Bloodletter of the Law

Early 2005 wasn’t that long ago, but in terms of U.S. politics it seems like an eternity. At that time Bush was still untouchable, the GOP was still a monolith of arrogance, and the Democrats were still searching for their asses with both hands and a flashlight. Now the Democrats are taking the offensive more and more, the GOP is scattering like roaches before the light of awakening public opinion, and Bush has been revealed as a scared little bunny rabbit. But just eighteen or so months ago it was nigh impossible to imagine these things coming to pass without being called delusional (at best; more likely, a traitor).

It was at that time that I dreamed up a story that never got past the outline stage. The story began eighteen months in the future — August 2006. Considering that that’s right now, I thought this might be a nice time to publish my abandoned story outline, whose too-clever working title is, “Bloodletter of the Law.”

  • August 2006: While Bush clears brush on vacation in Crawford, numerous senior political operatives are seen coming and going. The liberal blogosphere gets jittery about the new schemes it imagines being cooked up at this summit meeting.
  • Late August: Conservative pundits on talkshows and in other media begin to float the idea of a third Bush term.
  • Democrats are predictably outraged, pointing to the constitutional limit on presidential terms and linking the third-term idea to other instances of Bush flouting inconvenient laws.
  • White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan paints the Democratic response as typically hysterical and shrill. “The President has not announced any plans to seek a third term. The White House is not responsible for the speculations that private citizens make on talk shows or elsewhere.”
  • For a few weeks, newsmagazines are full of articles about the history of the presidential term limit and minutiae of related laws. Franklin Roosevelt’s four consecutive elections are held up for inspection. A talking point emerges that, for those who believe it is necessary to “balance” or roll back the “damage” of the FDR era, three or more Bush terms would not be inappropriate.
  • Early October: Bush announces his plans to seek a third term.
  • The left goes apeshit.
  • Public sentiment is with the side not going apeshit. McClellan calmly clarifies that the Constitution only prohibits being elected to a third term, not campaigning for one. “Technically, if the President wins in 2008, the Constitution would not allow him to take office.”
  • Conservative pundits everywhere finish the thought for McClellan: if Bush wins in 2008, it would be un-American to prevent his taking office and fulfilling the expressed will of the electorate.
  • November: Bush’s announcement having emboldened Republicans and sent Democrats running for the hills, the GOP wins easy victories in the 2006 midterm elections, increasing its margin in Congress.
  • January 2007: Bush’s announcement has cleared the field of other Republican presidential hopefuls.
  • Bill Clinton announces, “I too will seek a third term.” On the left, there is much rejoicing, but not by…
  • Hillary Clinton, whose own presidential campaign is well underway. This new strife in their famously troubled marriage is dissected ad nauseam in the press.
  • A rift forms in the Democratic party between Bill supporters and Hillary supporters.
  • In an attempt to mend the fence, Bill backpedals, explaining that his so-called “run” for a third time was nothing more than a rhetorical device to counter Bush. This is seen akin to “I didn’t inhale” and “what the definition of is is.” Meanwhile, did Hillary know Bill was only kidding? Should she have? The Clintons are ruined, the Democratic party is decimated.
  • November 2008: Bush coasts to an easy electoral victory, although there are numerous reports of voting irregularities.
  • Immediately, those few states that refused to put Bush on the ballot sue to invalidate the election. The case is expedited to the Supreme Court, this time packed with even more Bush partisans…

Having written that, I find it interesting that, just a week or so ago, the news media made a big deal out of one Bush booster’s comment that Bush deserved a third term. I find it even more interesting that he turned out to be a shill

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