I am one of President George W. Bush's gardeners. Mr. George likes to talk to me.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Practicing for the Debates

There will be three Presidential debates: one debate will deal with international issues, another debate will deal with domestic issues, and I'm not sure what the third debate will deal with &8212; maybe Barry Bonds. I'm kidding. During times like these, when a ne'er-do-well wastrel like John F. Kerry wants to assume leadership of the most powerful country in the history of the world, it's important to add levity to the dire situation. In any case, Mr. George wants me to talk and act like John Kerry so that he can practice debating. At first, I was just going to change my mind about every issue &8212; I have heard rumors that Kerry flip-flops &8212; but I want to do more research. I am going to find out what Kerry stands for and represent him to the best of my abilities while participating in tomorrow's practice debates. I'm excited.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Mr. George

Mr. George hasn't spent very much time at the White House recently due to a number of concerns, including security, an over-inquisitive media, and the old campaign trail. But to my delight and eternal honor, he visited me yesterday near the East Wing garden, where I was pruning the young sugar maples after the awful cicada attack in May.

MR GEORGE: Hey buddy, I want to talk to you. You're like one of those everyman John Doe people out there who live for the weekend stock car races, right?

ME: I don't know about that, Mr. George, but welcome back, sir.

MR GEORGE: Good. I have some questions for you. Think of this as one of them galloping polls that they do out there, only with a 100% margin of victory.

ME: OK, fire away.

MR GEORGE: OK, Leon, first question: Do you think we're winning the war on terror?

ME: It's Lenny, sir. Yes, we're winning the war on terrorism. We haven't been attacked since 9/11, not on our soil anyway, and if we do get attacked between now and November, it's because the terrorists don't want you to be re-elected, because you like to hunt them down and they don't like that.

MR GEORGE: He he, that's right. I hunt them down like dogs. They're afraid of me!

ME: That's right. The terrorists have scattered. We have them right where we want them. Scattered, or fumbling around in Iraq.

MR GEORGE: Let's get back to our poll. Question number 2: Do you approve of how we've handled the reconstruction of Iraq?

ME: Absolutely. Iraq will be a democracy shortly, as evidenced by their soccer team's success in the recent Olympics.

MR GEORGE: That's right, I told Rummy to throw those ungrateful bastards in jail for badmouthing me, but he said no, we had enough bad publicity from that Abu Grabby situation.

ME: Torture is a tricky thing that should be kept out of the public's eye, if you ask me.

MR GEORGE: One final question. Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

ME: Well, that's difficult to say. On the one hand, I live in a more secure America, thanks to you and our brave troops. On the other hand, my company laid me off and rehired me as a contractor, so now I don't have health insurance.

MR GEORGE: Do your push-ups and stay off the sauce, and you'll be fine. I'll mark you down as a yes. OK, Leonard, I'm going to give my poll results to Karl so that he can rest easy about these debates. Thank you for your time.

ME: Sure thing, sir.

Monday, September 13, 2004

My Mother is Not a Patriot

My mother has been giving me all sorts of grief about the war in Iraq. She says no one has paid attention to how badly it's going. Well, some people are paying attention, but no one wants to hear what they say. She keeps talking about Falluja this and Najaf that, and I told her that she should support the U. S. military forces because they're putting their lives on the line for their country, 'nuff said. But then my Mom spoke quite vocally about how the war in Iraq diverted troops and translators from Afghanistan, and now Afghanistan is a mess, something about the Taliban regaining control. She says that if Mr. George had just avoided the war in Iraq and continue to work with international allies on hunting down actual terrorists rather than going to war against someone who looks like the terrorists, he would have been considered a great president, even with all the domestic mess he's created. As it is, Mr. George will go down in history as a terrible president, once people realize that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and once people realize that Iraq is in many ways worse than Vietnam.

It's clear that my mother is losing her grip on reality. Does anyone know about a drug that slows down senility?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Karl Rove Speaks

Karl Rove doesn't usually talk to me unless there's a mechanical problem with vice-president Cheney, but the other day he came up to me while I was spraying pesticide on the roses and just stood there shaking his head. I got a little nervous, so I asked him how it was going.

MR KARL: It's amazing the kind of stuff we're able to pull off, Lenny. Amazing.

ME: What do you mean?

MR KARL: Let's put it this way — if Al Gore had won in 2000, and if 9/11 had happened on his watch, and if the economy were in the gutter, and if Gore had gotten us into this war in Iraq based on bad intelligence, can you imagine any Democrat getting re-elected? Not a chance in hell!

ME: I don't appreciate that kind of language, sir.

MR KARL: Sorry, Lenny. Not a chance in heck. We'd claim that Gore should have foreseen the 9/11 war based on evidence like, oh I don't know, maybe a memo that says, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the United States." And then there's all warnings by the Hart-Rudman task force. That was a bipartisan commission doing everything it could to get the word out that thousands of U. S. citizens would die right here on American soil from terrorist attacks. And no one did anything about it! We would have bashed Gore so hard that he wouldn't get nominated by his own chickenshit party.

ME: Language, sir!

MR KARL: Sorry, Lenny. It's just that I'm feeling pretty good right now. I mean, I admire the heck out of myself. If I were running Kerry's campaign, gosh forbid, I'd be all over the oil crisis. We're running out of oil, and China's consuming more and more petroleum, so in a time when we need to be serious about alternative fuel sources, we have an oilman in office! That's hilarious. And we're winning in the polls!

ME: I don't know how you do it.

MR KARL: Two things. First, mini-scandals. There's the Plame affair, where someone in a high place outed a covert CIA agent. There's George using family ties to avoid combat and then going AWOL, there's Cheney's close ties with Halliburton, there's Bush's close ties with Kenneth Lay, there's Chalabi giving our secrets to Iranians while feeding us bad intel, there's — gee willickers, I can't keep it all straight in my head, and neither can anyone else. Nothing is too serious in and of itself, so it just seems like a lot of partisan bickering.

ME: What else?

MR KARL: We attack! And we do it the right way. We get other people to do our attacking so that George can stay above the fray. And here's something. We just make shit up. It's politics! Kerry is the most liberal senator. Kerry voted for 350 tax increases. Kerry was a coward during his brief combat stint in Vietnam, and then he came home and committed treason. Kerry flip-flops. And it doesn't matter that we make shit up because after Rush and Brit and Bill and Sean and the bloggers finish their diatribes, enough people start believing it. And then if the mainstream press doesn't run the stories, we call them liberal stooges and send out the attack dogs. We're working the system, Lenny. We're working it!

ME: It's for the good of the country.

MR KARL: That's right. It's for the good of the country. You know what I'd like to try to do next? I'd like to make Alan Keyes the next president.