It was all a show! Theater at its highest level! Acting with the fate of the world hanging in the balance! Daniel Day-Lewis retired in disgrace knowing he'd never land a role as challenging as yours -- the role of a straight-talking tough-guy who spits truth so hard it'll hit you like a hammer, so you better watch out, baby. It must have been exhausting to perform a press briefing every day -- sometimes two if there was an emergency and you needed to explain it was not Donald Trump who stuck his head in a honey jar and couldn't get it out, it was the liberal media and Hillary Clinton who barged into the Oval Office and rammed it in there, and this poster of his electoral college victor is proof, so shut up. You probably needed a PowerBar and a three-hour nap after those briefings. It doesn't help that you started your mental preparations to inhabit the role hours before work. "Biggest electoral college victory ever!" you repeated into the mirror until the words were nonsense. "One day I'll believe it," you'd mutter in a moment of vulnerability that would get you demoted to the White House wait staff if Trump had seen it. "One day, they'll all believe it, too."
I will miss you, and I will always feel bad for you. Your task was unenviable. You had to translate the garbled nonsense gobbledygook of the Trump administration into human words. In a way, you were playing out the plot of Arrival in real life. Instead of Amy Adams trying to decode the language of an alien race, it's a man in an ill-fitting suit who swallows cinnamon gum by the fistful trying to relay the thoughts of a rich old man with the cartoonish bravado of a Looney Tunes mobster with an attention span that would never let him reach the end of this long sentence unless his name was sprinkled throughout. After only six months, he no longer has you on his mind.
I dare you to tell me he doesn't look like the big guy on the right.
You had become too disrespected by the journalists and American public you belittled at his behest that doing exactly as he said left him with no choice. You had to be punished for following orders. Putting you in charge of hiring your own replacement was his way of laying down his favorite punishment: getting people to humiliate themselves in his honor. You have to admit, it's a pretty original punishment. Just a couple of weeks ago, he workshopped a rough version of it when he made each of his cabinet members say something nice about him in front of cameras. You were the final draft of his sadistic masterpiece.
I'll miss you, Sean. You had an impossible task that you performed ... not well, if we're being honest. But it was difficult enough that I ask that history grade your tenure as press secretary on a curve. Your D- work is a solid C- in my book. You follies and misery made the daily reminder that our president is psychologically incapable of handling the pressures of the job a little easier to digest. So as you move on to reaching your hands into Trump's TV to pull out the blonde woman Fox News pundit who'll replace you, I leave you with a word of caution: Be careful where you grab. One errant grope and you might be our next president.
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