Wednesday, November 05, 2008

ALWAYS Write a Thank You Note

Show your gratitude for gift givers by sending out thank you cards. It’s a great way to show your appreciation for the gift they gave as well as the thoughtfulness of their generosity. Whether you receive gifts for a wedding, shower, or birthday, all gifts and acts of kindness should be reciprocated with a thank you card.

-from Thank You Card Etiquette
by Concrete Abstract

Dear Bush Administration,

I received your gift of President Obama yesterday, and I LOVE IT!

Now don't act shy. You've been too modest about your generosity in the past. Why, I remember when that Valerie Plame thing showed up on the front steps one day. You were all like, "Where did that come from?"

I knew it was you!

But not this time. You're going to take a turn in the spotlight even if I have to shackle your legs and frog march you out there! ;-)

Because I want everyone to know that we owe the outcome of this election entirely to you.

You see, some people would say this election proves that America has changed. That we're ready to acknowledge that complicated problems require nuanced solutions. That courage is trumping fear. That we're finally stepping into a post-racial future.

Bzzzzt! Wrong!

What's remarkable about this election is the mind-boggling amount of coercion, brow-beating, and finally the all-encompassing catastrophe that it took for America to even consider changing course!

What administration but yours could have kept its eyes on the prize and made it happen?

The storm warnings of your first term elicited yawns. The rising waters of the second term, shrugs. And even in the week before the election, polls showed that 12% of the bloated corpses bobbing on the flood you caused were still not sure how to vote!

It's not for lack of effort on your part. You've been trying to give this gift since the moment you came to power. You tortured people, denied habeas corpus, committed election fraud, wallowed in corruption, and spied on your own citizens. You wasted hundreds of billions on a pointless war. You bungled attempts to get Osama Bin Laden. You sat on your hands while an entire city was washed away.

Any ONE of these things ought to have been sufficient to assure the election of ten Barack Obamas. And yet, at the end of the primary season, he was running no better than even with McCain. A candidate barely palatable to his own party!

You must have been wondering, "Christ! What is this going to take?!"

I know I was.

A better administration would have thrown in the towel. But you didn't give up!

There were only two options left: to have the House Republican caucus drink the blood of Christian babies on prime time national television, or to hurl the country into a depression.

Personally, I think the former option would have shown a lot of style.

But that's quibbling.

So, sure, special gratitude has to go out to all the politically-appointed heads of regulatory agencies who were supposed to be patrolling the financial sector, but instead, with a knowing wink, kept a protective vigil at the front door while a circle jerk of hedge fund CEO's did belly shots from the navels of trashy mortgage derivatives.

You know who you are. I love you guys.

But ultimately, this was a team effort. And while the contributors were too numerous to mention here, I've got to give a special shout out to the committed few that did more than just break our laws and betray our trust. They made that extra effort required to rub America's face in it, just to be sure we'd notice.

To Larry Craig, David Vitter and Mark Foley. You knew that anybody can get themselves busted with their pants down. So you were sure to be moralizing, holier-than-thou crusaders right up until the moment they snapped the cuffs on you. Way to dazzle 'em with the depravity, then send 'em to the canvas with the hypocrisy!

Take a bow!

To Karl Rove and his corps of political assassins. You could have just played dirty when the score was close. But you went for the groin again and again and again--cold-cocking Don Siegelman in Alabama, canning U.S. attorneys, outing covert operatives--even when you had the game in hand! Talk about dedication!

Take a bow!

To Dick Cheney--there just are no words. You are the ultimate bureaucratic ninja. You could have quietly dismantled our democracy and no one would have even noticed until the unopened mail at the Rayburn House Office Building started piling up. But you played out of your head for eight straight years! It was like you were everywhere at the same time! The overreaching, the surliness, the swagger. You lied us into a war. You tortured innocents. You crapped on the Constitution. And then, like some kind of geriatric James Dean, you looked us in the eye and dared us to do anything about it.

Wow. That's giving 110%.

Take a bow.

OK. Now take another.

And last but not least, to you George.

For exhausting America's seemingly-limitless reserve of cowardice by pressing the fear button over and over, so that when John McCain went to that well to warn of a black man named Hussein, the bucket came up empty.

For valuing intuition over intellect. We watched you thrust your arm into one political wood chipper after another. And each time you'd regard your mangled digits with bewilderment, and then commit the same boneheaded mistake again! What less-numbing display could have driven the great unwashed into the arms of some brainiac college professor to be drearily lectured on economics?

And finally, thanks for exhorting us to aspire only to our basest instincts. For urging us to shop for trinkets, to suspect our neighbors, to get all we could get while the gettin' was good. By offering not a scrap to quell our pangs for more wholesome fare, you ensured that an ethereal menu of hope, change and unity would be welcomed as the starving welcome biscuits and gravy.

When I think about the effort you made. The commitment. I just...

I promised myself I wouldn't cry.

I will not cry.

Some people will say I should just display my new Barack Obama on a shelf. And sure, if I left the shrink wrap on, he'd be worth plenty on eBay in 2016.

But no sir! I can't wait to start using my Barack Obama to reverse every policy and repeal every law you've supported in the last eight years. And each time he does something smart, something competent, something Constitutional--or even when he commits mere misdemeanors in the places where the felonies used to go--I will think of you. And smile.

There may come a time when the destruction you've caused seems no more than a bad dream. When agencies are run by skilled professionals rather than political hacks. When other countries laugh with us, not at us. And when, with the wiser eyes of a Jimmy Stewart saved by an angel, we delight in the modest charms of our old, exasperating, imperfect, break-down prone jalopy of a government as it chugs unsteadily into the future.

Indeed, there may come a time when my Barack Obama has erased virtually every trace of the mess you've made.

But there's one thing he'll never erase: my gratitude.



p.s.--tell Barb and H.W. to send Thanksgiving pics!