Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bush's Letter to Obama (Inauguration Recap, Second Installment)

One week and one day ago, this blogger brought forth on this blog, a new ideal, conceived in cynicism, and dedicated to the proposition that all occasional poems are created equal. Equally bad.

Now I am engaged in a great drought from imagination and creativity, testing whether this post, or any post so conceived and so dedicated, can ever be completed. I am met on a great battlefield of that drought. I have come today to sacrifice a portion of my time as a thank-you to those two or three kind people who have nagged me to no end about getting back in the swing of things. It is altogether fitting and proper that I should do this.

But, in a larger sense, I cannot dedicate — I cannot consecrate — I cannot hallow — this blog. The brave bloggers, living and not so much so, who struggle here in the blogosphere, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what we do here. It is for us the bloggers, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which we have said we would finish. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from those hollow promises we so hoped to fulfill to that cause for which we have absolutely no idea WHY because blogging is such a thankless job and has truly become such a prostitution of all things journalistic — that I highly resolve that this blog will not be written in vain but in service to you faithful reader and your little friend, too — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. No matter who is president or who has majority of the House.

So, as promised, the next installment of Inauguration Recap: The letter GWB left in the desk drawer to Barack Obama, fellow Abraham Lincoln fan. About a week later than I intended.

The f0llowing letter was written by George W. Bush at 3 a.m. January 20, after packing the last of his personal effects into cardboard boxes and raiding the pantry of pork rinds. George H.W. and Barbara Bush, overnight guests for the evening, had retired earlier — much earlier — after Laura had admonished them for their incessant whining about how their last night in the White House would have been more comfortable if only she had prepared a more fitting dinner. "Sure, Domino's and fruit cocktail work in a pinch, but we used to be the President and First Lady, for Pete's sake." So George W. Bush, fed up with the covert hostility and quick tempers, stomped off to the Oval Office and penned these words ...

Dear Barack,

We may not see eye to eye on policy, but you seem like a decent guy — one who would appreciate a little heads-up on a few matters that we didn't cover during your recent tour of the White House. I didn't want to point fingers or embarrass anyone, so I decided to keep these things just between us. (In other words, burn this after reading. I don't want it to end up in my Presidential Library after I'm dead and gone.)

First, you might want to tell Michelle and the girls to be careful when using the hall bathroom in the living quarters. An ambitious use of toilet paper or one too many flushes, and you'll flood the Oval Office. That's why you'll find a metal bucket in the closet to the right of the window, just beside the American flag in the corner. Believe me; you'll need it. And don't blame me. The Clintons were here for eight years, and Al Gore was here A LOT, so I'm just saying. [Editor's Note: Google "al gore toilet," and check out the first listing.]

Second, note the absence of ashtrays in this room. Since 1993, when your Secretary of State and then-First Lady Hillary Clinton banned ashtrays from the White House, this has been a non-smoking residence and office. You've already hinted that smoking may return to the White House, like you're Desi Arnaz, but four (dare I say, eight) years of indoor smoking and the toll it takes on these drapes can never be undone. For your comfort and convenience, I have asked the staff to create a "smoking area" for you. You will find it on the east lawn, near the area where you will be required to walk the First Dog. You can put out your butts while taking those 3 a.m. walks with the labradoodle. Good times.

Third, when the Clintons moved out and Laura and I moved in, Nancy Reagan reminded the entire nation about the respect that a president should have for this home office. She pointed out in her very Nancy way that Reagan entered this space with reverence and a neatly pressed dress shirt. Please, no jeans ... and none of those awful sweat pants like Clinton used to wear. Have some dignity about yourself.

Fourth, and finally, don't be afraid to change your mind about a few things. You're the flippin' president now. Campaign promises got you here; good (even bad) decisions can keep you here. It's not like they'll fire you. So, rethink a few of your plans, your views, your promises. You know the ones.

Sorry to cut this thing short, but the staff is in here, pulling things out of my (your) desk drawers, dusting tables, fluffing pillows and dealing me misery, like I'm not their president for another nine hours. Geez.

Peace out ...

George W. Bush