To no one's surprise, President Bush today publicly defended Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld against charges that he is uncaring and insensitive.

"That's a bunch of bull hockey," Bush said. "Sometimes, perhaps his demeanor is rough and gruff. But below that rough and gruff, no-nonsense demeanor is a good human being who cares deeply about the military and deeply about the grief that war causes. That's the sort of Defense Secretary I know and respect. What, you know a different Defense Secretary, John McCain? I'll kick your ass. I've done it before and I won't hesitate to do it again."

"Now if you all keep quiet for a second, I'd like to read you a little poem about the man that I fondly call Rummy. Or the Rum-master. But usually Rummy. Trent Lott, you know what you'd better call him? Sir. Cause I've got your number son, and it's no skin off my back to give you a thrashing."

"Okay. I call this 'A Real Good Man'.

I know Secretary Rumsfeld's heart.
I know how much he cares for the troops.
I have heard the anguish in his voice,
    and seen his eyes
        when we talk
        about the danger
        in Iraq.

He's a good decent man.
He's a caring fellow.
And all you nay-sayers are yellow."

"Pretty good, huh? And it ought to be, cause I wrote it from the heart, where all good poems come from. Now no more bad-mouthing from any of you hot shots. Cause I'm warning you. See this ear of corn?"


2004, Mark Hoback