Just as Sir Winston Churchill’s two stints in Downing Street were interrupted by the elevation of a left-leaning chief executive, so too have his stays in the Oval Office. President Biden has removed the Churchill bust that President Trump kept in it. President Obama did the same when he took the reins from President Bush back in 2008. Its removal caused a small online reaction, which in turn prompted the U.S. Embassy in London to release the following, rather embarrassing video that downplayed the snub by contrasting pictures of shipping containers and U.S.-U.K. leaders with pictures of the sculpture, captioned “just a bust of Winston Churchill.”
Of course, it is just a bust, and President Biden can decorate his office space however he likes — he’s earned that right. But to pretend that the bust’s removal every time a Democrat wins the White House means nothing would be to ignore the iconoclasm of, if not your average rank-and-file member of the Democratic Party, at least most of its high officeholders. Churchill is removed every so often because of his views on race and imperialism, which are rightly regarded as retrograde by today’s standards. Democrats are embarrassed by Churchill and his veneration across the Western world. For them, Churchill’s being a man of his time overshadows his outsized role in stopping a genocidal regime from establishing itself as global hegemon and exterminating every last Jew on the European continent. Minds can disagree on which Churchill should be remembered for, but not reasonable ones.
In any case, the bust is gone until the next Republican administration takes power (godspeed!), but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s more worthy of the space than any of its recent inhabitants.
VIEW SLIDESHOW: President Biden’s Oval Office