It can't be easy to be a speechwriter for George W. Bush. In fact, to my thinking, it's right up there with Superfund toxic cleanup worker, Saddam Hussein body double, and cat-food taster in the running for Worst Job Ever. Given that Preznint Pustule only ever makes one speech, it seems like it wouldn't be that hard of a job, but the devil's in the details, of course. Anyone who's ever tried to write a poem with one of those magnetic poetry kits will understand just how mind-bendingly difficult it must be to write a speech for Dubya.
I'm guessing it goes a little something like this: You go to the White House break-room refrigerator and take the square that says, "9/11" and line it up with the one that says "terror", drag over "NOOK-ya-ler", "cut and run", and "tax cuts". You've got to fight the urge, these days, to use "stay the course" since Karl Rove kicked it under the fridge. (Of course, Rummy and Joe Lieberman keep trying to dig it back out, blow off the lint and dog-hairs and stick it back up there, but then Ken Mehlman flounces through and throws it on the floor again.)
Then once you've got a couple of paragraphs together, you've got to comb through and take out any words with more than three syllables. You've got to take out any foreign words like "laissez-faire" or "rendezvous" that don't sound exactly like they look. Then once you've reached a workable level of idiocy, you shoot a picture with your camera phone and send it to the transcriptionist. The transcriptionist types up a first draft and feeds it through a special super-secret machine called "The Speechifyer". This machine drains away any and all accidental traces of wit or sense that may have leaked in undetected, which is what gives the Preznint's orations their unique thought-killing properties. The key is to make the speech so nonsensical and repetitive that your attention starts to wander as soon as Clusterfuck opens his mouth. Once this objective has been attained, a final draft is produced and off it goes to the teleprompter technicians.
It's not a job for pussies. And as we shall see tonight, it has cost at least one brave and dedicated patriot his sanity.
Digby alerts us to the can't-look-but-can't-look-away spectacle of one former Bush speechwriter losing his grip.
Paul Burgess was a speechwriter for the White House from 2003 to 2005 and he recently sent a letter to a Virginia newspaper.
Friends, neighbors, and countrymen of the Left: I hate your lying guts
And that's just the title! Well, Mr. Burgess, we're not so crazy about your sorry ass, either. You've been at least partially responsible for the clouds of dreck that have poured through my radio and TV via the mouth of the Deciderer over the last few years. On that basis alone, I think you should be sent to Guantanamo and force-fed through a naso-gastric tube, waterboarded, and forced at gunpoint to maintain stress positions for the rest of your short, miserable life. Capice?
But do go on!
WHEN I WAS speechwriting at the White House, one rule was enforced without exception. The president would not be given drafts that lowered him or The Office by responding to the articulations of hatred that drove so many of his critics.
This rule was especially relevant to remarks that concerned the central topic of our times, Iraq. Having left the White House more than a year ago, I conclude that the immunizing effect of that rule must have expired, because I now find that I am infected with a hatred for the very quarter that inspired the rule–the deranged, lying left.
Paul, dude, that's actually the last of the horse-tranquilizers Karl Rove gave you wearing off. They were meant to keep you docile and incurious and uninterested in overtime pay or a raise during your tour of duty. You're just going through withdrawals.
I never used to feel hatred for people such as Cindy Sheehan, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, or other pop-culture notables who, for example, sing the praises of Central American dictators while calling President Bush the greatest terrorist on earth. I do now.
Awwww, you poor baby. Welcome to the world that progressives have lived in since 2000! That feeling you're experiencing? It's called IMPOTENT RAGE. Get used to it, beee-yatch!!
And though these figures might be dismissed as inconsequential, their views seem mild compared with those of some of our university professors charged with the "higher" education of our youth.
Thus have I come to hate Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor who called the Sept. 11 victims of the World Trade Center "little Eichmanns"; Nicholas De Genova, the Columbia professor who loudly wished "a million Mogadishus" on American troops in Iraq; and Kevin Barrett, the University of Wisconsin professor who teaches his students that President Bush was the actual mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks.
I used to laugh these people off. Now I detest them as among the most loathsome people America has ever vomited up.
Ah, no. If you look in the Guiness Book of World Records, it CLEARLY states that Tom DeLay, Denny Hastert, Bill Frist, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity are the most loathsome people America has ever vomited up. Oh, and you, of course! How did you people take the English language and torture it enough to create the swill that comes out of Bush's mouth? I can't write that miserably even when I try! My hat is off to you, Mr. Burgess! You're a real go-getter!
He goes on for paragraph after frothing paragraph, each one kicking off with the words, "I hate…". At some point, you just have to start giggling at the sheer hysterical overkill of it all. This guy makes DANGERSTEIN's prose look like a church bulletin!
Most detestable are the lies these rogues craft to turn grief into votes by convincing the families of our war dead that their loved ones died in vain. First, knowing what every intelligence agency was sure it knew by early 2003, it would have been criminal negligence had the president not enforced the U.N.'s resolutions and led the coalition into Iraq. Firemen sometimes die in burning buildings looking for victims who are not there. Their deaths are not in vain, either.
Second, no soldier dies in vain who goes to war by virtue of the Constitution he swears to defend. This willingness is called "duty," and it is a price of admission into the highest calling of any free nation–the profession of arms. We have suffered more than 2,300 combat deaths in Iraq so far. Not one was in vain. Not one.
You keep telling yourself that, fuckstick. Whatever it takes to help you cope with the shades of all the slaughtered soldiers and Iraqi civilians that linger beneath the gracious trees of your manicured lawn each night. Just stick your fingers in your ears and shout, "LA LA LA LA LA LA!! I can't HEAR you!!" It's the Republican Way, after all.
These are the people I now hate–these people who seek to control our national security. The best of them are misinformed. The rest of them are liars.
So I intend to vote on Nov. 7. If I have to, I'll crawl over broken glass to do it. And this year I'm voting a straight Republican ticket right down to dog catcher, because I've had it. I'm fed up with the deranged, lying left. They've infected me. I'm now a hater, too.
Really? Over broken glass? I'd pay good money to watch that!
It seems to me, though, that this little "hate infection" you've picked up didn't come from our side of the aisle. Are you sure you didn't catch it off a toilet seat over at Pox News? Or on some other sordid errand through the dirty, dirty sheets of that old whore, the GOP? Seriously. Look at Cindy Sheehan. Now look at Ann Coulter. Who's the hater here? How about the difference between Rush Limbaugh and Michael J. Fox? Can you spot the hater? I know I can!
Digby makes a very important point in the post's update:
Update: One thing to keep in mind about this: he's not getting his hate on about politicians. It's about his fellow citizens. They complain mightily about "Bush hatred," and there's been plenty of it. But there's a difference between hating the leader of a political party and hating your fellow Americans. Take a look at the Amazon listings of political books and you'll see the difference is stark.
But of course! That's their way. The Peasants are Revolting! Utterly! Filthy commoners! How DARE they challenge the rule of the Great and Powerful Bush? Don't they know that only mega-powerful billionaires are qualified to make decisions about their lives?
I know we're not technically supposed to relish other people's pain, but I gotta tell ya. It warms the cockles of my black old cynical heart to know that present circumstances are making Bush's disciples openly weep with rage and frustration. Burn, bitchez, BURN!! You've gotten absolutely everything you ever wanted for the last five years, but now your time is up. The people have had enough and we're about to kick your narrow behinds to the curb with the rest of the trash. Enjoy the trip!