Friday, October 19, 2007

A Message to the Congress of the United States

By way of explaining the following post, today I was bopping about the intertubes searching for something to write about. Frankly I was drawing a blank, until I stumbled over the White House site and saw several messages to Congress from the President. Anyone as much into politics as I am knows that the most famous messages to Congress are given to a joint session by the President... so I was inspired to post my imaginative take on what a typical Presidential message to Congress would look like, if it were given in the most famous circumstances. So the following post is an admittedly weak attempt at creative writing using my perceptions of modern day politics from a truly mundane message to Congress by President Bush. Click the title for a link to the official message upon which the following bit of fancy is based on.

The House Chambers are buzzing with the gathered dignitaries and guests. The media pool camera sweeps the crowded hall, occasionally stopping to focus on a famous politician or news worthy personality. The first lady is sitting in her appointed seat and beside her sits the Ambassador of Columbia. Behind the lectern Nancy Pelosi is trying to engage Richard Cheney in pleasantry, but his body language and curt responses portray his intense desire to get this over with.

Over the tumult is heard a succession of three loud raps. The ambient noise decreases immediately, and the great double doors open. Through the doors steps a formally dressed older gentleman. He takes approximately 10 steps down the center aisle, stops and announces in a loud and authoritative voice: "Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States!"

President George Bush enters the Chambers as the ambient noise revives to a crescendo, smiling and pausing to shake the hands of the politicians lining both sides of the aisle. Notably, Senator Lieberman is especially effusive in greeting the President, at one point breaking his beaming smile to purse his lips and kiss the ring on the President's hand. While the President is greeted pleasantly by members on both sides of the aisle, the personal interchanges seem to be more abrupt, except for the vaguely creepy interaction with Lieberman, making his walk to the podium much quicker than past such occasions.

Reaching the dais, the President greets Richard Cheney and acknowledges Nancy Pelosi, who flashes a tightly wound smile in his direction. The President then turns to the microphone and waits for the gathered crowd to take their seats and for the noise to die down.

"Mrs. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), provides for the automatic"... (the President seems to pause for dramatic effect, peering intently into space as he formulates the next word) "termination... of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its..." (another pause, with the President now seeming to squint at the teleprompter) "declaration, the President plubishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice statings that the mergency is to continue in 'fect beyond the anniversry date."

As soon as the President finishes the sentence, the right half of the chambers leap to their feet and erupt in wild applause. It is almost as if they are applauding the President for being able to read a complete sentence in a mostly coherent manner. Plubishes vs publishes and getting the tense wrong here and there? If thats the worst Bush does this evening his speech will be a tour de force! Oddly enough however, the left side of the chambers remains sitting in stony silence, with the notable exception of the wildly cheering Joe Lieberman.

As soon as the right wing of the chamber settles back into their chairs the President continues: "In accordance with this porvision, I have sent the enclosed notice to the Federal Register for pubilcation, stating that the mergency declared with respect to signifcant... (here the President pauses again, with a look that is almost a question on his face,) "ner-coat-iks... traffkers" (a low twitter can be heard from the left side of the chambers, but the President's expression again takes the self assured smirk so familiar to the nation as he ignores the interruption) "centered in Colombia is to continue in effect beyond October 21, 2007."

The entire right side of the chambers again erupts in effusiveness. The Republicans can tell that this speech is difficult for the President, not because of the subject matter, but because of the difficult words interspersed by the speech makers. They are willing him through sheer force of approval to get through this speech without too many major phonetic catastrophes. They know though that theirs is a lost cause.

The right side of the room settles down, but for several seconds after the apparent calm one person on the left side of the aisle continues cheering from his feet, apparently unaware of the embarrassing scene surrounding his display. Eventually the President holds his palm up in that direction, and Joe Lieberman again takes his seat, all the while with a beaming smile.

"The circumstancial that led to the dekelration on October 21, 1995, of a national 'mergency have not been resolves."

Another low hummed twitter is heard from the left of the chambers.

"The action of significant ner-coat-iks (the President recognized this word from the previous reading, which meant he did not have to pause to try to work out the phoenetics) traffkers centered in Colombia continue to pose an unusual and strordinary threat to the national security, forn policy, and economy of the United States, and to cause unperlleled violence, kruption, and harm in the United States and abroad."

Again the right hand side of the hall is swept by rapture, while the left hand side fidgets silently, save the exuberant Joe Lieberman.

"For these reasons, I have termined that it is necessary to tain ecomic pressured on significant ner-coat-iks traffkers centered in Colombia by blocking their property and interests in propertied that are in the United States or within the possessions or kintrol of United States personificators and by deprahving them of ack-cess to the U.S. market and finances system."

At this point a low hum is heard around the chambers, with the Republicans looking a little bewildered. It appears the President is wrapping up his speech...

"And may God bless the United States of Merka!"

The President stares into the teleprompter with a look of near shock on his face.
The Right side of the room sits slackjawed in their chairs looking in bewildered amazement at the podium. A stunning awareness is racing around the chambers... someone forgot to include a mention of 9/11 in the speech!

The entire left side of the chambers erupts into joyous applause as the President turns to leave the podium. That is, the entire left side of the chambers, with the notable exception of Joe Lieberman.

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