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‘Lone Hen Turkey’ Saves America in George W. Bush’s New Memoir

Incorporating Washington Post Book World.Former Texas Rangers owner George W. Bush was so upset by the outcome of the 2010 World Series that he retreated to a dark library somewhere and poured his feelings into a huge cri de coeur titled Decision Points. It also includes stuff about his time as President of the United States. You’ve already heard about the fetus jar and other revelations; is there anything else worth hearing about in this thing? Probably not! Nonetheless, Wonkette has read this miscarried jar-person of a book and reviewed it, here.

To be perfectly honest, nothing much occurs to your reviewer on the subject of George W. Bush’s presidential memoir. All of these Political Apologias are exactly alike, and even this one is hardly worth getting worked up into a frothing rage and screaming something along the lines of “How dare George Bush publish a book? Doesn’t he know he was the perfect mixture of crime and incompetence? OUTRAGE! I’M ANGRY ANGRY ANGRY, etc…”

Because really, who the fuck cares? It’s not like anyone reads RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon or The Reagan Diaries or An Extra Inch For My Bunghole: The Lyndon Johnson Story anymore.

The book is organized into chapters that each center on some specific Decision Point in G.W.’s life (whether or not to quit drinking, whether or not to invade Iraq, whether or not to ameliorate Africa’s AIDS problem with magic drugs made from discarded copies of U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb). So the book is about the awesome and terrifying burden of human free will, or something. Like Dostoevsky.

There’s really nothing very interesting or telling in this book. There are a few charming anecdotes, though. Your reviewer found one in particular strangely compelling.

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The scene: President Bush is arguing with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah at Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. The year is 2002. The Second Intifada is underway (you remember that, right?), and the prince is upset about Ariel Sharon’s recent incursion into Ramallah. He asks Bush, “When will the pig leave Ramallah?”

Bush wants Sharon to leave Ramallah too, but obviously an American president, ANY American president, can’t do very much about an off-the-rails Israeli prime minister. The American prez and the Saudi autocrat argue and don’t seem to be getting anywhere. “America’s pivotal relationship with Saudi Arabia was about to be seriously ruptured.” What to do?!

Bush has an idea: he’ll win the Saudis over with an earnest conversation about religion. After all, “I had read two interesting things about [Crown Prince Abdullah] in a background briefing. One was that he was a devout religious believer. The other was that he loved his farm.”

The religion talk doesn’t go well, as Abdullah “wasn’t in a sharing mood,” so Bush takes him on a tour of his farm:

…the crown prince, flowing robes and all, was climbing into a Ford F-250 pickup….I point out the different kinds of hardwood trees, the native prairie grasses that Laura had planted, and the grazing cattle. The crown prince sat silently. I wasn’t making much headway.

Then we reached a remote part of the property. A lone hen turkey was standing in the road. I stopped the truck. The bird stayed put.

“What is that?” the crown prince asked.

I told him it was a turkey. “Benjamin Franklin loved the turkey so much he wanted it to be America’s national bird,” I said.

Suddenly I felt the crown prince’s hand grab my arm. “My brother,” he said, “it is a sign from Allah. This is a good omen.”

I’ve never fully understood the significance of the bird, but I felt the tension begin to melt…The next day, I got a call from Mother and Dad. The crown prince had stopped in Houston to visit them. Mother said he had tears in his eyes as he recounted his time in Crawford and talked about what we could achieve together. For the rest of my presidency, my relationship with the crown prince — soon to be king — was extremely close. I had never seen a hen turkey on that part of the property before, and I haven’t seen one since.

This turkey tale is worth any number of head-scratching political columns and tortured think pieces about the Bush family, America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, and life itself. Seriously.

Oh hell, why not just make the rest of this review a random assembly of quotes from the book?

Bush on his reaction to hearing that America was under attack on September 11:

My first reaction was outrage. Someone had dared to attack America. They were going to pay. Then I looked at the faces of the children in front of me. I thought about the contrast between the brutality of the attackers and the innocence of those children. Millions like them would soon be counting on me to protect them. I was determined not to let them down.

Inspiring! Makes you want to protect the innocence of children and goats by hiding from terrorists all day.

Bush on Bono:

He was warm to Laura and the girls. He frequently sent notes of thanks. He is a man of genuine faith. Bono could be edgy, but never in a cynical or political way.

Your reviewer isn’t sure what that last sentence means, but he thinks POP is actually pretty underrated.

Bush on coming from an illustrious family:

I am fortunate to come from a family of bestselling authors. My mother and father wrote fine books, as did my sister Doro. Closer to home, Laura wrote a bestseller, Jenna wrote a bestseller, and they collaborated on another. Even my parents’ dogs, C. Fred and Millie, authored their own works.

HAHAHAHA, the following is a 100% true story: when your reviewer was about 6 years old, he was literally given Millie’s Book — authored by Millie Bush, George H.W. and Barbara’s springer spaniel — as a gift. Really.

Bush on the moral justification for removing Saddam Hussein:

I’ve always wondered why many critics of the war did not acknowledge the moral argument made by people like Elie Wiesel…I didn’t see how anyone could deny that liberating Iraq advanced the cause of human rights.

Bush on his overall foreign policy:

The freedom agenda…was both idealistic and realistic. It was idealistic in that freedom is a universal gift from Almighty God. It was realistic because freedom was the most practical way to protect our country in the long run.

Well, that settles it then.

Say, what’s in the news these days? Oh look, the Iraqi Christian folk are being terrorized by bombings and massacres. This, too, is part of the Freedom Agenda.

Decision Points by George W. Bush, Crown Publishing, 512 pages, $18.90

Have you written a memoir of your shameful time in the White House? Email a review copy to greer.mansfield@gmail.com.

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129 comments

  1. J Rbt. Oppenheiner

    A more teabagger president would have shot the turkey, punched the crown prince, and told him to worship an American god when he's in America.

    I never thought Bush would be remembered as a kind, warm, thoughtful moderate.

  2. x111e7thst

    When does GW Bush's penis publish a tell all? It could be titled "The Angry Inch" if that wasn't already taken.

    1. JustPixelz

      "My Pet Dork"
      "Bush's Other Dick"
      "Hee Hee, I Look Like Florida"
      "Doin' the Thinkin' : My Life in the Bush White House"

  3. genxr

    This is why conservatives have no faith in Obama. He would never be able to save the world by driving a theocratic dictator around his ranch in a pickup truck and pointing to a bird. Obama would probably try to use "reason" and "logic" and "compromise" which never work in the real world. Driving trucks and pointing at birds, that's how real Murkins get things done!

    Oh, unless I read that wrong, Bush drove the king around his ranch in an F-20. That's actually pretty cool. The two-seat model of the tigershark fighter jet is quite rare. Did they blast the turkey with its 20mm gatlin? That does sound like a hoot.

    1. OneDollarJuana

      Having just heard the proposals from Obama's deficit reduction panel, I think the conservatives have every faith in Obama. He knuckles under to them at every turn, just so long as he gets to make a couple of logical points in his favor, which he will then abandon.

  4. Monsieur_Grumpe

    Jeez Greer, after reading that crap you’re probably going to need some time to recover. You should ease yourself back into the literary world with baby steps. Perhaps your next review should be an Archie and Jugghead comic book. It’s a big leap but a definite step in the right direction.

  5. charlesdegoal

    Did he asked the crown prince if he ever had sex with birds? It seems to be one of his recurrent concerns.

  6. GuyClinch

    "Suddenly I felt the crown prince’s hand grab my arm."

    Good lord, this is some shitty writing, even for whoever ghosted this book. Are you sure it wasn't his neck that grabbed your arm? Maybe his balls? Invocations of "Almighty God" and the prince calling a fucking turkey hen an omen from God?!? While you two were silently giving each other handjobs in the truck, were you looking into the heart of the turkey? Fuck you, you two awful people.

        1. genxr

          Sometimes an author needs to bend the rules, for example to differentiate from a similar sentence appearing later in the same chapter:

          "Suddenly I felt the Crown Prince's crotch grab my own, and we scissored until peace came to the mideast."

          1. johnnymeatworth

            "I can still remember the dim strains of 'Lonesome Electric Turkey' from Frank Zappa's Fillmore East, June 1971 album playing in the background. It seemed ironic somehow…."

      1. MiniMencken

        A friend whose father was the Chief of Staff to LBJ when he was VP tells me that, as a boy, whenever LBJ entered the room, he felt really safe. I doubt Shrub inspires the same feeling.

    1. charlesdegoal

      Prince asks:
      - What are you doing with that dick?
      Bush doesn't hear too good:
      - It's not a duck, it's a turkey!
      - I was talking to the turkey.

  7. CapeClod

    Bush on his reaction to hearing that America was under attack on September 11:
    "My first reaction was become mentally and emotionally paralyzed."

    Fixed.

    1. LionelHutzEsq

      Yeah, I found it strange that he had so many thoughts going through his head, and yet all the video shows is him looking lost and overwhelmed, as if the only thoughts going through his head were "I hope we put new batteries into Cheney," or "They wouldn't try to attack me when I'm surrounded by kids, right? I better stall out this book for another ten minutes."

  8. barkingspiders

    He gives "comfortable in his own skin" a whole new meaning. Palin could learn a thing or two from this guy!

  9. SnarkoMarx

    I'll bet that was one of the famous Condoleeza Rice hand turkeys that long-time Wonkette readers will remember.

  10. Oblios_Cap

    huge cri de coeur

    Apparently, one man's huge cri de coeur is another man's huge steaming pile of shit.

    $18.90? What, did he charge by the word? He really is the biggest putz in the world.

  11. donner_froh

    Suddenly I felt the crown prince’s hand grab my arm. “My brother,” he said, “it is a sign from Allah. This is a good omen.”

    So me and Abdullah, we grabbed that bird and fucked the hell out it.

    That was a real good omen.

  12. SorosBot

    "The next day, I got a call from Mother and Dad."

    Normal people would either use "mother and father" or "mom and dad", keeping the phrase either fully formal or informal; you'd almost think the guy had some serious psychological complex regarding his parents.

    1. SnarkoMarx

      I'll bet in regular conversation he refers to them as "mater and pater". Silver-spoon suckin' POS that he is.

    2. GOPCrusher

      I have a sneaking suspicion that Little Georgey used to get smashed upside his smirking little head, if he ever referred to Mother as mom. Babs doesn't strike me as someone who would tolerate that kind of insolence from children.

    3. Dashboard_Jesus

      the little sociopath has some serious 'Oedipal' issues alright, as I've said before…now me and my Mom don't exactly agree on much- plus she used to bet me a lot as a kid- but NEVER in my entire 50 fucking years on this planet have I called her 'Mother'…Babs sure does seem like a cold, heartless bitch but somethin' REAL bad musta happened between those two (besides the fetus-in-a-jar thingy!) maybe he saw her nekkid, that'd be pretty fuckin' scary! http://www.ancientpythoness.com/wp-content/upload

  13. SorosBot

    Well, you can always pretend LBJ's foreign policy never happened and lay claim to his (excellent) domestic accomplishments.

  14. SorosBot

    "Millions like them would soon be counting on me to protect them. I was determined not to let them down." Except, of course, for the poor black residents of New Orleans.

    1. OneDollarJuana

      "Millions like them would soon be counting on me to protect them. I was determined not to let them down."

      Of course, as always, he did.

  15. Badonkadonkette

    The significance of that bird? How about it proves a fucking turkey has more diplomatic gravitas than you do, you dipshit?

  16. Failed_2_Menace

    Lemme clear it up for you, pal.

    No one denies that the liberation of Iraq would advance the cause of human rights. Where people find fault is in the fact that you did nothing of the kind.

    If you "liberated" where I live with results equivalent to those achieved in Baghdad, I'd throw a shoe at your narrow ass myself.

  17. fuflans

    i don't know if greer or benjamin has the harder job, but on veteran's day we should salute our wonkette heroes.

  18. Lascauxcaveman

    The part of the scene with the turkey that was left on the editing room floor is when they spotted the turkey, they jumped out of the truck and shot it, then fucked it, then disemboweled it it with a screwdriver, then smeared its blood and feces all over each other, then fucked each other.

    I'm sure it'll make it way back into the script for the film version, since it's a pretty pivotal scene.

  19. prommie

    Well, I really have nothing to say, its a great example of the banality of evil (that should have been the title) and the danger posed by misguided, simpleminded mediocrity. But really, in the end, fuck it, its hopeless, just grab the person you love most and hold them, its all you got in this world, the rest is just relentless, unending shit.

        1. MiniMencken

          Currently, the person I love most is Sofia Vergara, but she doesn't (sniff! whimper!) even know I'm alive.

          1. prommie

            Well, take the advice of Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Just don't ever tell them they're your second choice, thats not good.

  20. Not_So_Much

    Bush arguing with the Saudi crown prince — so it's supposed to be amusing fiction, right?

    I like how he stops in Houston the next day to collect his tribute humjob from Babs and George Sr. What a fun bunch, I hope Beelzebub keeps them all together in their next stop.

  21. Eve8Apples

    Obama should try that turkey schtick at the G-20 summit. When they reach an impasse on currency reform negotiations, Barry can shout, "OK Joe, bring in the frickin' bird" and then Joe Biden – dressed as a pilgrim – walks in carrying a big ole turkey. Everyone in the room shouts, "HOLY SHIT! It's a sign from Allah!" and voila – all our problems are solved.

  22. Bluestatelibel

    He's from a whole family of authors that wrote books that most people never heard of, and quickly wound up in the $2 bin. BTW, it's so reassuring to know world leaders make decisions based on magical occurences like seeing a hen, might as well just pack it in now. Woops, he saw a TURKEY, now it all makes sense.

    1. FNMA

      You know, not to come off as bitter or pissed off or anything, but publishers paid these literary abortionists boxcars full of money to deliver these literary jarred fetuses while writers who have real skill have to sift through the trash for their dinner.
      Our culture, it goes without saying, is fucked.

      1. Bluestatelibel

        It really is sad. There are writers out there who could deliver Pulitizer Prize novels, or an entertaining mystery, or good how-to book, but no…it's millions for Dubya and McCain instead.

  23. EdFlintstone

    I think he really dug deep in his writing, a turkey is the perfect symbol of the George W. Bush presidency,

  24. PsycWench

    The reviewer on NPR yesterday got it about right with "He hopes history will be as easy on him as he is on himself". Also, the only difference between his writing and that of the guy who self published the book about Sheriff Bonner with the terrible sex scenes is an editor. A sleepy, bored, half-attentive editor.

  25. Geminisunmars

    Next time you need to explain the phrase "Let's talk turkey" you can lift this passage from W's book.

  26. HistoriCat

    "Seeing a turkey" is obviously a euphemism for "made sweet, sweet love." Must have been some intense President on Prince action.

    1. JustPixelz

      So this is how world leaders talk and do their decider'ing. Walk around and try to think of something, anything to talk about. Otherwise eventually one of them is going to say something like "why were there so many motherfucking Saudis on the motherfucking 9/11 planes?"

      Fortunately though a turkey squawks "AFLAC, AFLAC" and the King says "Allah with stuffing and yams", while the Prez says "Jeebus on the rocks".

    1. WriteyWriterton

      "Do we catalog this under Fiction or Children's?"

      > "Do we catalog this under Stupid of Unnecessary?"

      Fixed.

    2. WriteyWriterton

      "Do we catalog this under Fiction or Children's?"

      > "Do we catalog this under Stupid or Unnecessary?"

      Fixed.

  27. el_donaldo

    So the book is about the awesome and terrifying burden of human free will, or something. Like Dostoevsky.

    Or like The Idiot which Dostoevsky wrote. Also.

  28. Beowoof

    Well you are free to agree with W, or you are free to be tossed in prison or kept out of any meaningful conversation about government or waterboarded, so pick your freedumb.

  29. Native_of_SL_UT

    New things to add to my list of signs from God.
    1. Turkeys in the road.
    2. Fetuses in jars.
    3. Lots and lots of coke and alcohol.

    1. Oblios_Cap

      SL_UT:

      A fine list, to be sure.

      I believe you forgot : 4. Formations of geese flying over the White Trash Bash.

  30. FNMA

    The moment I saw those two fuckwads in the ballpark, I knew the Rangers were fucked. Everything they touch turns to shit.

    1. LionelHutzEsq

      See, I knew the Rangers were fucked when they announced they would be greeted in San Francisco as liberators, and then sent only one-third the team despite the recommendations of the manager.

      And, then, to not have any plan for what to do after the fifth inning. Sheer folly.

      1. SorosBot

        But they knew that they had to stick around for just six more innings, then things were bound to turn around somehow. Then it was another six innings, then another…

  31. DahBoner

    Barney Frank saw a cranberry bog in Massachusetts. He thought it was a sign from God, too.

    You guys should get together with a bowl of gravy.

  32. MiniMencken

    What else would a Decider name his personal experience essay if not "Decision Points?" Unfortunately, there is a vast, vast difference between making decisions and making good, informed decisions.

  33. Tundra Grifter

    The Ranger players are slowly waking up, trying to recall the license plate letters and numbers that were the last thing they saw right before the bumper hit them in the belt buckle.

    They aren't too sure what happened – and it will be a long, long time before they figure out how it happened.

    They all do know that truck did catch 'em pretty good…

  34. Tundra Grifter

    I'm tired of "…I didn’t see how anyone could deny that liberating Iraq advanced the cause of human rights."

    They never mention the ever-lovin' COST of removing Saddam Insane. It certainly wasn't worth 4,000 and more American lives, a round 100,000 Iraqi lives, and untold billions and billions of dollars.

    We could have accepted the offering of help from nations around the world, surrounded Afghanistan, rooted out the Taliban, made a success out of that with a true international coalition, and then watched as Iraq collapsed from its own weight.

    Instead we settled for a half-baked job in Afghanistan, a horrible job in Iraq, and now we have two countries completely FUBAR.

    This turned into a clusterfuck of epic proportions – and the right wing nutz refuse to recognize the cost of such a hollow "win." Who was the general who said "One more such victory and we are undone?"

    1. JustPixelz

      It didn't liberate the soldiers who were killed. Nor those who were wounded. Nor the Iraqis killed in combat and by each other in their civil war. The money poured into that Oedipal hole could have saved lives in America, in Africa. A monumental, tragic and pointless failure.

      1. Tundra Grifter

        For what we wasted on the war in Iraq, we could have brought clean fresh water to every person on earth, medical care for every woman about to have a baby, and a few other choice items along those same lines (I get my figures from "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man," possibly the most depressing book every written).

        Had the US of A done those things, would we be beloved around the world? I happen to think so.

  35. gurukalehuru

    Let's not forget who wrote this book. He told the Crown Prince it was a Turkey Hen, the Crown Prince took his word for it, he wrote it down in the book and there were no other witnesses. My guess is it was probably an armadillo. Or a coyote.

    1. Amo_of_Bogio

      …or a rock or some brush.
      Had I been drinking milk, it would have come out of my nose.
      Well played sir/ma'am

  36. LionelHutzEsq

    So, this is what I take from the review:

    1) Bush is apparently a secret Muslim, basing his foreign policy on signs from Allah.

    2) Bush's literary mentors were his parents dogs.

    3) Killing over 150,000 Iraqis is all right, because Saddam Husein would have killed 30,000.

    4) Bono slept with his daughters.

    5) Liberating Iraq further the cause of human rights, so it is OK if we torture people. Two turkey steps forward, one step back.

    Given the above, is there any reason to read the book?

  37. GOPCrusher

    The most hilarious part of the whole tragic event was that Babs was the only one that appeared to have the knowledge to score the game.

  38. Neilist

    Dear Ms./Mr. Greer:

    You probably are Communist Pinko Liberal SKUM, as are the rest of these nitwits.

    That said, I can think of no more Heroic, Self-Sacrificing Service than your having actually read this vacuous, self-serving, lying Piece of Shit — so that we don't have to.

    Ms/Mr. Greer: For doing the literary equivalent of falling on a grenade so that your Wonkette buddies could live . . .

    NEILIST SALUTES YOU!

    P.S. What kind of a metrosexual gender-neutral name is "Greer," anyway? The gender identities in here are confusing enough already.

  39. LionelHutzEsq

    Top Ten Decision Points that Bush wanted to write about before his editors got a hold of him:

    1) Should he do the bump of coke off of the mirror or that co-eds ass?

    2) Should I try to be a better President than Daddy, or just invade Iraq to show I'm better than him?

    3) Should I listen to Dick Cheney, or just let him run things while I watch sports on TV?

    4) Stuffing or Mash Potatoes?

    5) When I meet Prince Abdullah for the first time: Tongue Kiss or just Hold Hands?

    6) Is there anything I should do about Katrina, given that my favorite bars on Bourbon Street seem to be safe?

    7) When flying in to a carrier: Cod Piece or Stuff?

    8) Which should I do first: Morally bankrupt the country, or financially bankrupt it?

    9) Tax cuts for the rich, or really big tax cuts for the rich?

    10) Miller or Bud: A question that not even God can answer.

  40. moralturpentine

    "They Took Away My Favorite Pillow: My Life in The Hague" as dictated between sobs by George W. Bush, is the only Bush memoir I would even think about picking up.

  41. marionetta

    "Memoiries,
    Like the corn cobs of my mind
    Missing the coloreds in my memoiries
    That's the way I are……."

  42. doxastic

    I wonder what the crown prince would think of seeing my dog surreptitiously eat turkey poop in the back yard. That's less of an omen, though, and more of a Tuesday.

  43. chascates

    Probably at least one of the more than 6,000 U.S. soldiers who died in the Middle East would have written a book and it would have been much better than Bush's.

  44. NorthStarSpanx

    He didn't write about the speech he gave to the American public in which he decided he'd spread Freedom anywhere they wanted it? All they had to do was make an order on the toll free number and voila, Georgie would send Freedom in thirty minutes or it was free.

  45. Tundra Grifter

    We know that Gov. Bush used to spend ten or fifteen minutes glancing through the dealth penalty case summaries prepared by Alberto Gonzalez before "deciding" to just fry the guy. Defense attorney slept through the trial? So? The judge and maybe part of the jury were still aware. Weren't they?

    Perhaps Mr. Bush will discuss this case in Volume II of his Memoirs – if he can still remember it. So many guilty parties – so little time to execute them all.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_texas_execution_dna

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