KE Cellars

W: “You don’t approve of me? I’m outta here.”

Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on Newstalk 600 KTBB, Friday, May 23, 2008.

I got an e-mail the other day from my friend Mike Tomlinson containing an imaginary resignation letter from a fed up President Bush. I like the premise but the letter needed a rewrite and I have given it one.

Here it is.

My fellow Americans,

All available data shows that between seven and eight out of every ten of you disapprove of me and the job that I’m doing.

So I quit.

I’m sorry it didn’t work out. Lord knows, I tried. And no, I’m not quitting to avoid impeachment or prosecution. I have done nothing impeachable and nothing criminal.

I’m leaving because you’re sick of me and frankly, I’m a little sick of you.

You folks just don’t get it. Nothing about leading a great nation and nothing about being a great nation is easy. There will always be difficult problems that will have to be dealt with.

I will go to my grave believing that my predecessor got an extremely rare “free ride” in his eight years. That period of unusual calm served to create an unrealistic expectation among many of you — an expectation that America should be able to just coast comfortably and prosperously through life with little to threaten or challenge it.

Unfortunately, the lie was put to that belief barely nine months after I took this job. And things have been damned tough ever since.

Let’s start with Iraq. Regime change in Iraq was a policy that I inherited. You can look it up. It’s called the Iraq Liberation Act. It was voted 360 to 38 in the House and unanimously in the Senate. Bill Clinton signed it into law on Oct. 31, 1998. After the law’s passage, not much was done about it. Hell, I have to admit that I didn’t pay the Iraq Liberation Act much mind when I took office.

That all changed for me on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. The terrorists in the Middle East showed that they could really hurt us and hurt us badly. And they said out loud that they didn’t think we had the you-know-whats to do anything about it. In light of what happened that morning, I concluded that we could no longer allow Saddam Hussein to thumb his nose at us, the U.N. and the terms of the 1991 cease fire that had allowed him to stay in power. To leave him alone was to invite not only his bad acts, but also bad acts from other thugs who saw us as lacking the fortitude to even go so far as to enforce a military cease fire agreement that had been endorsed by the entire international community.

And I’m sick of the “Bush Lied, People Died” chant. I didn’t lie. Again, you can look it up. Every intelligence agency in the world, every member of the former Clinton administration and every leading Democrat believed, as I believed and still believe, that Saddam Hussein either had WMDs or was working to reconstitute his WMD program. What if we had waited until he had?

My first job is to protect our people and I have done so. I have captured and interrogated terrorists, I have listened in on the bad guys’ phone calls, I’ve shaken up the law enforcement and intelligence bureaucracies, I’ve deposed a brutal dictator and liberated 50 million people. And in all of that time, we have not been attacked again.

A little credit for that fact that would sure make me feel better.

Nobody remembers that I said at the outset of our efforts in the Middle East that it would be long, hard and expensive. Truly it concerns me that we in America have developed such a short attention span. The challenges that we face are not limited to news cycles or election cycles. The dangers that we face will not have gone away by the conclusion of the next season of ‘American Idol.’

I made a lot of mistakes in Iraq and I admit it. I would only say in my defense that mistakes are made in every war. FDR’s mistakes in World War II are little discussed today but he made a boatload of them. It was true for FDR, it is true now and it will be true for the next president that success in any pursuit is attained not by the absence of mistakes but in the perseverance through them.

Nobody in any Western government knows more about Iraq than I do. I have studied Iraq’s history and the history of the region surrounding it in ways that no American president ever has. Iraq is a subject upon which I can claim unique expertise. And I’m telling you now that if this nation is willing to persevere in Iraq, the grandchildren of our grandchildrens’ grandchildren will thank us for it.

Moving on, many of you are now blaming me for a slow economy. I’m sorry for that. I believe that you can point to two factors affecting our economy. The first is turmoil in the credit markets and the second is high energy prices.

For the life of me, I can’t figure how I’m to blame if millions of Americans borrowed too much money to buy a house they couldn’t afford. Nor can I see how I’m to blame for banks making stupid lending decisions.

As for energy, I began my administration by calling repeatedly for increased production of oil from U.S. sources to ensure that our energy supplies in the short run would be adequate to see us to to new energy technologies in the long run. Democrats in Congress and more than a few Republicans have thwarted me at every turn.

Let’s talk about Republicans. In addition to everything else, I’m supposed to lead my party. I have no defense on this one. The party is in tatters and it’s my fault. If I had used my veto pen in the first term, and made better use of the bully pulpit, I might have saved the Republicans in Congress from their irresponsible and often despicable behavior. (Of course, the Congressional leadership could have stepped up and helped a little bit. The Speaker and the Majority Leader could have kept some of the crap that got by me from getting to my desk in the first place.)

But they didn’t and I didn’t and with respect to Congress the children took over the daycare center. I’ll take the hit. My bad.

All of this might have been different if I were a better speaker. Wartime leaders like Churchill and Roosevelt had gifts that I lack. My ability to persuasively articulate my beliefs is limited and the country is the worse for it. More than anything, this may truly lie at the root of your disdain for me. Had I the oratorical gifts of one of the current candidates for this job, not only would you have more confidence in my decisions, those in the media and in politics would not have had the easy time beating on me that they have enjoyed for nearly eight years.

But look, folks. It’s over now and I’m not going to worry about it any more. I’m outta here.

Oh, and so is Dick Cheney. Nancy Pelosi is now the Commander-in-Chief.

Have a nice day.

George

Thank you, Mr. President. I would only add one thought to your letter.

I’ve covered numerous events where you have spoken. I have heard you say things that were thoughtful, eloquent and spot-on responsive to your detractors. Unfortunately, those remarks were heard only by the few hundred people actually at the events. Little of your best stuff was ever seen on the evening newscasts or in the morning papers. (your phenomenally eloquent speech last week to the Israeli Knesset being one of them). Your gaffes on the other hand (and we all make them) were played over and over and over.

No president in memory has dealt with a press that was so openly hostile and so driven to see an administration fail. Not even Nixon.

So go easy on yourself.


  1. Dear Paul, I am constantly in awe of your ability to see a problem and discuss it so clearly. You have touched upon every fault that people find with our president. I only wish that my liberal friends would read this letter. However, it is very difficult for me to discuss any of this with my liberal friends. All I hear is that the Republicans are in BIG OIL and want the prices to stay up. The Democrats are for the people. Keep up the good work. Some people have open minds and they want to learn.

  2. Earlwana Teasley (North Augusta, SC) says:

    A friend in Tyler referred me to your site where I just read what I’ve been thinking for so long…Pres.Bush has received so much hateful, erroneous criticism that a morally weak man would have quit. It was Divine Intervention that put him into office instead of that pompous idiot, Al Gore. We saved ourselves in the re-election of Pres. Bush. I pray that God will forgive us our stupidity and guide us into 2009.

  3. You have been on fire and dead on for the last couple weeks. Keep it coming.

  4. Gary Howell says:

    Your 2 key points—terrorism and energy— are well stated and to the point. Bush has made some mistakes—every President does. However, if we do get Obama or Clinton next go round his mistakes will pale when compared to either of the Democrats. Russia, the bastion of Democracy, now is the LARGEST producer of oil in the world and we all know the capacity of the Middle East (and their hatred of the US). In the not too distant future Bush’s arguments for increased oil production will come back to haunt all of us—even the Democrats! Thanks for reiterating the many good things about George W.

  5. Crystal Shandalerr says:

    I don’t hate Bush, but the sooner he leaves the better.

  6. Eric Wiffle says:

    I like Bush but his failure to veto and his urge to spend is his own fault. I’ll be glad when he leaves.

  7. Alexander J. Pringle says:

    Where are those WMD’s ?????? Lies Lies Lies. Would Gore have done better? No telling. But I doubt he could have done worse.

  8. Marco White says:

    No, do not go easy on yourself. How many former members of Bush’s administration have said what a dishonest and manipulating man this is.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aZaD0GgoxRbM&refer=home

  9. Cathie Pugh says:

    Excellent. This needs to be sent to President Bush. He is not and was not perfect but he was there when we desperately needed someone to step up and take the fight to the enemy. Thank goodness he was not afraid to waterboard.

  10. GW Cliver says:

    I want to thank you for the words you wrote about this extraordinary man. I have been pleased to be from America while in other counrties, because I knew that he was worthy of my respect and the office. Do I agree with all he has done? No, but I don’t agree with all I do, either, and I am the one doing them.
    But, through it all, I knew that nothing perverted was going on in the oval office, that he loved his wife and I would not read about another affair of a man who could not keep his pants on. I knew that when he did act, it was not with finger wangling or with a temper, but with great measured thought and proper attitude.
    So, to the President of the United States, thanks. Thanks so very much.

  11. Fergus Henderson says:

    Don’t let the door hit you in the rear on the wat out.

  12. Alexander, this is for you. You surely know that the Iraqis had many months to hide, destroy, and move any weapons they had before any inspectors were allowed into the country. I can think of any number of places those WMD’s could have gone…Syria comes to mind, or Iran. But just for argument’s sake, let’s say there really were no WMD’s. Bush didn’t make up the information he gave us. He didn’t go over there and see them. He was depending on the intelligence and information provided. It certainly doesn’t mean he lied. Please think things through!

  13. Debi Vanover says:

    Thank-you Paul for your well stated observations on our President and this nation. I wish that everyone would take the time to analyze the REAL situation in this country. Unless WE the people of this great nation stand up and take control of our Congress, who by the way works for us not for their profit, this country is going to become socialistic over night and there we will be with a confused look on our face wondering what just happened and how.
    It is time to stand up to the plate and demand our Congress do things OUR way, not theirs. When is the last time you called or emailed your Congressmen?
    Remember Hitler, it only took him a few short years to turn Germany into a really scary place. Do not lull yourselves into thinking it can not happen here people, yes it can!!

  14. Ray Holland says:

    Thanks Paul for your great insight. Through out history liberals have had to wait 40-50 years to see what the rest of us, thru common sense, could see at the time. We do not evaluate on emotions and feelings but rather on facts and what is right and wrong. History will prove that George W. Bush is one of the greatest leaders this world has ever known. It will also prove that his predecessor was one of the worst. I pray that the same will not be said for his successor.

  15. tim o'neil says:

    I think you are right on! So many people as some of the comments have stated are color blind! They are also brain washed into what the democrates want them to hear and think! This is the greatest country in the world and because of that we have freedoms that allow people to be hateful and criticize when they feel like it without being harmed (as soem countries do). I agree the president has made mistakes but as we all should know we make mistakes all the time, so lets stop criticizing and thank the president for keeping us safe.

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