House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., has struck a blow against political correctness by convincing the architect of the Capitol that the tree on the Capitol grounds be rechristened the Capitol "Christmas" Tree instead of the more recently employed Capitol "Holiday" Tree.
"A Christmas tree is a Christmas tree," says Hastert mouthpiece Ron Bonjean, by way of explanation.
As first reported in this morning's Washington Times, the tree has in recent years been known as the "Holiday" tree. But in a letter to Architect of the Capitol Alan Hantman, Hastert says he wants it to be henceforth known as the "Christmas" tree. It is unclear just when the first change was instituted, and by whom.
"I fully understand your desire to make all holiday displays as inclusive as possible," Hastert writes. "There are many ways to accomplish this, and the Supreme Court has ruled that such displays in public buildings are fully permissible under the Constitution."
This year's tree is a 65-foot Engelmann Spruce from the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico. It sits on the west front grounds of the Capitol, just outside the Speaker's balcony. (Here in the Capitol it is our sincere opinion that this tree has it all over the White House tree.)
Incidentally, the White House tree, located on the Ellipse, is known as the "National Christmas Tree."