Lincoln Chafee's appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor" to discuss the "holiday tree" controversy was, as predicted, a mistake. O'Reilly's shtick is better suited to the Foxitude, of course. And Chafee's chief argument - equating the recitation of the Lord's Prayer in public school to the installation of a Christmas Tree at the State House - fell flat.
Say what you will about O'Reilly, he's right about this: the Christmas tree is, in the main, a secular totem. Hell, even the ACLU agrees with that.
Chafee should have declared, a year ago, that he was too busy working on the people's business to realize his staff had labeled it a "holiday tree." He should have said that even though his predecessors had long called it a "holiday tree," he would change the name to "Christmas tree."
Yes, that would have required bowing to Rhode Island talk jock John DePetro, who whipped up the controversy as only he can. But surely, a little short term pain would've been better than a lingering controversy which will, no doubt, surface again next year.