Surprise Supporter

The latest from the Political Grapevine:

Opinions on Iraq

Those who fight the war in Iraq have a more positive view of it than those here at home. Fifty-six percent of American civilians polled by the Washington Post last week called the war in Iraq a mistake — but a new Military Times (search) survey found that two thirds of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan said the war in Iraq is worth fighting.

In addition, 63 percent of military personnel said they approve of the way President Bush is handling the war even though nearly half say they expect to be in Iraq more than five years.

Surprise Supporter

Embattled Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has found an unlikely supporter in former South Dakota Senator and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern (search).

McGovern ran for President in the Vietnam era as the anti-war candidate. In a letter to several major newspapers over the weekend, he said he supports keeping Rumsfeld as secretary of defense because Rumsfeld is against increasing the number of American troops in Iraq.

McGovern said: "Better Mr. Rumsfeld than some eager beaver who wants to double our army in the desert."

Affront to Christmas Awards

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (search) has announced its Ebenezer awards, handed out for "the most ridiculous affront" to Christmas.

Third place went to Macy's Department Stores, where employees were asked to say "Season's Greetings" instead of Merry Christmas. Earning second place was the school district in Plano, Texas, where a judge restored students' right to give Christian gifts at the school's "Winter Break" party.

And the big winner was Principal Mark Robertson of Kirkland, Washington, who cancelled a performance of the Charles Dickens play "A Christmas Carol" because he said it raised religious issues at a public school.

As this year's Ebenezer award winner, Robertson receives a lump of coal in a red stocking.

Christmas Past

And just to make clear how much things have changed, an e-mail from a viewer pointed to FDR's Christmas message in 1944. Roosevelt began by saying it wasn't easy to say Merry Christmas in a time of war, "Nor can I say Merry Christmas lightly," he continued, "to our armed forces at their battle stations..."

Then he said, "Here, at home, we will celebrate this Christmas Day in our traditional American way because of its deep spiritual meaning to us; because the teachings of Christ are fundamental in our lives; and because we want our youngest generation to grow up knowing the significance of this tradition and the story of the coming of the immortal Prince of Peace and Good Will."

Oh, how times have changed.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report