While it has been a laborious task, we have compiled for your consideration a list of the ten smartest things that George Bush did as President. Please feel free to suggest your own.
10. Appoint Jim Baker to go to Florida during the 2000 election stand-off. A pit bull whips a poodle any day of the week. From his Texas/Connecticut upbringing, George Bush knew not to take a knife to a gunfight. The name of the game was "Winner Take All," not a cotillion event where manners are important.
9. Count to five: Kennedy, O'Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas.
8. Say 9/11 a lot, like we're about to forget the World Trade Center towers collapsing, the plane crashing into the Pentagon and heroes stopping a third plane from hitting its target. More difficult to figure out, however, is why the use of 9/11 is appropriate in speeches and musings regarding dairy price supports, quantum loop gravity (that's a science thing, Mr. President), bovine flatulence, and whether to ban Bic pens from the White House as French imports.
7. Not fly Air Force One himself. With his record of flight "anomalies" as a pilot, this could have led to reams of paperwork for thousands of people investigating why the plane landed with its gear up in Columbus, Georgia, instead of Columbus, Ohio. Possible page one comment from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "It was an Ohio State/Michigan game, Mr. President. That's why it wasn't played in Georgia."
6. Name Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General after John Ashcroft. In a brilliant move, President Bush found almost the only way possible to make people forget the tenure of John Ashcroft. Gonzales's record of supporting torture, sacrificing the moral high ground by ignoring the Geneva Convention, and fighting to keep secret official records of how energy policy decisions were made in the Vice President's office all led people to forget for the moment that Ashcroft had opposed both desegregation and legal abortion and had referred to the American Library Association objections to his attempt to obtain library records as "hysterical."
5. Speak as if he never went to Yale and Harvard. Never losing touch with the rest of us, the President made sure to speak in incomplete sentences, pause at strange moments, stumble over words, and convince us that we, too, could speak just as well as the most powerful man in the world.
4. Maintain federal deregulation as the prime objective in U.S. financial markets. The ideologically driven mantra of keeping government off the backs of the people has kept the financial markets operating smoothly and secured prosperity, comfortable retirements, and home ownership for millions. [Editor's note: Mr. Allen, you might check TV or newspapers to see if you still want to say this.]
3. Not support Sarah Palin and that guy who ran with her. With a keen sense of history, President Bush saw that control of the White House would shift to the Democratic Party even if Barney (the dog, not Frank) had been the nominee. To preserve his legacy and insure that his record would indeed be held up as an example for all time by historians, he decided that a smooth and dignified transition would serve his reputation better than anything else done during his other seven years, nine months, and one week in office.
2. Choose Cheney as Vice President. This masterstroke virtually guaranteed that no effort would be made to impeach Bush, since the thought of a "President Cheney" caused opponents' blood to run colder than any other possibility -- until the frightening prospect of a "President Palin."
1. Marry Laura. This one is for real. We know that it happened long before he became President, but the group of historians consulted for this list could not come up with a tenth smart thing that he did as President. They concluded that all other actions were dumber than walking into a corral of Spanish fighting bulls wearing nothing but a red Superman cape.