An Open Letter To The President From A Cape Codder Who Voted For Bush

By Greg O?BrienCodfish PressMr. President: Your war in Iraq, if you don?t already know it, is over! You know, the war where you said Saddam had all those hidden nukes and weapons of mass destruction to annihilate us. Our troops, praise God, are coming home soon?among them, more than a third of the Louisiana and Mississippi National Guard that could otherwise have been on the front lines of a more vital campaign. You?ll get the word soon, I?m sure, in the next opinion poll after the final body count is taken along what was once the Gulf Coast?apparently the political backwaters of your administration. I don?t get it, Mr. President. How come we can oust the mother of all evil in three days of ?shock and awe,? and yet the richest nation on earth can?t pluck scores of desperate Americans, most of them black men, women and children, off a stinking, steamy bridge in New Orleans before they dehydrate and life around them degenerates into anarchy and apocalypse? It took five days for a distant George Bush to find New Orleans, and six days for besieged Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to declare the military had landed, only to brace us (in the wake of dead bodies bobbing the streets, lashed to sign posts, and trapped in the basements, bedrooms and attics of homes that will never see life again) for as ?ugly a scene? as you can possibly envision. Hard to imagine, Mr. President, and thank you, Sir, for your timely and thoughtful observation the other day that ?the results are not acceptable.? Look, you can point all the fingers you want in this sleight of hand: you can blame local officials, some of them pathetic; you can blame the languid state of Louisiana; an abstracted Congress; or anyone else you want. But last time I checked, Mr. President, you were still the man. The buck?in this case the foul rising surge of Lake Pontchartrain?stops with you.And if you can?t take care of business at home, you?re grounded. So go to your room and stay in the Oval Office until you can ease the collective shame and humiliation we all feel over ?how quickly the thin veneer of civilization can be stripped away,? as the Daily Mail of London put it. Stay there until you prevail upon your buddies in the oil industry, some of whom will pocket as much as $30 billion in profits this year, to stop their iniquitous corporate looting. Sit at your desk until you patch our failed Homeland Security apparatus, as porous as a Big Easy levee. Many of us who voted for you, moderates without party affiliation, are nauseated. We don?t care what it takes to fix this. End the tax cuts. Trickle down, Mr. President, only trickles down into the pant cuffs of the wealthy. We have developed a deplorable caste system in this country of fat cats and untouchables. It?s time you got some religion on this.

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