Isn't it time for a REAL President again?
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2004, 4:35pm PT  

Watching the debates over the last few weeks, it's occured to me how nice it'll be to once again have a real President of this country, instead of somebody who's playing "President".

This embarrassing passage from Ron Suskind's New York Times' Magazine article on Bush today sorta sums it all up. It's from a meeting in the Oval Office in December of 2002 where Bush was discussing "The Road Map for Peace in the Middle-East" with lawmakers. On the topic of which army could be trusted as peacekeepers by both Israelis and Palestinians, Hungarian born Holocaust survivor Congressman Tom Lantos, a Democrat, spoke up:

Lantos went on to describe for the president how the Swedish Army might be an ideal candidate to anchor a small peacekeeping force on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sweden has a well-trained force of about 25,000. The president looked at him appraisingly, several people in the room recall.

''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said. ''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.''

Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.

Bush held to his view. ''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''

The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.

Vote November 2nd. Dear God, please vote! And take as many friends with you as you can. Please?