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Friday, October 29, 2004

With apologies to Joseph Heller.

Almost overnight the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was in full flower, and President Bush was enraptured to discover himself spearheading it. He had really hit on something. All the working men and women on minimum wage had to sign a loyalty oath to get pay checks from their employers, a second loyalty oath to receive their benefits from welfare, a third loyalty oath for Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, to be allowed to attend a political speech. Every time they turned around there was another loyalty oath to be signed. They signed a loyalty oath to get their tax refunds from the IRS, to obtain their military pensions, even to be able to check out library books.

To President Bush, every politician who supported his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a competitor, and he planned and plotted twenty-four hours a day to keep one step ahead. He would stand second to none in his devotion to country. When others had followed his urging and introduced loyalty oaths of their own, he went them one better by making every son of a bitch who came to his rallies sign two loyalty oaths, then three, then four; then he introduced the pledge of allegiance, and after that "The Star-Spangled Banner," one chorus, two choruses, three choruses, four choruses. Each time President Bush forged ahead of his competitors, he swung upon them scornfully for their failure to follow his example. Each time they followed his example, he retreated with concern and racked his brain for some new strategem that would enable him to turn upon them scornfully again.

Without realizing how it had come about, the citizens of the United States discovered themselves dominated by the administrators elected to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, President Bush replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that "The Star-Spangled Banner" was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was; to President Bush it was as simple as that, and he had Laura Bush sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.

"The important thing is to keep them pledging," he explained to his cabinet. "It doesn't matter whether they mean it or not. That's why we make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what 'pledge' and 'allegiance' mean."

For anyone who is curious, you can see the original version here.


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