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Dick Cheney to Appear on American Idol

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ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday rejected charges by Democrats that the Bush administration was mishandling Iraq and said: "If they are competent to fight this war, then I ought to be singing on American Idol."

Initially, I thought it astonishing that Cheney would use the word "competent," since it was only last week that the Pew poll reported that 48% of Americans described the President as "incompetent," "idiot" and "liar."

And since the Democrats have absolutely no power in any part of our government now -- it's all Republican, all the time -- he's forced to criticize them for what they MIGHT have done, or might still do in the future. This is kind of a variation of their "pre-emptive war doctrine," which is also based on guess work, scuttlebutt and hunches.

So I wouldn't bring up incompetence, if I were Cheney.

However, I may be misunderstanding his point. If I re-read Cheney's remarks, he says that if the Democrats would be competent running the war, then he would be suitable for American Idol.

So maybe he's not saying the Democrats would be incompetent -- maybe instead he's saying that he SHOULD go on American Idol.

I can get behind that idea. And indeed that would be a more creative way to change the topic from the Bush-Cheney incompetence.

And it turns out this idea of the Vice President performing before Randy Jackson, Paula Abdhul and Simon Callow has been embraced by all the White House handlers.

Mary Matalin sat right down, and came up with a list of possible songs for Cheney to perform. The stirring "Defying Gravity" from Wicked was high on the list, but Cheney didn't like it. He liked the idea of singing "If I Were King of the Forest," from The Wizard of Oz, but was afraid he'd be compared unfavorably to Bert Lahr. "You're So Vain," "Lay Lady Lay," "On the Good Ship Lollipop," and "O Mio Babbino Caro" were all considered, but the Vice President didn't feel comfortable with any of them.

Finally Karen Hughes, about to hop a plane to explain how wonderful we are to various groups of Muslims, stopped long enough to make the most obvious but also most apt suggestion: the song "My Way." At core, it was pretty much written for Dick Cheney.

He liked the idea a lot, except there were certain lyrics he didn't like. He didn't want to say "regrets, I've had a few." "It's not accurate," he said.

He also doesn't want to sing "Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew, When I bit off more than I could chew." "I have never bitten off more than I could chew, I have always bitten off just the right amount."

He also doesn't like the line "I've loved, I've laughed and cried". "Even when I shot Harry, I didn't laugh or cry. I don't do those sorts of things, I don't think adults should laugh or cry," said the Vice President with a wry smile. "It's okay to have a wry smile, but nothing larger than that."

Mary Matalin was losing patience, she thought "My Way" was perfect and he was again being stubborn. "You're just a nut," she said to him, in that famous annoyed voice of hers. "Just like when you told that Katherine Armstrong person to call up that dinky Texas newspaper to report the accident, and I had to go on all the talk shows and pretend that was normal behavior."

Dick looked at her with a steady gaze, as if he hoped she might disintegrate into dust if he just kept looking at her long enough, without laughing or crying.

Karen Hughes, ever the diplomat, came to the rescue: "Dicky, I think Mary is absolutely right, the song "My Way" is perfect for you. But you're right, you mustn't sing any of those lyrics that seem wrong to you."

It was at this point that my name was suggested to rewrite the lyrics for him. "Chris Durang is this delightful playwright," said Ms. Hughes. "He is a Democrat, but he's very nice anyway, plus he lives in Pennsylvania so Diebold made sure his vote didn't count. And I think, for a modest fee, he'd re-do the lyrics for you."

I hadn't realized that Karen Hughes knows who I am and indeed likes me.

And so, for a low three figure deal, I agreed to adjust the song "My Way" for the Vice President to sing on American Idol. Here it is:

And now, the end is near
The army's fine, there's no depletion
Iraq, I'll say it clear --
Heck of a job, we're near completion,

We've brought democracy
We shrug off bombs along the highway
I'm Dick, my name is Dick
I did it my way

Regrets, I've had a few,
No, that's a joke -- I've not had any
I did what I had to do
Civilians died, don't know how many

This war is not for wimps,
You girlie men who dare ask "why stay?"
I say, go f**k yourselves
I did it my way....

Yes, there were those, who were untrue
Said I bit off more than I could chew
But cowards all, I have no doubt
I eat their fears and spit them out
My vomit dries, Hail, Freedom Fries
I did it my way

I've loved, I've laughed and cried
No that's a joke, because I'm boozing
I think with certain pride
Of men in jails we are abusing

You see, I must be tough
And say once more -- and in my "guy way"
I'm Dick, my name is Dick
I did it my way

I am a man, without a heart,
No, that's not right, it just won't start
The world take heed, we won't back down,
Reserve the right to bomb your town
I'm not contrite, I've done it right --
I did it my way!