This letter was originally published on January 29, 2002 at www.michaelmoore.com
An Open Letter to George W. Bush
When it's all over in a couple months, and you're packing up your pretzels and Spot and heading back to Texas, what will be your biggest regret? Not getting out more often and seeing the sights around Rock Creek Park? Never once visiting the newly-renovated IKEA in Woodbridge, Virginia? Or buying your way to the White House with money from a company that committed the biggest corporate swindle in American history? I got a feeling you didn't miss much by not spending an entire Saturday afternoon assembling a Swedish bookcase–but you should have known that there was no way you would ever finish your term by hopping into bed with Kenneth Lay.
It's kind of sad when you think about it. Here you were-the most popular president ever!–the recipient of so much good will from your fellow Americans after September 11, and then you had to go and blow it. You just couldn't stay away from your old cowpoke friend from Texas, Kenneth Lay. Kenny has always been there for you. You needed a way to fly around to all the primaries and campaign stops in the 2000 election–so Kenny gave you his corporate jet. Did you tell the voters when you arrived in each city that the bird you flew in on was from a billionaire who was secretly conspiring to give the bird to all his employees and investors? He flew you around America on the Enron company jet, and for that favor you touched down on tarmac after tarmac to tell your fellow citizens that you were "going to restore dignity to the White House, the people's house."
You said this standing in front of an Enron jet! Man, you loved Lay so much, you not only affectionately referred to him as "Kenny Boy," you interrupted an important campaign trip in April 2000, to fly back to Houston for the Astros' opening day at the new Enron Field–just so you could watch Kenny Boy Lay throw out the first pitch. How sentimental! I mean, you loved this man so intensely that, when you were awarded a set of keys the Supreme Court had made for you so you could live in the White House, you invited Kenny Boy to set up shop–at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue! He interviewed those who would hold high-level Energy Department positions in your administration. You not only let Kenny Boy decide who would head the regulatory agency that oversaw Enron, you let him hand-pick the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission–a former lawyer for his accountant, Arthur Andersen!
Kenny and the boys at Andersen also worked to make sure that accounting firms would be exempt from numerous regulations and would not be held liable for any "funny bookkeeping" (don't you wish you were this forward-thinking?). Then the rest of Kenny Boy's time was spent next door with his old buddy, Dick Cheney (Enron and Halliburton, as you'll recall, got the big contracts from your dad to "rebuild" Kuwait after the Gulf War). Lay and Dick formed an "energy task force" (Operation Enduring Graft) which put together the county's new "energy policy." This policy then went on to shut down every light bulb and juicer in the state of California. And guess who made out like bandits while "trading" the energy California was in desperate need of? Kenny Boy and Enron! No wonder Big Dick doesn't want to turn over the files about those special meetings with Lay!