Well, Bush, I got finished yesterday with the chore of reading through the first year of The Bush Diaries, November 2004 (shortly after your re-election, remember?) to November 2005. Though I say so myself, I think it makes for an interesting book. It's a very personal take on your shenanigans in office and it approaches serious things with a light touch. It's also interesting to have a day-to-day record that is more a continuum of sometimes tangential observation than an attempt to reflect historical events chronologically, and in terms of their relative importance. I enjoy the changes of rhythm, the snatches of poetry here and there, the cultural asides. It remains to be seen, of course, if others like it, too. Let's hope we end up with a bestseller on our hands, Bush. That would be something, no?
I do have a nagging concern about the whole enterprise, however, and I thought I'd share it with you. Someone asked me the other day--and this is by no means the first time--if I wasn't worried about putting out this not always respectful conversation with your good self on the Internet. The suggestion, of course, was that I might be attracting unwelcome attention to myself, especially in view of continuing news about domestic spying. First it was intercepting the telephone calls of numerous private citizens--a practice that you authorized, Bush, despite concerns from your own advisers about its legality. Now we hear that Google is fighting off an alarming government demand for records on the electronic activities of its customers, supposedly in pursuit of online pornographers. And to compound the Google alarm comes news that other search engines have apparently happily complied with similar government requests already.
So is anyone watching us, Bush? I mean, our collaboration on The Bush Diaries? I guess you ought to know. It's a frightening and a saddening thought that our good-humored daily banter might be the object of surveillance by some government agent who might be less appreciative of the humor of the thing than you or I. Shades of the totalitarian state, Bush. Shades of the Gestapo and the KGB. And there's your spooky Cheney, yesterday, attacking those who might presume to question your authority--and, of course, by extension, his--to spy on anyone you choose to, all in the name of protecting us from the evil terrorists. And there was Bin Laden, just the day before, cocking a cheeky snook in your direction as he offered you a truce!
Well, I guess that the reappearance of your nemesis says more about the efficacy of your intelligence program than I could do in a ream of entries in The Bush Diaries. But I trust you won't take it personally when the book comes out. I'm trusting you, Bush, not to set the snooping dogs on me.