(Cross-posted over at The war Planner.)
But in your lifetime, you have seen the fresh, green shoots of the dream that is America go to seed. The lush growth of this country has turned turned to weeds and rotting vegetation, being deprived of its vitality by petty internecine bickering and political squabbling.
And you have come to the office of President by capturing the hearts and minds of 52% of the electorate who believed in your promises to bind the wounds, heal the divide, and put this great nation back on the road it once nobly traveled.When you ascended your current throne, the other 48%, being fair and honest and decent, were willing to give you a chance; for the most part, you had the fair winds of fortune and kindness at your back.
But you also knew in your heart that you were a charlatan, a vapid empty suit, whose career, until now, had been a triumph of form over substance. Deep down, you know that all you have gotten has come from your ability to persuade others with your airy persiflage. You could fool them into thinking that, unlike Gertrude Stein said of here hometown, Oakland, California, there is a "there there". So you have been carried on the shoulders of your countrymen to higher and higher office and, each time a new rank is attained, you dally for a while, and return to the campaign trail for..yet another higher office.
You now have reached this final rung and, pausing to look back, you see all the wreckage you have left in your wake, all of the broken promises, all of the disillusion, and all of the lack of accomplishment. Secretly inside in that place we all have, where we all go, in our heart of hearts, you say to yourself, "I could have done better; I could have made a difference."
Suddenly, you become sad and so there you sit, arguably on what many are calling the worst day -- the nadir -- of your presidency and take stock: an economy still in tatters after almost three years of failed fiscal and governmental policy, an unemployment figure so bad that it only diminishes because some people leave the work force, and the prospect of jobs so pathetic, and the illegal immigrant parasites returning to their homeland because the opportunities there are better.
Then there comes a moment, like in so many of those grade B Hollywood movies, where you sit in the gathering evening gloom and vow that you will, at last, make a difference. You reach down inside your being and search for that one last spark. You strive to make one last Herculean effort to change things.
And the spirit does returns. It pours through you and fills you with resolve: You vow you will stand for something. You will put politics aside and actually do what the people of this country elected you to do: YOU WILL ACTUALLY LEAD; YOU WILL TELL PEOPLE THAT WE NOW HAVE TO MAKE THE HARD CHOICES, THAT WE HAVE SACRIFICE (ONLY THIS TIME YOU MEAN IT) AND THAT YOU DO NOT CARE WHETHER YOU GET ANOTHER FOUR YEARS AS PRESIDENT OR NOT, YOU WILL DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN IN WHATEVER TIME YOU HAVE LEFT GET THIS ALL STRAIGHTENED OUT AND, COME WHAT MAY ON JANUARY 21, 2013, WHETHER YOU ARE TAKING THE OATH OR MERELY A SPECTATOR AS YOUR SUCCESSOR DOES SO, YOU WILL KNOW YOU HAVE DONE YOUR VERY BEST TO HAVE MADE THIS COUNTRY AS GREAT AS IT ONCE WAS.
So these thoughts stir you to move and you swear an oath that tomorrow will be the first day of the rest of your presidency.
besides, we're going to be late for your fundraiser tonight!"
So, you flush the toilet, wipe yourself, pull up your pants, wash your hands, and step out on the harsh light of political reality.
"Honey," you say as you head downstairs to catch Marine One, "there's no toilet paper left."