The Rush to Crown George Duh – The Progressive, 3/30/2001

If I had a dollar for each time someone has said to me, “You must be having a great time with all this material,” referring to the unpleasantness in Florida, I would have at least $200. No, wait, after a full and fair recount, it’s $203.47.

To paraphrase the Queen, it’s been a tempus horribilis. Sure, sure, while others returned to work, my day job forced me to watch, read, listen, and click through the most nauseating pile of pookie since a protracted summer garbage strike in New York City. (That last analogy was my homage to the loopy late night work of Dan Rather.)

Despite a lifelong commitment to nonviolence, my thoughts turned less toward humor and more toward homicide. As the Pretenders unearth more cadaverous white men for The Nightly News of the Living Dead–Marlin Fitzwater Lives!–one thing you can conclude is that Republicans have mastered the secrets of cryogenics.

If you knew what I have fantasized doing to Jim Baker and his hair plugs, for starters, you would be shocked. Perhaps not.

Instead of writing witty, sophisticated bon mots, I found myself screaming adult things like “Liar, liar, pants on fire” at anyone on Fox “We will decide who’s President” News. I find no solace in the Weather Channel because Florida still dangles there.

As a fourth or fifth string pundit on CNN and MSNBC, I have been called in several times to “give us some humor” in the last two or three minutes of a so-called news hour. Networks went through so many guest commentators they had to pass emergency hygiene guidelines for the proper care and cleaning of earpieces.

As I sat in the guest chair and watched the clock tick down to the fifty-seventh minute of the hour because someone could not stop blathering on about the legitimacy of the Banana Republicans, I considered telling Miles O’Brien that I was spending an unnatural amount of time in bed with Greta Van Susteren. But then I fantasized about pressing my face into the camera and screaming, “Death to the corporate media conglomerates! Jeb Bush had an affair with Katherine Harris!! Rupert Murdoch is the antichrist!”

One of the reasons we were told we had to rush to crown George Duh is that we were the laughingstock of the world. Oh, like that’s something new. The only difference is that whereas before our arrogance only merited a British tut tut, a French eye roll, or a Serbian smirk, now there is open guffawing. And remember what Duh said in the so-called debates: Africa just doesn’t count.

Of course, the linguistic possibilities of “Bush and Dick” would be enough for me to put it on comedy cruise control for the next four years. It’s important to turn crises into opportunities and until the time I find some humor in all this, I have taken my $203.47 and preemptively formed The Permanent Standing Committee to Impeach Bush (TPSCTIB). Those who join from Florida get bonus double miles. It is modeled after the The Permanent Republican Committee of Sore Losers to Impeach Clinton that believed the Presidency is a government entitlement program for Republicans and are still really steamed by the impertinent election of Bill Clinton.

Send any scurrilous personal Duh details, unverified Bush brushes, cockamamie conspiracy theories, or innuendoes to TPSCTIB at and we will assign our own relentless Starr Chamber investigator to verify your claim, weeks after we post it. Remember, there is no shelf life to a really juicy bit.

Please note: TPSCTIB will not accept any of those dire e-lists of terrible things about Texas under Governor Duh. They didn’t scare anyone. The opposite proved true: He’s horrible. We can prove it. Let’s elect him. Poor Molly Ivins, Shrub chronicler from way back, was like a modern-day Cassandra.

I’ve already got Bush Fatigue. Not the good kind.