Since we last checked in on then--presidential candidates Bore and Gush, an election of sorts occurred. The votes came in. They were counted. Mostly. More Americans voted for candidate Bore than candidate Gush, so Gush will be our king. But now, cut loose from his scowling android twin, our leader merits a name of his own, a title befitting a monarch who so ably combined his own august lineage with scads and scads of cash (like he says, Theres no greater American value than owning something), a winning smile, subsimian intellectual powers and a seemingly bottomless capacity for hypocrisy, to climb through the thickets of what we persist in labeling the democratic process and gain the throne of the mightiest imperial power on the planet. I hope you will join me this 20th of January, on the occasion of the first coronation of the third millennium, by saluting your televisions, raising your voices, and crying loud and deep: All Hail King Chimp!
Apologies to that otherwise exemplary species. All fall, especially after the debates, pundits heaped accolades on the chimp who would be king for not embarrassing himself as wildly as everyone expected he might. What a wealth of gems they overlooked! From those debates and other forums, we can all giggle together, bitterly perhaps, at some of our new leaders deepest thoughts on issues relevant to the public interest.
Lets begin with a topic on everyones minds, the appointments to the royal court. Asked if there were any questions he wishes he had asked Linda Chavez before her nomination, King Chimp responded: I would have to ask the questioner. I havent had a chance to ask the questioners the question theyve been questioning. On the other hand, I firmly believe shell be a fine secretary of labor. Displaying his usual difficulties with that trickiest of English verbs, he said of Chavez, She is a member of a labor union at one point. And with typical creative elan, His Highness announced his choice for HUD chief: I also have picked a secretary for Housing and Human Development, Mel Martinez from the state of Florida. What does that U stand for, anyway?
Moving on to his specific policy prescriptions, King Chimp has learned quite a bit about an area regarding which he was once chided for his ignorance: foreign policy. In the second debate, he said of Nigeria, Its a fledgling democracy; we gotta work with Nigeria. Its an important continent. Moving closer to home, he announced, One of the cornerstones of our foreign policy must be trade. Not only trade in our own hemisphere, which I think is incredibly important for the United States, but also for Mexico and countries to the south. The concept of the hemisphere is apparently a troubling one for him, for he also pronounced, Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature, because it is a product that we can find in our own neighborhoods. But he does like the word, using it again in this intriguing statement: I supported the administration in Colombia. I think its important for us to be training Colombians in that part of the world. The hemisphere is in our interest to have -- to have a -- a peaceful Colombia; and again: We also need to have a hemispheric energy policy where Canada and Mexico and the United States come together. I brought this up recently with Vicente Fox, whos the newly elected president. Hes a man I know from Mexico.
Foreign policy for King Chimp, like the oil business, is a simple matter of men he knows from Mexico, or elsewhere, of friends around the world joining together to lend a helping hand. Were going to have to work with our friends and allies overseas, he said, particularly with the price of crude oil and heating oil, to make sure they understand that theyve got to treat their friend, the United States, and our market with ease. They cant be punishing our friend. But its not all so rosy: There are people in this country -- in this world, who resent our country . . . There are people who dont like some of our allies, people who well never abandon if Im the president. Lest our allies worry too much about his plans to stick by their enemies, King Chimp clarified: Well let our friends be the peacekeepers. The great country called America will be the pacemakers. Finally, on the complex issue of nation building, he had this to say: I think what we need to do is convince people who live in the lands they live in to build the nations. Maybe Im missing something here.
Maybe. His thoughts on the economy are equally intriguing. More and more of our imports come from overseas, he worried. A problem indeed, but fortunately, A tax cut is really one of the anecdotes to coming out of an economic illness. (The search is still on for an antidote to King Chimp.) About Bores tax plan, with its sinister, secret Irish nationalist agenda, the Chimp said, Its so prescriptive, its going to require numerous IRA agents to even try to figure out what he means.
About Medicare, he complained, Theres no prescription-drug benefits. Theres no drug therapies. Theres no preventing medicines. He promised, If Im the president, were going to have emergency-room care, were going to have gag orders. This represents a break with the past, for in Texas, he claims, Weve got one of the most advanced Patients Bill of Rights . . . It says that you cant gag a doctor.
Understandably concerned about education, King Chimp spoke of at-risk children: Its how we, unfortunately, label certain children. It means basically they cant learn. The answer, though, is obvious: There needs to be a wholesale effort against racial profiling, which is illiterate children.
Those concerned about our new monarchs handle on the Constitution will be interested to read that The legislatures job is to write law. Its the executive-branch job to interpret law. It was perhaps wise of him not to credit the judiciary. He cleared things up later, though, after a meeting with congressional party leaders that apparently provoked an execution: I am mindful of the difference between the executive branch and the legislative branch. I assured all four of these leaders that I know the difference. And that difference is, they pass the laws and I execute them.
To conclude, a few philosophic aphorisms:
King Chimp on trust: Well, I think if you say youre going to do something and dont do it, thats trustworthiness.
On belief: I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I cant answer your question.
On duty: I think what the next president ought to do is to -- is to promote a cultural life in America, is a life of the -- life of the elderly, and life of those living all across America, life of the unborn.
On the ridiculous (and the sublime): I want to make it clear to people that, you know, the idea of putting subliminable messages into ads is -- its ridiculous.
On life: Life is important. Its not only life of babies, but its life of children living in the dark dungeons of the Internet.
On chapters: Thats a chapter -- the last chapter -- of the 20th . . . 20th . . . the 21st century that most of us would rather forget. The last chapter of the 20th century. This is the first chapter of the 21st century.
On opportunities wasted: Let me make sure the seniors hear me loud and clear. Theyve had their chance to get something done.
On families, and wings: Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.
On brown fields, and their desires: Brown field is an abandoned industrial site that just sits idle in some of our urban centers. And people that are willing to invest capital in the brown fields dont want to do so for fear of lawsuit.
And, ever introspective, on himself: I am a person who recognizes the fallacy of human beings.
On Saturday the interregnum will come to a close and, with King Chimps ascendancy to the throne, our laughter will very likely die in our throats, lodging itself there like a shard of chicken bone, causing choking, internal bleeding and excruciating coughing fits that wont let up for the next four years. King Chimp offers these words of comfort: Dont be nervous. I know what Im doing -- a thought more chilling than his goofiest blunder.
Readers hungry for more should check out Jacob Weisbergs The Complete Bushisms at http:slate.com, the source of many of the quotes collected above. They should also, without fail, visit www.bushorchimp.com.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.