Enter any bookstore today and you will likely see a sign for Mitt Romney's book No Apology, The Case for American Greatness. America is great if you're Mitt Romney and he's not about to apologize for how great things are for him. I don't understand why he got to write a book about it.
Go to Google and enter the words "political book deal." You will learn that the inconsequential dropout former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, recently signed another multi-million dollar book deal. You will see that Scott Brown had a been a Senator for about 30 days before getting his own book deal. Mitt Romney has a book deal. Gov. Bobby Jindal has a book deal. President Obama's half-brother George has a book deal. Yes, even Rod Blagojevich has a book deal. On and on and on. Name any politician, no matter how great or awful as a public servant. Chances are, they've got a million-dollar book deal.
I find it interesting that very few politicians actually write the book before they get the deal. I'm not a writer, but I assume that most book writers create their manuscripts in some lonely cottage in New England. Or maybe they are doing research and putting in hours within the tombs of some major library. But if you happen to be a politician, you don't have to have a particularly literary bent. Hell, you don't even have to write the book! They have people for that. You just show up to take the cover art photograph, go home with a check, and wait for the tour schedule. Must be nice to be able to get rich selling something you didn't create and don't own. Washington has learned a thing or two from Wall Street.
Many of these politicians were awful in office. Why do they get paid millions of dollars to literally write the book on being awful? Sarah Palin, I presume, is getting a book deal so that she can teach the public about how government is supposed to work. When she had that responsibility, she did a shoddy job and then quit before her term was up. Next stop? Million-dollar book deal. Rod Blogjevich got himself impeached, convicted, thrown out of office, and subsequently arrested on corruption charges. I guess while making his way to central booking, he stopped into sign...you guessed it, a book deal. Right now, Carly Fiorina, a woman who is listed as one of the worst CEO's of all time, is right now a major party candidate for U.S. Senate. After cutting the value of the company she ran in half and being fired for doing it, what did she get for her efforts? $20 million severance package and a book deal. What, exactly, do publishers believe these people know that deserves to be recorded and cataloged for all eternity?
Imagine I attempted to build a treehouse, screwed up and built a claptrap doghouse, and then quit. Am I qualified to write the book on outdoor carpentry? Should I be paid a million bucks for it? You'd think our society had taken a wrong term somewhere, right? Worse, Scott Brown's book deal indicates you really don't have to do anything at all to get a book deal showcasing your expertise on government. Don't get me started on the quality of the books themselves. There is a reason why all the political books are always piled up high on a table at the book store.
President Bush has jumped into the book deal game recently, and why not? His presidency, one of the worst of all time, is a case-study in rank incompetence, short-sightedness, corruption, and disregard for the Constitution. From allowing the country to be attacked despite warning, to failing capture or kill the attackers, to ruining the budget, to wasting a mountain of blood and treasure on an unnecessary war, to allowing a major city to be completely destroyed, and having it all culminate in a massive economic crash, the Bush presidency should be considered the owner's manual on how not to run a superpower. Therefore, it was only fitting that he be rewarded with a $7 million book deal.
President Bush's book, Decision Points will be released November 9. Talking about the book and his presidency recently, he said this:
"In terms of accomplishments, my biggest accomplishment is that I kept the country safe amidst a real danger."
What is wrong with him? I don't know. What we should be asking is what is wrong with America?
George W. Bush, of all people, gets to write the book on keeping the country safe from attack?! Only two modern presidents have experienced a domestic attack form a foreign power, and Bush was the one who failed to bring the attackers to account. He gets to write the book on keeping the country safe for seven million? Have we lost our minds?
These things, and these sort of things, are a sign of the complete moral bankruptcy of our political elite. The people who are a part of this machinery, the lobbyists, literary agents, publishers, lawyers, publicists, consultants, advisers, researchers, ghost writers, media pundits, billionaires and the politicians themselves, constitute a modern day American Ancien Regime that Madame Defarge would easily recognize.
It is as if we are living in France just prior to the French Revolution. It was a time of high debt and high unemployment brought about by a financial crisis brought on by debt, which was brought on by a pointless war. King Louis XVI's government refused to raise taxes on the nobles and clergy because of the false belief it would hurt the economy. It was a time of excess and vanity on the part of the regime while the suffering of the masses knew no end. The regime knew no limit to their greed and villainy. In the end, the callous disregard for the people exhibited by the self-indulgent elites who failed to live up to even the minimal standards expected of them, proved to be the source of their own undoing.
I'm no expert on morals or ethics, but I do know right from wrong. It is terribly wrong to reward failure with wealth. Yet that is what keeps happening among the people at the top. Don't they have any sense of decency and proportion? Guilt? Shame? How could a person like Fiorina or Bush seriously believe they, after all they've done to ruin so many lives, deserve to get rich? How could someone with so much wealth and power look around and see the great suffering so many in this country endure and think that what the people deserve most is an opportunity to buy and read their drivel?
I don't know about you, but I pass by these books by at the bookstore. I wish I couldn't see the signs. Still, the signs are there.