SOMEDAY, IN AN alternate universe….
Oprah: George W. Bush, I want to thank you for joining us today.
Five years ago you sat with me and spoke about your past struggles with alcohol. But this week you did something even more courageous. You stood right up before millions of Americans during your State of the Union address and you openly confessed that you're "addicted to oil."
George: Well, Oprah, thank you. That was hard for me to say because, you know, for a Texas man, it's just not easy to face up to something like that.
Oprah: George, after you said that, I got the whole transcript of your speech, and I stayed up two nights straight, honest-to-goodness. I could not sleep, people! I was like, reading, reading. I couldn't put it down.
I was just feeling for you, having to face getting rid of your SUVs and Air Force One and the whole presidential motorcade!
George: Well, you know, the speech, it was full of complete truthiness for me.
Oprah: And you spoke so movingly about facing up to your "switch grass" issues too. There's an underlying message here about redemption, isn't there? You are not surrendering to evil. That really resonated with me.
George: I appreciate that. Fighting evil, it's hard work. I, um … my SUV, um …
Oprah: George, you just go ahead, cry if you want to. I'm not ashamed to tell you that when I watched your speech, I cried too.
George: I really appreciate that, Oprah.
Oprah: But George, I have to be straight with you now. I … I have to say it is difficult for me to talk to you because I also feel really duped. I feel that you betrayed millions of Americans. I mean, uniting, not dividing? "Clear plan for victory" in Iraq? Please! So now, today, I don't know what is true and I don't know what isn't.
George: Oprah, I … I … look, I made some mistakes.
Oprah: George, why did you have to lie?
George: Oprah, the speech wasn't supposed to be read like it was, you know, nonfiction. It's more like a memoir about the state of the union.
Oprah: I feel that you conned us. You embarrassed me. You embarrassed this nation.
George: I'm … I'm a flawed person.
Oprah: How much of what was in the speech was fabricated?
George: Not that much. I mean, all the evils are real. Terrorism, uh, sick people … Democrats…. That hurricane was real…. And the human-animal hybrids. They were in a movie.
Oprah: OK, I want to move on to the NSA surveillance story, because that part of your story is so compelling, in terms of your struggle with these Peeping Tom compulsions you have. Then you get to how you're catching all these terrorists that way and it's all so, you know, legal.
But that's a lie too, isn't it?
George: Oprah, I … I … wrote that part of the speech from memory…. I had legal documents that supported it…. Well, I mean, the lawyers said they doubted the Constitution meant I could do that, um, but that there was a chance that it did, so I….
Oprah: George, when will you come clean about WMD?
George: Well, there too I've talked to — well, it's, like, a secret, and it's … since that time I've struggled with the idea of it….
Oprah: No, the lie of it. It's not an idea, George. That's a lie.
George: [muffled sobbing]
Oprah: Do you now wish you had put a disclaimer in the speech, George, something to warn the American people that your presidency has pretty much been a million little lies, not to mention a few really big whoppers?
George: (Weeping) Oprah, you … you're right. I'm sorry. I've … I've betrayed the American people. But I can't, I don't want to lie anymore!
Oprah: It's not too late. I believe the truth can set you free.
George: Oprah, uh, obviously, this hasn't been a great few years for me or, I guess, uh, for those guys over there in, uh, Iraq. But I think I come out of it better.
I mean, I feel like I came here and finally I have been honest with you. I have, you know, essentially admitted to … to lying.
Oprah: (To the studio audience) And so we move forward — optimistic about our country, faithful to its cause and confident of the victories to come.
May God bless America.
© 2006 The Los Angeles Times