With the first calls for impeachment circulating in Congress and across the country, President George W. Bush and his advisors met in Washington over the weekend to map a defense based on the so-called “idiot defense,” sometimes referred to as the “I was out of the loop” method of shifting blame to others.
Under this plan, Bush will come clean with the American people and tell them that he didn’t have any idea of what was going on; he didn’t give orders for spying, doesn’t know about where the reports on WMD in Iraq came from, or why FEMA didn’t act sooner, or why various unpopular initiatives were put forth by his administration during the past several years.
A key part of the strategy is for Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, the GOP leadership in the House and Senate, and the Republican Over-Centralized Committee to enter plea bargains, which would allow them to get away with fines of $50 and the loss of their privileges to the White House’s executive bathroom.
In a feverish attempt to hold off criminal hearings on his performance as president, Bush will make appearances in major cities around Texas, including Houston, Podunk, and El Dunceio. By invoking 9/11, victory in Iraq and claiming that he knew nothing about tax
cuts for the wealthy, secret meetings between Cheney and the oil conglomerates, or the funding of the new Medicare drug addiction program for the pharmaceutical industry, Bush hopes to convince born-again fundamentalists that he didn’t know a thing.
“Most leaders of countries don’t know what’s going on in their countries,” Bush told cadets at the Soldiers for Christ Academy in Corruption, Wyoming last week. “You can’t expect me to take responsibility for crimes that this bunch of neo-con hucksters pulled off -I had no idea what they were doing.”
Although legal experts say this as a risky strategy, it’s been used successfully by top executives charged with corporate fraud. By claiming to be “ignoramuses,” executives made more money. The “I was a dummy” defense, didn’t work for Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom or Johnny Rigas of Adelphia, but it did work for Richard Scrushy of HealthSouth, who stole hundreds of millions and claimed that he had no idea the company’s stock was worthless.
The president may be able to hold off impeachment proceedings by calling on his best friend, Ken Lay, former CEO of Enron, for advice on how to put off a trial: Lay’s trial for siphoning off $220 million from Enron is expected to begin early in 2086. Lay’s defense rests partly upon his claim that “they’re picking on me and I didn’t do anything,” but his legal team blames top Enron executives for paying Lay too much money.
While legal experts have been unable to piece together the details of Enron’s infractions, they expect Bush to rely upon executive privilege to shield his activities from the public. The Garlic Press recently learned that tapes secretly recorded in the White House reveal Bush claiming, “I’m innocent just like Julius Seizure was back whenever.”
“You know how presidential meetings go,” said Scotty Whitewash, White House spokesman. “One person says something and then something else. At the end, everything is given to Dick (Cheney), who has connections with some large corporations that know how to get things done.”
Proving that the president knows anything may be impossible. Bush has repeatedly told the media that he doesn’t read or watch TV and that his wife, Laura, usually keeps him abreast of Washington’s affairs. Her main sources of information is Rush Limbaugh’s radio broadcast, “I’m a Big Fat Idiot,” and Pat Robertson’s TV show, “700 Slights and Arrows.” Robertson has come under attack recently for advocating the assassination of Santa Claus and claiming that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke was the result of “getting his fat hand caught in the cookie jar.”
Foreign policy experts hope to make a coherent statement about the president’s policies that will prove that he knew what was going on in the country. “We’ve been trying to make sense out of statements the president made during his morning briefings, but so far we’re flummoxed,” said one advisor. “We’re not sure some of the words the president uses exist, and if they do, what they mean.”
Last week the president invited a group of prominent bankers to the White House to celebrate the third year in a row of record banking profits and promised that he would get to the bottom of any hearings, “because I’m the president.” Bankers appeared perplexed and disoriented as they headed for a meeting with the vice president to clarify their meeting with the president.
“The president either said ‘I can’t hear what anyone is saying when everyone talks at once,’ or ‘I can’t understand anything,'” said one banker after the meeting. “I think Bush’s only hope is to blame it on his dog, Scotty, as in, ‘my dog ate my homework.’ Americans love this type of folksy approach to impeachment.”