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No More Ambient Government

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After five years of stonewalling on every last instance of criminality and refusing to apologize or take responsibility for even the most murderous of failures, incompetence and lies, the Bush administration has finally come up with a scapegoat: Ambien.

Apparently the entire White House, Cabinet, much of the Republican leadership and sundry GOP hit-men and made-men have such erratic sleep schedules that they pop Ambien like M&Ms and most of the time when they appear to be awake they're actually in REM cycle. They may seem to be governing, but in fact they're "sleep-governing."

A wave of related revelations -- some even bordering on admissions -- swept across the capital today:

The Vice President's press office now says that he was "sleep-hunting" when he shot his friend Harry Whittington in the face; and also during his controversial Louisiana trip with Justice Scalia in January 2004. Scalia (another avid fan of Ambien) further asserts that since both men were sleep-hunting on the trip they weren't responsible for colluding in an unpardonable breach of judicial ethics, nor for bagging two whooping cranes and several sooty terns -- both critically endangered species -- on what was supposed to be a duck-hunt.

Scooter Libby's attorneys hurried into court to present Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald with the dramatic admission that he might well have revealed Valerie Plame's CIA role to several Washington journalists, but shouldn't be held accountable for this technical act of treason because he was "sleep-leaking."

In turn Robert Novak told CNN that he couldn't be sure if he was one of the journalists Libby sleep-leaked to, because he was asleep at the time, but if he was he was only "sleep-listening" to him and in his subsequent column only "sleep-outed" Plame.

Jack Abramoff was also back in Court, in Miami, asking that his plea bargain be renegotiated since "sleep-bribing" and "sleep-kick-backing" aren't punishable crimes any more than "sleep-lobbying." His attorneys promised further elucidation in days to come, on how intense Ambien use leads to "sleep-scamming" Native American tribes and "sleep-muscling" owners of casino-boat lines. They also promised expert medical testimony on the common REM-cycle disorder of "sleep-payoffs" to Mafia hit men for rub-outs. Naturally the outcome of these proceedings is being keenly watched by Tom DeLay -- on the few occasions he's awake.

Scapegoat Michael Brown now scapegoats Ambien for causing him to "sleep-lead" FEMA during Katrina; he claims its use led him to "sleep-duck" responsibility for over a thousand avoidable fatalities and publicly accuses Ambien maker Sanofi-Aventis of "typical French scum behavior" in saying they're not to blame for the Katrina disaster.

Brown is not the only one to admit that "sleep-leading" has been the hallmark of the Bush Administration. But those days are over, said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan on NBC News tonight, promising an end to his own compulsive "sleep-spinning" and "sleep-shilling" President Bush has outlawed further Ambien use in the White House or the Republican Party "sleep-leadership" and -- perhaps with an eye towards reinvigorating the Christian base in an election year -- announced a 'Great Awakening.'

McClellan, who claimed he was not only wide awake but telling God's honest truth for the first time in his tenure, added that despite his directive the President himself will not be going off Ambien any time soon. "Frankly Ambien is the only way he's found to block out the screaming ghosts of the Iraqui children he's murdered," said McLellan, adding hastily: "I mean of course: 'sleep-murdered.'"