Barbara O’Brien: Open Letter To President Bush
EDITOR’S NOTE: Barbara O’Brien, creator of the The Mahablog! will be providing regular Election 2002 commentary in the leadup to the US Mid Term elections due November 5th.
Open Letter To President Bush
September 25, 2002
Dear President Bush,
I know you didn't think much of the advice I sent you last month, but I hope you will listen to me this time. I really do have your best interests at heart.
I understand that the German justice minister compared you to Hitler, and now you won't call Gerhard Schröder to congratulate him for his re-election as Chancellor of Germany. And Donald Rumsfeld is dissing the German Secretary of Defense at a NATO conference. Y'all have your panties in a twist, huh?
Seems to me some people have short memories. Have you forgotten the South Carolina primary? As I remember, in order to beat John McCain you said he was crazy, you lied about his stand on veteran's issues (we need to talk about veteran's issues, too, but some other time), and your surrogates called every white voter in the state with a false rumor that the Senator had a black love child.
But that's just politics, right? Mr. Schröder needed to win an election, and his handlers must have figured out that comparing you to Hitler would do the job. It's just politics, not personal.
That brings me to the other thing I want to talk to you about, which is that you are not the King of France. Please note that France does not have a king any more; I am talking about history. France used to have kings, nearly all of them named King Louie. There's a famous saying by the fourteenth King Louie, which is -- oh, wait; I forgot you don't like people speaking French. Well, he said it in French, but what he said was "I am the state." (In Spanish that's Soy el estado.) This means that he was France, and France was him, and whatever you did to France, you did to him, and so on.
But Soy el estado only applies to kings, not to you. When the German justice minister compared you to Hitler, she was just insulting you, not the entire United States. Condi Rice says there is a poisoned atmosphere between the United States and Germany, but that's not true at all. I don't feel insulted the least bit, and I think I speak for most Americans when I say that any country with frequent beer festivals can't be all bad. This Hitler thing is just between you and Herr Schröder, and the two of you should get over it right now. You are the President of the whole bleeping United States, and you shouldn't let it bother you if some German politician compares you to Hitler.
What should bother you is that comparing you to Hitler helped some German politician get elected.