Sunday, August 06, 2006

National: One Million Dick Cheney Fans Can't Be Wrong

Despite image, Cheney a GOP rock star
By NANCY BENAC, Associated Press Writer
08 05 06

TAMPA, Fla. - An anticipatory buzz fills the room. Six crisp American flags, erect as soldiers, line the dais. More than an hour before the vice president's arrival, the GOP faithful stand at the ready.

Never mind that Dick Cheney is favorably regarded by only about a third of Americans. To this crowd, in this place (a GOP fundraiser), he is a rock star…

The flashes of thousands of instamatics burst through the dark stadium like tiny exploding stars, catching the highlights on Dick Cheney’s sequined jumpsuit. The blue haired women who mobbed the front rows screamed orgasmically as he wiggled through the closing number of his set, one of his all-time greatest GOP hits (“Go Fuck Yourself, Senator Leahy.”) As the final chords rang out, Cheney did a few of his hottest “karate moves” and tossed a sweat-soaked scarf into the crowd. One woman fainted.

Then the stage went black, and the crowd of donors (averaged yearly income in that room: $300,000) howled for more. He’d worked them up into a frenzy again; they wouldn’t go home even Cheney himself ordered them to.

Screw ‘em, thought Cheney, as his posse and the security men led him through the winding corridors beneath the stage to his waiting limo. They got enough outta me for one night. He could hear the booming voice of the announcer, muffled by the steel and concrete of the stadium above: “Dick Cheney has left the building…Dick Cheney has left the building…”

Back at the hotel suite. Cheney sat down heavily on the sofa, too tired to change out of his jumpsuit. He ignored the men crowding around him—all his so-called “friends"--and started poppin’ open a few containers of pills. Damn noisy: his boys, his hangers-on, “The Mendacious Mafia,” the press called ’em—dronin’ on, tellin’ him how great the show was tonight, slobberin’ all over him, tellin’ him how great the country was doin’ under his leadership, tellin’ him he was still the King.

Popping pills; pills to help him sleep, pills to wake him up, pills to get his heart started, pills to keep it from stopping if he accidentally shot someone. The lights had been dimmed but he kept his sunglasses on anyway; the big dark silver wrap-around shades. The light hurt his eyes, these days. He was gettin’ old.

“Why donch’yall just stop kissin’ my ass and get the hell outta here?” he snapped—and the boys shut up, just like that. There was some mumbling: “Okay, Dick—“ “Whatever you say, Dick”--as they filed out of the suite, nodding dumbly. The King wanted to be alone tonight and the King’s word was law.

He slumped back on the couch and flipped on the remote control, the TV. I used to be able to put this crap over, Cheney thought to himself as he reached for another deep-fried peanut butter sandwich. All them damn liberal critics said we were through after that number about the Abu Ghraib prison scandal (“Jailhouse Iraq”) Some of ‘em said that was so bad it was gonna drive him and his posse right out of the business. But that was nothin’ but a lotta BS, man. Scandal my ass—his rich conservative audience didn’t care if a few no-name sand-coons got tortured over there--and it was the rich conservatives that mattered. To them I’m still the King. And that’s all she wrote, boy.

But I’m getting’ old, man. Back in the day I could go all night, doin’ mah thang for them clowns. But now I’m old; I look fat in this goddamn outfit and I know it.

They were sayin’ he was outta style, man. His latest effort (“A Hunka-Hunka Burnin’ Blood”) was a number about how many terrorists we were killing in Iraq. It had charted strong at first but faded real quick after the press pointed out that most of the people killed were actually civilians.

His old fans still thought he was God, but he was losin’ the mainstream, the big audience. Younger Republican stars who’d once have bent over backwards to kiss his ass didn’t even want their pitcher taken with him no more—money, that’s all they wanted outta him. “You just bring along a big ol’ sack a money, Dickie boy, and then get the hell outta my district, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass—sorry, man, but you know, elections comin’ up. Don’t want “the King” hangin’ round no more.”

Ungrateful little sons-a-bitches. Makin’ billions outta the war, billions in pork for their districts, billions in sky-high oil prices. Turned the whole dang economy ‘round with that war, danged economy wouldn’t be shit now without that war—MY war, thought Cheney, angrily. What right they got to say I’m through? What right they got to say Cheney’s a fat, sick old has-been; big drag on the party? Who else can turn on the big money donors like the King? Huh?

He felt the old rage welling up in him; the pills couldn’t dull it tonight. He toyed with the pistol in his hand as he slouched back in the couch and stared, watching the latest casualty figgers from Iraq roll up on the TV. He stared at the numbers, but they didn’t really register. Pills and them deep-fried peanut butter sandwiches startin’ to kick in; feels good. Yeahhh...

He pointed the pistol at the TV screen, aimed carefully, and fired.

The screen exploded; obliterated.

A moment later, the hotel room was dark and silent as a tomb.

Yeahhh, thought Cheney...and his upper lip curled back into the sneer known the world over.


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