The Guilfoile-Warner Papers

Oct 28

I don't remember what I used my cut of the My First Presidentiary payment on, but I do know it wasn't my summer home on Cape Cod because I don't have one of those. That said, the Bush administration has indeed been the comedy gift that keeps on giving. My entire writing career (if you can use such a word to describe it) has been predicated on his election to the highest office in the land. In fact, here's an Onion-style, Bush-related joke I'd been saving for an update when I had nothing else to say.
Tuesday, Sen. John McCain's presidential candidacy got a much-needed shot in the arm when frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama received an unexpected endorsement from an unlikely figure, President George W. Bush.

In his statement, released to the press, President Bush said, "According to Sen. McCain, Barack Obama represents unchecked spending and reckless foreign policy and I began thinking, "That sounds like me, I better vote for that guy."
I took one final whack at the political pinata with my latest book So You Want to Be President?, highlighting a series of Bush failures in the opening chapter that was adapted into this as-yet-to-go-viral video:
As the six people who just clicked on that can see, it seems clear that a certain amount of exhaustion has set in and Bush as target of satire seems as exhausted and empty as the neoconservative foreign policy. Those who watched last Thursday's Saturday Night Live special election edition probably noticed this as Will Ferrell reprised his role as impressionist-in-chief. The skit was beyond lame, relying on the old Bushism trope, and the Bush is clueless and stupid meme. Now that Bush is riding lower than Alan Iverson's jeans, he's not a particularly juicy target. He has literally faded into the background. He's not only been knocked off his pedestal, but the whole thing has tipped over on top of him. Kicking failure around just isn't funny and as the full, disastrous reality of his presidency sets in, there's nothing left to tear down. Our leading satirists will be just fine in an Obama administration, however. Currently, there's better than even odds that one of them will even join Obama in Washington as part of a supersized democratic senate majority. If anything, Stephen Colbert will be in a more advantageous spot, in "opposition" to an Obama presidency. Check out this hilarious excerpt from a recent show:
There is a cult-like atmosphere around Barack Obama, which his campaign has carefully and successfully fabricated, which concerns me. The messiah complex. Fainting audience members at rallies. Special Obama flags and an Obama presidential seal. A graphic with the portrayal of the globe and Obama's name on it, which adorns everything from Obama's plane to his street literature. Young school children singing songs praising Obama. Teenagers wearing camouflage outfits and marching in military order chanting Obama's name and the professions he is going to open to them. An Obama world tour, culminating in a speech in Berlin where Obama proclaims we are all citizens of the world. I dare say, this is ominous stuff.
Actually, that's an excerpt from a post by Mark R. Levin of the National Review Online titled "The Obama Temptation." To paraphrase Sarah Palin's commentary on what turns out to be vital scientific research, I shit you not. The hardest battle Colbert is going to have is finding any space to parody the Mark R. Levins of the world. Liberals who saw ill motives behind President Bush's every move were said to have "Bush Derangement Syndrome" or BDS. Let me be the first to coin the inverse Obama-related condition as HCYNSTBOIATSMSBODAD, or "How Can You Not See That Barack Obama Is A Terrorist Sympathizer Marxist Socialist Bent On Destroying America Disorder." (Note: The acronym is pronounced just as it's spelled.) Mark R. Levin appears to be an early sufferer, as is someone who goes by the handle, "Velociman," who said recently about Obama:
Did I mention this man hates me? You and me? Yes he does. Why? Because he can. Yes He Can. Beneath that cool persona is a megalomaniac. Cool? Like Stalin after a purge, emotionally and sexually spent. Like Saddam after a torture session, dozing in his chair with someone's genitals curled in his fist. Like Pol Pot after a petit mal seizure, mumbling a litany of the dead. Cool that way.
Stalin and Pol Pot are like the gateway drug to Hitler for these people. Just give them time. Yesterday's news featured the most recent outbreak of HCYNSTBOIATSMSBODAD, as sufferers have taken an Obama quote from a 2001 radio interview out of context and claiming that it proves he's a socialist, bent on "redistributing" wealth. McCain has even taken to calling Obama "The Redistributor," which I think most people are going to think is a reference to Obama's pass first, shoot second tendencies on the basketball court. The polls are holding and Obama doesn't look like he's going to sit back in a four corner's offense, not even in tribute to legendary University of North Carolina coach and Obama endorser Dean Smith. I wish that election day was today, not next week, but for now, I'm willing to wait.

TMN contributing writer John Warner’s first novel, The Funny Man was recently published by Soho Press. He teaches at the College of Charleston and is co-color commentator for The Morning News Tournament of Books. More by John Warner

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