As I'm sure you've already heard, Time magazine has named George W Bush its Person of the Year.
I will now pause briefly to allow the liberals among us a moment to weep, wail, punch the wall, and draw a Hitleresque mustache on the cover after canceling their subscriptions. Now take a deep breath.
All better now? Good. Let's move on.
But of course the left can't move on, a fact so tiring my piddly wit can't find the strength to make the obvious moveon.org pun. In the scant hours since the announcement I've read four five scathing attacks on the decision, most coupled with a condescending brush-off of the award itself.
Yes, I'm aware Stalin won the award twice, thank you. I also know that Hitler won it once, as did Khomeini and Khrushchev. After all, sainthood is not a prerequisite. The title goes to the person who had the deepest impact, good or bad, in a given year.
Which explains how Ted Turner got on the cover in 1991
If Bush wasn't chosen for his humanitarian efforts, as Gandhi was in 1930, he also wasn't picked as an excuse to waste an issue justifying the left's hatred. According to the editors Bush sharpened the political debate "until the choices bled" and was chosen for "reframing reality to match his design, for gambling his fortunes - and ours - on his faith in the power of leadership."
Bush won the award in part because he is a polarizing figure, inspiring adoration in one person and disgust in the next, and all the while never catering his decisions to the wishes of the latest Gallop poll. He is quite possibly the only man in the world to live up to the idea that we are not judged by who are friends are, but who we count as our enemies.
"I think the natural instinct for most people . . .is that they want people to like them," Bush said in the issue. "On the other hand . . .I take kind of a delight in who the critics are."
One of those critics, Michael Moore, was a finalist for the title and a better - or more aptly named - loser there has never been. John Kerry, who no doubt would have earned the nod if not for sixty million Americans, was named among the People who Mattered, a diverse list that included Nancy Reagan and Kobe Bryant.
It's not surprising to see that polarization come bursting back to life for a trifling thing like a magazine cover. What is surprising to me - and Lord knows, by now it should be old hat - is the amount of hate that transcends the political arena and leaks into the personal.
Included in the liberal attacks I mentioned above are references to the 'triumph of the short-bus students' and yes, I called it, a copy of the Time issue with a Hitler mustache. My, what an excellent advertisement for the party of tolerance and diversity.
You can argue this all you want, but anyone who blames their hatred on Iraq, 9/11, or the economy is a liar. Had the election of 2000 been clear-cut things would be different. The President may not have had any more fans, but at least the average Democrat wouldn't be sulking like a spoiled child.
But of course, they're free to feel and express what they like.
As for me, I'm off to buy a few copies of Time for the ol' scrapbook.
[fyi - if you want the complete list of winners, click here]