The Answers Bush Has Been Looking For

05/25/2011 12:10 pm ET
  • Jane Smiley Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist and Essayist

Recently, according to the Washington Post, Bush has been inviting
various thinkers to the White House
. He asks them a few questions
(always about himself, of course, as befits a narcissist). Here they
are, with my answers (just to relieve the White House of the
obligation to invite me).

Free to you, Mr. President:

"What is the nature of good and evil in the post-Sept. 11 world?"

Simply asking this question shows that you don't know what you are
talking about. The 'post-Sept. 11 world' doesn't exist. Good and evil
are false categories. Try law-abiding vs. criminal. In that context,
it is absolutely wrong to commute Scooter Libby's sentence and hold
random men in Gitmo for the rest of their lives, torturing and
destroying them.

"What lessons does history have for a president facing the turmoil
I'm facing?"

Try listening to people who disagree with you, rather than those who
suck up to you. Did you read any of the bloggers or journalists who
considered Libby's sentence just? Or did you just read the National

"How will history judge what we've done?"

As a big genocidal crime (invading Iraq) surrounded by lots of little
crimes (commuting Scooter Libby's sentence).

"Why does the rest of the world seem to hate America?"

Because your administration bullies everyone, and you and Cheney are
the chief bullies, but you have absolutely no understanding of this,
and so you do the same stupid and crazy sorts of things over and over
again, such as commuting Scooter Libby's sentence.

"Or is it just me they hate?"

Not just you, Cheney, too.

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