Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Screwtape Writes Obama

In 1942, C. S. Lewis published the book The Screwtape Letters. In it, the demon Screwtape gives advice to his nephew (a lesser demon of some sort) on how best to tempt a human into sin and away from God. If you haven't read it, I recommend it. I have often wondered what a letter to a mortal from Screwtape might look like. The following is my own humble, much lesser, and vastly inferior attempt to provide an example of a letter to a human from Screwtape. Any failures are my own, and should not reflect on C. S. Lewis, Screwtape, or Wormwood:

Dear Mr. Obama,

First, congratulations on your recent election to the position of President of the United States of America. We have quite a number of field professionals in your country and pay close attention to the politics there. I don't typically write humans, especially politicians. In most cases, I consider them firmly on our side, and see little to be gained by taking my time to address them. However, after the events of the first eight months of your administration, I could no longer withhold my admiration.

Being a demon, you can understand my professional expertise in the subject of lying and "playing loose with the facts". I consider myself an expert in the field, something many of my colleagues would attest too. I thought you deserved the professional courtesy of hearing of my admiration for your handling of opponents and the American public. During your campaign, many of us here at the Lowerarchy kept an eye on some of the tricks and deceptions you were able to convince a large number of people of. Some of these deceptions were so strong they caused your audience to swoon. If you have the time to respond, I would really appreciate knowing if there was a particular spell you used for that effect. I personally most admired the fact that you hid your motives in plain sight: all any voter had to do to understand you was to look at your voting record. You were able to disguise that with a few mentions of "Hope and Change", two autobiographies (at the ripe old age of 47), and the occasional public sacrifice of a friend (as with Jeremiah Wright). All of this was only your opening act.

In your short term in office you have been able to: sell a "stimulus package" that is simply a state and local government bribe package; you have pushed energy and climate legislation in the middle of a recession and in spite of continued evidence that man made global warming is a hoax; you have claimed to have a more accountable government while naming tax evaders and the kind of talent we look for here to some of the highest posts in your administration. Perhaps your greatest deception to date is the recent "town hall" meeting you had to discuss health care with the "mob". While your office stacked the attendees, you were able to hint to the press that there may very well be rabble rousers in the group. Kudos!

I haven't decided which part I liked best. It was either your claim (twice I might add) that AARP endorsed your parties health care bill, when they had not, or the "skeptical" woman who got confused and told the crowd you winked at her while she asked her question. Of course both of these are second to your ability to shift the blame for not passing health care reform to the American people and to Republicans, when your party has all the votes it needs to pass this reform. Bravo!

In closing, it is far too early to know if you might one day be a colleague of mine. However, rest assured that if you should end up in my office, you are guaranteed a position of honor with us.

Your Supernatural Fan,



saint said...

very nicely done

Kram said...


Andy D said...

Thank you.