It's a Wonderful Presidency.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Nov. 20 2006 1:32 PM

It's a Wonderful Presidency

An American classic, revisited.

It's a Wonderful Presidency.

[Christmas Eve. The Iraq war has gone sour, Congress has gone to the Democrats, and George W. Bush's friends have turned on him. As he jogs along a bridge overlooking the Potomac, he keeps recalling the words of Old Man McCain: "You've messed up everything, George Bush! In 2008, you'd be worth more votes dead than alive!" He stops and stares into the icy waters.]

GEORGE [shouting to the heavens]: I'm at the end of my rope! Show me the way! C'mon! Bring it on!

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[He hears a splash and sees someone thrashing in the water. George climbs down and pulls ashore a funny-looking, white-haired man.]

GEORGE: Clarence? Clarence Thomas! What are you doing here?

CLARENCE: You may think of me as a Supreme Court justice, George, but actually, I'm your guardian angel. I jumped into the water because I knew you'd save me. At least, that's what Mr. Scalia said. I'm here to keep you from killing yourself. If it wasn't for you—

GEORGE: If it wasn't for me, everybody would be better off! Laura, Don Rumsfeld, Tony Blair—they'd all be happier. I'm a failure. I wish I was never born!

CLARENCE: But that's abortion! Well. OK, tell you what. [He snaps his fingers.] You've got your wish. From now on, George W. Bush was never born!

You no longer exist. You never did exist. You have no worries, no paper trail, no approval ratings, nothing. Look, your sweats are dry.

[George touches his shirt.]

GEORGE: Wow! How'd you do that? Man, this is nuts. I gotta find Condi. She'll know what's going on.

[George runs to the Watergate Hotel, where he is stunned to see the huge lobby portrait of U.S. Attorney General Ted Kennedy. His shock deepens when he recognizes the bartender.]

GEORGE: Karl Rove? Turd Blossom, what are you doing here?

ROVE: Who are you? How'd you know my name? What'd you call me?

GEORGE: It's me, George. We're pals. Remember? You're my Boy Genius, my brain! Remember?

[Rove shakes his head angrily, then his eyes lock on a disheveled, old hobo in the doorway.]

ROVE: [To the man.] Hey you, out! How many times have I told you never to come in here panhandling? Out!

GEORGE: Karl, no! That's Dick Cheney! [To the hobo.] Mr. Vice President, what are you doing out so late? It's me, George, remember?

CHENEY: Um, yes, of course, you are. Say, um, friend, could I borrow a few dollars for a drink?

ROVE: He's one of Nixon's boys. If it wasn't for bums like him, Republicans might have a chance! Far as I'm concerned, pal, if you know this loser, you're a loser, too. Out! Through the door or through the window!

CLARENCE: [As George reluctantly moves to the door.] You see, George, you weren't there in 2000 to keep Dan Quayle from the GOP nomination. He chose Jesse Helms for his running mate, and they ran on a hard-right platform. They lost in a landslide and took the party down.

GEORGE: Man, I must have swallowed some bad pretzels! This is crazy! I gotta get home! I need a drink!

[He hails a cab. He and Clarence jump into the back seat.]

GEORGE: [To the driver.] Brownie? What the heck are you doing? Never mind! I'm off my nut! Take me home, quick!

CABBIE: Where's home?

GEORGE: The White House, of course! Take the back route, and we'll dodge the war protesters.

CABBIE: White House? Why go there? To see that commie, liberal Al Gore? That pansy is even too scared to invade Iraq.

GEORGE: President Gore? No, it can't be! No, no! Clarence, tell him I'm president!

CLARENCE: Sorry, George, but you weren't around to beat him—or at least, to have your guardian angels on the court elect you. That means the Democrats have been in control for 16 years.

[The cab stops on Pennsylvania Avenue, and George sprints toward the White House.]

GEORGE: Clarence, put me back! I want to be president again! I don't care what I have to face—special prosecutors, Nancy Pelosi, whatever—get me back!

[A spotlight beam blinds him. He hears a siren and crashes into a wall headfirst. He wakes up later to a light dancing in his eyes.]

TONY SNOW: He's coming to! Mr. President, thank God you're OK!

[George blinks in disbelief, then touches his jogging suit.]

GEORGE: I'm wet! Ha-ha! I'm all wet! And look, look! [He pulls from his pocket a pair of stones.] Condoleezza's pebbles!

[George runs around the compound, hearing the chants of war protesters outside.]

GEORGE: Yes! Ha-ha, we're at war! Merry Christmas, everybody! We're at war!

[He runs into the Rose Garden, where a crowd of congressmen, lobbyists, and College Republicans await him. They shout, "THREE CHEERS FOR GEORGE BUSH!"]

GEORGE: Why, I thought all you guys were indicted!

[The crowd roars with laughter. Laura emerges from the group and gives George a kiss.]

LAURA: Rupert did it, George. He had O'Reilly go on Fox News for a 48-hour telethon. They told everybody how you were in the dumps and that the seculars were planning to destroy Christmas. It was incredible. Like a prairie fire, the checks just started pouring in, no questions asked. We've raised $900 million, all for media. Karl's going to spearhead the new attack ads. They'll start airing next week. We're saved, George!

[A cheer arises. George turns to the piano player in the corner.]

GEORGE: Hey, Condi, play us a tune!

[With Condoleezza on piano, the crowd sings "Yellow Rose of Texas," occasionally punctuated by the sound of sirens outside. A plump young Republican taps his friend on the shoulder.]

YOUNG REPUBLICAN: Teacher says whenever a siren goes off, some yellow hippie protester just got his head clubbed!

[George kisses Laura, then glances upstairs to see Antonin Scalia fitting a pair of bomber wings onto Clarence's judicial robe.]

GEORGE: Way to go, Clarence! Mission accomplished! 

Frank Cammuso is co-authorsof 2007-Eleven and Other American Comedies with Hart Seely. He is a political cartoonist for the Syracuse Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y.

Hart Seely's memoir as a Yankee fan, The Juju Rules, will be published next year.

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