Thanks, W

Dear George,

I just wanted to drop you a line and say thank you for my $300 stimulus check.  I paid my power bill, renewed my license tag and driver's license, and I have almost enough left for three-quarters of a tank of gas. 

Lots of people really don't like you.  They call you names like "idiot," "evil," "moron," etc.  Not very nice.  I try not to call people names these days.  Part of my forced niceness is related to my recovery.  I try not to dwell on peoples faults.  The other part is I don't think you ever wanted to be president.  I think you were perfectly happy running the Texas Rangers–I honestly believe you love baseball, regardless of what Cheney or your other buds tell you.

Jeb was the smart son, that's for damn sure.  He made a fortune in business, speaks Spanish like a native, and he was a very popular governor.  You, um.  Well, you were the party boy, the outgoing son who didn't have time to study, but had a zillion friends.  God, you must have been a blast back in college: getting 'faced, twisting up a fatty with your buds, probably snorting lines of coke off some hot tri-Delt coed's firm little tummy.  You didn't feel like going to Vietnam–and hey, who really wanted to, right?–so you let your dad and grandpa's friends get you into the Texas Air National Guard.  Props for that: when you showed up for work, there wasn't the Commie Mig pilot alive who dared strafe Mesquite or Laredo. 

Your business career didn't go well.  You had some bad luck, sure, and maybe you made some bad decisions here and there.  We all do.  You were lucky your pappy and his friends were always there with more money or another opportunity.  You married Laura and had the twins.  I honestly believe you love your family, and I have no doubt you're sincere in your religious beliefs.  You were a good provider, all told.  You made lots of money, and that's good.  Did you make that money because you're smart and skilled and you earned it? Or did you make it because your dad was VP, then President for four years, and he had lots of oil-rich friends? Most people would bet their lives it's the latter.

I'm with them, honestly. 

You ran for Governor of Texas, that state you so valiantly defended against the Viet Cong.  You ran on a platform of God and guns and capital punishment, with lots of pro-business tax breaks.  You executed 152 inmates during your six years as governor, far more than any other governor of any state in recent history.  In contrast, Jeb signed 20 in his eight year gubernatorial tenure in Florida.  It's even more amazing, considering you started campaigning for president right after you were reelected governor in 1998.  You kicked Jeb's nerdy ass, dintcha?

From the beginning of your national campaign, I didn't get the impression you wanted to be president.  I think a lot of powerful conservatives were apoplectic with Bill Clinton, and his remarkable eight-year presidency.  Seriously, no wars, a budget surplus, and a booming economy? It made your daddy's term look bad.  So, Dick Cheney and the boys persuaded you to run, and run you did.  You raised stacks of money, and had no real competition in the primaries.  Your convention was a coronation–you were the conservative response to Bill Clinton; you were charismatic, and you looked good in a suit.  Then you got into this campaign against Al Gore.

Al Gore was smarter than you, by far, but he had the charisma of plywood.  You had a brilliant political machine of true-believers working for you, and he made three humongous mistakes that prevented his landslide.  I can just hear Cheney's evil cackle when he looks back.  "Wait.  Gore is trying to distance himself from the Clinton record because of moral objections? Does the idiot realize he has a surplus, record low unemployment, and eight years of peace? And he did what? He put Lieberman on the ticket? Sure, he's a lock for the Jewish voters, but there are only 482 of them in the Deep South, and hundreds of thousands who won't vote for a man who doesn't love Jesus.  Oh, and now he's keeping Clinton out of his campaign? The greatest campaigner in recent history? The man who survived impeachment, Whitewater, Ken Starr, Gennifer Flowers, and Lord knows how many other bimbos? Because Clinton got a hummer from that cute chubby girl? Call the doctor–I think I'm having my 19th heart attack!"

Gore did his damnedest to give you that election, yet it still came down to the courts to decide.  Al got 300,000-odd more votes than you, but it came down to a 500 vote margin in Florida.  Your brother was a hugely popular governor, and you couldn't win by more than 500 votes?

Pretty pathetic, George.  I wonder how often you wish Gore had won after all.  You'll have a long time to ponder that.

The wheels started coming off immediately after the election.  There was bile and vitriol on both sides, and some Democrats are still whining all these years later.  You took over, and disappeared to your ranch.  It was safe there, I guess.  That summer, the news was all about Chandra Levy's disappearance and Michael Jackson's pederasty. 

On September 11th, you were reading to school kids in my hometown when an aide told you about the attacks.  You froze.  I give you credit for that.  I probably would've freaked out. 

I won't even go into the whole "War on Terror" except to say that Saddam Hussein was a bastard, but he had nothing to do with 9/11; that most of your destruction seems to have been on our Constitution, and that Osama Bin Laden is still alive and well.  I don't know whether you are as stupid as everyone says you are, or if you really did get faulty intelligence.  The war has been horrible for many Americans, but it's made lots of your rich friends even richer.

I won't go into that.  You're in great physical shape–you look natural jogging, unlike Bubba before you–and you'll probably live 30 years hearing people talk about how you ruined the country.  Not since Jimmy Carter's presidency has this country been in such bad shape.  It's not just the economy or the war, it's self-image.  Say what you want about Ronald Reagan, he made it cool to be an American after the dreary post-Watergate years.  Under your watch, that's all gone away. 

I found this nugget from Jim Lehrer's News Hour Extra site, talking about how gas prices were going up to $1.70 a gallon.  That was in May 2001, a few months after you took over.  That increase was scandalous.  I just paid $4.05 a gallon.  Your buds at Exxon-Mobil are making record profits. 

I won't go into that, either.  It's too depressing, and I can't afford to take a long relaxing drive anymore. 

When I was 14, I wrote a note to your father, when he was running for president.  He responded with a personal letter, answering my questions, and signing it himself.  He was big on politeness, even handwriting notes to those who lost loved ones in Desert Storm.

In that spirit, I'm writing you a thank you note for my stimulus check.  It was only $300, by the way, because I got laid-off, and I didn't earn enough last year to qualify for more.  Thank God my 401(k) money wasn't in Enron, or I wouldn't have had enough retirement savings to live on this past year.  That $300 went to a utility, a state agency, and your oil friends.  Are these the entities I was supposed to stimulate?

In a perfect world, I could've chosen–instead of this $300–to have you refund the $2.30 a gallon extra I've paid for gasoline, to refund all the money you've spent on this stupid war.  Then again, I'd forgo all of that if you could bring back all the people who've died as a result of your decisions.

Then again, if you couldn't even win a landslide in Florida 8 years ago, I'm amazed if you can tie your own shoes. 

I wish I could have afforded to send the check back, and tell you–politely, of course–where you could stick it.




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10 Responses to “Thanks, W”

  1. I think I love you…. LOL!

  2. Deer Tom,Thank you fer yer lettur. I am pleesed that you liked yer chek. Yor frend,W

  3. [いいですね]

  4. Thanks, Em. Back atcha.

  5. Reading your comment, I realized that The Deej would be a more eloquent commander in chief. Too bad he's not quite eligible under (what remains of) our Constitution.

  6. Thank you. There was abundant material without having to result to hate.

  7. This perfectly sums up what I think of W.

  8. Very nice 🙂 We still haven't received ours… And, btw – whatever happened to riots? Seriously… We need a good 'ol fashioned riot.

  9. Very nice Tom, my sentiments exactly.

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