a message from a reader

Peter Beinart, Nude Model, here.

I was relaxing in the hottub the other day with my good friend, Johnny Chait. It had been a hard week, let me tell you. However, the production values on “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you happy to see me, muscular liberal?” have truly been marvelous. Scruggs+Limitedinc+Gulf and Western have really gone all out on this film, which comes in at a cost of 7500 dollars – we even rented a new apartment! I was so getting tired of the couch in producer’s pad that we used in the previous fifty films, let me tell you – I have the polyester burns to prove it. I, of course, play the Pool boy. Well, enough plugging! Chait asked if I had seen the story about the Democrats meeting our President. As my many fans know, I have been trying to avoid D.C., since I made that little booboo in advocating liberating a certain Middle Eastern country. But, as Johnny quickly noticed, every time our President is mentioned, there is something about it that causes Petey to rise to attention. So hard to break old habits!

No, I said. So he gave me the scoop. According to the newspaper:

“… Bush began his talk by comparing himself to President Harry S Truman, who launched the Truman Doctrine to fight communism, got bogged down in the Korean War and left office unpopular.
Bush said that "in years to come they realized he was right and then his doctrine became the standard for America," recalled Senate Majority Whip-elect Richard Durbin, D-Ill.”

Of course, I realized right away what was happening. This was a bi-partisan shout out to me. Besides my new career as a nude model and a much in demand pool boy, I am also, I think I can say immodestly, perhaps the foremost Trumanist in this land of purple mountain’s majesty. In my book, A New Policy to Get America Aggressive Again, I used the example of Truman in a much commented upon way. As we know, in 1947, Soviet aggression was the issue of the hour. In a controversial move, in Christmas of that year, Truman slew and ate a girl scout cookie salesman. There were many in his own party that did not appreciate the message of toughness he was sending. Henry Wallace, already under the sway of the Communists, famously said that, president or not, cannibalism was flat wrong where he came from. We can already see the kind of moral relativism that nearly undid our long twilight struggle against the evil empire. In the first political campaign in which I can vote, Reagan vs. Carter, this of course resurfaced. While JFK had, of course, slain and eaten a girlscout cookie seller to show Khruschev what was what during the Cuban missile crisis (JFK’s greatness was in his willingness to learn), and Johnson had eaten girlscouts ritually every year – barbecuing them, actually, on the ranch in that great old Texas way of his – with Watergate and the failure of our national resolve, the tradition seemed to go into abeyance. In that famous speech to the McGovernite wing in 77, Carter had gone so far as to pledge never to slay and fricassee, fry, poach, or even slowly marinate a girl scout cookie seller. The American people, naturally, had to question a Democratic party that was willing to give up our place in the world as the city on the hill and to slip in decline - and for what? A few buttercreams more? I consider Reagan’s pledge to eat a girl scout cookie seller every Christmas in the second debate to have sent a message of hope with which the Democrats, carping and whining, couldn’t compete.

Of course, when, in 2001, President George Bush and Vice President Cheney roasted a whole troop of girl scouts, I was temporarily bowled over. In retrospect, I should have seen that the crucial element of the will has to be accompanied by an elementary competence. The lack of barbecue sauce, the way they had to order out for skewers at the last moment, and the way Bush ended up with all those buttons in his teeth should have been warning signs for a muscular liberal like me.

However, this isn’t about me, or the frankly hilarious whipped cream scene that my fans will talk about for years, or at least months, or maybe a day or two – no, this is about something even more important: our country, as Johnny and I like to call it. In the long, long, extremely deep, wet oh so wet and did I say long? war gone wild that we are fighting at the present moment, we need to do more than recall Truman: we need, I think, to drop some atom bombs. I don’t know where. I don’t know on who. But I do know that it will should be done, after due deliberation, and in support of democracy. We lose our will at our peril.

Thank you.
I remain,
Peter Beinart
Nude Model


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