BUSH: Dub here.
CHENEY: Mr. President.
B: What up. Hey, how’d you get this number?
C: It’s on the phone list.
C: I need to—
B: Hey, how come I don’t have a phone list?
C: Because you just pick up the phone and tell someone to connect you.
B: Oh yeah. Yeah. Hey, hey, jot this down for the campaign: No more dialing phones for anybody. This I vow. Every last Merican gets one of these no-dial phones. Just pick it up and roll.
C: I’m going to write that down right this very minute. Aaaaaand… I’m all done. But I need to chit-chat with you for a bit about this Iraq situation.
B: Are we still on that?
C: The people seem hung up on it. We’re getting at least 200 emails a day from non-profit websites.
B: I thought we were going to pay Donny to assassinate someone, give the media something else to yap about.
C: We did. And Barry’s sweet baritone is forever silenced. But that only bought us two or three news cycles.
B: Dang. We should’ve just spent that million bucks on getting the Sell Alaska initiative passed.
C: So I’m going to bring back an earlier contin—
B: Alaska becomes Exxon-Mobil territory, right, so we get huge oil dollars, and then it’s not even a state anymore so Texas is in the number-one slot again, size-wise! Is that some presidential shit or what?
C: Truly, but we’ve got a soldier-a-day body count out there. Things are not looking good for us. And if this Iraq thing ends up losing you the election, we’ll have bungled the whole point of the war.
B: Hey man, I scored you that sweet contract for Halliburton.
C: Like I need more funds for my gaping money-hole. What I need is you in office for another four years or else Operation God-Emperor With Bionic Cardiopulmonary System will never get off the ground.
B: What do these a-holes want from me? This whole thing is really not my fault. Everyone knows the first time I read any of those speeches is when they come up on the Teleprompter and even then I’m only skimming.
C: They want a tidy conclusion. And I want one too or else this is going to haunt us for the next 16 months.
B: But Dick, I’ve run out of people to blame. I was going to try you next but I thought you might get upset.
C: Jeb, the time—
C: Who. Cares. The time for patsies has come and gone. We need something strong, simple, and bold.
B: [quietly] I like to think I am all of those things.
C: Planting WMDs will no longer cut it. Starting a distraction war in Liberia is lame. Getting Industrial Light & Magic to create a lifelike animatronic Saddam that we then get Arnold to kill with his bare hands is now out-of-scope.
B: Plan 22 was my favorite, too. Man, I can’t wait till we rig his election.
C: We’ve run out of options. The people want to know that this war was the right thing to do. And I think, in this case, it’s to our benefit that Saddam’s whereabouts are still unknown.
B: I’m semi-listening.
C: Plan 63.
B: Plan 63. Which one was that? Wait, let me pull up Excel here … hm. Oh man, I don’t know.
C: Plan 63 is gold.
B: But I mean, come on. Who wants to see the White House blown up? Wasn’t there that one plan to blow up … I dunno, someplace in California? Maybe one of Julia Roberts’s houses?
C: I said bold, Mr. President.
B: All right. Yes. Bold. OK. So we nuke the White House, make it look like Saddam did it.
C: We’ve already got Jim Belushi signed on to play him in the staged video.
B: Nice. That guy always delivers. But, Dick, I’m wondering—
C: What have I told you about that.
B: But what if this backfires, too? What if the White House gets blown up real good and everyone’s like: ‘This never would’ve happened if you’d gotten Saddam months ago like you promised.’ You know? ‘Hoo boy, another bang-up job by the FBI.’ I mean, these people are always whining about something.
C: These are Americans we’re talking about, boss. Just do your pitiful face–
B: Like this?
C: I can’t see you since we’re on the phone but yes, just like that, the pitiful face and then something like: ‘They took my home, folks. I ain’t got no home.’ We’ll do some press conferences from the Motel 6 where you’re holed up—
B: Motel what now?
C: The sympathy vote is huge, and it’ll bolster the ‘Looks Like He Was Right About The Threat Of Iraq All Along’ vote. And you can always count on the ‘I Don’t Know Why But I Just Love That Dumb S.O.B.’ vote.
B: But dammit, I want the Negro vote this time! Did you hear me be totally anti-slavery over there on the Dark Continent?
C: Let’s just focus on the smaller, attainable goals first. We go with Plan 63 and I guarantee you’ll see a fat increase in support for the upcoming Liberation Campaigns.
B: Good. Seriously, Dick, if I have to work this hard to overthrow Syria and England I might just say forget it.
C: Don’t be like that.
B: Whatever. You’ve got the go-ahead. Are we done?
C: Sure. I’m off to feast on the hearts of virgins to sustain my life-force.
Behind the Scenes
With its credibility in the weeds, the White House must find a way to restore its public image before the next election. A privileged glimpse into what’s being planned.
BUSH: Dub here.