resident George W. Bush engaged
in one of his busiest days as chief executive on Sept. 11. Instead
of taking the day off, he commemorated the second occurrence of
a new holiday, Patriot Day—in honor of the tragic events that
took place two years ago—and spent his evening partying with
what, according to White House officials, will become an annual
“We will not forget the events of that terrible morning nor
will we forget how easy it has become to write off voices of decency
as traitors to their country,” Bush said. “We will always
remember our collective obligation to ensure that people are monitored,
that freedom is hindered and that the principles upon which our
nation was founded dwindle into the distant memories of senior citizens.
It is imperative to commemiorate the soleminititty and gratitude
of this sacred event.”
“I thought that the northeastern states celebrated Patriot
Day on the third Monday in April in honor of the battle of Lexington
and Concord…and that’s been celebrated since 1894,”
Al Gore said . “To celebrate, they have re-enactments and
the Boston Marathon.”
“Battle of what?” Bush said when asked to respond.
House officials welcome the U.S. ambassador to Iraq for the
first annual Patriot Day masquerade, bash and drinking party.
The dress code was strictly black and white.
holiday does, like the one Gore referred to, include re-enactments.
In the days following the event, the festivities of the day have
received both praise and criticism. While the Bush twins simultaneously
called it “totally awesome,” Joseph Lieberman (known
for his dislike of all things fun, except bad jokes) described it
as “an obscene display of insensitive, bacchanalian excess.”
The event started at 8 p.m. and went until noon on Friday, Sept.
12. Vice President Dick Cheney described the party as “like
Halloween, but with more liquor.”
The president, vice president and their wives arrived at 8:12 p.m.
wearing double-date costumes. The women were airplanes and the men
were the World Trade Center’s twin towers.
The award-winning White House costume designers received rave reviews
from the press for the careful attention to detail on the costumes.
“After his daughters brought in the kegs, W. and Laura got
pretty wasted,” a cabinet insider said, “and when he
passed out and crashed to the floor, dust flew everywhere.”
Reports later revealed that the designers had filled the suits with
sawdust in order to appropriately simulate the falls.
Shortly after Bush’s spill, Cheney began to panic due to the
dust and low visibility that resulted from it. Cheney’s doctors
cited this as the cause of his heart attack, which sent him down
and put more dust into the room.
While the costumes pleased fashion designers, Bush’s antics
failed to amuse most families of victims. In protest, 197 families
signed a public letter suggesting that the president “get
off his drunk ass, stop setting up distracting parties and/or wars
and tell everyone that he hasn’t actually found Osama bin
Laden, who wasn’t friends with Saddam Hussein.”
Some factions attempted to protest the party in other ways, re-enacting
significant historical events that also took place on Sept. 11.
Actors impersonating Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger and CIA officers
ousted Hank Azaria, playing democratically elected Chilean President
Salvador Allende, for the U.S.-supported torturer and murderer Augusto
Pinochet, played by John Cleese.
Henry Hudson’s descendants landed a 16th century-style ship
on Manhattan. Revolutionary War enthusiasts saw the British win
the Battle of Brandywine yet again. Auto enthusiasts dressed up
as Ford executives for the 1970 uncovering of the Pinto.
group, dressed as American Indians, shot arrows at the White House
lawn. Before they could come back dressed as Mormon pioneers to
“rescue” the partygoers and complete the Mountain Meadows
Massacre, however, Secret Service men rounded the group members
up and sent them to prison.
Sen. John McCain said, “The costumes were in extremely bad
taste. Bush should apologize to all sensible people—whom he
must have extremely offended.”
“I don’t much like criticizing people,” said Rep.
Dick Gephardt, who’s currently vying for the Democratic presidential
U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft took less kindly to the inquiring
press and eventually addressed all reporters with one statement:
“The president’s actions should not be scrutinized.
You reporters, you’re the ones we’re worried about.
Consider all your phones tapped.”
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