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A Presidential Carol

 
 
The Ghost of Richard Nixon visits Bush. 
 
 Christmas Eve, 2008, years after the death Richard Nixon, George Bush and his Vice President, Dick Cheney are at work in the Oval Office. Bush's one time Secretary of State, Colin Powell, arrives with seasonal greetings and advise that he end the war, but Bush dismisses him with "Bah! Humbug!", declaring that that would be the cowardice thing to do.   Two Congressmen collecting charitable donations for the poor are likewise rebuffed by Bush, who insists that there is no reason for people to be poor and that the economy is doing well, and that "If they would rather die [than go to work], they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."
 
Bush returns home to his cheerless rooms in an otherwise deserted building, and a series of supernatural experiences begins. His wife and kids have gone home to Texas for the Holiday.  His doorknocker appears to transform into Nixon's face; a wounded soldier seems to mount the dark stairs ahead of him; the pictures on the tiles in his fireplace transform into images of Nixon's face. Finally, all the bells in the house ring loudly, there is a clanking of chains in the bed and on the floor, and the ghost of Nixon passes through the closed door into the room.
 
The ghost warns Bush  that if he does not change his ways, he will suffer Nixon's fate, but Bush's fate would be even worse. He will walk the earth eternally after death, invisible among his fellow men, burdened with chains, seeing the misery and suffering he could have alleviated in his life but now powerless to intervene. Nixon has arranged Bush's only chance of redemption: three spirits will visit him on successive hours that night, and they may help change him and save him from his fate. As Nixon leaves, Bush gets a nightmare glimpse of the tormented spectres who drift unseen among the living, and now shattered, he falls into bed.
 
The First of the Three Presidents
 
 The Ghost of Republican Wisdom, a very tall, thin bearded man.  Bush realizes that it’s President Lincoln. He appears at the stroke of one. It leads Bush on a journey to some wars of the past. The war for Independence, The war to end Slavery and the war to end Nazi Tyranny. He sees General Eisenhower agonizing over the D-Day Invasion., and recalls how little forethought he had put into the invasion of Iraq. Furious, Bush turns on the President, tries to snuff it like a candle with its cap, and finds himself crumpling up in his bed sheets and wakes up feeling remorseful.
 
The Seond of the Three Presidents
 
Bush wakes at the stroke of two, confused to find it is still night. After a time he rises and finds the second President, the Ghost of Conservation, in an adjoining room, on a horse. This President, a great genial man in a hunting outfit, takes him through the Badlands of South Dakota on the current Christmas morning. They observe the wildlife running  free.  When the President foretells an early death for a species if things remain unchanged, Bush is distraught. He is shown what others think of him: the Cheneys toast him,  and "a shadow was cast over the party for a full five minutes". The Press mock his false bravado at their Christmas parties.
 
They travel far and wide, and see how what would happen to great beauty of the country if his policies remain unchanged. At the end of the visitation, the bell strikes two. The Ghost of Conservation  vanishes and the third President appears to Bush.
 
 The Last of the Three Presidents
 
 
The Ghost of Great Depression  takes the form of a very conservative looking man, with slicked back hair, wearing a three piece suit. This President frightens Bush more than the others, and harrows him with a vision of a past and a future of homeless people on bread lines. A dogmatic President, who showed no curiosity, whose museum is rarely visited, is revealed to be Bush himself: this is the fate that awaits him. Without it explicitly being said, Bush learns that he can avoid the future he has been shown.. Weeping, he swears to do so, and awakes to find that all three Presidents have visited in just one night, and that it is the Christmas morning.
 
The End of It
 
 
Bush awakens to a telephone call from Laura. He tells her that he had nightmares all night. That today he was going to meet with the Vice President to arrange for the pardon of Jack Abramoff. 
 
Some people just don’t get the message.  

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jellomarx
jellomarx

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