[[L A U G H A B L E]] * Well, it had to happen eventually. Somehow, lost amid the prez’s State of the Union happy talk last night about ending America’s addiction to foreign oil and carrying out the administration’s “clear plan for victory” in Iraq, The Onion heard George W. Bush create a whole new Cabinet-level department “to ensure that the political scandals, underhanded dealings, and outright criminal activities of this administration are handled in a professional and orderly fashion.” White House chief of staff Andrew Card quickly championed this innovative Department of Corruption, Bribery, and Incompetence as the means to usher in a “new era of scandal management.”
The Onion quotes Bush as saying, “Many of the current scandals in Washington are crucial to the success of my priorities for the nation. The Department of Corruption will safeguard these important misdeeds.” According to the paper, “the Scandal Secretary will log all wiretaps and complaints of prisoner abuse, coordinate paid-propaganda efforts, eliminate redundant payoffs and bribes, oversee the appointment of unqualified political donors to head watchdog agencies, control all leaks and other high-level security breaches, and oversee the disappearance of Iraq reconstruction funds. He will also be responsible for issuing all official denials that laws have been broken.” Among contenders for the secretary’s post are Michael D. Brown, former chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), ex-vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and Congressman Tom “The Hammer” DeLay (R-Texas), who until October was Republican majority leader in the U.S. House.
As The Onion reports, ardent Bush supporters view the new bureaucracy’s creation as another demonstration of their “CEO president’s” management savvy. It adds, however, that “many conservatives” have attacked the proposal as a return to the era of Big Government. “‘Teapot Dome and the fraud scandals of the Grant Administration proceeded splendidly without government oversight,’ National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg said. ‘Officials received kickbacks and granted favors without any knowledge beyond their circle until after the fact. They knew what they were doing and didn’t need any oversight. We need to return to the days when unfettered capitalism and enlightened self-interest led the way.’”
How the other national and international media missed highlighting news about this new Department of Corruption (in the same way as they neglected to mention Bush’s earlier bold move to appoint someone to run the United States, also reported in the satirical Onion) is anybody’s guess.