NOONAN GETS A POINT.

Peggy Noonan's columns are typically rambling disquisitions about her social life among elite Republicans and how she feels about that, and today's offering is no exception -- we get to hear about McCain's quiet dignity, how Bush kept us safe, a holiday party in NoVa, and a reference to a report on nuclear weapons. But one point rings true:

By the way, he should both reorder the Department of Homeland Security, that hopeless bureaucracy, and change its name. Homeland is a Nazi-ish word, not an American concept at all. And at this point "Homeland Security" is associated more with pointless harassment than safety. No one knows who came up with it. Probably some guy with two Christmas trees in Northern Virginia.

I agree! "Homeland" reeks of a European-style ethnic nationalism, a kind of jus sanguinis that we've never embraced in the United States and never should. Call it the Domestic Security Agency, call it the Department of National Security, anything but what it is. It's a small thing, but it's a season of bipartisanship and I'll find my consensus where I may.

--Tim Fernholz

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