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Robert Brustein Headshot

The Great Impeachment

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The period of The Great Impeachment has been followed by a period of intense retrospection. This is the process that has occupied Congress during most of October 2007, when for the first time in American history an entire Administration was unceremoniously dumped from office. One by one, every Bush appointee has been accused and duly convicted of a large variety of criminal offenses, including trumping up non-existent weapons of mass destruction and other fake evidence before launching a major war, disregarding the universal public cry for disengagement from Iraq, politicizing the Justice system, corrupting the health system, theologizing science, increasing global warming, feeding corporate interests, lying under oath, suppressing FBI reports, engaging in warrantless wiretapping, packing the Supreme Court, and other recurrent shows of malfeasance and incompetence.

After Congress finally agreed to act against these offenses, however, the new government decided it would be wasteful to completely reject the considerable resources and talents of the previous administration. When President Nancy Pelosi took office in November of 2007 she proposed, after consultation with Vice President Michael Moore, that a number of former Bush officials be allowed to remain in Washington in order to perform certain tasks and duties that she and members of her cabinet might be too busy to handle.

Former President Bush, for example, has been invited to take on the role of Official Greeter. Whenever Pelosi is preparing to travel abroad on Air Force One, Bush will be asked to put on his blue suit and precede her, in erect military posture, a few strands of sprayed hair floating in the wind, either yanked by his lively dog or yanking along his reluctant wife, smiling and waving at the crowds, saluting generals, pointing happily at people he pretends to recognize. He is particularly well-suited for this position because of a hearing problem that prevents him from knowing when he is being booed.

Former Vice President Cheney has been appointed Official Appointee. He will have no powers, only titles, his chief function being to whisper behind his hand into the ear of the Official Greeter, as the latter walks, waves and smiles his way through the booing crowds. He will also serve as Honorary President of the National Rifle Association, a title that permits him to travel freely with his favorite hunting rifle, the only stipulation being that the warning theme from Jaws be played whenever another human being is approaching.

The President's former press secretary, Tony Snow, is to be given a permanent part in a touring production of Alice in the Wonderland playing the Dormouse, so he can indulge his redoubtable penchant for chop logic, confusing reporters and himself at every turn with contradictory arguments, running around in circles, in perpetual spin.

Alberto Gonzalez, Bush's disgraced Attorney General, will be installed as the new President of a Foundation for Alzheimer's Disease, where his rambling speeches dotted with phrases like "I don't recall" and "I don't recollect" will stimulate giving by wealthy donors, concerned over the growing loss of memory in America.

Michael Chertoff, former head of Homeland Security, will become an executive in a clothing factory -- the seat-of-the-pants division -- where he can put his unparallelled talent for unsupported speculation about, say, the date of the next terrorist attack, to a useful industrial purpose.

Karl Rove, Bush's former Deputy Chief of Staff, will be appointed roving Ambassador to the Middle East, positioned to help rig any democratic elections pending in Iraq, Iran, or Palestine to make sure they are won by Republicans.

President Pelosi is currently welcoming proposals from the public about how other members of the late Bush administration might at last become of some use to the nation. If you have any ideas, please send them along.