Since the attack of 9-11, we've won two wars, liberated millions of people from monstrous regimes, presided over one election in Afghanistan and are about to see elections in Iraq and among the Palestinian people. Focusing like a laser beam on the big picture, liberals are upset that, during this period, the secretary of defense used an autopen.
An autopen is a mechanical arm that actually holds a pen and is programmed to sign letters with a particular person's precise signature. Imagine a President Al Gore, with slightly more personality, signing all official government letters ? that's an autopen. (You can relax now, there will be no more exercises imagining a President Al Gore.)
There are 300 million Americans who have a constitutional right ? an actual right, not a phony one invented by Harry Blackmun ? to write to government officials. Every government office you've ever heard of in Washington, D.C., uses autopens with abandon.
As president, Clinton sold burial plots in Arlington Cemetery and liberals shrugged it off. What really gets their goat is the autopen. Evidently, the important thing was that every one of those pardons Clinton sold for cash on his last day in office was signed by Bill Clinton personally.
It occurred to someone (who obviously has the best interests of America at heart!) that among the letters Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sends out there must be condolence letters to the families of servicemen who died for their country. So liberals are in a lather that those letters were signed by autopen.
On the bright side, this is the first war America has been in where the number of casualties is small enough that it would even be theoretically possible for a Defense secretary to sign each condolence letter personally. When Democrats were running the Vietnam War, letters of condolence often began, "To whom it may concern" and were addressed to "occupant."
Most politicians were mum about Autopen-gate, inasmuch as they respond to letters from constituents with dying children in letters signed by autopen. Not Sen. Chuck Hagel, D-Neb. He criticized Rumsfeld for the autopen, saying: "My goodness, that's the least that we could expect out of the secretary of defense, is having some personal attention paid by him."
It would save everyone a lot of trouble if the New York Times would just go ahead and put Hagel on the cover of the Sunday magazine with the headline: "COURAGE." Even now, Hagel can apparently count on no reporters dropping by his office to investigate whether he uses an autopen.
I've been so damn upset that Rumsfeld uses an autopen that I've barely had time to enjoy the "Giving Tree" season. Actually, I think it's time to come clean with my readers and admit that I belong to a small religious cult that celebrates the birth of Jesus this week. So things have been a little hectic.
And if the best liberals are going to give me to argue about this week is Autopen-gate, then: (1) I shall sleep well knowing that the secretary of defense has made so few mistakes for the past four years that liberals are reduced to carping about his autopen, and (2) I'm going to re-gift one of my interviews not published in the United States so I have time to buy more
Interview by Carlos Baroni, Oriana d'America, Italy, October 2004
Q: Many liberals are rich, come from the East Coast, are white, studied at the Ivy university. You are rich (I hope), come from Connecticut, are white and studied at Cornell. Why do you hate the liberals?
A: Because I know so many of them. Liberals are clueless, amoral sexual degenerates, communists and pacifists ? no offense to you or your readers intended, of course.
Q: You said the USA's worst enemy are the liberals.
A: So what's the question? The enemy within is often far more damaging than the enemy outside. Does the name "Mussolini" ? great believer in extensive government direction of the economy, just like the Democrats ? ring a bell?
Q: Why do Europeans prefer liberals than conservatives?
A: Because you're all a bunch of atheists, humanists and moral relativists. Love the food, though! And don't get me started on the shoes you wonderful people make! They're to surrender for!
Q: Do Europeans love Kerry more or hate Bush more?
A: Hate Bush. No one loves John Kerry, including John Kerry. Europeans are wrong on policy, not clinically insane.
Q: Who will win the elections 2004?
A: That's for the Supreme Court to sort out, you ignorant foreigner.
Q: If Kerry should win, what will the changes in the USA be?
A: He's got this exciting new plan for Iraq I think you Italians may have heard of. It's called "unconditional surrender." Today, Christianity is legal and gay marriage is illegal. If Kerry wins, these will be reversed.
Q: And the world?
A: That will be up to the United Nations.
Q: Is it right, the Iraqi conflict?
A: No, it's wrong. The rabid savages who are fighting American troops should give up immediately.
Q: What's your opinion about the U.S. media? Are they actually free?
A: Pravda had certain shortcomings in Soviet days, but at least it was honest enough to admit being a Communist Party newspaper.
Q: Our American image comes from movies. But Hollywood isn't the real America ...
A: The real America is Hollywood, Fla.
Q: Does tolerant Islam exist or not?
A: If it does exist, it's keeping an extremely low profile.
Q: Is it possible to export democracy?
A: Yes. Ever heard of "Italy"?
Q: Who are the three best U.S. presidents of the century? And the three best in any time?
A: Century: Reagan, Coolidge, Harding. Ever: Washington, Reagan, Lincoln.
Q: What is your opinion about the center-left leader in Europe? Zapatero, Blair, Schroeder?
A: Zapatero is Spanish for "Chamberlain." I would campaign for Blair for U.S. president. Schroeder ? what is the Italian word for "scumbag"?
Q: And about center-right? Berlusconi, Chirac?
A: Chirac is center-right? Better lay off the grappa, Primo. Berlusconi: LOVE him!!
Q: Your last book is called "How to Talk to a Liberal." With which words?
A: A baseball bat is best. But if you absolutely must use words, something like: "Grow up."
HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE VERNAL EQUINOX!