Veronica Roberts

The Funny Side of Serious

While the Democratic National Convention trotted out former President Clinton to rev up their base, George W. Bush was nowhere in sight when the GOP convened it Tampa. He was not only physically absent, his presence and record was completely erased, deleted like he didn't lead this country for eight years.

Condi Rice was allowed in, but not her boss and fellow top ranking officials, which was strikingly odd. It was like the Republican Party skipped over almost a decade to bash the current driver at the helm for the condition of the battered old much used damaged car he was driving but neglected to bring up the previous owners.

Now that they want to put an even more reckless driver in the driver's seat, the GOP has pulled out all its powers of concealment to obscure G.W..

So I travelled to where poor Georgie was banished to with orders to lay low and keep his mouth shut, to hear his side of the story; see how he was handling being “deleted.” This is what he had to say.

First, I must say the former president looked decidedly well considering how the present president has aged only after three-plus years. I knew the stress of that job had to be enormous so I asked GW what his recipe was for remaining fairly youthful in light of all the adversities.

Sitting relaxed in the shade of his ranch at an undisclosed location, Bush smiled, removed his 10-gallon hat, crossed his scuffed cowboy boots and replied, “ It was a heckava eight years, but I had a good time!”

It wasn’t the answer I had expected but I was there to listen, not judge.

He said by riding his horses and taking sunset strolls with Laura, he is able to put the eight years behind him and move on. When asked if he regretted executive decisions he made, or any wars he started, or falling asleep behind the wheel while Wall Street, big banks and mortgage giants companies pilfered, lied and robed the country blind, or giving tax breaks where he shouldn’t have, the former president squinted contemplatively, gave a long pause as he thought deeply, then answered, “Regrets are for suckers and I’m no sucker. But what I will say, it was a helluva ride.”

Again, definitely not what I expected so I asked him if he could elaborate.

“Everything was going good. Then 9/11 happened. The sh-- really hit the fan then. (I hope you edit out the French word I just used). Now where was I? Oh yeah, those darn terrorists picked my watch to reign down their terror but they didn’t know who they were messing with. They took us completely by surprise with that attack in New York. Well not completely by surprise, we did have some warning that them al-Qaida boys were planning something, but we didn’t take it seriously.”

Here, president Bush stood up as if slightly agitated, then said, “But I showed them didn’t I? The Iraqi war really shocked them and awed them, didn’t it?”

I gently reminded G.W. that the weapons of mass destruction given as the reason for the Iraqi invasion were never found. “Wasn’t this a war under false pretenses, an impeachable offense for any president?” I asked. “After-all to be fair, Republicans led the charge to impeach President Clinton for lying about his 'oral indiscretions and transgressions' in the Oval Office with that young intern, didn’t they?”

“Between you and I, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about over that, but my party can be hypocritical a--holes sometimes—well most of the time, but I’m persona non grata these days so who gives a flying f#@k, right?” Here he laughed a loud Texas back slapping guffaw. I didn’t know the president was this raunchy but I played along for the conversation was getting decidedly more interesting as we progressed and the spiked iced-tea kept flowing.

I nudged him back on topic and he added, “Well at least that dictator Saddam Hussein is no more and Iraqis are better off—at least I hope they are, for we are definitely not. We spent a sh-tload of money, lost a truckload more and the WMDs debacle is still following me around.”

When I asked him about Afghanistan, he waved it aside and said, “The current guy is taking care of that, isn’t he?”

I told him the current guy is being blamed for everything that happened under his watch, to which he replied, “That’s why they didn’t want me in Tampa. I told them it was time to admit I f##ked up. Claim it, or go home, but they refused. I don’t think they’ve learned anything from my major screw-ups.

"At least, I wasn’t a dishonest, tax-evading, offshore-stashing, Etch-a-Sketching, flip-flopping, well-oiled weather vane, a filthy rich Mormon like the guy they’re trying to sell to the American people right now. The guy is so out of touch, he makes me look like Robin Hood. He thinks middle Americans make $200,000- $250,000. Even I know that was some Marie Antoinette out-of-touch kind of BS.”

“What about the bailed-out big banks, Wall Street, Fannie and Freddie, healthcare reform and tax breaks for the rich, Mr. President?” I asked.

“Don’t quote me on this one, but my fellow Republicans don’t seem to know their rear end from the front because they know we messed up big time. If they want to get back in the saddle, they are going to have to clean house, impose some restrictions and give up some of the perks I gave them. I t was a good ride but we didn’t mind the store and now the store is almost empty. Like my father said recently, ‘Who the hell is Grover Norquist anyway?”

"My father had to raise taxes when he promised not to but sometimes that’s the kind of tough sacrifices we have to make. Sitting on this ranch with all this time on my hands have taught me a few hard lessons. One of the hardest is my party is f#@ked up (sorry for that French word again) and we need a change. To borrow Barack's slogan—‘we need change we can believe in’ and right now, that Etch-a-Sketch weather vane nominee and his young equally flip-flopping young sidekick are not it.

"And they say I was the idiot—damn, I wasn’t that bad, hehehe! Just listen to his loud bluster after our ambassador and diplomats were killed recently in Libya. Talk about shooting first and aiming after. Even I know better and trust me, I had first hand knowledge of how volatile that region can be. They threw a shoe directly at me, for goodness sakes!"

He never did touch on health care, the high unemployment and women’s issues under attack by his party, but promised to answer the rest on my next visit. It was midafternoon and he needed his nap, plus the spiked tea appeared to be getting to him.

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