The Charm Offensive – The Progressive, 3/30/2001

It’s not that my Post Election Traumatic Stress has totally disappeared. The sleep disorder continues. I have nightmares I’ve been dropped into a Bush family therapy session – the father/son thing, the revenge cycle, the brother’s sibling rivalry, the mother-in-law, the twin daughters with their web site Check it out, you can get a tee-shirt with the Bushfille’s faces on it!

My Bushtourrettes Syndrome continues. While Bush gave himself goosebumps reading his rocks in the stream, feather in the wind, angels in the whirlwind Inaugural speech, I was like that little braided hair Von Trapp Family girl after Julie Andrews lays out the do-re-mi. I shrieked, “But tit doesn’t mean anything!” I was at a friend’s house at the time, veins popping in my reddened neck, when her little three year old daughter and budding anger-management counselor, tugged at my sleeve and quietly said, “Please use your inside voice.”

The violent fantasies have abated some. I was in danger of becoming as rabid as any Clinton hater after several pardons and some light vandalism. You stole the Ws off our computers. You stole the election. Nyah nyah. There I was whining about feeling disenfranchised, powerless, bushwhacked and bewildered to a friend who is African-American and she gave me a “how do you like it?” look that had the effect of hysteria-stopping, cold water slap in the face. I have ramped down a notch.

But unlike some, I still find W’s charm offensive. The penchant for nicknaming and thus charming and disarming the suckups we call the press has been widely and warmly reported. Marc Lacey, of the New York “Hey Gray Lady!” Times, lovingly reported that in a big time display of Texas-style levity and folksiness at a meeting of lawmakers in Austin before the coronation, W called “a rather bulky Democrat from California” name of Rep. George Miller, “Big George”.

The guy is brilliant! Unlike so much else in this beyond teflon saga, the name stuck. And from now on, you better be fixin’ to call Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, “Freddy Boy” because that’s what W dubbed him.

No one seems to take the doubletakes from the nicknamed as stunned horror that our “president” is indeed a sophomoric, glad-handing frat boy. Or that his behavior is akin to a pathetic plea for approval from the lowly office guy who replaces toner and feels compelled to add “meister” to surnames. I mean no offense to sophomores or office workers. I do mean insult to frat boys.

Watts, Representative of Oklahoma, is reported to have welcomed the whimsical name calling as a break from the lemon-sucking seriousness of governance.

Okay, Okie Man, Token Man, suck on these. Joe Biden – Plug Man. Spenser Abraham – Loser Man. Gail Norton – Watt’s Up? John Ashcroft -Integrity Man. Donald Rumsfeld – Viagra Man and/or Missile Man. Condoleeza Rice – Dianna Grrl, the last of the Supremes. Jim Baker – Bull Connor without the Stetson. Alan Gimme Some Greens Man. Ari Fleischer – Arrogant Condescending Infuriating Snippy Spokes Man. Rod Paige – Voucher Man. George W. – he’s the Edumacation president!! Extra for when and if W ever goes to the Mideast – Ariel Butcher Boy Sharon.

Hey this is fun!! I’m charmed. These Smiling Path guys are fun, maybe the next four years won’t be so bad.

Especially now that I’ve formed “The Kate Clinton Full Gospel Choir and Liberation Army”. We’ve got religion and now we want our federal funds!! Bow your heads and join me in prayer: “Our father who art in Kennebunkport, please watch over the health of Dick Cheney, our old rugged boss. Our Lady of the Teleprompter, we know that when you move us to say ‘faith-based’ you mean ‘you’re on your own now, sucker’. Thou who hast worked Supreme miracles in the past as recently as December, and who know that the grievous sound we hear is the wall between church and state come tumbling down, vouchsafe unto us enough vouchers to pay this month’s gas bill until we too are delivered from this hell of bipartisanshit and are born again into that heavenly estate that will soon be untaxed.” Can I get an amen?