Thursday, August 04, 2005

Clearing the Real Brush

I see that the Leader of the Free World is fixin' to head for his Crawford "ranch" for a French-scale 5-week vacation, the longest such presidential getaway in about 36 years. I don't think it's a bad thing the President gets out of Washington and risks a few blisters. He doesn't stop being President just because he's on vacation, and he has the same right as any multi-millionaire to enjoy his 10,000 square foot ranch house with the pool and the rented animals.

As the Washington Post notes: "[F]rom the president's point of view, the long Texas stints are the best way to clear his mind and reconnect with everyday America.

'I'm looking forward to getting down there and just kind of settling in,' Bush told reporters from Texas newspapers during a roundtable interview at the White House on Monday. 'I'll be doing a lot of work. On the other hand, I'll also be kind of making sure my Texas roots run deep.'

'Spending time outside of Washington always gives the president a fresh perspective of what's on the minds of the American people,' White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters Friday. 'It's a time, really, for him to shed the coat and tie and meet with folks out in the heartland and hear what's on their minds.'"

Like President Reagan, Bush is a world-class vacation record holder with sense enough to produce plenty of photos of the off-duty president doing his chores. Of course the Chief Ranchhand doesn't raise animals or grow crops on his tiny (by Texas standards) spread, so the chores are pretty much limited to hosting visiting dignitaries and clearing brush.

I myself am partial to clearing brush, so I don't knock it, but if his goal is to connect with what's on the minds of the American people, he should be clearing something else. Here are a few suggestions:

• Clearing obstacles to treatment for a teen suffering from depression. The mental health care system is a confusing mess, with difficulty finding appropriate resources even for resolute people with insurance. Just imagine if part of your illness is feeling defeated by ordinary tasks.

• Clearing roadside IEDs with one of the Reserve Units he sent to Iraq.

• Living at 28th and North Oliver in Minneapolis for week and clearing drug dealers out of his yard.

• Accompanying a laid-off 54-year-old worker on job interviews.

• Babysitting for a woman with two part-time jobs — who still has no benefits and can't get above the poverty line.

You can whack down cedars all you want, Mr. President. I'm glad to see you're healthy and not afraid of physical work. But that hardly brings you closer to the concerns of people who have to work like that that 52 weeks a year.


Anonymous The Heretik said...

Nicely said. Well voiced.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please keep my identity a secret. Double super Secret. I could call in and have my voice disguised and/or my face blocked out. Please call me or send me an email if you plan to use this. Thanks. I am a Rove-ing reporter leaking a fictional copy of the Grand Jury testimony of Robert Novak. It is posted at:


Novak: Well Fitzgerald, You know Carl Rove, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff (of the United States) [COSTUS]. The media gave me a job as Journalist for as long as I want. How much will COSTUS cost us?

Fitzgerald: Look Novak, if you're a journalist, you must know all the players.
Novak: I certainly do.
Fitzgerald: Well you know I've never met the guys. You are under oath so you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's involved in the leaking of a CIA officer’s name.
Novak: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give the players now-a-days very peculiar names.
Fitzgerald: You mean funny names?
Novak: Strange names, pet Deep Throat...
And at the first game, Judith Miller will throw in the first pitch. Ambassador and Mrs. Wilson will sing the National Anthem. Matt Cooper will be selling beer in the bleachers. Novak will be scalping tickets outside the main gate and Rove will get 20% of the door.

Note that leak and leaker have multiple meanings. You could also change this to refer to the testimony of Rove instead of Novak.

Middle-aged, Middle-of-the-Road, Mid-Westerner

8:45 AM  

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