02 January 2006

The Glib Factor, Segment 16

A.D. Freudenheim, The Editor

President George W. Bush and his minions are gung-ho for Executive branch power. But Mr. Bush won’t always be in office...

Washington, DC – 2 September, 2013 – Unassociated Press – It is a quiet Labor Day weekend in the nation’s capital, with Congress on recess, schools anxiously preparing to open on Tuesday, and children out enjoying the beautiful weather of late-summer Washington. And now that the United States has entered the ninth month of its newest presidency, it seems a good opportunity to take stock. We must admit to ourselves that if we were writing this in 2006, we would never have said any of it would have been possible! Two “firsts” in American presidential history, back to back, radically shifting our perspective of ourselves. So, ready to revisit the last nine months – and the last five years, too? Let’s go!

November 2008. Powered by Vice President Dick Cheney’s drive for not-entirely-behind-the-scenes power (with a power-boost from his new artificial heart, installed in 2007 after New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd cut out the remaining square millimeter of Cheney’s natural heart), the people of the U.S. elected their first African-American President, Alan Keyes. The Keyes-Cheney ticket was bolstered by their public acceptance of the mantel of executive power established by President George W. Bush, and by Keyes’ insistence that the ancient Mesopotamians (now modern-day Iraqis) were, in fact, Christians.

February 2010. It was a rough ride for President Keyes just to get to this point in his term. Somewhere in the previous twelve months, Americans decided they did not approve of some of the major Keyes-Cheney initiatives. Those included:

  • The Executive Order referred to as “Meals First, Mammon Second,” which made it illegal for any married woman to work a second job unless her husband certified that all family meals were accounted for. Since no man could swear to the existence of future meals, the effect was to force women back into the home, permanently. Congress investigated the origins of this Executive Order, but House Speaker Tom Delay could find no Constitutional prohibitions on such actions. The Executive Order only applied to U.S. citizens, thus ensuring that immigrant women could continue to serve as domestic help for American households.

  • National “Take Back The Night” Month, which imposed a nation-wide 8pm curfew for the month of August 2009. As President Keyes said at the time, “This historic act of Congress will ensure that all of our families, without exception, engage in togetherness and bonding. Only by spending time together can Americans build the strong families demanded by God and necessary for the salvation of the Union.” Support for the act bolstered by heavy lobbying by the Association of Television Networks, which out-spent the Restauranteurs & Bars Group by 2 to 1.

  • The overturning of domestic violence laws in January 2010 by the Supreme Court, after effective arguments by the U.S. Solicitor General, and following a rise in wife-beating and child abuse after the August 2009 national curfew. In his majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, simply, “Thy will be done, thy Kingdom come.”

April 2011. A New York Times/FoxNews national poll of 1,273 households found that Americans continued to approve of the scope of executive power established under the Bush-Cheney administration, but that the Keyes-Cheney use of this power was “off-target” and “avoiding American priorities.” Overall ratings for President Keyes were steady at 22%, the lowest ever seen; Vice President Cheney continued to have high approval ratings of 55%, but pollsters believed this was an expression of sympathy for the “Veep In A Bubble,” protected from infection and insulated from unpopular viewpoints. A remarkable 63% of voters called themselves “conservative,” while 48% admited that they would vote for “the ‘right’ Democrat” if one came along.

July 2012. At the Democratic Convention held in Houston, Texas, Senator Hillary Clinton secured the party’s nomination for the upcoming presidential contest, and chose Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank as her running-mate. Initial, post-convention polls showed Clinton-Frank leading the Keyes-Cheney ticket by 7 points. Key platform proposals included a heavy use of executive power to, as Senator Clinton put it, “pick up the many accomplishments Bill began – and finish them off!”

September 2012. While campaigning for Keyes-Cheney, former President George W. Bush, at a campaign stop in southern Indiana, referred to “President Dick,” and mentioned the good work of the Klan in enforcing “family values” throughout the region. The Clinton-Frank lead widened to 12 points in the polls after President Keyes is forced to admit that what Bush said “is sorta true, in a Christian way.”

November 2012. The Clinton-Frank ticket won the popular vote by 4%, and took home a commanding lead in the Electoral College, making Hillary Clinton the nation’s first woman president, and Barney Frank America’s first (openly) gay Vice President. The Democrats also dominated in Congressional races, and returned to a majority in both houses after more than a decade out of power. The Democrats’ legislative victories are believed to hinge, in part, on the revelation that a certain lobbyist with deep ties to almost every elected GOP member ... turned out to be former Senator Strom Thurmond’s “love child” from a Jewish nanny, thus calling into question whether the Republicans deserved to run Congress after all.

January 2013. At her inauguration, President Clinton was sworn in by Justice Ginsburg (filling in for Chief Justice John Roberts who called in sick). In her address to the nation, President Clinton’s speech included the following text:

I want to thank President Keyes for his service to our country. During his historic term as our first African-American President, Alan Keyes upheld the rights and privileges of a strong Executive power like a man, battling the courts to ensure that he could lead the nation with a firm hand and an iron heart-and-lung machine. My victory is not a repudiation of that power, merely a reflection on its use, and I pledge to you today that, with the support of Vice President Frank, we shall continue to lead this great nation forward with the clean “sweep” of ideas and imagination that only a woman can provide. But as you know, I am no ordinary woman, and our new Vice President is no ordinary man.

September 2013. And here we are, nine months in. How does the nation feel about President Clinton now? Many positive indicators remain:

  • Attorney General Joe Lieberman’s Preventative Domestic Privacy Initiative was warmly received across the country, except in New York and California. Powered by a highly-classified pair of super-computers run in conjunction with the National Security Agency and the Visa and Mastercard Purchasing (VAMP) systems, Lieberman’s Justice Department has taken privacy to new levels by ensuring that Americans can only buy or borrow items from a pre-approved list – thus brilliantly eliminating the need for retro-active surveillance. In an unpopular move, even New York’s Times Square Business Improvement District endorsed the program.

  • HillaryCare and HillaryCaid were (finally!) launched, nearly 20 years after first failing to gain steam under her husband Bill Clinton’s administration. The pair of entitlement programs were created by Executive Order and then secondarily endorsed by Congress with a resolution proclaiming it to be “consistent with the goals, desires, and aspirations of this body’s original legislation passed under the Johnson Administration.” The hallmarks of the program include the nationalization of the American pharmaceutical industry, to ensure better access to medicine, and the Doctors And Medical Nurses Draft (DAMN Draft), requiring all second-born children to enter the medical profession, to ensure a steady supply of affordable health-care practitioners.

  • First-born children who opt to become trial lawyers receive free graduate school tuition, under Clinton’s Lawyers Are Untouchable Gurus & Heroes (LAUGH) Act, passed by Congress using money previously allocated to Pell Grants.

  • Following the recommendations of a Blue Ribbon panel lead by Vice President Barney Frank, President Clinton signs an Executive Order creating a national, Value Added Tax of 45% on all non-food consumer sales nation-wide. House Minority Leader Jenna Bush and Senate Minority Leader Mary Cheney both protest, but back down after Clinton threatens to order the National Archives to release documents from the Bush-Cheney presidency.

  • The conclusion of the Iraq war may have cemented the Clinton-Frank place in the history books, when the last of the American troops were brought home and the Coalition Provisional Authority (which took over, again, for the failed Iraqi government in 2011) finally handed over power to the newly-installed Hamas-lead Palestinian Authority. Clinton determined that Iraqis were not, as President Keyes once said, Christians but were, in fact, Palestinians.

As New York Times columnist Bill O’Reilly recently fulminated, in his own reflections on the beginnings of the Clinton-Frank term, “The problem with the Clinton Presidency is that it looks no different from the Clinton Presidency! Americans have exchanged the good, Christian values of Bush, Cheney, and Keyes for the conservatively-liberal values of conservativeness – and yet the liberals have retained all the powers that generations of Republicans spent decades building in the post-Vietnam era. We fought long and hard to win back the rights that every President and Attorney General and police officer and spy in this nation deserves – and now it’s back in their hands. And worst of all, the liberals have not only learned how to use such power, but how to abuse it with the same grace, sweep, and unapologetic clap-trap our guys once offered. It is a national travesty.”

For once, Mr. O’Reilly was right.


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