About an hour ago, an e-mail missive from the White House arrived in my Inbox.
After first perusing the latest dismal financial forecasts, monitoring the hate-speech being spewed by Sarah and John and checkin' up on ma main man 'Bam as he prepares for the showdown later tonight, I finally felt moved to open the e-mail and see what treasures awaited me from the Office of Public Liaison, that White House outfit that sends press releases to specific groups, in this case, Jews.
For one wild, improbable moment I pondered the possibility of finding a public statement of atonement from our prez.
"Dear America," the message might begin, "As Yom Kippur approaches, I felt moved to humbly beg your forgiveness for totally f^*&ing you over for the past eight years. I have not only led more than 4,000 men and women to their deaths in a senseless war and failed to capture Osama bin Laden, but I have made America the a-hole of the world, as Sarah Silverman so colorfully put it in that "schleping" video. Rather than fast for only one day, I will fast for the rest of my life in the hope that God might forgive me for everything I have done wrong."
But no such message alighted on my screen.
Instead, here is what I found:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release October 7, 2008
Yom Kippur, 5769
For on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins shall ye be clean before the LORD.
Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement and the most holy day in the Jewish faith. From the time the Kol Nidre is recited until the Shofar is sounded, Jews around the world will draw nearer to God through acts of atonement, fasting, and prayer. Jewish tradition teaches that on Yom Kippur, God remembers every name, listens to every petition, and offers forgiveness to the repentant.
On this day, Americans are reminded of the great blessings of religious freedom and the unalienable rights bestowed upon all people by the Creator of life. May God grant us peace, comfort, and hope for all the challenges we may face in the year ahead.
Laura and I send our best wishes for a blessed day and a most meaningful fast.
GEORGE W. BUSH
I stared at my computer screen. That was the best Yom Kippur message W could muster?
Naturally, I expected nothing in the way of honesty or accountability from the evasive, dysfunctional Bush administration, but honestly, Nala the Pomeranian (pictured above) could have written a more original, more heartfelt High Holy Day greeting than the lame-ass White House communications hack who churned this one out.
At least throw in a reference to the hard times that have befallen our great nation.
Make the message sound as if you didn't scribble it on the back of your Dunkin' Donuts napkin on the way to the office this morning.
Try, in the waning days of W's administration, to pretend that you give a damn.
For eight long years, we have lacked leadership that actually gave a damn about this nation.
And with their platitudes and cliches and repackaged Bush policies, it is hard to believe that the McCain-Palin ticket cares about changing the status quo either but they sure do like to tell us how darn patriot they are and how -- unlike that dark terrorist -- they believe that America is a force for good in this world.
Their claims are as dead as the White House Yom Kippur message.
Palin and Lieberman have lately invoked God in this presidential race. I think it is time that we Democrats invite God to play a role in this all-important election.
On the eve of Yom Kippur 2008 I renew my commitment to daven with kavannah, praying with heart and soul for an enlightened President to lead our nation.
From the moment the Gates of Heaven open at Kol Nidre to the time that they are sealed at Ne'ila, I will petition God to inscribe the United States of America in the Book of Life.