The Knock on Closed-Door Meetings

By Art Buchwald
Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The more things go wrong at the White House, the more doors it has to keep changing so people won't know what's going on behind each one.

The president pretends he knows what each committee is doing.

For example, former secretary of state James Baker, who once worked for George W.'s father, gives the impression when he is going in and out of the White House that President Bush is counting on him to get the country out of the mess Donald Rumsfeld got us into.

Baker can see the president anytime he wants to, unless Bush is meeting behind closed doors with the heads of Iraq, Syria, Iran or Israel.

The president pretends he is the only one who can talk to Baker through Baker's keyhole.

Vice President Cheney also has his own closed door, and the only one who has a key is his wife, Lynne. She doesn't know how to get us out of the mess we're in, but she's writing a children's book, so Dick will see her anytime she wants him to.

Down the hall is another closed door, and Karl Rove and his staff are behind it. The biggest problem in the White House is that more people have closed doors but no authority.

For example, all the military people meet in the War Room. Their role is to tell the president what the Pentagon should be doing in Iraq.

The president has appointed a blue-ribbon commission to let him know if there are weapons of mass destruction behind any of the doors in the White House. All the White House doors have their own subcommittees, and sub-subcommittees.

The president wants the country to know that he's on top of things, even though no one else in the world thinks he is.

The fact is, the more committees there are at the White House, the more confused he will be when he goes on television and tells the country whatever he wants to tell them that day.

Because the White House keeps getting bigger all the time, there are closed doors now being constructed in the executive office building, and the rooms are being filled with new committees from Congress and the Pentagon.

Whatever is decided in a closed-door meeting is reported to another closed door.

There are also closed-door meetings on Air Force One and Air Force Two. These are closed to the news media in the back of the planes. If an idea flies, it is taken up to the front of the plane and the president reads it.

We live in frightening times. Anyone who wants to be president but doesn't like closed-door meetings should not apply for the job.

I'm certain we'll eventually figure out a better way to do business than the method we're using now.

That is, if the Supreme Court lets us do it.

2006Tribune Media Services

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