It wasn 't a long ride, just a jaunt from our hotel in Vegas to the airport. All I wanted to do was close my eyes and finish the last of the little bottle of scotch my wife had pilfered from the hotel mini-bar. I was hoping it might soothe the raging hangover I had, the result of a three-day roll thru Nevada 's sin city. I had taken the new Vegas tagline " what goes on here stays here " to heart and done my best to leave a couple of thousand brain cells, not to mention virtually all of my cash behind in a binge that would have made Hunter S. Thompson proud. Having finished the scotch, I was desperately scrounging through my wife 's purse looking for a Valium.
And then it started. There was that voice, the nasally sneer of that rat bastard drug fiend Rush Limbaugh wafting over the front seat, opening the phone lines from hell and inviting his listeners to join him in a conversation about that disloyal b*tch/prostitute of an American, Cindy Sheehan. The floodgates were open and the little Bush shrubs were spouting their National Republican Party talking points, proudly bashing the mother of a American soldier who had died in Iraq. All the calls were the same, hate filled tirades along the lines of "I think that she is a radical, liberal, flag burning commie prostitute, a traitor to America, insulting to the president and a dishonor to the memory of her son and the other soldiers, what do you think about that Rush? And then that drug-addled bastard would wind up and hit that fat pitch out of the park. By the time he was done I think Cindy Sheehan had been blamed for the War in Iraq, the failure to catch Osama, the national debt and the fact that Americans have no health insurance. It may have been the drugs, but I got the distinct impression she had slept with Bill Clinton, was performing oral sex on all of the male visitors to her outpost outside of the presidents ranch in Crawford, Texas, and was the mother of John McCain 's colored love child in South Carolina.
Now I probably could have put up with that crap, I still had my head in the bottom of my wife 's big carry-on bag looking for any liquor or dope I could find, although I was keeping one eye on my wife 's throat, watching her jugular vein swell and throb like some kind of pulsing monster as she entertained thoughts of what it would be like to castrate Limbaugh and a few of his friends. But then the cab driver turned his head and leaned back toward us and said "finally, someone who agrees with me. " My first thought was to make sure my wife didn 't have anything sharp and metal in her hands. Even in Vegas you can still go to jail for stabbing cab drivers. The second was to begin looking for a car to steal to get to the airport, because the cabbie wasn 't going to be able to drive after my wife got done scratching his eyes out.
After several heated salvo 's from my wife, replied to by the cabbie with the stock Bush talking points, (where do they get this stuff are they printed on the backs of cereal boxes or something?) I had just about convinced my wife to save her breath, she was talking to a brick. And besides I pointed out, the cab had air conditioning, it was about 120 degrees out, and the only building in the deserted area on the outskirts of Vegas we were passing through was a lesbian strip club that didn 't look like it had a liquor license. But the Bush ranger up front couldn 't let it go. He started up again, basically calling Cindy Sheehan an unpatriotic lying prostitute. At which point my wife began to tear him a new a**hole, making her own views very well understood - that the president had lied about the reasons for the war, that American lives were being needlessly wasted by the president 's botched planning for the war, that the war had made us less safe from terrorism, and that if he would watch something besides Fox news he might not be such a moron. Mercifully, the cab limped in to the airport a few minutes later and the chastened cab driver let us out. I felt kind of bad for him, I don 't think he had ever had a woman talk to him that way. He gave my wife a wide berth as she yanked her bag out of the back of the cab and stormed off. I gave him a couple of extra bucks and told him to buy a real newspaper, and headed for the airport bar.
I was a little irritated with the cab driver, but I wasn 't really mad at him. He 's just another poor guy at the bottom of the food chain that has been convinced by the likes of Karl Rove that it 's a good idea to vote for the guy doing favors for the rich guys at the top. They wrap that crap in the red, white and blue and people buy it. I don 't know, maybe he figures that if Bush gives more tax breaks to his wealthy friends, or steers more mercenary contracts for work in Iraq to Cheney 's buddies, they will tip him better when they are in town if there is any money left after they pay the hookers. It doesn 't make any sense to me, but hey, it 's a free country.
No, what I was really pissed off about was that our endlessly vacationing president and his Chicken hawk Vice President Dick Cheney had clearly set their minions loose in an orchestrated effort to "swiftboat " the mother of a dead U.S. soldier. Now that is what I call honoring the troops. Apparently deciding they couldn 't publicly defend their positions on the Iraq war, these brave guys who somehow managed to evade service in Vietnam, but have no compunction about shipping the sons of the poor off to die in some foreign desert, did what they do best. They went on the attack. Since daring to ask the President to define the noble cause her son died for in Iraq, we have been provided with the details of Sheehan 's divorce, learned about the tax liens filed on her property, and every contradictory statement she has ever made has been reported. Sheehan has been called a prostitute, slut, dike, b*tch, c-word and countless other derogatory terms by the bloggers of the Bush attack machine. She has been labeled a traitor and a communist, and is said to have "aligned herself with terrorists. Some conservative blog sites blame her for her son 's death, intimating that he joined the military and went to Iraq to get away from her. Other 's want her kicked out of the Country, others think she should just "blow herself up."
These are the people that her son apparently died defending? What a great country. Me, I need a drink.
John McDonald firstname.lastname@example.org aka "RockThrower" is a writer and consultant on public policy issues and politics. A secular, pagan Democrat with no moral values, RockThrower has been married for 25 years and is raising two wonderful kids. When he is not drunk or in jail, he has spent his time writing, working in political campaigns, or trying to increase access to healthcare and quality education for low income Americans. Actually he spends most of his time at the beach. During the winter he conducts most of his business on his cell phone on the ski lift between runs.