Jesus: "And I Say Unto Thee--Veto Children's Health Care"
Set the time machine for the GOP candidates debate in Des Moines, Iowa, December 1999:
Each candidate was asked what "philosopher or thinker" he identified with most. Bush, the third candidate to answer in the debate, said, "Christ, because he changed my heart."
Now, back to the present day:
Bush: No Deal On Children's Health Plan
President Says He Objects On Philosophical Grounds
By Christopher Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 19, 2007; Page A03
President Bush yesterday rejected entreaties by his Republican allies that he compromise with Democrats on legislation to renew a popular program that provides health coverage to poor children, saying that expanding the program would enlarge the role of the federal government at the expense of private insurance.
The president said he objects on philosophical grounds to a bipartisan Senate proposal to boost the State Children's Health Insurance Program by $35 billion over five years...
Scene: The White House, two days ago. It is late at night. The Oval Office. Bush is pacing back and forth.
Bush: Hmm. Permit Congress to fund health care for poor children...Boy, that sure is a toughie...Hard to say no to that one. Little poor kids, needin’ health care...Me already spendin’ Seven hundred jillion-de-billion-dy dollars a year on this damn war that General Petraeus Maximus don’t think he can win...Thirty five billion to fund better health care for America’s kids seems like a little sand off a beach, when you compare to that...Don’t know what to do...
(Bush stops in his tracks suddenly. Outside the window of the Oval Office is a mysterious figure, glowing in the dark, rapping on the window to get Bush’s attention.)
Bush: (hair standing on end) JESUS!
(Bush rushes to the window, throws it open, helps Jesus climb into the room, which he does a bit clumsily. Jesus is a little chubby, he can’t manage the gown, but he’s got the long hair, crown of thorns, and he’s white, so Bush gets him in there.)
Jesus: Getting too old for this...
Bush: (brushing him off) Boy, am I glad to see you tonight, Lord—
Jesus: (slaps Bush’s hands away) Hey, hey, no touching, remember, I told you about that—
Bush: Sorry, Lord. How did you get past the secret service?
Jesus: I-I turned ‘em into frogs, or something--
(Bush bites knuckle)
Jesus: Don’t worry, I’ll turn ‘em back on the way out, I’m Jesus, remember? I think I got a Charlie horse or something getting in here--
Bush: Man, it’s amazing how you always show up just when I need you most—
Jesus: Yeah, well...that’s why I get... the big money. I’m like... Jiminy Cricket, and you’re, uh, uh (snaps fingers, trying to remember name)
Jesus: Yeah, that’s it. Look--you got a glass of water or something around here, Pinocchio? I’m dyin’ up here, my heart’s beating like a roller disco--
Bush: (pouring him a glass of water) Sure. Boy, I tell you, Lord, this SCHIP funding thing has been keeping me up tonight. I slept right through the battle of Fallujee, but this one’s got me worried, Lord...
Jesus: (drinks water) Ah...that’s better. Give me a chance to get my breath back, kid, gimme a minute here.
Bush: Sure thing. You just sit right back in that chair right there. The Dems want me to fund this children’s health care thing, and I don’t know—
Jesus: What did Dick tell you?
Bush: Well, he told me not to fund it, he said “Screw the poor kids, the poor kids don’t vote—“
Jesus: What did I tell you about doing what Dick said?
Bush: (thinks, then) You said I should always do what Dick said.
Jesus: And you find that hard to remember, do you?
Bush: But, I figured—I figured you might be *for* this kind of thing, you know, making sure kids get their vaccinations, and see doctors so they don’t get sick—
Jesus: We don’t want big government getting in there and doing it, numbnut! Let the private sector take care of it! When they get sick enough, the private sector will step in and take care of it. You gotta have a little faith, that's all. Big government is no solution.
Bush: Okay. But “No Child Left Behind” was a big government—
Jesus: That was different. This is real money we’re talking about, with this children’s health care stuff. NCLB is just about giving public schools bad report cards, that costs peanuts.
Jesus: But what? You think this is a cartoon you’re talking to here? (points to Bush) Who’s you’re favorite philosopher?
Bush: Well, you are, of course—
Jesus: So who are you going to listen to—me, or a bunch of liberal Dems and RINOs?
Bush: You, sir—
Jesus: Okay, then—case closed. Remember what I said in the Bible? “Suffer the little children.” “Suffer!” I already spelled it out for everybody, remember that from Bible study?
Bush: Yeah... (goes to desk, gets out veto pen, scribbles) I’ll tell ‘em that I oppose it on philosophosockical grounds. I’ll tell ‘em you told me to—
Jesus: No! No attribution. This is strictly on background. You keep my name out of it, remember. Except when you’re speaking at a, a church or something. Now I gotta go. I got to do another wedding in Canada or Cana or wherever the hell it is, I have to be there, I’m bringing the liquor. (Starts climbing out window, begins to glow again as he reaches the darkness.) Farewell, farewell, my beloved son. (raises his hand in benediction) And always remember—(he slips and falls into the bushes outside.)
(Bush rushes to window.)
Bush: (yelling out window) Jesus! Jesus! Are you alright? (Bush turns around, aghast.) He’s gone!
(In the bushes outside the window. Two secret service men help Jesus to his feet.)
Jesus: Is he still looking? No? My God, this Jesus stuff is killing me. (he peels off beard, it’s Cheney) Where’s my glasses? I can’t do this any more, boys, we’ve got to find someone else to do this.
Secret Service man: Won’t he notice the difference if we use someone else, sir?
Cheney: I don’t care, we’ll tell him it’s a miracle, we’ll tell him it’s like “Dr. Who” or something, but I can’t make that window anymore. Where’s my pills? And I think I’m allergic to this paint, too...