America Honors a Hero

iarnolb001p1Speech prepared for delivery by President Obama at the dedication next month of a new national monument in Bunghole, Idaho:

THE PRESIDENT: Ladies and gentlemen, I stand here in Bunghole to dedicate a new national monument to one of the most famous Americans of Colonial times. Yes, I know that prominent people from Colonial times don’t ordinarily deserve favorable recognition from the decent people of today, because many of them owned slaves. In fact, some of my endearingly zealous political adherents would go so far as to say that all white Americans still living, excluding females, gays and men under a certain age who smoke weed, should be ostracized, stripped of their civil rights and herded into re-education camps, all because the Colonials owned slaves. “It’s a different world,” or so their mantra goes.

However, I can assure you that the man we are honoring here today did not own slaves, or if he did he effectively concealed the fact. And even if he did, what’s the beef? It was legal back then, and you know that I am rigorously devoted to upholding the law. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

You may be surprised to learn that I am dedicating this national monument without first consulting Congress. Another power grab by a lawless president, you may hear the right-wing radio haters cry. But in fact the President does have the legal power to dedicate national monuments on his own. It’s national parks that require the consent of Congress. In your face, Mr. Limbaugh.

I actually toyed with the idea of making this a national park, rather than just a national monument, and doing so without consulting Congress. Who’s going to stop me? John Boehner? It is to laugh. Everybody knows that I am above the law, and that no matter what I do I cannot be impeached. The Republicans in the House don’t have the guts to stand up to me, and even if they impeached me the Democratic majority in the Senate would quash the indictment. Tee-hee, I almost read that as “squash.”

But, as I say, I toyed with the idea of doing another end run around Congress, to once again show them, and the world, how impotent they are. But I decided that in fact the biographical profile of the man we celebrate here today did not lend itself to a full-fledged park. As far as I know, he had no history of wildlife conservation, nor did he ever get stupid-ass drunk and mishandle a campfire, causing an entire forest to burn out of control. He seems to have been mostly a serious urban gent.

Why, you may ask, did I choose to establish this monument in small-town Idaho? Well, I must confess that there is no evidence that our honoree ever visited here, but the state boasts at least one native son who appears to share certain character traits with our man.

More importantly, coming here gave me the chance to spend some quality time away from my beloved wife. When I told her I was going to Idaho, at first she turned up her nose at the idea, but then she asked, hopefully, whether there might be a wealthy donor with a million-acre ranch who would be willing to entertain us in the regal fashion she deserves. I had to tell Marie, I mean Michelle,  that not only are there no wealthy Obama donors in Idaho, but there are precious few Democrats of any stripe, and that the best available lodgings in town were a toss-up between Motel Six and Motel Eight. Naturally she backed off, which is just what I had hoped and intended. This town has a McDonald’s and a Domino’s, and that suits my egalitarian tastes.

I must point out that some of my critics will offer the baseless argument that our honoree doesn’t really deserve the honor he is receiving here today, that there were certain incidents in his history that mitigate against his recognition by the U.S. government as a person of high character and standing.

I will refer these critics to my clever – the TelePrompter says “clueless,” but that is obviously a typo – national security adviser, Susan Rice, a Colonial scholar who told a Sunday talk show this past weekend that our honoree “served the country with honor and distinction.” There may be some who will quibble about which country she means, but what difference does it make? As I said before, I can do anything I want, so deal with it.

Anyway, with no further ado, I hereby cut the ceremonial ribbon, dedicating the Benedict Arnold National Monument.

Author Bio:

Arthur Louis spent more than forty years as a print journalist, with the Philadelphia Inquirer, McGraw-Hill, Fortune magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle, but he is not asking for sympathy. He is the author of two non-fiction books: The Tycoons, and Journalism and Other Atrocities, as well as a novel, The Little Champ. In retirement, he has decided unilaterally that he is a profound political pundit.
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