Macdubya: A Tragedy
Scene I: Baghdad, 1991.
This dark, grim tragedy begins with Three Witches dancing in the streets of Baghdad at the start of the first Gulf War.
Missiles, explosions, and screams paint a gloomy picture, setting the tone of this play. As the "fireworks" fade, the witches agree to meet again at the turn of the century. They straddle cruise missiles that look like penises and then fly off in different directions.
The TV set at the edge of the stage sputters to life. We hear Bernard Shaw reporting from Baghdad on the night of the first attack marking the opening of Operation Desert Storm. This is followed by a series of screen shots and video clips with occasional sound bites that rapidly advance us through the Clinton Years. A minute later, nine years have passed...
Scene II: A campaign office in Florida, commotion inside.
MacDubya is introduced as the brave man who led his forces against the enfeebled Gore. It was a battle that could have gone either way, but the media credits MacDubya and Baker's leadership for this apparent victory.
Patria is introduced as the sovereign of the Republic. She has grown weary of the constant bickering and confesses she is ready to accept any decision in order to move on with her life. She is less focused on who will be the better Chief Executive than on who demonstrated greater clarity of message, consistency, and compassionate conservatism.
The TV set at the edge of the stage flickers to life and local news reports ongoing efforts to recount the ballots.
Scene III: A ranch in Texas
The Three Witches establish their malicious nature before meeting MacDubya and Baker. They are gathered around the TV set, watching Dr. Strangelove and mocking the concerns of those who sent to fight in wars.
The Three Witches greet MacDubya, informing him that he will be "bane of McCain!", "bane of Gore!" and "king hereafter!". Baker learns he shall lead kings, but never be one himself. The witches vanish, leaving MacDubya and Baker to wonder at what they have witnessed. Baker doesn't believe the witches. MacDubya agrees with Baker noting, “By sinister slander spread in South Carolina, I know I am the bane of McCain; But how of Gore? All our polling shows him winning the popular vote. And king? A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier - just so long I'm the dictator."
As they exit, the TV on stage comes to life. The News Hour theme music is heard before headlines report the defeat of Gore.
Scene IV: The Capitol in Washington DC
MacDubya is greeted by Patria, and thanks her for his new title saying, “America has spoken, and I'm humbled by the trust and the confidence of my fellow citizens.” Patria praises MacDubya for his reverence, his compassion, and his consistency. “It’s amazing I won. I was running against peace, prosperity, and incumbency,” MacDubya notes in apparent modesty. MacDubya then recites the Oath of Office half-heartedly. This marks a major turning point as MacDubya betrays his inner thoughts, saying in an aside, “The Constitution! It's just a piece of paper, an outdated document! Who knew something so fragile could be such an impediment."
As he exits, the TV set sputters to life showing the promenade down Pennsylvania Ave. We hear the band play “Hail to the Chief” in the background.
Scene V. The White House
MacDubya contacts Lady MacDubya on her Blackberry and tells her of the Three Witches' prophecies. He is convinced he was “chosen by the grace of God to lead at that moment.” Fearing MacDubya is too compassionate and weak-willed to do what needs to be done to override the Constitution, she famously asks God to remove from her all signs of compassion and femininity, replacing these with cold remorseless ruthlessness, declaring this the dawn of a New American Century.
Scene VI. The White House
MacDubya and Patria arrive at the White House to celebrate the inauguration. Lady MacDubya plays the perfect hostess, offering Patria the Lincoln Bedroom for the night. MacDubya admits his doubts about the prophesy. Lady MacDubya belittles him for not being as much a man as his father, who boldly undermined the Constitution, Congress, and the Supreme Court, yet still the people elected him President. This unfavorable comparison wins MacDubya over and Lady MacDubya outlines her plan to strip Patria of her power while she sleeps.
Scene I. The Oval Office
MacDubya meets with a group extolling the virtues of a bold New Doctrine aimed at maintaining the global preeminence the United States enjoys now the Cold War has ended. MacDubya dozes until Rumsfeld, brandishing a dagger, declares they are promoting, “an American grand strategy committed to building upon this unprecedented opportunity. We do not accept pre-ordained constraints or assumptions about what the country might or might not be willing to expend to Rebuild America's Defenses."
MacDubya, awakes with a start as we hear a loud "cha-ching" following Rumsfeld's declaration. He takes the dagger offered him and proceeds to follow an imaginary string of signing statements written in a “bloody hand” to Patria’s bedchamber.
As he exits, we hear the droning of an airplane which gets louder and louder. MacDubya is momentarily paralyzed, but quickly regains his sense of purpose and exits. This is followed by the sound of a loud crash and screaming.
The TV sputters to life briefly as Aaron Brown of CNN reports the collapse of the World Trade Center.
Scene II. White House
MacDubya returns covered in blood and declares he has manfully despoiled Patria saying, “They misunderestimated me.” MacDubya notes the Representatives charged with oversight cried out and worries someone heard their laments. Lady MacDubya tells her husband not to fret over such things and reassures him a little oil will wash away their guilt. As they retire to their bedroom, distant explosions are heard.
The TV sputters to life and Ted Koppel reports on the launching of airstrikes against Afghanistan.
Scene III. The White House:
A tone of increasing despair begins in this scene. Rumors of Patria’s death reach all. Lady MacDubya faints and MacDubya forcefully blames the Representatives charged with oversight for allowing these attacks to occur in the first place. These actions deflect attention from them as people rush about in confusion seeking vengence. MacDubya claims it is his obligation to protect people from further wanton attacks, but laments his limited powers. He silences his critics by declaring they, "only aid terrorists and give comfort to America's enemies."
The TV sputters to life and we hear FOX News reporting the vote to authorize the USAPATRIOT Act.
Scene I. The Capitol:
Patria’s cowering Representatives are introduced. Flush with victory, MacDubya addresses Congress dressed as Don Quixote, declaring himself a War President. He declares "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” The Representatives abdicate their constitutional role and grant all the powers MacDubya requests. His declaration of war against Iraq for “the attacks of September the 11th” are greeted by great cheers of “Four More Wars! Four More Wars!”
As the crowd exits, the TV flickers to life and Tom Brokaw is heard reporting “One of the things we don't want to do is destroy the infrastructure in Iraq because in a few days we're going to own that country.”
Scene II. The Oval Office:
Baker confronts MacDubya. Aware the prophecies are coming true, he questions whether MacDubya may have taken an active role in making prophecy fact. MacDubya refuses to answer directly lest he undermine his claim on the Unitary Executive. Since Baker can no longer be co-opted, MacDubya arranges for several Contractors to discreetly kill Baker. As Baker escorts his clients on a tour of the Rose Garden, the Contractors sieze and kill Baker leaving those he represents untouched.
Scene III. The White House:
MacDubya and Lady MacDubya are entertaining The Corrupt Bastards Club. The First Contractor arrives, announcing “Mission Accomplished.” MacDubya applauds until he learns those counseled by Baker remain untouched but now forewarned. Lady MacDubya and MacDubya speak in private. MacDubya is again plagued by doubt. Lady MacDubya strengthens his resolve by reminding him that he cannot decline a mission from God.
Scene IV. Council on Foreign Relations:
MacDubya opens his address to the Council on Foreign Relations by joking, "This is an impressive crowd — the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites; I call you my base." His policy speech defending the invasion of Iraq as a key part of the Bush Doctrine goes awry when he sees Baker's Ghost approaching the stage and the Secret Service do nothing to stop it.
Lady MacDubya interrupts the speech to prevent further suspicions about MacDubya's sanity. She explains that "My husb...The President... is not well" and hurries him offstage. MacDubya tries to continue his speech while exiting saying "I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace." However, it quickly degenerates into a string of incomprehensible phrases. The last thing we hear is him saying he is too covered in blood to stop killing...
Scene I. The Heritage Foundation:
Buckley, The True Conservative, is introduced as sovereign over the Three Witches. He scolds these "pale imitations of the real McCoy" for helping an unappreciative MacDubya who can "no longer be trusted to act as a custodian of the Constitution." He instructs them to use illusion and prophecies against MacDubya. The Three Witches, eager to placate the True Conservative, do as they are told and quickly prepare for their next meeting with MacDubya.
Scene II: The Lincoln Bedroom
A major turning point in the play. Just as the Three Witches prophesied MacDubya's ascendancy, here they prophesy his downfall. The first tells an eager MacDubya that he should fear “the bluff”, saying "beware the Bluff; / Beware the bane of strife." The second reassures MacDubya that "no man of women born / Shall harm MacDubya" and the third tells MacDubya he has nothing to fear until "The Great Mississippi roils the banks of the Potomac.” The Witches vanish, leaving MacDubya alone to contemplate the portrait of Lincoln. He is shocked to note that Lincoln has turned his back on him.
Scene III: The Oval Office:
MacDubya recounts his meeting with the Witches to Lady Macbeth. When she notes the first warning, he laughs saying, “Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere, heh, heh, heh.” Taking the Apparition's words to mean he is safe from all men born naturally, he relaxes and relishes the knowledge that only the merging of the Mississippi and the Potomac, an impossible event, will spell his doom. Feeling secure in an apparently unassailable position, he gloats over the globe and declares "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job, and my job is to attack Iran and Syria!"
The TV flickers to life and we see local reports of Naval ships putting out to sea.
Scene IV: The Capitol in Washington
We learn that a large campaign is gathering to defeat MacDubya. The Representatives discuss how the country under MacDubya's rule has been plunged into despair. The Representatives test each other's integrity by declaring themselves unfit to rule. Pelosi declares that like MacDubya, she too is not fit to rule the nation. This reassures the other Representatives who explain they were testing Pelosi's integrity. They annoint her their chosen leader.
Scene I: The White House Situation Room:
Lady MacDubya's insanity becomes clear. Doctor Kissinger and her assistants are discussing Lady MacDubya's strange behavior. She appears and we see it for ourselves. Lady MacDubya moans she cannot wipe away the blood on her hands, declaring “All the perfumed oils of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand!" Before departing, Dr. Kissinger washes his hands of this calamity, claiming it is beyond even his powers to correct.
Scene II. Air Force One:
In the background we see, but cannot hear, scenes of women and children calling for help while raging wall of water sweep through New Orleans. MacDubya gazing out the window of Air Force One, coldly shrugs at the news that the city is dead.
The TV crackles to life and we hear Anderson Cooper reporting from Louisiana lamenting the death and devastation as bodies float by.
Scene III. The White House:
MacDubya enters complaining that he had to cut his vacation short because the flooding along the Mississippi is roiling the politicians along the Potomac. Realizing what this means, MacDubya nonetheless defiantly sets off to meet his destiny.
The TV lights up and we hear Wolf Blitzer reporting on the Democratic shut out with gains in the House, Senate, and Governor's races across the country.
Scene IV. The Map Room:
The newly elected Representatives storm the White House. As the battle rages, he throws his Secretaries to the wolves until he is alone. Slowly he is encircled. MacDubya fights back declaring he lives a charmed life and that no man, naturally born can defeat him. MacDubya is ultimately confronted by Pelosi, whom he has consciously avoided and until now, refused to fight. He mocks her reminding her he lives a charmed life. Pelosi pointedly reminds him that though she is not a man, she is twice the man he is. The two fight and MacDubya is vanquished.
Scene V. The Capitol
Order is restored and power returned to a frail, but recovering Patria when Pelosi hails the Constitution as sole instrument of true authority and ends with the famous line:
"To truly put things aright,
overlooked is not what's meant
when we say oversight."
As the curtain drops, the TV sputters to life one final time. We see C-SPAN covering a House committee meeting. We hear the bang of a gavel and the unmistakable baritone of John Conyers' voice declaring "These long overdue hearings will now come to order."
---------------- The End -------------------