Friday, January 20, 2017

Editors' Note: It may be the last peaceful transition of power we will ever see, but that didn't seem to be much of a cause for celebration in Washington City today.  We found in our Archives a report of another equally glum Inauguration Day, a mere 12 years ago.

Millions stay away
from Bush inaugural

Nat'l Mall not jammed with cheering Americans

By David Bloviator
Political Editor

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President George W. Bush was inaugurated for a second term before an unecstatic crowd of 100,000 Republicans and lobbyists imported by NetJet to Washington for the occasion.

Adoring crowds did not throng the National Mall
in Washington in joyous celebration of the second
Inauguration of President George W. Bush
Although the cost of the Inaugural festivities were expected to reach $160 million, including tens of millions devoted to security, from all corners of the country, Americans chose to stay home. The Mall was devoid of enthusiastic cheering crowds as Bush took the oath of office from a nearly moribund Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Later, the traditional Inaugural parade marched up Pennsylvania Avenue, enjoyed by scores of spectators and winos who lined the parade route. The crowd's lack of enthusiasm was reciprocated in equal measure by the President, who waved lamely a few times before telling his limo driver to get the hell out of there.

The Inaugural proceeded with no sense that history was being made. In his eloquence-free Inaugural Address, the re-elected President called upon all Americans to spend money on useless crap and promised more of the same for the next four years: endless war in Iraq, denial of the reality of global warming, tax cuts for the rich, and untrammeled expansion of executive power including torture and arbitrary detention of American citizens.

President Bush did outline one initiative: repeal of guaranteed social Security benefits, which drew no cheers or shouts of “Bush” from the quiet undemonstrative spectators gathered at the foot of the Capitol's reflecting pool. Metro officials reported no crowds at subway stations and bus stops, noting “Republicans don't take public transportation.”

For weeks, ordinary Americans from all 50 states vowed not to travel to the non-historic event, whether by air, car, train, or bus. The expense, discomfort, cold weather, and insignificance of the day itself were cited as the principal reasons for non-attendance, although many did mention they wanted to see the new season of “American Idol” instead.

The swearing in and parade were the culmination of a week of sparsely attended and uninspiring events. A-list Hollywood celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt and his squeeze Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, and Will Smith all decided not to show up, leaving Inaugural planners with no choice but to entertain the bored spectators with Hootie-less Blowfish and aged ex-country star Conway Twitty.

Despite the public's determination not to be anywhere near an event representing the continued domination of politics by dull entitled rich white men, some managed to enjoy themselves at one of the 11 non-glittering Inaugural balls.

Outside the Washington Hilton, after being introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R – Ooh-La-La) to his niece Amber, this reporter and a few party-goers were treated to the spectacle of Daddy's Girl Jenna Bush barfing into a trash barrel.

Inside at the balls, all agreed that the highlight was not any of the brief, sullen appearances of the President. Rather, it was the bevy of attractive young blonde Bush supporters making the most of this precedented occasion.  OMB Director Josh Bolten, surveying the non-diverse crowd, was heard to observe: “If you can't get laid this week, you might as well forget it.”

The next day, it was back to business as usual with no sense that a new era had dawned.

One new face, African-American Senator Barack Obama (D – Hyde Park), facing the obscurity and unimportance that is the fate of junior Senators, was heard to observe to no one in particular: “I could do better than these guys with my eyes closed.”

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