Monday, June 14, 2004

Ronnie to Peggy

Charlie Pierce does a magnificent job of channeling Peggy Noonan getting a missive from Ronald Reagan in the afterlife.

Peg. Please, for the love of God — who’s in the next hammock, by the way? — shut the hell up.

I’m not kidding. The adjustment’s been tough enough. First thing, Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney come up and start asking me about kicking off the 1980 campaign down by the earthen dam there in Philadelphia, and about what all that stuff about states’ rights was. I tried to be charming, and I used all the sunny optimism that disarmed even my political opponents, as you know. Mostly, though, they just wanted to talk, so we did. You’ll be amazed at what I think is one of the best parts about this place. Two words: no grudges.

Seriously. Most of the Founders are up here (though Franklin’s still in Purgatory) and James Madison and I had a nice chat about how he was different from Alfonso Calero. We started with their hairstyles and worked from there. He said he didn’t necessarily agree that the Contras were the moral equivalents of his bunch; for one thing, he said, he was a lot better at designing a balance of power than razing a hamlet, and that he wouldn’t even know which end of an M-16 you blow into. He pointed out that a lot fewer people died at the Constitutional Convention than did in Nicaragua in the 1980s. I told him about how it was Morning in America again, and he said he was glad to hear it. I think we’re playing tennis some time next week. I’ll be pretty busy until then. A couple of thousand Guatemalans want to say hello.

Which is why, the next time you see him in the Green Room or around town, you should tell old Ollie not to worry about anything. The Nicaraguans are really nice people, especially all their beautiful children. He’s going to enjoy meeting them. And I promise I won’t spend too much time kidding him about selling me out at his trial. But he’s got to expect me to have a little fun. Does he know how to laugh yet?

Peg, I have to tell you, I know things now that I didn’t fully know before. First of all, most of that “family values” stuff is bunk. Really. You’d be amazed at how few people up here actually care that somebody’s ass is showing on HBO. And if that judge down in Alabama thinks he’s got his ticket punched because he put up a two-ton 10 Commandments where it didn’t belong, he’s got another think coming, I’ll tell you. You should hear Aquinas and St. Augustine laughing at Pat Robertson. They all get together to watch the 700 Club the way kids used to get together to watch the Stooges. Even old Luther cracks a smile, and he’s the grimmest guy I’ve met since Andropov.

They’d like you all to love each other. They’d like you all to treat each other as equals. They’re really serious about you all being stewards of the world you were handed, so watch out for the rivers and the ozone layer. They don’t spend a lot of time worrying about rap music and the Internet. Even in eternity, there’s no time to waste on the knucklehead stuff. And I’ve looked everywhere, Peg, and there aren’t any stem cells here. No embryos, either. If you can pass the word, Peg — nobody here wants anybody to die of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. It’s not part of anyone’s plan. If you can cure something down there, you should cure something. Tell you the truth, if I’d had the choice I’d have eaten the little buggers out of the petri dish with a spoon.

Read the rest here.