The Stupid Ray Strikes Again

TO WIT

April 17, 1994|By DAVE BARRY

I see by the newspapers that solid progress is being made by the failed Clinton administration, which has finally moved beyond the Bumbling Around Cluelessly Phase and is now deep into the Big Incomprehensible Scandal Phase.

This is good. Under our system of government (called, technically, "The Goober System"), the primary function of the executive branch, aside from frowning sincerely down from helicopters at natural disasters, is to get involved in vast, festering legal messes that affect the legislative process in a manner very similar to what happens when you attempt to flush a dead moose down a commode: Everything gets stopped up. Which is exactly what we want. As the great statesperson John or Samuel Adams once said, "A government engaged in the legislative process is a government that can, at any moment, without warning, decide that it needs to spend $14.3 million on a Bureau of Catfish Safety."

So we need big executive-branch scandals. That's why there's a top-secret, high-tech, self-activating device in the White House attic called the Stupid Ray. You have noticed that we keep sending all these brilliant people to the White House, and the instant they grab hold of the controls of the Ship of State, they become Jerry Lewis starring in "The Nutty Administration."

Take Richard M. "Dick" Nixon. Here is a man with an IQ of 384, a man who every six weeks produces a hard-cover book explaining how we can solve every single problem in the entire world, and look what happened when he got into the White House:

Nixon (to his aides): . . . and our first priority must be the implementation of the New Federalism, with the concomitant amalgamation of the structural parameters of the . . .

Stupid ray: Hummmmmmm

Nixon: . . . I know! Let's install a tape recorder in here, then %J discuss a criminal conspiracy!

Aides: Great idea, sir!

And it wasn't just Nixon. Jimmy Carter was a nuclear engineer. Do you think a nuclear engineer with an unimpaired brain is going to tell reporters that he was chased by a giant swimming rabbit? No, that was the Stupid Ray, which also caused the Iran-Contra scandal that paralyzed both the Bush and Reagan administrations.

And now we have the Clinton administration, loaded with brains, getting itself deeper and deeper into this Whitewater Development scandal, the scope of which has now been expanded to the point where, any day, there is going to be a Texas School Book Depository angle.

We here in the print medium are working overtime to keep you abreast of this scandal by cranking out long, fact-filled stories. Each of these is carefully reviewed prior to publication by a team of brilliant theoretical physicists headed by Stephen Hawking; if these people have even the faintest clue as to what the story says, we rewrite it to make it more incomprehensible for you, the average citizen.

This is easy for us, because even we don't understand this

scandal. All we know for sure about Whitewater is, it has something to do with -- surprise! -- a failed savings-and-loan.

Here's what I want to know: Did you, personally, ever have any money in a failed savings-and-loan? No, right? Neither did I. Neither did anybody I know. I bet neither did anybody you know. So where the hell are all these failed savings-and-loans coming from? Who put all these billions of dollars into them that we taxpayers are always paying back? Space aliens? Are we bailing out Martians here?

This is only one of the many Whitewater questions now under investigation. And although of course it would be wrong to pass any judgment before all the facts are known, we can safely assume that everybody involved is guilty. The Republicans cannot believe their good luck, but they are trying to be cool

about it. As Senate Minority Leader "Bob" Dole (R-Mister MeanyPants) put it in a recent speech, "We cannot allow work on critical national issues to be halted by a shortsighted partisan obsession with Whitewater Whitewater Whitewater Whitewater Whitewater neener neener neener ha ha ha."

Speaking of issues: There are some other ones, such as the budget deficit, and the fact that you apparently can write "Russian agent" on your Central Intelligence Agency employment application and still get a high-level job, and as concerned citizens we should be thinking about these things, and demanding better from our leaders, but every time we try to

Hummmmmmmm

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