Monday, September 17, 2012

Presidentially Sealed: A Bad-Time Story

Once Upon a Time there was a President of the United States who, apparently on a whim, took an oath to protect the nation he was elected to serve, though he ultimately seemed far more interested in sharing his nation's wealth with other countries as part and parcel of his determination to forge the greatest foreign policy of all time.   He brought with him a First Lady who everybody fell in love with because she smiled, talked about food a lot, and, with her extensive entourage, enjoyed some of the most extravagant taxpayer-paid vacations ever undertaken by a First Lady and her family.  No indeed, it wasn't difficult to realize why she commented that her husband's coronation -- make that election -- gave her cause to be proud of her country for the first time ever.

Yes, her husband was President, and using the Presidential Seal to issue one Executive Order after another, in order not to wake up or bother with the very Congress which should have intervened in some way, he had it made.  Every action, every word, every public appearance was presidentially sealed.  And his public loved him, influenced as they were, not by him so much, but by the words of Bill Clinton and the cheerleading of clueless rock stars, televised talking heads and brainless twit Hollywood forgettables. 

Substance and experience didn't matter a whit, and certainly not anywhere near as much as just being famous and cool.  The tabloids and TV network news shows saw to that because they were in the bag for his political party, as usual, even as their sphere of influence began to deteriorate to dirt-nap level because people could now depend upon the Internet for lies, sans hemorrhoid and erectile dysfunction commercials.  His experience as a community organizer served him well when it came to bluffing his way through the hearts and minds of a disturbing number of American TV viewers.

When he wasn't stuttering or stammering his way through some distortion in public, he would say things such as, "Let me be clear" so he would sound presidential and in charge, though few things he said really could be interpreted as clear.  As his supporters often touted, however, he was, after all, the smartest man in the world, so far ahead intellectually that he skipped ho-hum intelligence briefings when mornings looked good for golfing or campaign fund-raising or opportunities to be a guest on TV entertainment  shows watched primarily by morons.  Yes, when he began his term he had proclaimed that if he didn't get the work done in four years he should be a one-term President -- but, of course, he was only speaking theoretically, like the college professor he had been.

The President's influence on the U.S. economy was a terrible sight to behold, but fortunately he had friends in high places who could do something -- only for the sake of doing something, but doing something nonetheless.  One such place was The Fed, which now and again printed vast quantities of money backed up by nothing at all, hoping that more dollars would stimulate the economy.  Of course, this was always a futile exercise, resulting in higher energy and food prices for those who could least afford it, but stockholders loved it and they, in agreement with both The Fed and the President, felt that what little remained of the middle class would simply have to sacrifice more, no two ways about it.  Bankers were happy with The Fed, too, because bank profits would spiral upward while savings interest rates decreased -- and banks could continue doing what they've done since the first time "quantitative easing" was gifted to them -- they could just sit on all the money and not bother lending it to fools in need.

No, the President couldn't brag much about his success with the economy, nor jobs.  But he had his foreign policy, by George, yes, he had that going for him, and he was going to be the President with the best foreign policy ever.  Really, hadn't he already been honored with the Nobel Peace Prize before he actually did anything to warrant receiving it?  The world loved him, and even if some people in the U.S. already had him figured out, he could embrace the world and the world would embrace him back.  Wasn't he already looking the other way and letting every illegal alien on the planet who had no intention of assimilating into our culture attempt creeping into the United States, while he ignored world leaders, obviously far less intelligent than himself, who came to realize and finally confess that multiculturalism doesn't work for the cohesiveness of a nation? 

He had the world sewn up, in his pocket, as it were.  He felt good, because foreign policy was his forte and by the end of his first term he knew that outstanding international relations would bear his name.  The Middle East was cut out for his superior negotiating abilities, despite ongoing conflicts with extremists.  Did he not attend Muslim schools as a child, and did he not learn of the Monkey God, described in his own memoirs as an adult?  And unlike most of the United States population, he knew how to spell the word Caliphate, a word which nonetheless gave him a strange, unsettling feeling of comfort and deja vu whenever he said it out loud.

The President knew what to do.  Above all, he would place less emphasis on our established allies, particularly Israel, of whom his staff strangely found it impossible to publicly identify Jerusalem as its capitol. He would speak softly and carry a sponge stick in Muslim countries, reflecting a kinship and a familiarity almost guaranteed to turn enemies into friends, and vile murderers into pussycats.  The U.S. military would act more as nation builders, rather than gung-ho defenders, and this necessitated lesser firepower, a reduction in security around our embassies and, in some cases, military personnel would carry no bullets in their firearms at all to show their fluffier, compassionate side to people accustomed to living in caves and behaving like the subhumans they were destined to be.  This latter objective was especially favored by the President, because he had issued similar instructions to U.S. border patrol agents, foolishly (or perhaps the word would be "stupidly," per the President's previous exercise of that word) attempting to protect U.S. citizens and themselves.

As months ensued, the President went for maximum cleanup, praising the common people who attacked and toppled the long-ruling dictators of Egypt and Libya, strongly encouraging other crowds as they stood up in the Middle East, country after country.   The "Arab Spring" caught fire across the Middle East, pleasing both the President and the American press who cheered along with the resistance factions.  The freedom fighters. 

Trouble was. . .yes, trouble. . .while all the "rebel" factions were fighting in the streets, nobody really know who the rebels were, and it didn't matter anyway because there could only be one winner -- the Muslim Brotherhood.

Oh, hey, but they were so cool.  The President loved them like, like Muslim brothers, and even though they had a really, really shady past (like assassinating Sadat in Egypt after the Arab-Israeli peace agreement way back), the President extended an olive branch -- actually, he extended a whole olive garden -- and invited the Muslim Bro'hood into the White House.  Into our government.

But then the anniversary of nine-eleven came about and a stupid film denigrating Muslims and their prophet had already been on the Internet for a couple of months, and everything just came together to conspire against the U.S. in more than 20 countries as radical Muslims attacked and demonstrated.  Embassy deaths resulted from an apparently well-orchestrated attack in Libya, while Egyptians stormed our U.S. embassy and caused mayhem.  But what should one expect of human throwbacks from the fifth century?

Oh, you naughty Americans who treat Islam so badly! blasted an apologetic message from our own Cairo embassy in Egypt, repeating the message the next day even as the White House had tried to distance itself from a message condemning Americans for treating Muslims so horribly.  Boo-hoo.

And so the Middle East burned and the White House and mainstream media were keen upon blaming a stupid little Internet film for causing all the chaos.  It just couldn't be, thought the President, that so many Muslims hate Americans and our freedoms -- and after we've done so much for them, too!

Clearly, the President knew he had to take action, but what could he do?  He even called the behavioral therapist lady featured in those TV commercials, the one who was shocked the day her son said he hated her and she decided to do something about it.  The President offered to make her Secretary of  Anger Management if she would merely fly off to the Middle East and put the extremists through mental disciplinary exercises, but she declined.   The poor Prez, he didn't know where to turn next.  He thought about issuing an Executive Order to the world, telling radical Muslims to sit down and cool their heels, but somebody on his staff talked him out of it.  He wanted to ask his Cabinet for advice, but remembered that he had met with its members so infrequently that he didn't even remember their names.  What a quandary.

As U.S. military and civilian government bodies piled up, victims of both allegedly friendly Muslims and known foe, the President went before the affable TV cameras and promised that his country wouldn't tolerate violations of our people and laws, even though he knew very well we had tolerated such activities time after time.  Indeed, he was a weak President and knew it, luxuriating in his habitually lame responses to violence in the world.  He and his Secretary of State decided to continue blaming a silly film made by a Coptic Christian motivated by the death and ruin long inflicted upon his people in pro-Muslim countries, and determination was made that, at any cost, the United States must continue apologizing and blaming itself for every Muslim and non-Muslim ill in the world.  And unless somebody came up with a better idea,
Washington would continue allowing pseudo-friends in Afghanistan and other hotspots to continue turning their weapons on American military personnel, because the tragic results were simply the collateral damage expected from any war or conflict conducted by a President looking ahead to the greater good, the benefits eventually to be bestowed upon a civilization of savages intent upon hating us forever, but smiling as they grab American dollars by the ton..  After all, Islam is a religion of peace, and officially we dare not dwell on its flaws or crazy parts because, according to peculiarly revised official manuals in numerous U.S. agencies, there are no Islamic terrorists.

So the Middle East remained on fire and radicals in other nations around the globe joined in. Israel felt abandoned by its long-time ally, and the legacy of a disastrous foreign policy seemed just about ready to self-nuke.  Perhaps community organizing had been the President's finest talent after all, and maybe he could return to its comfortable embrace after the elections.  Then again, he was rather looking forward to the elections, because he had promised the Russian president during an unsuspected open-microphone moment that once the elections were over, he could be more flexible.  More.  Flexible.

On the other hand, the President realized he had to make a list of potential pardons, should he lose the confidence of a stupid majority of the American people.  First on his list would be "The Blind Sheik," a charming, imprisoned terrorist Muslim whom the Vice-President once mistakenly referenced at a national union thug meeting as "The Blond Sheik," perhaps thinking of a professional wrestler or something.

How similar seemed this President's diplomatic efforts to the actions of the old professor in Roman Polanski's sixties movie, "The Fearless Vampire Killers."  Having escaped a distant castle to avoid its vampire element, the learned professor unwittingly leaves the castle accompanied by a vampire -- thus, in the narrator's words, unleashing upon the rest of the world the very evil he thought he had left behind.