's inn, and the President's guesthouse is full. No room for the Obama girls who need to start their new school January 5th. No room within the White House security cordoned area for our President-elect and his family who need every bit of protection we can afford them. No room in the series of houses with 117 rooms and numerous reception spaces for already planned functions. Make no mistake; there is plenty of room at the inn. I have been there and the house is much larger now than it was then.
President-elect Obama may be wondering what he said to earn such a negative response to a small request. "George, was it something I said? I know we disagree on all sorts of issues, but I thought we had progressed beyond that kind of playground rancor. Oh well, we can find a substitute inn somewhere. I hope the secret service won't mind all the barn animals. After all, we will have a really nice house soon enough."
An act of smallness is always tacky, and the bells of Christmas time should chime "Joy to the World" and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." Instead they are dinging out "Ease on Down the Road." And "You take the High Road and I'll take the Low Road." Or maybe even, "Go Away From My Window."
We know someone will be generous and offer the Obamas a place to stay for the 10 days before they officially move into Blair House, so they will have pillows under their heads. It is just the graceless and the paltry action, particularly at the holiday time of year when our hearts are supposed to be filled with the spirit of giving, sharing and acts of kindness. Bah, humbug, indeed. The Grinch just stole Christmas again and Scrooge is dancing a jig.
Perhaps we should be grateful to GWB after all. Along with the multitude of priceless gifts he has left us: a shattered economy, a mindless war, environmental destruction, and energy dependence to make us weep, he leaves us with a poverty of heart that nicely rounds out his pathetic legacy. No loose ends.
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