Presidential Performance Evaluation

As the first MBA President, George W. Bush pledged to run the country like an efficient and profitable corporation. That means he works for us, the citizens of the United States, and is responsible to us as an employee.

We hired Mr. Bush nearly two years ago, although most of us believed he was the wrong man for the job, and many of us knew that he was unqualified for the position. Mr. Bush had never successfully managed a large corporation, or for that matter, successfully run a corporation of any size, and his experience in public office was scant to say the least. It turned out that we really had no choice. After all, he was the boss' son.

Nepotism aside, the current president of the United States is our employee, and we're stuck with him for the next two years. We pay Mr. Bush's salary, as we do the salaries of his press secretary, his chief of staff, his advisors, his pollsters and his spin doctors. We pay his rent and his utility bills, we pay for the food that graces his table. We pay for his bespoke suits, his power ties, his speechwriters and teleprompters and all the rest of the artifice required to make Mr. Bush appear presidential. We pay for his kid's college tuition, for his vacations at the ranch, for his fishing trips with Dad, and come to think of it, for his jaunts around the country on Air Force One to raise money for Republican candidates.

As employers, we have the right to review the president's performance, to call into question his decisions, and to hold him to account if he fails to execute our explicit instructions or to fulfill his promises.

The president promised that our stock would rise. He vowed that the economy would improve by the simple expedient of giving money back to a select portion of the population. That was a foolish plan that didn't work, and while it has enriched a few people, the value of our investment has fallen dramatically and we are once again deeply in debt. Most corporate boards would respond to such a disastrous performance by giving the CEO his walking papers, but unfortunately, Mr. Bush is still around.

The president promised that more of us would have jobs, but instead he gave them away to people in other countries. He promised to improve our public schools, so that that all of our children would receive a quality education. That hasn't happened either.

The president promised to be compassionate. He told us that he cared about you and me. But like many CEO's, he became obsessed with mergers and acquisitions, ignored the stockholders, and forgot the bottom line. Now the president is trying to annex the oil producing nations of the Middle East, starting with Iraq. Politicians call it nation building, but most businessmen will recognize it as just another takeover, albeit with missiles.

Nearly two years ago, the president put his right hand on the Bible and promised to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. By any reasonable standard, the arrest and indefinite detention of individuals who are denied the right to legal counsel, as well as the labeling of anyone who disagrees with him a traitor, should qualify as gross violations of the president's oath of office.

The chief executive still works for us, and it is therefore incumbent upon us, as his employers, to hold him to his promises, to rein in his excesses, and to remind him that he serves at our pleasure. We need to inform the president that our primary concern is not whether or not he gets the guy who "tried to kill" his dad. We are more interested in the fact that he is running the country into the ground.

We stockholders have a meeting coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at which time we will have the opportunity to express our opinions about the chief executive's record. Those of us who are dissatisfied with the president's performance should voice our displeasure by going to the polls and ensuring that his hands are tied for the next two years, retaining the Democratic majority in the Senate and returning control of the House to the Democrats.

In the meantime, the president welcomes your comments and suggestions. Every citizen can call Mr. Bush at the White House and tell him what we think of the way he is running the country. The number is (202) 456-1111. An automated message will connect you to a real live opinion taker.

If you think the president is doing a good job on the economy, go right ahead and tell him. If you think he is protecting our civil liberties and upholding the Constitution, mention that too. And if you are anxious to spend billions of dollars to send your sons and daughters to the Middle East for the next 10 years for the purpose of filling the nation's gas tanks and securing drilling rights for Mr. Bush's cronies, by all means, let the president know. If not, go right ahead and express your displeasure with Mr. Bush's policies and performance. He's waiting to hear from you.

That number again, (202) 456-1111. White House operators are standing by.

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