Observations from the Cheap Seats

  • Back from a week taking my wife and our kids to Washington, D.C. for the first time – while I have been there many times, this was a first for her and the children.  What a terrific week!  If you will indulge me this bit of recollection – we drove to Gettysburg last Sunday and Monday morning spent the time touring the battlefield with a personal guide.  (For those interested, this is definitely the way to do it – just turn over the keys to the guide and let him or her show you the way.)  Only by visiting this hallowed place can you appreciate the sacrifice of one’s ancestors and all of our forefathers in the struggle to preserve this Union.  Then Monday afternoon, off to D.C.  There is something magical as you drive past Lafayette Park and point through the trees, saying “there it is” – as they spot the White House for the first time.  Not having a hotel to check into quite yet, we drove around, ran through Georgetown and then back to the White House just in time to see the president fly in on Marine One.  That was something!  Tuesday was occupied by the beauty of Arlington and the wondrous monuments of the Mall.  Wednesday was Smithsonian Day and a trip to the Supreme Court and the Capitol – short tour but Gallery passes made it worthwhile.  Thursday morning and it was off to the White House for a tour and then to the Holocaust Museum for a somber review of evil in our time, with more Smithsonian in the afternoon.  Friday and it was off to the Supreme Court Library – I am a member of the bar – so I took my son with me as we toured it mid-renovation and then we hopped over to Capitol for a little more Senate watching.  An afternoon trip to the zoo and a little lunch in Adams Morgan (dang that subway escalator is long) and back downtown.  Up early this morning for a long drive back to Michigan.  What a great week!
  • For you Reese Witherspoon fans out there, my wife was pleased to report that she spotted Ms. Witherspoon on location in D.C. this week, filming an upcoming movie with Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson.  This alone made my wife’s week.
  • For me, I saw a sundry of recognizable House Members and Senators – yeah, no big deal.  But a couple presidential motorcades were pretty cool, as was spotting Justice David Souter from about 8 feet being interviewed by Brian Lamb of C-Span.  Closed my week with a gratuitous “enjoy your work” to Jeffrey Toobin, who politely acknowledged my comment as we walked by each other.
  • To show you how insular the life is in D.C. – I didn’t even know about Senator Ensign’s Tuesday confession until late Thursday.  So commonplace is the loss of one’s moral compass in Washington, that admissions of this sort scarcely gather recognition inside the Beltway.
  • Equally unspoken about was Secretary Clinton’s unfortunate fall at Foggy Bottom last week, necessitating surgery yesterday at GWU Hospital.  I hope that she makes a quick recovery as it sounds she will.  But the bigger tragedy for her is that this was the most newsworthy thing she has done in five months as secretary and even then it wasn’t well publicized outside her circle of friends.
  • Finally, in closing, to those Republican leaders out there who preach Christian family values during the day, but stray like cats at night – STOP!!!  Yes, we are all fallen people and, certainly, but for the love of Jesus Christ, I would have remained lost myself.  As I learned, Christ’s repentance starts with your personal repentance.  Don’t tell us your “sorry” and are moving on and don’t dismiss the damage you have wreaked on others.  Truly and privately repent and realize that if you are ever to return to a position of genuine public influence, it will only be done on Christ’s terms and not yours.