Scene: The Oval Office. October 2008. President George W. Bush is nursing a Diet Coke. Vice President Dick Cheney sips a Cutty and water. A nervous-looking aide brings in a plate of soft pretzels, along with two copies of the latest internal polling numbers.
BUSH: This doesn’t look good, Dick. McCain is going to get his ass kicked.
CHENEY: I’d say that falls under the category of his problem, Mr. President. Besides, I think the man has lost it. An Alaskan bimbo for a running mate? He obviously spent too much time in the sun at the Hanoi Hilton.
BUSH: Heh-heh — You and I sure don’t have to worry about that, do we, Mr. Five Draft Deferments? Good thing, too. Our country needs us right now. Henry’s scared shitless the goddamn geniuses on Wall Street are going to take the whole friggin’ economy down the tubes. And fuck-all if I won’t get blamed for it.
CHENEY: Don’t worry, Mr. President. You’re going to come out of this just fine. Do you remember that lecture I gave you in ’03? When I told you that deficits don’t matter?
BUSH: Sorry to say I don’t, Dick. That was the day Laura got fed up with all my pissin’ and moanin’ about my presidential workload and ordered the kitchen to slip the Jim Beam into my sarsaparilla. That whole week’s a blur.
CHENEY: Well, Mr. President, let me give you the Cliff Notes version: Basically, American business runs itself. Successful Republicans have neither the time nor the inclination to get lost in the weeds of economic policy. And successful Republicans must never display any weakness when the middle-class losers start whining.
BUSH: You mean like when Dad went into that fancy new grocery store and tried to pretend he gave a shit about the peons? What a joke! Mom still rides him over that one.
CHENEY: Exactly, Mr. President. You can’t be wasting any precious war-fighting time worrying about people who can’t cut it in the free market. It takes your eye off the ball. Republican economics is simple: Our friends tell us what they want, and we give it to them.
BUSH: That’s it?
CHENEY: That’s it.
BUSH: But what happens when our friends all get richer and everyone else gets the shaft? What do we say then?
CHENEY: “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
BUSH: What if that doesn’t work?
CHENEY: Then we say, “We believe Americans should be allowed to keep more of their own money.”
BUSH: And if people are still bitching?
CHENEY: Too bad. We’re done talking. We’ve done our job. We’ve taken care of our friends. That’s all we’re going to do.
BUSH: I don’t know, Dick. That sounds a little — harsh.
CHENEY: Life is harsh, Mr. President. It’s up to each individual to try to try to scratch and claw his way to the top — to where you are. Economic good times come and go. Our friends are forever. Things may look bad now, Mr. President, but that’s actually a blessing. McCain is a loser. Fuck him. It’s just not his year. Hell, it’s not our year. But Henry’s going to do what it takes to save the system. And believe it or not, you’re going to be a Republican hero.
BUSH: How’s that gonna happen? You sound like Turd Blossom Rove when he’s kissing my ass.
CHENEY: Don’t take this wrong the wrong way, Mr. President, but here’s the plain fact: You’ve screwed up the economy so royally that nobody — least of all this Obama character — can fix it in two or even four years. If Republicans play their cards right, Mitt or Haley can waltz into the White House in 2012.
BUSH: Yeah. I think I get it, Dick. The shitty Bush economy now falls under the category of Obama’s problem.
CHENEY: Fuckin’ A, Mr. President. Fuckin’ A.