(crossposted at The Blue Herald)
Bush cheerleaders are a funny breed. If Bush were the CEO of a company they invested in, or the coach of their favorite football team, and delivered the same quality of performance he has as president, they would have been screaming for his head on a pike long ago. In the spirit of this observation comes: Political Football Theater!!!
Lights up on the press room of the NFL team the Republican Crusaders. Coach George W. Bush swaggers to the mike to answer questions.
BUSH: All right. Bring it on.
Q: Coach Bush, what are your feelings on the latest loss?
BUSH: What loss? What are you talking about?
Q: Uh… sir, you just lost another game.
BUSH: (fixing the reporter with a steely gaze) It's irresponsible talk like that that gives aid and comfort to the enemy. Next question. You, Stretch.
Q: Coach Bush, could you comment on the, err, unusual strategy you employed with your running back this game?
BUSH: (beaming) Yeah, how about that.
Q: It seems like he was just running in place.
BUSH: We're lulling the enemy into a false sense of security. Our crack offensive coordinator, Dick Cheney, came up with it.
Q: But sir, how do you expect to win the game if you don't advance the ball? He wasn't gaining any ground. In fact, he often lost yardage.
BUSH: You need to take the long view. Success is relative. When we turned over the ball on our 15 yard line late in the 1st quarter, just think – in the 2nd quarter, that's their 15 yard line. Next question - Poncho.
Q: Coach Bush, many people are calling for you to replace quarterback Donny Rumsfeld, who threw another five interceptions today. Is there any truth to the rumours that you may call Joey "Joementum" Lieberman in off the bench?
BUSH: (bristling) Look, I'm the decider. I decide. And Donny Rummy is the quarterback for this team, period. Look at what he's done to date.
Q: (reluctantly) Coach, on that point –
BUSH: (glowering) Yes?
Q: Back in 2003, when you started, you started the season strong, 4-1. A month later, you said it was "mission accomplished" and guaranteed a Super Bowl victory. By the end of the season, you had gone 7-9 and missed the playoffs.
BUSH: I don't think anyone could have anticipated that the other teams wouldn't let us win.
Q: Then in 2004, you went 5-11. In 2005, 3-13. In 2006 to date, you're 2-12 with two games to go, and you're not favored in either of them. Doesn't it seem as if things aren’t getting better, and you might need a change?
BUSH: Look, I don't pay attention to the polls.
Q: Coach, it's not a question of polls, it's your record –
BUSH: Listen, I go with my gut. I know other coaches might go without sleep studying film on their opponents, and drafting up elaborate plans, and practicing hours and hours with their team in preparation, and what not. That's not my style. We're the better team. We know that. We will prevail. Next question – Slim.
Q: Coach, your team is currently losing over 100 yards a game due to penalties, breaking all sorts of NFL records in the process. Any comment?
BUSH: The enemy fights dirty and we need to fight dirty.
Q: Including biting?
BUSH: Our team does not bite!
Q: Coach, you've petitioned the NFL Rules Committee to allow not only cut-blocking and holding – for your team only, I might add – but biting.
BUSH: (impatient) Our team does not bite. But there may come a time in the future when we may need to bite.
Q: Rumsfeld bit a tackle on the opposing team last Sunday.
BUSH: There's no proof of that! The film was inconclusive! Next question!
Q: Coach Bush, some of your former star players - Powell, Whitman, O'Neill and Shinseki - have been very critical about your performance. In particular, Powell came out strong against biting – your proposed "mastication legislation."
BUSH: Powell's confused. And while we do not bite, without the option of – extreme chewing – we cannot win the game. Those who are opposed to biting – I mean, extreme chewing - want us to lose. Oh, and before you start going off again on whether I should resign, or fire anyone, remember that I have a guaranteed contract through January 2009. Next question – Curly!
Q: Coach Bush, I couldn't help but notice that the field was looking rather – lackluster. In particular, there were tons of divets and a large crater near one of the end zones. One of your wide receivers twisted his ankle badly today.
BUSH: I don't think anyone could have anticipated these groundskeeping problems.
Q: But sir, you have repeatedly petitioned the city for unprecedented funds to fix the field, on top of your existing tax breaks!
BUSH: Halliburton can only do so much with a mere 256 million. Next question – gotta wrap this up.
Q: Coach, Donny Rummy has been widely criticized for insisting that your team take to the field with less players than the standard 11 on a side. Former veteran QBs, such as Shinseki, who you let go, have spoken out repeatedly about this. One veteran QB said that Rummy's plan seemed "more about proving a pet theory than about winning the game." Your comment?
BUSH: (indignant) Look, this is a different sort of game than it was a few years ago. People have to understand that. The enemy expects us to advance the ball in the usual ways, the ways that have always worked in the past. Running. Throwing and catching. They expect us to play to win. To learn from our mistakes. To adapt. And we can't do what the enemy expects.
Q: But sir, why have you repeatedly left two defensive players on the bench?
BUSH: (with a slight smirk) Just watch what we do with the Iran game coming up. It'll be an eye-opener.
Q: Sir, be that as it may, why would you deliberately go out on the field without two of your players?
BUSH: It's a very successful scheme called the 9/11 defense.
Bush walks off stage, as usual ignoring the questions shouted at him.