When I tell my wife that it's just a disgrace the way our
president is being ganged up on this month, she snorts and says I should
send him a sympathy card. But he's probably too busy fighting against
bad guys and all. Wouldn't have time to read it.
When I say he's being ganged up on, let me count the ways:
(1) Kevin Phillips, a dirty, rotten Republican turncoat, came
out with a new book, "American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the
Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush." As you can tell just from the
title, it's very unfair. It attacks the president, his brothers, his
father, his grandfather, and his great-grandfather, all of whom,
Phillips says, have been tied to Middle East oil wealth in ways that
have "created a major conflict of interest that deserves to be part of
the 2004 political debate. No previous presidency has had anything
remotely similar. Not one."
(2) The dirty, rotten Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace issued a report finding that the Iraqi nuke program was shut down
"many years" ago, that Iraqi nerve agents "lost most of their lethality
as early as 1991," and that Saddam's chemical weapon capability had been
"effectively destroyed" more than a decade ago.
(3) A new Army War College report says the war in Iraq was
"unnecessary" and a "detour" that distracts from the real threatAl
Qaeda. Written by visiting professor Jeffrey Record at the dirty,
rotten War College's Strategic Studies Institute, the report says our
current strategy "threatens to dissipate U.S. military and other
resources in an endless and hopeless search for absolute security."
(4) Smart aleck dirty, rotten presidential candidate Dennis
Kucinich said this about the presidentís desire to build a space station
on the moon so we can eventually go to Mars: "Maybe he's looking for
weapons of mass destruction."
(5) And Paul O'Neill, the president's former Treasury
Secretary, now another dirty, rotten turncoat Republican, bites the hand
that fed him in a book called "The Price of Loyalty." It was written by
a turncoat Wall Street Journal reporter, Ron Suskind, and O'Neill was on
television touting the book last week. He said outrageous things like
President Bush at cabinet meetings was like "a blind man in a
room full of deaf people."
From the beginning of the administrationeight months before
9/11"it was about Iraq." Nobody ever asked "Why Saddam? Why now?"
When O'Neill told Vice-President Cheney (not a dirty, rotten
turncoat) that he couldn't support a second round of tax cuts, Cheney
told him "You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter."
When Leslie Stahl asked him if he anticipated a
counter-attack from the administration, O'Neill said "I can't imagine
that I'm going to be attacked for telling the truth. Why would I be
attacked for telling the truth?"
And as if all that weren't enough trouble for the president,
on the economy front something called "outsourcing" is scaring a lot of
potentially dirty, rotten turncoat voters. Outsourcing is what happens
when our corporations fire American employees and send their jobs to
other countries where they pay much lower wages.
The Truth, Mainly
In a letter to the Rocky Mountain News last week, Bill Hickman
quoted the Hewlett-Packard CEO saying "There is no job that is America's
God-given right any more." Hickman suggested that if corporations really
want to save money, they should outsource their executive jobs too.
Which makes my wife wonder aloud if Enron stockholders could
have possibly been any worse off if their top executives had been
paisanos in Mexico instead of Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, and Andrew
Fastow in Texas.
Which of course makes me snort. And that leads her to an even
more outrageous idea.
"Maybe," she says, "if outsourcing is a really good idea, and
outsourcing executive jobs is an even better idea, then maybe the best
idea of all would be to outsource our Chief Executive's job. How much
worse off could we be?"
I find her idea teetotally un-American. She finds that idea
teetotally stuck in the mud. I pout. She laughs.
"This is no laughing matter," I say. "You keep talking this
way and I'm going to go home to your mother."
She sticks out her tongue and makes a rude noise.
And that's when she finds another story in the NY Times: the
president is planning to spend "at least" $1.5 billion "for training to
help couples develop interpersonal skills that sustain 'healthy
"What a good idea," I say. "Your interpersonal skills need
"And guess what?" she says. "The adminstration says 'healthy
marriages' means only marriages between heterosexuals."
"Is this a great president or what?" I say.
That's when she hits me on the head with a skillet. It makes
a sound like "bonk." I interpret that to mean I win the argument. But I
donít tell her.
Retired English Professor Leon Satterfield writes to salvage clarity
from his confusion. His column appears on alternate Mondays. His e-mail