By now you’re probably as exercised as I am over the military coup in Honduras, wherever that is. I mean, here this duly elected el Presidente, some guy named Mel, has an itch to run for a second term even though it’s prohibited by their “constitution” and the “supreme court” there won’t let him scratch it. And when he tried to conduct a simple, innocent referendum allowing him to succeed himself more or less in perpetuity, the court orders the army to frog-march him in his pajamas all the way to Costa Rica, where he’s currently cooling his heels and waiting for his buddy, Venezuela’s el Caudillo, Hugo Chávez, to do something about it. How the frog got into his pajamas, I’ll never know.
In short, it was like some Telemundo remake of John Frankenheimer’s it-can’t-happen-here, Rod Serling–scripted classic, Seven Days in May. You remember that one: Burt Lancaster plays Gen. James Mattoon Scott, the charismatic head of the Joint Chiefs, who plots to depose a weak-sister, commie-loving president (Frederic March) who’s just signed a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviets. Scott’s adjutant, Col. Jiggs Casey (Kirk Douglas) gets wind of the plot and, in the end, stops the coup. We can only hope that Chávez mans up and puts some of that Russian weaponry he’s been buying to good use so that the march of progress can continue in newly liberated Latin America so that we can give Siete Días en Junio the happy ending it deserves.
You see, anything that Chávez wants is something that we progressives are for, of course: As long as you hate the United States, we’re putty in your hands. Ever since Fidel hung up his baseball mitt and turned Cuba over to his brother in a slobber of senile drool, we’ve been looking for a strongman we could unconditionally worship. Now we have not just Chávez, but his hermanos down there south of the border, including Evo Morales of Bolivia, Raphael Correa of Ecuador, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, and that fellow Lulubelle from Brazil. Even Argentina’s latest incarnation of Evita Peron, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has gotten into the act — now that she and her hubby, Nestor, got their heads handed to them in the recent Argentine elections and have plenty of time on their hands.
And so has, magnificently, our very own el Jefe, His Serene Highness the Emperor Barack Hussein Obama II, Lord of the Flies, Protector of the Holy Cities of Honolulu and Chicago, and — by the grace of Gaia — the 44th President of the United States. One thing you have to say about BO2, the former Barry Soetoro of Mombasa, Jakarta, and the Punahou School, he’s never met a dictator he didn’t cotton to in some weird taqiyya kind of way. Whether he’s bowing to King Faisal or whatever his name is, lovingly referring to the Ayatollah Whosiebaum of Iran as the “Supreme Leader,” or soul-shaking with Hugo, BHO likes the cut of their totalitarian jibs.
After all, it’s not like Mel from Tegucigalpa tried something we Americans haven’t seen before. Why, just recently in my very own former hometown of New York City, the little mayor, Mike Bloomberg, with a compliant City Council buried somewhere in his billowing billfold, forcibly overrode the city’s statutory “term limits” so that this Boston-born Democrat could once again pretend to be a New York Republican in order to continue his lifestyle war on the overweight, cigarette-smoking denizens of the outer boroughs even as the homeless retake the streets and graffiti artists return to the subways.
When the Dear Reader parroted the words “fundamental change” last fall — written for him by his triumvirate of advisers, the former Chicago Tribune reporter, David Axelrod; the former ballerina, Rahm Emanuel; and the current felon, George Soros, convicted of insider trading in France — he wasn’t kidding. In my Classic Comics edition of Webster’s Dictionary, “fundamental change,” oddly enough, means “fundamental change.” Not just no more Bush. Not just no more Abu Ghraib. Not just no more Denny Hastert and John McCain.
In this brave new world that’s a’borning, everything will change. Your money will be worth nothing. Your houses will be worth nothing. You won’t be able to afford even an energy-saving light bulb, much less turn it on. The jobs you’ll get — if you can get jobs — will be the modern equivalent of the Irish and African-American tarriers who dug the IRT subway lines in Manhattan around the turn of the last century for ten cents an hour, if they didn’t die first. Luckily for us, you’re too busy with Michael Jackson grief, Ed McMahon grief, Farrah Fawcett grief, Gale Storm grief, David Carradine grief, and Billy Mays grief to pay the slightest bit of attention to what is really going on.
And so you persist in thinking that nothing’s really changed. John Boehner and the rest of the clueless Rotary Club members that make up the Republican congressional delegation continue to play by the old rules, blissfully unaware that “fundamental change” has already taken place, and now the only thing we’re arguing about is how fast to turn up the heat on the boiling frogs, whether they’re wearing pajamas or not.
Naturally I’m thinking it’s time for an update of the Frankenheimer film: As a weak-sister, commie-loving president reaches out to all of America’s so-called “enemies” (really, just friends who haven’t attacked us yet) and heroically kicks the Israeli prime minister in the teeth, a cabal of neo-cons led by the former vice president darkly plots his overthrow. The film ends with Dick Cheney in a tank rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue, when suddenly the president emerges from the West Wing, clothed in radiant white robes, and –
But why give it away? That’s why I make the big Hollywood bucks and you don’t. I can tell you the title, however: Seven Days in November: This Time, It’s Personal.
– David Kahane welcomes fundamental change as long as it doesn’t affect him personally. Feel free to drop him a line at [email protected] or become his friend on Facebook.