SEPTEMBER 18, 2003

White House Celebrates with Patriot Day Bash
By Jeremy Mathews

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 presidential masquerade.

“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.

  White 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.

This 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.

One 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 nomination.

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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