Sample text for A Heckuva job : more of the Bush administration in rhyme / Calvin Trillin.


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Counter
part 1

Speaking of 9/11...

I CAN'T APPEAR WITHOUT MY NANNY DICK

(George W. Bush Explains the Interview Arrangements

He Has Made with the 9/11 Commission)

When called upon to testify,

I said I was a busy guy

So maybe we could do it on the phone.

They really want a face-to-face.

I said, OK, if that's the case,

I'm certainly not doing it alone.

I can't appear without my Nanny Dick.

For Nanny Dick I've got a serious jones.

I can't appear without my Nanny Dick.

I love the way he cocks his head and drones.

Cartoonists show me as a dummy,*

With voice by Cheney (or by Rummy).

I am the butt of every late-night satirist.

But I just can't go solitaire.

I need the help that's due an heir.

I need a dad, and Dad's a multilateralist.

I can't appear without my Nanny Dick.

He brings along a gravitas I lack.

I can't appear without my Nanny Dick--

The one who knows why we attacked Iraq.

Yes, Condi Rice is quite precise

With foreign policy advice

On who's Afghani and who's Pakistani.

I like to have her near in case

I just can't place some foreign face,

But Condoleezza Rice is not my nanny.

I can't appear without my Nanny Dick.

I wouldn't know which facts I should convey.

I can't appear without my Nanny Dick.

It's Nanny Dick who tells me what to say.

--april 26, 2004

The only time george w. bush seemed reluctant to talk about 9/11 was when he was asked to appear before the 9/11 Commission. Otherwise, he mentioned it constantly, usually just before mentioning the importance of taking our fight against terrorism to Iraq. Considering his attempt to make his case by what rhetoricians might call relentless juxtaposition, George W. Bush may someday be referred to by historians as the Great Conflater.

At the 9/11 hearings, the President's team seemed like unnaturally shy actors pulled onstage for a curtain call. Orange John Ashcroft was there, denying that in the pre-9/11 period he'd told the FBI that he didn't want to be bothered with any more reports about terrorism threats. Mushroom Cloud Rice appeared, insisting that there was no "silver bullet" that might have prevented the attack. She seemed reluctant to reveal the title of the daily intelligence briefing delivered to the President at his Crawford ranch one morning in August 2001, before the full day of brush cutting and mountain biking and general summer fun began. The title was, she finally acknowledged, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the United States."


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Bush, George W. -- (George Walker), -- 1946- -- Poetry.
United States -- Politics and government -- 2001- -- Poetry.
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) -- Poetry.
Presidents -- United States -- Poetry.
Political poetry, American.