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We have come to bury Caesar


George W. Bush's Eulogy for Ronald Reagan


by Presidential Speechwriter Thomas Quinn



My fellow Americans, today we mourn the passing of a great American: President Ronald Wilson Reagan, or as I like to think of him, my daddy's old boss. He was an icon of Americanism, alongside the Statue of Liberty, Mt. Rushmore, McDonald's, high cholesterol, insider trading, the Jack LaLane Juice-O-Matic, and Grecian Formula. So, now that he has passed from national treasure to buried treasure, I'd like to say a few words in remembrance of his outstanding leadership of our country.

Of course, his leadership was back in the 1980s and I was too drunk and fried to remember much. But I understand that while I was face down in my own vomit he saved the world from evildoers. This is a subject close to my own heart. And also to my Vice President's heart (which isn't worth a damn these days, but hey, he doesn't use it anyway. . . heh-heh).

In the early years of his presidency, when Grenada became a gathering threat to America's freedom, President Reagan liberated that island, whether they wanted it or not. In so doing he saved the careers of some of the world's best Caribbean-trained doctors. Then he ended the Cold War. He just said, "Let's buy lots of guns and, hey, wouldn't be cool to have like space lasers to zap guys like in that Asteroids game?" and that was it. Gorbachev threw up his hands and said, "I give up being communist. I can't afford it. Pass the American cheese." And of course Mr. Reagan went to Berlin and said they should "tear down this wall!" It was brilliant because after living next to it for 40 years this had never occurred to the Germans. Even Gorbo slapped his stained forehead and said, "Why didn't I think of that?"

Mr. Reagan brought that kind of clarity to any situation. Like when he was accused of trading hostages for arms in Iran. After saying he did it, and then saying he didn't do it, and then saying he couldn't remember, he confessed, "Everything in my heart and mind says this wasn't the case. But the facts speak otherwise." It was a very Clinton moment. It was his way of saying, "I did not have sex with that Ayatollah. Oliver North did." Oh yeah, he gave us Oliver North, too. A guy who thinks that if Congress cuts off funding for a war in Central America, it's okay to run a bake sale to keep it going. And speaking about having sex with Oliver North, how about that Fawn Hall?

But Mr. Reagan surrounded himself with these kinds of visionaries. Like Alexander Haig, who said "I'm in charge" after Reagan was shot, and so thoroughly scared the shit out of everyone that nobody dared shoot the president again. The president also hired attorney general Ed Meese, who headed up the Meese Commission to rid our neighborhoods of pornography. And he did. With the advent of the VCR, sexual perversion was removed from our streets and put back in the home where it belongs.

But first and foremost, President Reagan was the guy who put my daddy a heartbeat away from the presidency, which was really good for my resume. As a congressman, all my daddy could do was get me into the champagne unit of the Texas Air National Guard, defending Texas from Oklahoma. But as Vice President he had the power to declare war, spend us into bankruptcy, imprison anyone he didn't like without charge, and give billion dollar government contracts to his friends. It's in the Constitution. At least, that's what Dick Cheney tells me.

Ronald Reagan always said he saw America as a "shining city on a hill." Given his dislike of AIDS research, welfare, drug habilitation and Affirmative Action, that shining city was apparently Simi Valley. He also said that he believed God put America here as "a place for all peoples to come and live in freedom." This is true. We had to kill a lot of Indians to make room for all those free people. And we had to bring over a lot of slaves to provide free labor for free enterprise for all those free people. God works in mysterious ways. Of course, so did the president.

Ronald Reagan understood paradoxicals. . . uh, paraducks. . . uh, paradorks. . . Stuff that doesn't seem to make sense. Like how we used trade sanctions to starve the commies in Nicaragua into respecting human rights while opening trade with apartheid South Africa so we could gorge them into submission. Or how the president always campaigned for a Balanced Budget Amendment, but submitted the most out-of-balance budgets in history. In effect he was saying, "There ought to be a law against what I'm doing!" Like I said, mysterious ways.

He was always an environmental leader. He taught us that trees cause pollution, which is why I'm determined to sell them all to the Japanese. We'll toss in the spotted owls for free. And he taught us that ketchup was a vegetable. I always thought it was some kind of fish. But in honor of this vision I'm ordering the FDA to reclassify additional things as vegetables - including mustard, mayo, Texas barbecue sauce, M&Ms, pork rinds, that yummy white stuff inside of Oreo cookies, and Mr. Reagan himself since about 1986.
President Reagan had an intellectual curiosity that I admire and try to emulace. . . emmilack. . . emmuullate. . . do the same kind of thing, like he did, sort of. He started every day reading the paper. Yes, it was the comics, but you know, Ziggy has some pretty heavy insights. Of course, I'm not the kind of bookworm Mr. Reagan was. When my mom told me to read, "Green Eggs and Ham," I used the Cliffs notes.

Like me, he had an adoring wife whose first job was to make him look not stupid and, like good women everywhere, kept her damned mouth shut - unlike certain lesbian senators from New York. You know the type. Those ultra-feminist "politically correct" academics who write things like "all sex is rape." In my whole life I've only met one woman who believed that all sex was rape, and we've been happily married for 18 years. Like all men who believe in women's equality, Mr. Reagan opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because women might start using men's bathrooms. He actually said that. And it's a good thing because it's impossible to "trickle down" with chicks in the room. I know, having put away a few kegs in my time during panty raids.

And speaking of trickle down, President Reagan's economics saved America from recession. By cutting the top tax rates while trimming back welfare, he understood that the American economy was ailing because rich people didn't have enough money and poor people had too much. He fixed that little problem. Ronald Reagan also taught me everything I know about balancing budgets. Today, half of every tax dollar you pay is for the debt he ran up. Someday I hope to equal his achievement. Surpluses are just a lot of wasted money. Look what the husband of a certain lesbian senator from New York did with it: peace and prosperity. Now what fun is that?

President Reagan was also strong on national defense. We knew this because he played soldiers in movies a lot. He taught me that looking like a soldier is more important than being one. That's why I wear flight suits when I visit aircraft carriers while John Kerry just stands around looking French.

Also, as with me, God chose Ronald Reagan to be president. Mr. Reagan always said that God blessed America. So, if God blesses whole countries at a time, and I guess that means the whole country is going to Heaven, except for certain lesbian senators from New York.

And so it is with the fond memories of a man who changed America that we say farewell to the Gipper. Having passed away on the eve of D-Day's 60th anniversary, he is surely storming the beaches of Heaven today. Or at least he's in the USO show with Jayne Mansfield.

God bless you, Mr. President. And may God bless America.


Want to share your memories of the 40th President? At least you still have memories! Write

Posted June 20, 2004 5:25 PM






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