Sunday, January 09, 2005


A four day Inaugural Celebration is planned to herald the Swearing-In of George Bush. Four years ago, Bush held another Inaugural party, but this time, he plans on letting it all hang out. Four days of partying! It reminds me of my younger, more foolish years, when I would join my friends and throw a party at the home of whoever's parents were gone for the weekend. The day after the party, we would find leftover revelers sleeping in the bathtub, in the closets, or even in the yard. Can you see this happening in the White House?

I don't know. This Bush Bunch does not seem to be young and foolish. I would imagine a party for them would be tea and cookies, with a Prayer Breakfast scheduled for the next morning at 7:00 a.m. In the first place, George is in no position for alcoholic revelry, since one drink might send him over the edge. Look what he has done while sober. Heaven Knows what deviltry he might accomplish, dead drunk.

But, sedate as they seem, the Republicans are going to have a four day party. If you care to attend all of the festivities, all you have to do is donate $250,000. So far, some of the kingpins of the Energy Companies, the Drug Companies and others with that much money to spare have already mailed their donations and received their invitations. They are called "underwriters". There is no need for "underwriters" in Iraq. Only undertakers are needed there.

There will be parades, a Children's Party (complete with a reading of My Pet Goat by the president himself, this time turning the book rightside up) and dinners. Admirers will line the streets of Washington, D.C., cheering their hero, while those who are less admiring will be confined behind barriers in an obscure section of town. Any protest will be discouraged by overnight accommodations in the slammer, not as comfy as the Hilton, but guaranteed to get protestors out of the way until the festivities are over.

CNN is anxiously awaiting the event. They can then switch from a two-week continual run of tsunami pictures and horrific tales of survival to one of rousing victory and gloating praise. In the long days since the tsunami, the network has shown pictures of just about every survivor they can find, so it will be a relief for them to switch their cameras to people like Zell Miller, who can spray just about as much water as a tsunami in one of his fist-pounding, exuberant speeches praising Bush. Bush bigwigs in the front rows have been warned to move back at least five feet during Miller's speech.

Arnold Schwarzenegger will undoubtedly be there, with wife, Maria, on his arm. He may duck out early, though, because I hear Ted Kennedy is planning a touch football game near the pool at his home. Arnold has suggested amending the Constitution to say that "Gay Marriage is banned, but Austrian-born presidents are not". So far, no one has listened. Arnold is too moderate, and that Democratic wife is an embarrassment. Worse than Teresa Heinz, who after all was just mixed up with catsup, not Kennedy's.

Besides, the Bush group is grooming Jeb for the next Inauguration. So far, he just looks plump and powerless, but his image will be transformed as the months pass. Political pundits believe Jeb can beat Barack Osama. He will run on a ticket that says, "Vote for the guy with the name you can pronounce!".

Eighteen million dollars have already been collected to pay for this party, but $40 million is needed, so supporters are being asked to fork over the funding. Tsunami Relief is one thing, but first, more important things must be handled. You can't be an underwriter if you dawdle about dangling that check! It won't be cheap. Besides that contribution of $250,000, you'll have to spitshine the limo and buy the wife a new Herrerra gown. You'll be lucky if your offshore accounts have a penny left in them.

At the same time the Bush Party is going on, the Bush War continues in Iraq. We haven't heard much about it recently, except a notice here or there about this Humvee being exploded or that soldier dying in combat. We did hear that the Pentagon is planning on reviving "Death Squads" to take down the insurgency. The whole thing has the dark, menacing quality of a bad horror movie, and sometimes I wouldn't be surprised to see Sylvester Stallone leaping about Baghdad, but I don't think George Bush will be worrying about that right now. He's probably getting fitted into his tux and rehearsing his speech. He'll tell us it is a "Better World", and that his agenda is the best thing since white bread. He may even thank those who give him a five finger salute.

It's not that I don't like parties. I happen to love parties, as long as they are spaced properly and do not involve standing in a crowded room balancing a wine glass and a napkin with a piece of bacon wrapped around an olive, chitchatting with strangers on inane subjects. But I don't think it is fitting for the President to throw a four-day bash while our nation's soldiers are facing death in Humvees that very possibly are not properly armored, or while 140,000 Asian families mourn their dead. Somehow, it just doesn't seem proper. I asked myself, "What would Jesus do?" But I think he was too busy welcoming the Asian children to answer.

Where is our sense of propriety? Where is our common decency? Why should $40 million be spent welcoming George Bush to his throne when a day-long celebration would suffice? Think of the money that could be saved and sent to the tsunami victims! Think of how grateful the world would be as they looked upon the U.S.A. and realized that George Bush had relinquished a four-day-celebration in order to help the victims of a huge tragedy. Perhaps then, George could convince the world he is the humanitarian he pictures himself as being. It wouldn't exactly restore funding to social programs, but it would bring food, water and clothing to many very needy people!

Well, it won't happen. Bush will have his celebration and I will have to rent several movies, buy a few new books, and weather the televised storm. The question is....will he pre-empt Desperate Housewives? Surely not! It has been pre-empted so many times lately, no one can remember who is sleeping with whom. Surely it is too sacrosanct to be pre-empted by a mere Presidential party!