THE PRESIDENT RETURNS
The President sat musing in the Oval Office. Nothing was going right. He hated to face the questions at the press conferences where all the reporters were trying to make their careers by destroying his. He picked up the phone and signaled for Chris Hammond, one of the few people he could count on. Chris appeared within a few minutes and said, “Yes, Mr. President.”
The President said, “Chris, I need another cup of that Sumatra roast. Take me down to that basement office. I’m sure it would cause some commotion if I went down there alone.”
“You’ve got that right, Mr. President. If I don’t know where you are at all times, I’m toast.”
The second time Chris led him down to the tunnel and then to the hidden door with the cooper plate inscribed with faint cursive letters “Eight Decades of Insights” didn’t seem to take so long. It was good to get out of the Oval Office where everyone is always clamoring to see me, the President thought. Why don’t they all just do their jobs? He put his right palm on the plaque and the door opened. The well-dressed elderly black man met him as soon as he stepped inside and led the President to the same small table with the coffee service. He poured coffee for the President and asked him, “How much time do you have?”
“Let’s plan on half an hour,” said the President, taking a deep smell of the hot coffee. He took a sip and settled into the chair.
“You know, Mr. President, you don’t have come down here in the middle of a busy day,” said the Advisor, watching him. “You may come at anytime, day or night. If you believe we are through with a subject or you’ve heard enough, just tell me. I’ll start with the IRS issue. I believe it is the most important one facing you now.”
“I’m listening.” The President held his coffee cup and sat back in his chair.
“Issues are seldom isolated from other problems. The IRS issue is tied up with Obamacare and the economic status. No one likes the IRS to start with. It has always pushed the fringes of the public’s sensitivity over their privacy. Without exception it is the most un-liked and feared part of any administration. My advice is for you to take the IRS out of your centerpiece health care legislation. Create a new organization to administer health care. Reduce the size of the IRS to cover or mostly cover the growth of a new executive organization. Delegate as much of the administration of Obamacare as you can to the states. Make this a major speech. Americans know their health care needs fixing. Tell them you realize Obamacare is not perfect but it is a good starting point and you are willing to give it another look. With the passing of time you recognized some elements may need to be modified. Those points will buy you a lot of good will and approval points.” The Advisor paused to let his advice sink in. The President said nothing, so he continued.
“Now you are free to cut those of your staff who knew about the IRS targeting of conservative groups and all the IRS employees engaged in the targeting. Get them all out of your administration. If Congress wants to continue with their investigations, let them. Cooperate as much as you can. If some IRS staff end up in prison, so be it. They knew what they were doing was wrong and that their actions endangered the President. They, like all of us, must take responsibility for our actions.
“Anyone who reads your speeches knows you are pushing a progressive political philosophy that, in your own words, will ‘transform America.’ Americans understand your political objective. They don’t understand the constant shifting of your position on issues. Saul Alinsky may have taught all his students that the issue is never the issue and that you can be on any side of any issue and change sides according to the way the issue can be used to destroy opposition, but the real world doesn’t give presidents or political leaders that freedom. Keeping your word and explaining changes in your position is more important. If the people lose trust in your word, your presidency is over. You must clearly understand that campaigning is not the same as governing. The latter requires compromises and cooperation both in content and form.”
There was a knock on the door and when the Advisor opened it, Chris said, “Mr. President, the half-hour is up. Do you want me to change your schedule?”
“No, Chris, I have to go. Half an hour of straight talk is enough for right now. Set me up for another visit Sunday night.”
The President turned to the Advisor and said, “You are certainly no ‘yes man.’ I’m not sure I agree with you, but thanks.”
The Advisor walked the President the few steps to the door. “I assume you still want me to discuss Ben Ghazi with you on your next visit.”
The President nodded as the thick door closed and he had to return to both the trivia and substance of the Oval Office.
By the author of Jack Brandon novels. www.factsandfictions.com Any parts or the entire blog may be passed on.
- Eight Decades of Insights 60 (factsandfictions.com)
- Eight Decades of Insights 52 (factsandfictions.com)
- Brokaw on IRS Scandal: ‘Welcome to the Second Term, Mr. President’ (newsbusters.org)
- White House Advisor Attempts to Defend the Handling of the IRS Scandal (townhall.com)
- Senior Advisor to Obama: “The Law Is Irrelevant.” (minx.cc)