The Last Straw, Part Two
by The Cranky Media Guy
George W. Bush was restless. He hadn't slept for days. The campaign,
five weeks of waiting for the outcome of the election, forming
a transition team, had taken their toll on him. Publicly he kept
up the illusion of a man in control; internally he was in turmoil.
His world was spinning out of control. His entire life had lead
up to this, what should be his moment of triumph. He was bred
for leadership, he had been pushed his entire life toward success,
or at least his father's notion of success. He was, after all,
his Dad's namesake.
He could never let his guard down in public, he could never let
anyone see past the carefully constructed facade he had erected.
If he appeared uncertain at times, it was because he was, in simple
English, just not all that bright. His father had called in every
favor he had to make Dubya move forward in life. In literal terms,
he could not fail. It wouldn't have been allowed.
Trying to look in control every moment of every day was incredibly
stressful. No one understood that what George W. really wanted
was to have his carefree college days back. No one. It was even
harder to have a man like Dick Cheney play second fiddle to you.
Cheney had legitimately earned the kind of resume that Dubya's
father tried to assemble for his son. Dubya knew that Cheney was
the better man and it ate at him.
No one understood the real George W. Bush. Prep school, getting
ahead in business through the largess of his dad's friends, going
AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard--nothing normal about any
of it and all of it leading inexorably to his moment in the sun
as the president of the United States. It would happen, it must
happen. It would happen. His father would stand for nothing less.
George W. Bush sat on the edge of his bed. A glass of Budweiser
was on the nearby table, half-empty. Only an hour ago, President
Bush had made a formal statement about the ongoing situation in
Congress, something about it being time to put politics aside
and the will of the people, blah blah blah. He felt somewhat frazzled
while delivering it, as always. He was not a man comfortable with
words. No one could tell what he was feeling, though. The goofy,
slightly smug smile was in place, as always.
Leaving the podium, Bush had gone straight to his private quarters,
closing the door behind him. Laura was elsewhere, planning some
upcoming soiree for the wife of the president of some damn country
George couldn't quite remember. Just as well that she wasn't there,
on the top floor of the White House, at the moment. If she was,
she'd want him to "share". He'd faked it countless times, of course,
as any husband has to, but that took more concentration than he
was mentally capable of.
Lifting the glass, George W. Bush tossed back half of the contents.
"How?" he asked out loud. "How did I win the election? Me, George
W. Bush!" Electoral votes, whatever the fuck they were, swirled
in his mind, taunting him. Electoral votes!
There was a soft knock at the door. "Mr. President?" came a voice.
It was Henley, the Secret Service agent assigned to the private
quarters. George W. Bush had a sudden flash. Everything crystallized
in his mind in a moment of perfect clarity. He had never felt
exactly "clear" before in his life.
"Come in," he said in a strong voice. Henley entered.
"Is everything all right, sir?" he asked, concern lining his
George W. Bush appeared confident, as he had practiced doing
all his "adult" life. Just like his Dad had taught him
"Sure, everything's fine. Hey, would you do me a favor, Agent?"
"Of course, sir. What can I do for you?"
"Would you mind getting me a glass of milk from the kitchen?
I think I have a little bit of a stomach ache," George W. Bush
said, his face displaying the usual dimwitted half-grin.
"Of course, sir," said Henley. Technically, agents weren't supposed
to be gophers, but it was hardly unusual for one to be asked to
run a small errand. He headed off toward the stairs. George W.
Bush smiled to himself.
As he expected, the agent had left his suit jacket hanging on
the chair he had been sitting on. He had to move fast, the agent
would be his usual efficient self, returning soon. Quickly, George
W. Bush felt inside the jacket. As he suspected, Henley's holster
was underneath it.
George W. Bush removed the pistol and quickly headed toward the
back stairs of the executive mansion. Undetected, he went down
and out the back door. With catlike motions, he went from tree
to shrub, taking care not to be seen by the agents on the roof
of the house. In short order, he was next to the big fence that
ran the length of the property along E Street NW.
George W. Bush squatted down so that his head barely stuck up
over the concrete base of the fence. He could see the traffic
passing by on the busy avenue. He chuckled softly to himself.
"I'll show him. I'll show him!" George W. Bush said in an oddly
Raising the gun so that the barrel rested on the top of the
concrete base, he squinted through the site. A yellow Volkswagen
Beetle passed by, a secretary from the Department of Energy at
the wheel. She was humming along to a Duran Duran song on the
radio. George W. Bush pulled the trigger.
The VW careened out of control, crashing into a light pole. The
hood crumpled and steam shot out of the radiator. A Mercedes heading
the other way stopped. The driver got out to help the secretary
out of the Volkswagen.
George W. Bush drew a bead and pulled the trigger again. The
Mercedes driver fell to the ground, a neat hole in his forehead.
Clutching the pistol, George W. Bush fell to the ground, cackling
"Push me to succeed, will you, Dad?!" he yelled at the
He felt calmer than he could ever remember feeling before; he
closed his eyes and clamped the pistol to his chest. On E Street,
chaos reigned. Only yards away, behind the fence of the White
House property, George W. Bush slipped away into a quiet place,
a perfect place. He felt he was truly his own man, the real George
W. Bush, not his father's surrogate, for the first time in his
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