The Memoirs of the White House Janitor
Cosmo “Ace” Willingham.This is a book I never wanted to write. We maintenance engineers have a code, our job is to take out the trash, not write about it. You’ve been doing this work as long as me, you come to find out not all the trash is in the garbage pail. Some of it is walking around on two legs. We see it, but we don’t talk about it. That’s our code.
But after the signifying, justifying, ass-covering, excuse-making books that the Boss put out, and the Vice Boss, Cheney, and a whole passel of smaller fry who did the same, it was hard to hold my tongue. Now come along this latest tell-all book by Don Rumsfeld—which they ought to call a tell-nothing book, if you ask me—and I can’t stand it no more.
I have to open up my mouth and give a holler. I don’t care if they drum me out of the Janitor’s union, I’m gonna break the code.
All those books are a bunch of BS. They twist their words, trying to fool history, and they all say the same thing. “It ain’t my fault.”
Well, they can try that on St. Peter and see how it goes, but I know better. Seems to me these fellows are mighty long on excuses and short on repentance.
I was there, I saw it all. And I can tell you something about Don Rumsfeld. I worked for the government for nigh on forty years and I never seen a man more sure of himself and less smart about it.
Donny would get a hold of an idea and no facts in the world could shake him of it. If he got a pain in his backside he’d go and blame Saddam Hussein. If one of the boss’s dogs lit up and took a bite out of his trousers he’d blame it on that Arab and you couldn’t convince him otherwise. Not even if you showed him a picture.
That’s why we got into that Iraq mess. I could see it coming from way over yonder. They wanted Saddam’s scalp from the git go. The WMD was just advertising, same as snake oil. They knew they didn’t know about the weapons, but that didn’t make no difference. They were gonna get that boy if all he had was a slingshot. His goose was cooked six ways from Thanksgiving on day one.
That’s where your Bush gang cheated the public, they wanted that war. They never lied about the weapons because they never knew for sure, but they sure lied about that. They were fixin to have a war one way or the other, and if they couldn’t find reasons, they’d use excuses.
Well, they had their war all right and we all saw what happened. They was expecting a cakewalk, but they got the briar patch. And when you go for the glory and wind up filling Arlington with pine boxes instead, it’s only natural you look for someone to blame. It’s either that or admit you might’ve been wrong and these boys ain’t done that yet once in life.
When all this stuff started coming down bad, Rummy just stood there with that face of his, looking like something someone put on Mt. Rushmore by mistake, and stuck to his guns. Didn’t matter how bad the snafus got, he’d just grit that jaw and stare into space, ice-cold. Butter beans wouldn’t melt in his mouth, and he was full of ‘em.
And when he does finally take some responsibility and offers to resign, it’s over the one thing that wasn’t his fault. When those rednecks went and disgraced the whole country in Abu Ghraib, Bush had his chance. If that cowboy had a brain in his head he would of taken Rummy’s resignation and run him off to the woodshed where he belonged, and if I’d of been an idiot instead of a janitor I would have told him so. But it wasn’t my place to say and they never asked.
So they did their thing, no help from me, and when they got done tripping over their wieners for eight years and causing the country no end of grief, did they have the common decency to go home and shut up about it?
No, they had to go and write books, looking for someone else to blame.
Well, I was there, I saw it all, and I blame them. I’m calling those no-accounts to account, it’s on them. And of all the no-class whiners that wrote a book in that posse, Rummy’s was the lowest one of all. He ought to be ashamed of himself, the way he puts it on everyone else.
What really grates my gizzards is the way Rummy lays blame on the black folks. The boy was okay to me, personally, if he ever noticed I was there. I never was sure, because his eyes don’t seem to focus on anything outside his head. But, to hear him tell it, Bush and Cheney did their best and woulda done better if only Colin and Condi hadn’t screwed up so bad.
So I’m seeing these clowns, every day, and it sticks in my craw bad. It got to the point where I couldn’t take no more, so I up and retired. And no sooner am I and the missus back in Memphis, not janitoring for anyone but ourselves and the grandkids, than we go and elect one of our own to the White House.
I could be running the power waxer over the White House floors this very day, and doing it for the first Black man to run the show in America. I’d be so proud I’d like to bust.
I should be working for Barack Obama, right now. But they run me out. I could of gotten a taste of glory before I died, if not for Rummy and the rest of the fools who are cashing in now, writing their damn fool books for anyone fool enough to believe them. And I put the blame square on their heads.
Oh lordy, will you look at that? Now they’ve got me doing it!