Somehow, despite everything Calvin Trillin wrote about the Bush Administration in Obliviously On He Sails, his 2004 bestseller in verse, George W. Bush is still in the White House. Taking a philosophical view, Trillin has said, "We weren't going to know whether you could bring down a presidency with iambic pentameter until somebody tried it."
Now Trillin is trying again, back at his pithy and hilarious best to comment on the President's decision to go to war in Iraq. Trillin deals with the people around Bush, such as Nanny Dick Cheney and Mushroom Cloud Rice and Orange John Ashcroft and Orange John's successor, Alberto Gonzales. He tries to predict the behavior of the famously intemperate John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations in poems with titles like "Bolton Chases French Ambassador Up Tree" and "White House Says Bolton Can Do Job Even While in Straitjacket." Finally, in dealing with whether the entire Bush Administration, like the unfortunate Brownie, has done a heckuva job, he composes a small-government sea chantey for the Republicans: 'Cause government's the problem, lads, Americans would all do well to shunit. Yes, government's the problem, lads. At least it is when we're the ones who run it.'
Calvin Trillin joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 1963 and has contributed reporting pieces, humor, poetry, and essays. His many books include the comic novels "Floater" and "Tepper Isn't Going Out"; "Deciding the Next Decider: The 2008 Presidential Race in Rhyme"; and the memoir "About Alice," which grew out of his New Yorker piece "Alice, Off the Page."