Monday, October 19, 2009

Moogie's Got Mail! And It's From the White House!

You may recall that I've penned a few epistles to our Young President since his inauguration to express my opinion about his opinion of the Tea Party movement, and to express my dismay at his official response to the murder of a young Army soldier in Little Rock, Arkansas, by a convert to Islam.

Last week, I received a letter from him on stationery with an embossed White House logo and "recycled symbol" watermark!

My fingers trembled as I slit open the envelope -- would the Young President chastise me for my effrontery in criticizing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ? Would he posit rational alternatives to my suggestions? Would he offer sincere condolences for the senseless loss of a young soldier whose adult life had barely begun? Would he invite me to have a glass of chardonnay on the White House lawn as we debate the relative merits of health care reform with our shirt sleeves rolled up? After all, the envelope appeared to have been hand-written -- surely this letter came directly from the big desk in the Oval Office!

That would be a big negatory, good buddy.

In his endearingly personal missive, he expresses appreciation of "hearing from" me and tells me he values my "input." He trumpets the need for "swift, deliberate action," and repeats his clarion call for (1) health care reform "--this year--", (2) a clean energy economy [jobs, energy independence, global warming], and (3) complete and competitive education. Not much new there --that's pretty much the standard holy trinity held over from the campaign.

But, since he's actually been in office, he has apparently learned that there are other pressing matters in this uncertain world that also need urgent, swift, and deliberate action. Wonder of wonders, he has added new "to do" tasks to his agenda that he felt comfortable enough to share with little ol' me (since he obviously knows me well enough to assume I'd jump right up off the couch to get to work and help him check these tasks off his list)!

Ready for this?

"We need to secure our homeland against threats by preventing terrorist attacks and planning for and responding soundly to emergencies." [Translation: remove more clothing at airports and go into quarantine if you don't take your Swine Flu shot.]

"We also have an obligation to rein in our budget by cutting wasteful spending and ineffective programs." [Translation: Turn loose of that Medicare Advantage and get ready for "Money For Major Appliances!"]

Here's the best part -- I swear it says this, verbatim:

"We can do all this, and change the way business is done in Washington, by building the most open, transparent, and accountable government in our history."

Openness, transparency and accountability will arrive at some point, I suppose, after Harry Reid and Rahm Emanuel emerge from behind the Senate vault doors to announce how we are to approach health care -- and like it.

The Young President closes by sincerely thanking me once again for my "involvement," and encourages me to explore which is "regularly updated and more interactive than ever before."

My mind is so much more at ease to learn that another "inherited" mess -- a sloppy White House website -- has been mopped up!

I know, I know. What did I expect out of a communication from an elected official inside the beltway? Did I expect a reply that had some connection -- no matter how slight -- with the topic I took the time to write about and spent nearly half-a-dollar to mail?

Not really. But I did briefly get the pleasure of one twisted chuckle: the envelope seriously appears to be handwritten, in a slightly shaky script, until you hold it up to the light and discern that there are no pressure indentations on the paper. It's ink-jetted. And the deceptive use of that little modern process totally killed my buzz.

See, I had mental images of Michelle's aging mother addressing hundreds of envelopes by candlelight once the girls had been put to bed so she could earn her room and board. After all, it may not be lonely under the bus anymore, but it definitely has to be uncomfortable!

But, no. She's probably sitting on the White House lawn sipping my glass of wine.

Maybe I should write a letter complaining about that. Maybe Michelle would reply about the virtues of gardening in mid-calf boots, and horizontal stripes! Heh.