By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
To the chagrin of all immediate family members, we voted for Ralph Nader in last November's election. If we hadn't voted for Nader, well, we probably would've voted for Al Gore. And after Gore, we'd have written in Martin Sheen or maybe Kevin Kline, possibly Harrison Ford or Michael Douglas. Face it, the presidency is little more than the lead role in our longest-running soap opera, and those guys have at least shown that they can handle the part. Point is, voting for George W. Bush was never an option, never on the table, never conceivable for a second. We'd have believed in--and yes, voted for--Santa Claus, with the Easter Bunny as his running mate, before going with the Bush/Cheney ticket.
To sum up: We wouldn't trust Bush with our car keys, let alone veto power and first-strike capabilities, and we've made no secret of that fact. He looks like the kind of guy--and, hey, he probably is--who has one pet name for men (say, "buddy" or "major league asshole") and another for women ("babe" or "hon" or maybe "sweet pants") because he's not smart enough to remember who anyone is. Which is fine if you're batting clean-up on the company softball team, but doesn't really help during those tricky summit meetings. ("Hey, buddy, would ya mind not shooting and stuff at this other fella's country?") If you want proof that this country is belt-deep in mediocrity, look no further. At this point, a Jesse Ventura presidency seems almost inevitable, inescapable.
With all of that in mind, we're having trouble explaining the flood of inaugural party invites that began turning up in our mailbox as soon as Gore decided he'd rather knock back a few longnecks with Tom Petty instead of battling Dubya and his pop's lawyers. Maybe--surprise, surprise--Bush really means to unite instead of divide, like his speechwriters say. Maybe he's actually reaching out to friend and foe alike in this, his moment of triumph. Maybe he has somehow become a better man in these tense recent months.
Or maybe he just can't find his bong.
Whatever the case, we definitely plan on putting our differences aside and living it up with the par-tay party in Washington, D.C., on January 18, when Bush is inaugurated and/or the United States begins its slow descent into a hell of our own making (depending on whom you believe, of course), flitting from keggers to black-tie balls, and every other shindig along the Potomac. Check these highlights, and you'll see why.
Where: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Who: G.W. and his 1,000 closest friends, including ZZ Top
Price of admission to GWB's let's-repeal-Roe-vs.-Wade-now soirée: Several thousand in soft campaign cash. The chance to hear Billy Gibbons and crew break into "Pearl Necklace" during George and Laura's first spin around the dance floor? Priceless.
What: The Biggest Little Balls in D.C.
Where: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel parking garage
Upon hearing the details, Jenna Bush was overheard saying, "I already had my inaugural ball three years ago. What's so special about this one?" And, strangely, "Gibby was at that one too."
What: White Tie/Black Lung Ball
Where: Howard Johnson Motel, across the street from the infamous Watergate
Big Tobacco hosts this return to the Republican high life of the 1980s, and there is perhaps no better way to remember the Reagan years than a performance by Huey Lewis and his new backing combo, the New News, featuring most of the old News and Julian Lennon. Once inside, prepare to feast on a sumptuous buffet that includes a full range of Marlboro and--in an extremely rare bit of cooperation--Camel products. Says a Camel spokesperson, "Democrats bad, tobacco good."
What: An Ol' Dirty Salute to Ol' Glory
Where: Washington Monument
Blame this one on Cheney (street name: Washington DC), who spent a few weeks trading rhymes with the ODB (also known as Big Baby Jesus, Isis, and to his mother, Russell Jones) at Betty Ford a few years ago, when Cheney was trying to kick an addiction to mead and Dristan. Ever since then, Cheney and Ol' Dirty have been, you know, hanging, keepin' it fresh, etc. Cheney even asked his former rehab roomie to pen a theme song for the Bush campaign, but the tune, titled "Al Gore Can Eat a Dick in Hell," was scrapped because of problems clearing one of the song's samples. (Bit of trivia: The sample in question was actually taken from first-chair saxophonist Bill Clinton's rendition of "Heartbreak Hotel," from his appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show.) You can expect to hear the song in a different form at An Ol' Dirty Salute to Ol' Glory, the ODB's stops-pulling tribute to the United States and the nascent Bush presidency. Throughout the show, he'll be backed by the Boston Pops Symphony, under the direction of conductor John Williams, though there are plans for a short unplugged set at some point. Word is, Cheney will stop by to perform a special version of "You Don't Wanna Fuck With Me," from the ODB's 1999 album, Nigga Please. This is the party of the inauguration...