Dear Al

Dear Al,

Let me open by saying I hope you won't think me presumptuous in addressing you by your first name even though we've never met. Being a right-on guy myself, I knew when you turned your last campaign around by wearing those earth-tones and claiming that the automobile was the worst invention man had ever conceived that you were also right-on and would accept a soul-mate's familiar greeting. So, hi! But now to the reason I'm writing. I noticed in your recent speech to the MoveOn gang (my kind of people since they think Bush is actually a Martian just out on the universe for a good time - okay, so it's just a joke, but he is at least an ogre of some sort) that you made some statements that could hurt you in any future enterprise. My company, Rehabilitative Equipping of Has-beens for Alternatives Bureau (REHAB, for short), is designed to remake personas of people who have fallen on hard times - through no fault of their own, of course - into brand new personas strong and smart enough to energize even wet noodles and make them vote democratic at a republican spaghetti supper.

For instance, you claimed that Bush promised us a foreign policy with humility, but brought us humiliation in the eyes of the world. Foreign policies are neither humble, proud, arrogant, nor anything else. They just are. If you meant that Bush was supposed to be humble, you missed it, since he went begging to the United Nations for months (even rumored to have offered France most of San Francisco) before humbly kicking Saddam out of that rat-hole and off of his prayer rug (could have been arrogant and shot him - the cowboy thing, you know), meaning, of course, that Bush brought Saddam humiliation, instead of the USA, in the eyes of the world. To keep you from making this kind of mistake again, you need the help of our program called the Political Rhetorical Options, Private Activities, Gregarious Antics and Necessary Dealings Actuator (PROPAGANDA, for short). From this outstanding activity you will learn what to say and when and how to say it, both lies and truth thoroughly treated. I saw a TV clip from your MoveOn speech and thought for a sec there that you were going to assault me right through the VCR. You know what that scream did for Howard Dean. I offered him our services on the phone, but he screamed back at me that he invented intelligence, and then the phone blew up, with part of his tonsils in my ear. Scary, Al. Gave me nightmares. I also heard that two little blue-haired ladies in your audience had their hair to turn green and a third one had it to turn loose. I hope they don't sue for hair-iffic damages (okay, not funny - I agree in advance).

PROPAGANDA will help you do what you should, as well as when and where. In that MoveOn speech, you said Bush had the reputation as the most dishonest president since Richard Nixon. You blew it there, big guy. You forgot about your trip to the convent in California back around 1996, when you collected better than a hundred thou from those little old nuns who were broke, and then said you didn't know what was going on. Our program would have kept you from going there, and then from lying about it, and for lying now, since you came along after Nixon. I mention this because if you had been able to steal Florida from Bush in 2000 you would be president now, and folks would be laughing at you about that Nixon comparison. You need us. You're pretty good at those stupid gregarious antics, like milking cows and kissing babies at campaign time, but you're weak in wheeling and dealing. If you'd had us on your side, you would have tried to bribe the U.S. Supreme Court instead of that crooked Florida Supreme Court, and thus might be flying Air Force One today.

Even though I hate to mention it, you shouldn't have accused the president's cabinet of reckless incompetence in your MoveOn speech, since you were part of Slick Willie's outfit and attended the cabinet meetings, and by your reckoning probably were the most important part (not of the cabinet, but the outfit, except for Hillary and Monica, of course). There was Somalia in 1993 (you know, Blackhawk Down), as well as all those poor souls killed at Waco, the killings of 24 American troops in Saudi Arabia in 1995-96, the hundreds killed in our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the USS Cole in 2000, with 17 sailors killed. Knowing full well it was bin Laden's work, the best you guys could do was blow up a few outhouses in Afghanistan and a medicine factory in Sudan. Obviously, you would do well not to speak of incompetence, reckless or otherwise. An arm of REHAB that can help keep you from making such foolish statements is the Institute for Deceptively Innovative Observations of Truth (known, of course by its acronym, IDIOT). President Clinton took my call back in the "impeachment period" and also took IDIOT's advice that he should insist that properly defining what is is would get him off the hook, so you can see how IDIOT could actually save a presidency.

Finally, you should not have called for the resignations of Rumsfeld, Rice, and Tenet. That was a weak approach; you should have called on Bush to fire them. An arm of REHAB that could have forestalled that gaffe is the Bureau of Activating Condemnatory Kitsch for Blackballing Outrageous Nationalistic Elites (called BACKBONE, for short). The trick is to concoct a story of sordidness (kitsch, in case that term is unfamiliar - excuse me if you know what it is) that will discredit a patriot so that he/she can be fired and not be given the opportunity to just resign. You could have claimed that Rumsfeld stands at his desk because he's too weak to get up (connoting disability, senility, whatever); or Rice of preferring career over marriage (thus inferring greedy ambition over security concerns); and Tenet of reading the Wall Street Journal before making decisions (thus basing CIA operations on the market instead of bin Laden's treachery). Done BACKBONE's way, you could have made public opinion force the president to fire them, but now it's too late.

In any case, you can see the value, I hope, of REHAB and its agencies/programs, and I hope to hear from you soon. In the meantime, please reconsider the "earth-tones thing." The style now is red, white and blue ties, preferably with dark suits and no sandals or sneakers. I know you're trying to appeal to the young, but please, no pants with the crotch at knee level and the leg-bottoms dragging through the restroom urine and doggie runs.

I.B. Newself, CEO