"The blogosphere may be turning the Twain/Churchill formula* on its head," we blogged way back in July of 2004. "In that instance, it was the Sandy Berger Trousergate scandal, where bloggers took early AP reports and ran with them, while the New York Times hadn't had time -- indeed had no inclination -- to put its pants on." (Yousuff Karsh photo December 1941)
"Doesn't the fact that Bush is literally 'picking Benedict up' at the airport say something unusual?" emails The Anchoress:
It's never been done before. I get the sense that Bush wants to be in his presence for as long as he possibly can. And I really am starting to believe he will convert when he leaves office.
"I have a similar feeling," we replied:
Not only to be in his presence -- who can blame GW? -- but also to make it known to the world that the Leader of the Free World is humble before the Vicar of Christ . . .
"Yes, exactly, A great point!" says she:
A GREAT point - you should write that!
The culture war is a war of ideas and images. The imminent images -- touchdown about a half hour away! -- of President and Mrs. Bush welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to the land of the free and the home of the brave will travel all the way around the world before the big lie has a chance to put its pants on.* You're da man, Mr. President.
Mark Twain: "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
Winston Churchill: "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
Update: Miss Kelly links.
Update II: The Anchoress links, teasing out the meaning of our use of the word "humble" for the President's deference to the Vicar of Christ:
Sissy Willis and I exchanged emails and wondered -- and we are not the first to do so, obviously -- if President Bush, who is inarguably the most “Catholic” president we’ve ever had, will pull a Tony Blair and enter into full communion with the Catholic church after he leaves office . . . Some might argue the use of the word “humble,” but I do think it demonstrates the leader of the free world “making way” for the Vicar of Christ. And it is very dramatic. It’s a little earthquake, really, but not everyone will feel it.
As we said in her comments, we "thought twice before using the word 'humble' but decided it was the proper choice in the dictionary sense of 'not proud or arrogant; offered in a spirit of deference'":
God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6, King James Version)
That sounds SO George Dubya, something he would have learned at Barbara Bush's knee:
“My mother taught us fundamental things: ‘Don’t brag.’ ‘Think of the other guy.’ ‘Be kind to people.’"
It's an old-money thing, and class will out.