I sat with my elderly cat Phyllis Ann on my right arm as the Marine One, the helicopter temporarily designated Executive One since it was taking the former president, George W. Bush, up, up and away forever from his White House home. For some strange reason I felt compelled to exercise a precise military salute, albeit with my left hand. It seemed a fitting goodbye. Obama and Michelle, Sasha and Malia, had me in such good spirits that I felt no bitterness watching Bush leave for Texas acting as if he was Michael Phelps coming home from his triumph in Beijing.
Bush, up, up, and away: first you salute, then you de-bush.
I can’t say I was totally in command of my senses because I celebrated the few days before the Inauguration, and the day following my 65th birthday, sharing the experience of severe food poisoning with my wife. We both got sick, we think from food poisoning, 24 hours after after eating out Friday night.
So with empty and queasy stomachs but full and hopeful hearts, we watched the transition.
I am sure those who read my tale of getting a nose bleed from inhaling too much 16 year old scotch on election eve will think I am a medical disaster just waiting to punish myself on happy political occasions.
I watched President Obama sign his first executive orders today. They all sounded good to me. Very un-Bush. It seems like he is starting to keep his promise to right the wrongs perpetrated on us and our civil liberties from his first full day in office.
I wonder if one of the catchwords of the next year or two will be de-bushing, although if you know anything about mechanics the proper term for what the government needs is re-bushing.
Bush was running the machinery of government with a tin ear that couldn’t hear the scraping and screeching that would have led any self-aware president to call the government version of The Car Talk guys.
Good bushings make machines runs smoother and efficiently.
The Bush government’s bushings, were sometimes just shredded bits of metal and teflon which froze everything to a halt (like the growth of the economy and the Katrina rescue), and made Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang look and run like a Lamborgini.