January 13, 2009
It’s very likely that sometime around 3am on Jan. 20, a fleet of black helicopters will descend on the White House lawn, their speakers blaring the Star Wars Evil Empire theme, and Bush and Cheney will begin their sad, dark perp walk into the annals of infamy. The only thing left for historians to squabble over is whether Bush was some sort of Machiavellian supervillain or just a nitwitted, bungling simpleton like Barney Fife. If only Clinton, à la Andy Griffith, had been wise enough to drop a single bullet into George Jr.’s shirt pocket at the beginning of his term with the admonition: “Use this only in case of an emergency.” The most likely scenario is Bush shooting a hole in the floor of Air Force One. Worst-case scenario involves a Kenedy County quail-hunting trip with Deadeye Dick. Then again, there are those who will say that beneath Bush’s aw shucksy faux country boy persona is a criminal mastermind – the type of pure evil who pronounces “nuclear” as “nucular” on purpose. That way, he can honestly say that he never said that Saddam had nuclear weapons. Saddam might have been hiding WMDs, but our WMD (Word Mispronouncing Doofus) was right out in the open for everyone to see, and it took us eight years to get rid of him. Maybe Clinton should have given Cheney the bullet, although Clinton is smart enough to know that such a close encounter with Cheney is probably something like the scene in Poltergeist where the little girl touches the TV and is sucked into an evil netherworld. That’s probably not really the case. After all, Cheney lives in Jackson Hole, Wyo. J-Hole is wicked cold in the winter, but it could hardly be called a netherworld. It isn’t particularly scary either, except for the fact that the town square features four arches made from thousands of Elk antlers. One is left to guess how many contributors met their fate at the business end of Cheney’s quail gun. Would it be that much of a stretch to discover that the entrance to Cheney’s ranch is an arch made out of the bleached bones of dead Iraqis? When you’re the shadow vice president and former CEO of Halliburton, pretty much anything is possible. That’s why even at 3am on the morning of Bama’s inauguration, Bush and Cheney will still be living like kings, even though their lives will feel a bit more like a deposed dictatorship. Don’t worry, Bush won’t be carting off White House memorabilia, unless maybe it’s tapes of his cabinet meetings. Keep your fingers crossed. With any luck, when those black choppers take off from the White House lawn, they’ll drag all the darkness, cynicism, and secrecy away with them. We won’t have King George II to kick around anymore either. Bush’s departure might actually be the “death of sarcasm” that all the Republican pundits were flapping their jaws about after 9/11. With all the hope and optimism in the air, will anyone even want to make snide comments about Eagle One? Only time will tell. Until then we can look only back at what a fertile time the last eight years have been for political criticism. You can get started on that this Saturday at the Hideout when the Latino Comedy Project revives its popular Bye Bye Bush, a revue of sketch comedy, videos, and music that pays tribute to our nearly departed 43rd president. Go ahead. Bury the hatchet one more time.