We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our crack(ed?) technical team at Maggie’s Farm (actually another secret CIA “farm”) has intercepted a secret personal letter just sent by former President George Bush to President Barack Obama.
Dear President Obama:
I’ve kept a respectful public silence about your administration, as you’ve kept silent in contacting me for my experience or any advise. But, I can no longer restrain my urge to thank you for vindicating many of my policies which you criticized during and since your campaign for the presidency.
Yes, I made some mistakes, and corrected some of them. You too have made some mistakes. I wish you the best of luck to correct them.
I must admit that I envy the better position that you are in to do so. I had to manage against a Democrat Congress and hostile press. You now have fewer Democrats to deal with in Congress, many more Republicans now there who are eager to support you with needed policies, and a press which has proven its loyalty to whatever you say.
May I suggest several areas in which you might take advantage of this favorable situation:
I delivered to Israel assurances of its security to encourage it to leave Gaza. That hasn’t worked out so well in Gaza but the willingness of Israel to work with the US to reach agreements with its foes did increase. Now that you’ve solely pressured Israel to preemptively make concessions that reduce its security, encouraging its foes to be more aggressive, it’s time to put similar strong pressure on its adversaries. You may accomplish the goal that has eluded my and previous administrations to bring a lasting settlement there.
After our painful incursion into Iraq, I was restrained in making other military commitments. However, our policies were reasonably clear as to who our enemies are and who our friends. I realize how difficult this discernment may be when many decry human rights abuses wherever they occur (excluding a few of their favorites), but it should be easier for you with your professed affinity for the oppressed to know which sides are actually on the side of greater freedoms and which use such terminology to mask authoritarian goals.
I supported the initial bailouts of our financial institutions’ gambling and profiteering that plunged the US into severe recession. You’ve added much more bailouts. Fortunately for your disposition to not favor private businesses the analyses have shown these institutions have not really reformed and throwing more money after bad has only encouraged these crony capitalists. Although you’ve taken some of them into your counsels, let me remind you from my experience they cannot be trusted. Now is the time to take advantage of the popular recognition of their self-serving manipulations to cut them off from further bailouts, subsidies and trust.
Now that you have House Committees willing to actually investigate waste and corruption in federal agencies, you have the unique opportunity to cooperate in exposing such inside deals that undermine the public’s faith in government, and to put you in the headlines as really supporting an effective government.
This is a particularly good time to do so, since the funds have run out to continue the huge US deficits for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements. I tried some reforms to Social Security after my 2004 re-election but quickly had to back off as trust in my administration was so weakened by opposition to my other policies from your side of the aisle. You have the opening to strengthen that trust in your administration and work with the many on both sides of the aisle who now recognize the unsustainability of entitlement largess. Further, this will allow the funding of the many core services of federal and state governments that your poorer constituency depend upon instead of they being cut to feed the out-of-control entitlements.
Some of your party’s governors, as in New York and Maryland, with California imminent, have taken measures to rein in government worker pensions. They have not suffered in their public’s or media’s esteem. This shows that, together with the governors of Wisconsin, Idaho and Ohio, there is a true bipartisan movement – albeit forced by virtual bankruptcy – to also redirect scarce public funds toward crucial public services like education, roads, and public safety. You can be a hero to the widest range of Americans.
I could go on to suggest many other measures you can take that will redound to your and the nation’s benefit. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy your added relaxation after 2012 as much as I have.