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"The Conservative Comedy Club"
By W. David Jenkins III (dumod@aol.com)
and Sara DeHart

"Y'know, I was campaigning in Chicago and somebody asked me, is there anytime the budget might have to go into deficit? I said only if we were at war or had a national emergency or were in recession. (LAUGHTER) Little did I realize we'd get the trifecta. (LAUGHTER) But we're fine."
– Official White House web site transcript of George W. Bush in North Carolina. 2/27/02.

Oh, these guys are too damn funny. I first heard about the "trifecta" remark a long while ago. And to be honest, I wasn't sure if it was really true or just a wishful rumor started by some disgruntled Democrat. The story goes, Bush made this remark to someone in the White House days after 9/11. I figured that it sounded like something the Brat-in-Chief would say but because I hadn't heard him say it, well, it just sounded like another justified but malicious rumor. He wouldn't really say that, would he?

Then on that day in late February Dubya erased all doubt. He not only obviously said it but he repeated it. And got a laugh out of it from a room full of Republicans! And the White House web site feels perfectly fine about not only reprinting it in transcript form, but inserting "laughter brackets." Just what in blue blazes did that room full of right wingers find funny about Junior's remark? Go back and read that quote again. Think back to those horrible images of that day in September. Think of the many that have lost their jobs recently. Do you know any of them? Think of the many that trusted Enron who now must wonder how they're going to survive their retirement.

That room full of Robin Hayes and Elizabeth Dole supporters laughed about Bush thinking he hit the trifecta. They laughed! And the Bushies aren't the least bit ashamed about it. Kinda makes you proud, doesn't it? I don't know. Maybe I'm just losing my sense of humor in this age of compassionate conservatism. I mean, I suppose these people have done some really funny things. Maybe I'm just too biased. Maybe there really is a need for a conservative comedy club. Well, at least for the folks with an Andrew Dice Clay sense of humor. But first they need an emcee.

Well, they could get Howard Fineman. He could do his "Here's a man with ample but perhaps undernourished intelligence" routine. Or how about Margaret Carlson? She could do her "And now, here's a man who's gift of preverbal authenticity comes at a time when the most articulate of us have been rendered speechless" routine. That'll kill 'em. No, wait. What about Peggy Noonan, the right wing version of Monica only with a bit more air in her head? She could just stand on the stage and quiver with ecstasy over Dubya. But first the opening acts.

"W Stands for Women"… Mother "Babs" Bush opens the show. Remember her campaign sound bite for George in Florida with a huge bold "W Stands for Women" sign? Now there's gotta be a joke there somewhere. Maybe "Babs" could do a routine on how her boy screwed the women in third world countries when he froze all funds for their women's clinics. Yeah, that's the ticket. That'll make the Republicans laugh. It's just a little Bush humor in action. He did say, after all, the he would leave no child behind. Maybe he was supposed to add the word "unspanked" to that phrase. Now you got a punch line! That would make a room full of Republicans double over! Next up…Wide Eyed Laura.

"The brutal oppression of women is the central goal of the terrorists" (Laura Bush, November 17, 2001). "All of us have an obligation to speak out (just not against my idiot husband)." Then the First Medicated Lady could go on to say, "One in every four children won't live past the age of five because health care is not available. Women have been denied access to doctors when they're sick." Can you just hear those conservatives hysterical with laughter? George W's freeze on funds for women's clinics worldwide is hitting women and children's preventive health a quite a blow. But, as we pointed out, we don't always recognize a Bush joke when we hear one. Must be the Republicans in North Carolina that day in February, like their fellow vermin, have a better handle on humor than we do even if it is kind of crass and totally lacking of class. So let's find a family friendly version of conservative humor. Enter the Bush/Waltons connection.

We cannot totally fault young George exclusively on his seemingly oppressive stance when it comes to women. Could this behavior have its roots in his early childhood and family experiences? MotherBush, along with Jeb have been telling some amusing little bush stories all over Florida recently. Some of these family revelations give one pause. Jeb talked about his brother giving him and Neil a 10-second head start before popping them with his BB gun—in the house, no less! And according to James Ridgeway of the Village Voice, Mrs. Bush told a Tallahassee, Florida audience "I spanked. I didn't whip, but I spanked. Thank heaven no one knew about it, or I'd be in jail." Now shooting your brothers in the house undoubtedly deserves a firm hand, but since Mrs. Bush has brought up the topic of jail time, one can only wonder about her definition of spanking. Was she spanking with an open hand or did she use a Texas switch? Is it only a whipping if she used George Herbert's belt? If she used the open hand method, this is mighty tough on the palm and undoubtedly hurt her more than George, Jeb or Neil. Then again, perhaps she is concerned about jail time because her definition of "spanking" may be like George's "compassionate conservativism." Golly, these people are like "The Waltons," Texas style. Can't you just hear it?

"George-Boy, stop shooting at your brothers in the house!"

I swear, these lil' imps are suitable for the GOP /PAX station. Kids shooting at their siblings, moms beating their kids and the right wing nuts just laughing along with such special family values being portrayed. Can't you just see a DeLay crying with laughter and glee? But it's not just women that Bush Part II is playing a joke on. He has so many other targets of humor out there. And his wit seems to be wearing off on other members of his private little club.

We're all by now familiar with the silly things both Bush and Powell said about the election in Zimbabwe. I still think they have a lot of gall questioning anybody's "legitimacy." But it makes for great stand up comedy except the Republicans see nothing humorous about those kinds of remarks. Okay, I've got it. How about a musical number? We need some variety in this show

Here's a little note from the "Now We Know What Bush Gave Ridge For Christmas" Department. Six months after 9/11 and all Home Security Officer Ridge can come up with is a box of Crayolas. At least he could have composed a song for announcers to sing the various levels of alertness. I mean, picture John Ashcroft at 7 a.m. on CNN singing,

"Oh what a beautiful morning
Oh what a beautiful day
I got a suspicious feeling
Color is yellow today."

Based on the principle of Executive Vagueness, Mr. Ridge at first refused to come to the Senate to discuss how he intends to spend his Crayola money. After finally agreeing to 'informal' appearances, he still continues to hem and haw. And he won't sing the song either. Mr. Ashcroft, on the other hand, volunteered to perform for the Senate in Mr. Ridge's stead, but George Herbert does not think that would be prudent. Father knows best. Well, so much for music. Maybe they should stick to what they know best. Conservative comedy.

Let's not forget FCC Chairman, Michael Powell. Are you all ready for this? "The market is my religion," he said. "The night after I was sworn in, I waited for a visit from the angel of public interest. I waited all night, but she did not come." Exactly, what is this nut talking about? Does Ashcroft know that this guy worships the market? And just who is the angel of public interest? What, Saint Murdoch? The patron saint of media deregulation? Damn, you just cannot possibly make this stuff up. And what must Michael's dad, Colin "My Lai Massacre Cover-Up" Powell think about his boy's weird remarks? What do you bet that Colin can now really identify with Bush the Senior?

Have you ever wondered why Colin Powell identified with the Republicans? After all, he only became eligible for the rank of general because President Carter insisted that black and other minority officers be included on the list for promotion to general. He readily joined the Carter-haters in the Reagan-Bush administration and came out of Desert Storm (oh, they do have fun with their war game names) with an enhanced reputation unmarred by his association with Casper Weinberger and the Iran-Contra gang. He fully embraced the party of Chicken Hawks. Remember Tom DeLay, the patriot of the 1988 Republican Convention explaining to the assembled media in New Orleans how he and Quayle were victims of discrimination during the Vietnam War. "So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself [and Quayle]." But a deal is a deal, and Colin Powell's deal was, I'll join you if you make me Secretary of State. He wanted to go out in glory as a statesman. Well he had to wait awhile, but here he is holding court in the administration of George-the-younger.

Speaking of the Dauphin, what a golden treasure chest of integrity and intelligence to behold. From his proclamation of Israel's and Palestine's "constancy" (sic) of violence in their struggle with each other to his exaltation of the wonders of Dr. Seuss's "Hop on Pop" as it refers to combating acts of terrorism (I couldn't make heads or tails of that speech either), we have a comedic goldmine in George W. and his followers. Consider the following.

Shortly after he was selected president, he remarked to the Swedish Prime Minister, "It's amazing I won. I was running against peace and prosperity." He finds that funny. And now, with his "trifecta" joke, it seems like he feels that the fact he's undone peace and prosperity it's funnier still. He must be right. A large room full of Republicans laughed along with him. These people can sit with a straight face and listen to Dubya say things like, "I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe – I believe to be right." And you won't hear a single snicker out of them. But they find humor in the fact that Dubya feels "lucky me" over the events of 9/11. Maybe we do need to have a conservative comedy shop. I suggest we build one on the fragile edges of Antarctica. I hear there's some real funny stuff going on down there too.

It's the perfect place.