Saturday, February 25, 2006

Illegitimate War and A 1980s Flash Back

Just for fun, I thought I would read Art Buchwald's romp through the late 1980s titled, "Whose Rose Garden Is It Anyway?" As it turns out, if you bother, you get a nice humorous retrospective look at some of the issues of the day.

Here's some interesting tidbits that may ring true today - given that the Shrub is leading us down the toilet into the cesspool whereas then, it was his father (as Veep to Reagan and then as Prez)- who actually did a substantially better job as prez than his son has ever done, I might add.

On page 26 of my copy:
Does the conservative wing have a monopoly on patriotism? I asked.

I should hope so. This country is divided as it has never been before.

Between those who think that September seventh is Pearl Harbor Day and those who have always thought it was December twenty-fifth?

No, it is divided between card-carrying members of the American Civil Liberties Union, and those who drink Coors beer.

Frogle, I've never brought this up before. But do you think I'm a good American?

Do you have a picture of Ollie North hanging in your living room?

Not yet, but I'm looking for one.

Frankly, I've never trusted you.

Why not?

You don't put your falg out to commemorate the day Grenada attacked the United States.

That's because I'm never sure whether it took place on Columbus Day or Lincoln's Birthday.
How about this little slice from page 47:
Washington School of Applied Ethics and Morality. Can we help you?

My son is coming to Washington this summer and I would like to know if you are giving any courses in hypocrisy, betrayal and sleaze?

Yes, we have an excellent curriculum that will lead either to a bachelor's degree in stonewalling or a master's degree in perjury.

Can you give me some idea of what you're offering?

We have a popular class in lying. We hold moot congressional hearings in which the student is challenged to wriggle out of answering any compromising questions.

How does he do that?

By using the Elliott Abrams defense. When asked a question the student is taught to reply something like, "It probably happened but I don't remember it," or, "I don't remember it but if you say it took place I'll accept your word."
How about this one from page 103:
Mr. Vice President, you are not doing so well in the polls. Rumor has it you're trying to get President Reagan off your back.

That's a damn lie. The thing I believe in most is loyalty. President Reagan has made mistakes - we all do - but they are his mistakes and nobody else's. I would like to get the record clear right now that I was out of town when the errors were made, and by the time I got back it was too late for me to do anything about them. I'm not one of those vice presidents who says those are the President's mistakes and these are mine - because I didn't make any. But that doesn't mean I'll turn my back on the President even if he refuses to back me for the nomination after all I have done for him in the last seven years.
And finally, for today we have a slice from page 110 (you will note, this book is a quicker read (more like brain candy) than Eleanor Roosevelt's "This I Remember:"
The phone rang and Moondecker picked it up. "yes I know who you are," he said. "You're Ogilvy of Beeswax Honey and you want me to introduce a bill barring all Japanese honey from the United States. How do you expect me to do this without a war chest? Do you think honey bills grow on trees? Ogilvy, how would you like to be an admiral in the S.S. Moondecker Navy? It would cost you twenty-five thousand dollars and you get to sit on the deck of all Senate trade meetings. Thanks, Ogilvy, your bees are safe with me."

Moondecker said, "This is not my idea of fun, but if I don't do it somebody else will and heaven knows what kind of senator he'll turn out to be. At least I can be trusted.

Do all senators do their own fund-raising? I asked.

All the ones I know do. Of course those who sit on the Armed Services Committee can raise a lot more than those who stuck with investigating Judge Ginsburg. Some of the big fellows even have their own PACs and they channel money to other senators - then you really owe them for being nice to you.

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