I know you hate it when I stray from money (or cooking), but I want to say I think President-elect Bush has gotten off to a fine start. I hated the campaign – especially its character assassination of the Vice President, who is a far finer man than even most of those who voted for him realize. But I am hopeful that President-elect Bush will stay true to his tone of unity, compromise, common sense and good humor, and that he will govern from the center, which is where most Americans – if not Trent Lott and Tom DeLay – want to be.

The Colin Powell nomination press conference was, I thought, just great.

One of the areas in which the next President could show the most courageous leadership is equal rights for people like his running mate’s daughter. He could say, if he feels the need to, that he fears, based on his reading of the Bible, we will all burn in hell. Fine. (There burning with us will be Michelangelo, John Maynard Keynes, Elton John and J. Edgar Hoover, so it should be interesting.) But he could also say he deplores discrimination or hatred of any kind, and that it’s time to add sexual orientation to the existing hate crimes statutes . . . time to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act . . . and time to welcome the talents of all Americans in his administration, regardless of sexual orientation, just as President Clinton and Vice President Gore did. As a man who values responsibility and laments promiscuity, he could say he wants to extend the same economic benefits to same-sex life partners as are extended to opposite-sex life partners. As a man who says he wants to be President of all Americans, he could include us.

And although he’s shown no indication of it thus far, I’m willing to believe, at least for a little while, that he just might.

Tomorrow: The Energy-Saving Column I Was Going to Post Today, Plus Women Who Will Be Burning in Hell


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