The Bushiad
"A Civil War Re-enactment in the Dubya Era"
Guest political satire musical by Mary M. Schmidt, aka Julia Ward Lynx


Laura Bush, First Lady
Two Secret Service Agents
Abraham Lincoln, Former President

Union Re-enactors:
Union Commander
Jimmy Howe, Engineer
Bill Martin, Systems Analyst
Nate Greenway, Between Jobs
Tony Barrett, Plumbing Contractor
Jimmy’s Elderly Mother
Julia, Jimmy’s teen daughter, singer in garage band
Maggie, Tony’s Wife
Tony’s Many Children

Confederate Re-enactors:
Confederate Commander
Johnny Reb, CIA Agent
Rebel #2

Walt Whitman, poet, combat nurse
Pete, gay medical student, Walt Whitman’s date

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Stage play script & story ©2002 Mary M. Schmidt

(Time: the present.)

Scene:  A parking lot adjacent to a field near Washington DC, early on a summer morning.  Men in blue uniforms are arriving, getting ready for a re-enactment of the Battle of Babbittsville, the only battle of the Civil War, which both sides managed to lose.  The band is tuning up.  Some have family members along.  Most observers are in casual high-heat clothing, a few are in Victorian costumes.  There is a station wagon with an open tailgate, a grill, a picnic table, and many coolers full of soft drinks and beer.  On the tailgate sits Johnny Reb, a Confederate prisoner of war who has been captured in advance.

First Lady Laura Bush appears Stage Left, smiling widely.  Two scowling Secret Service Agents are standing behind her.

Laura Bush: Good morning, everyone, I’m Laura Bush!   And I’d like to welcome all of you to the re-enactment of the Battle of Babbittsville.  Oh, this is so exciting!  When history comes to life like this, it’s so educational!  And like I was telling Bushie just last night, education is so important.  And that reminds me: we have a special guest in the VIP section today!  Can you guess who it is?  No?  I’ve got a real treat for you.  Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls: The President of the United States!

(Band plays Ruffles and Flourishes.  One of the Secret Service agents whispers into Laura’s ear.  A look of horror crosses her face.)

Laura Bush: You mean he’s not here yet?  (Agent #1 continues to whisper in her ear.)  You’ve got someone else?  (Getting mad.)  Well, who?  (Agent points off, Stage Left.  Laura gasps.)  Let me tell you, something, Buster, if that’s
Al Gore, somebody’s head is going to roll!  And, you, out there!  (points to audience.) Snickering?  You think this is funny?  You think you’re here to be amused, young man?  No, you are here to be educated.  You are not going to see anything that is in the least bit amusing!

Agent #1: No, Ma’am, it’s not Al Gore.  But he kept the beard.  (Whispers more words.)

Laura Bush: Oh, my!  Ah, Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve had a slight change of plans.  Bushie will be along later.  So now, it is my honor to introduce to you, The Former President of the United States, ABRAHAM LINCOLN!

(The band breaks into "Hail To The Chief.  Abe Lincoln appears Stage Left, greeting the re-enactors, signing autographs, posing for pictures and videos.  Laura Bush’s smile grows more strained as she realizes she is being ignored.  Lincoln is in so much demand the band has to play Hail to the Chief twice.)

Laura Bush: You know, we have a saying where I come from.  You never speak ill of a fellow Republican.  But, Honest Abe there?  Did you know about his wife?  She’s a little bit cuckoo, if you get my meaning.

(The crowd is reluctant to let Lincoln go.  He makes his way to the station wagon and shakes hands with Johnny Reb.)

Abe Lincoln: A son of the South, I see.  Tell me, do you do this all the time?

Johnny Reb: Oh, no, Mr. President!  This is just my hobby.  That, and getting captured by the side with the most beer.

Jimmy’s Mom: I’ll have ye know, I captured that rebel all by meself!

Johnny Reb: That’s right, in the food court of Babbittsville Mall.

(A cheer goes up.  “You tell ‘em, Johnny”)

Abe Lincoln: So, you spend our days otherwise?

Johnny Reb: Yes, Sir, I have a day job, I work for a large company.

Abe Lincoln: Excellent.  I shall look forward too talking with you.  Is that the First Lady over there?  I’d best pay my respects.  Madame Bush?

Laura Bush: Oh!  Oh!  Mr. President!

Abe Lincoln: My term ran out long ago, I’m afraid.  You can call me Abe.

Laura Bush: And you can call me….Laura!  (turns to audience and giggles.)

Abe Lincoln: So, tell me, Laura, how is it you decided to re-enact the Battle of Babbittsville?  As I recall, of all the battles, that was deemed to be the most insignificant of all.  And then there is the matter that both sides lost.

Laura Bush: We could have done Gettysburg, but really, it was Bushie’s decision to do Babbittsville.  But there’s something I don’t understand, Abe, so maybe you can enlighten me.

Abe Lincoln: It will be my pleasure to do so.

Laura Bush: Rather than have everyone lose at Babbittsville, why didn’t both generals just submit the matter to the Supreme Court?

Abe Lincoln: Well, Laura, I guess we just didn’t think about it at the time.

Laura Bush: What a pity!  I’m sure it would have saved so much trouble.  Oh, I wish Bushie would show up.  I really want him to meet you.

Abe Lincoln: I’m sure we will have an opportunity, after the battle, if not before.  You know, Laura, back in my day, we had a saying about going into your first battle.

Laura Bush: Oh, really?

Abe Lincoln: Yes.  The whole experience, it was such a terrible thing, to see up close, to be a part of.  So the men compared it to their first look at what was, to them, an outlandish and rare creature.

Laura Bush: Outlandish creature?  Whatever do you mean?

Abe Lincoln: Laura, the term they used was “seeing the elephant”.

Laura Bush: Why, Bushie and I just love elephants!  You see my pin?  It’s the emblem of our party!  Oh, I’m so glad we’re all Republicans here!  Aren’t we?

Abe Lincoln: Of course.  But there are some questions I’d like to discuss with your husband, if I may.
Laura Bush: Bushie!

Abe Lincoln: Bushie, of course.  I did have an opportunity to read over our latest party platform, and I’m a little confused.

Laura Bush: About what?

Abe Lincoln: I’m confused because the Republican Party was founded in order to abolish the institution of slavery.

Laura Bush: Oh, well, I’m sure Bushie can explain all of that to you.  He’s so articulate.

Abe Lincoln: That’s good.  I certainly hope so.

Laura Bush: And so well educated.  He got his degree at Harvard and then an MBA at Yale.

Abe Lincoln: And I attended the light of a flickering fire, after a day of splitting rails.

Laura Bush: I see you knew the value of an education.  I used to teach myself.

Abe Lincoln: A schoolmar’m then, were you?

Laura Bush: And a librarian.

Abe Lincoln: What I wouldn’t have given, for a library!

Laura Bush: Yes, but all of that was long ago, before I married Bushie.  Of course, we’ve been so happy together, Bushie and I, I have no regrets about giving it all up.

Abe Lincoln: Then I’m happy for both of you.  But doesn’t your husband find his job difficult?  Lonely?  At times, downright miserable?

Laura Bush: Every day we’ve been in the White House, we’ve been so happy.

Abe Lincoln: How is that possible?  I’ve been told you have some sort of war on terror going on.

Laura Bush: Oh, it’s no bother.  Bushie’s going to win.  It will be just like in Florida, I don’t know why they needed all those recounts, Bushie kept right on winning.

Abe Lincoln: You’ve had no bad days at all?  None that you wished never happened?
 None that you wish you could go back and eradicate?

Laura Bush: Not that I can recall.  Did you?

Abe Lincoln: Fort Sumter was an event I’d prefer to forget.  After that everything tended to get worse.  And nothing like that has ever happened to you?

Laura Bush: I can’t say that it has.

Abe Lincoln: Then you and your husband have been blessed.

Laura Bush: Have we ever!  Every day we spend in the White House has brought us so much joy.  Because, Abe, you see…

The band plays an introduction.  Laura Bush goes into a dainty two-step.  Her Secret Service Agents dance in snych behind her.  She sings:

When Bushie Comes Flying Home Tonight
(Sung to the tune of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”)

When Bushie comes flying home tonight
Hurrah!  Hurrah!
Let’s tell him again he’s always right,
Hurrah!  Hurrah!
I’ll look and smell just like a rose,
I’ll tell the twins, “Put on some clothes.”
And we’ll all be gay
When Bushie comes flying home!

For all day long he has been gone
Hurrah!  Hurrah!
He’s landing on the White House lawn,
Hurrah!  Hurrah!
He’s staggering, his nose is red.
He’s coked out of his empty head.
Look the other way
When Bushie comes flying home!

O Bushie, have you some words to say
Hurrah!  Hurrah!
To tell me how you spent your day?
Hurrah!  Hurrah!
“This terror war is just a joke.
Where is my spoon? I need a toke!”
And my hair turns gray
When Bushie comes flying home!

I have to tuck Bushie in his bed
Hurrah!  Hurrah!
His masculine ego must be fed
Hurrah!  Hurrah!
This grin I wear is my façade
To hide the fact I’m going mad!
And I rue the day
When Bushie comes flying home!

(Laura’s meds wear off.  One Secret Service Agent empties a bottle of pills into her mouth, the other pours a pitcher of water in it.  Abe Lincoln helps her over to the picnic table.)

Abe Lincoln: Madame Bush!  Are you quite well?

Laura Bush: Oh!  Oh!  I feel so much better know.  Oh, yes, I truly do.

(Laura offers to pill bottle to Abe.)

Laura Bush: Would you like to take some of these home to Mrs. Lincoln?

Abe Lincoln: Forgive me if I decline.

Laura Bush: Oh, but they’ve helped me so much!  Oh, yes, I feel so much better.  Every minute, I feel better!  Just like my old self.  I am happy.  I am, in fact, gay!  (Giggles.)  Did you know, Abe, the meaning of that word has changed?

Abe Lincoln: I see quite a lot has.

(Laura Bush points stage right.)

Laura Bush: Did you see that man over there?  The one who calls himself a poet?  Who is he?

Abe Lincoln: That’s Walt Whitman.

Laura Bush: Did you see those guys with him?  Looks like they were poured into their jeans, but forgot to say “when”!  Tee, hee, hee!

Agent #1: We gave her too many.

Agent #2: She’s too happy!

Agent #1: We’d better get her out of here.

Agent #2: Pronto!

Agent #1: Ms. Bush, Ma’am, we have to get over to the Confederate parking lot.

Agent #2: The president’s helicopter is arriving there any minute.

Agent #1: He’s meeting with John Ashcroft.

Laura Bush: Bushie is supposed to be here.  Oh, well, I’d better go.

(Both agents hustle her off, Stage Left.  A vast sigh of relief goes up.)

Jimmy: Now, we can start breathing again!

Bill: Gone at last, what a relief!  She’ll give them rebs something to yell about.

Abe Lincoln: The poor woman!  (Sighs.)  And I thought my Mary had problems.

Johnny Reb: Don’t you worry about her, Mr. President.  As long as she’s got that little chemistry set along, she’s happier than most of us will ever be.

(All agree.)

Bill: Julia, what have you been up to lately?  Studying hard?

Julia: Yes, plus a few gigs for the garage band.  Dad says my SATs have to come first.

Bill: Nate, how about yourself?  Anything turn up yet?

Nate: I had ten interviews last week, two call-backs, but so far, no offers.

Jimmy: Bummer.

Nate: Yeah, and Heather’s not been feeling any too well.  Her ankles are all swollen up.  What can you do?  I just take it one day at a time.

Abe Lincoln: You’re having tribulations, Nate?

Nate: And how!  I got laid off at work and my 401K plan went down the tubes.  My wife’s expecting a baby.  I wanted to spend the day with her, but she told me, no, be here, it would get my mind off all our problems.  Heather’s at her mother’s now.  I’m telling you, if her mom weren’t helping out, I don’t know where we’d be.  We’re still insured through COBRA but how long we can pay the premiums, who’s to say?

Jimmy: Yeah, things are tough all around, my firm’s cutting back, they haven’t hit in my department yet, knock wood.  Johnny, you’re lucky you have a job with the Feds.

Johnny Reb: Tell me about it!

Bill: It wasn’t that long ago, was it?  Peace, prosperity, a chicken in every pot.  A Mercedes in every garage if you wanted one bad enough.

(All agree.)

Abe Lincoln: Gentlemen, what happened?

Bill: (imitating Laura) Bushie got into the White House, tee hee hee!

Abe Lincoln: I am told he was not elected, but appointed by the Supreme Court?

Jimmy: Believe it, Mr. President.

Abe Lincoln: I was by far not the most popular man of my time, but I did manage to get myself elected.

Bill: Twice, as I recall.

Nate: So they appointed George W. Bush, I guess they hoped nothing would happen for the next four years.

Johnny Reb: And were they ever wrong!

Abe Lincoln: You have a war in progress, the economy is doing poorly…

Jimmy: We’re supposed to be so grateful for his tax cut, which gave my family $600 and a king’s ransom to his rich buddies.

Bill: Everything’s being diverted to the oil industry.  That’s all it boils down to: oil, oil, oil.  Sheesh!

Julia: He’s ruining the environment.

Johnny Reb: He’s getting the rest of the world mad at us, even our friends.

(Julia gets out her guitar and starts to strum.)

Jimmy: Mr. President, my family and I would like to tell you what it’s like for us common folk these days:

Jimmy sings:

George Bush, Come Again No More
(Sung to the tune of “Hard Times Come Again No More")

Though I had a growing income, and strong 401K
I now stand at Unemployment’s door.
Where too many others like me, in worry waste their day,
Oh!  George Bush, come again no more.

Though with hard work, we did prosper, for oh, so many years,
We now find ourselves among the poor.
And protected by his billions, he cannot feel our fears,
Oh!  George Bush, come again no more.

(All join in chorus)

‘Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
George Bush, George Bush, come again no more.
Many days you have lingered around the White House door,
Oh!  George Bush, come again no more.

(Julia sings:)
There’s an overtired mother, who toils for little pay
Her child care subsidy is o’er.
Though she’d like to be productive, she’s troubled all the day.
Oh!  George Bush, come again no more.

(All join in chorus)

(Jimmy’s Mom sings:)
Now he’s raiding all the trust funds that pay for our old age
And Medicare’s cut to the core.
And each time we beg him not to, he says, “Stay young!  It pays!”
Oh!  George Bush, come again no more.

(All join in chorus)

Abe Lincoln: I’m the one who said God must love the common folk; He made so many of them.  (Shakes his head.)  But that’s no way to treat them.

Bill: I’d venture a guess that George W. Bush has never seen the inside of a log cabin.

Julia: Or if he did, he’d look for the twenty-first century plumbing.  And there’s something else that really bothers me.  Dad, can I show President Lincoln that picture?

Jimmy: You go ahead.  He ought to see it.

Julia: (hands Lincoln a picture.)  See?  This was taken on the day we were attacked.  He’s flying away.

Abe Lincoln: He’s not taking charge?  He’s not going back to Washington?

Julia: No, he got scared and had to call the Vice President to help him.

Jimmy: But that’s not the half of it!

Julia: He sold copies of this picture to raise money.

Jimmy’s Mom: I swear, the man’s got no shame.

(Lincoln looks at the picture for a while, clearly horrified.)

Abe Lincoln: Well, Julia, why don’t you do something about it?

Julia: Why don’t I….Yeah!  (Grabs her legal pad.)  Come on, Grandma, over here, help me out!

Bill: I wish Tony would show up.  He said he’d be here today, didn’t he?

Nate: He will, but it must take him a while to get those kids ready and into the van.

Jimmy: It’s amazing, Mr. President, no matter how gloomy things get, Tony can put a smile on your face.

Johnny Reb: Tony, yes.  Didn’t I meet him at Vicksburg?  Oh, how the man can talk.

Jimmy: Sure and he’s Irish.  You can tell.

Abe Lincoln: Well, until Tony gets here, I suggest we not let gloom get the better of us.  There are various ways to dispel of it.

Bill: So, what did you do in your time, with no TV, no Internet or any of that stuff?

Abe Lincoln: Some ideas were better than others.  For instance, it’s not always wise to go see a play.  But there is Walt
Whitman, he might have a poem to cheer us up.

(All agree, sure, swell idea.)

Abe Lincoln: Walt, come on over.  Bring your friend, too!  Recite for us your latest.

(Walt Whitman and Pete enter, Stage Right.)

Walt: Mr. President, it’s so good to see you again, and in such distinguished company.

Abe Lincoln: And I am most pleased to see you, too.  Who is your new friend?

Walt: Mr. President, this is Pete.  He’s a medical student and he’s working in the First Aid tent.  How fortunate I was to run into him!

Pete: Since I found out Walt was a nurse, I’m so glad to have him helping me today.

Abe Lincoln: Surely, you don’t expect any actual injuries here.

Pete: Something always goes wrong, I’m afraid.  Too much alcohol, too much junk food, too little water, and they spend too much time in this heat and humidity.  Then they wonder why they’re sick.  I’ll have plenty to do today, believe me.

Walt: Thank Heaven there will no combat wounds.

Pete: No dead bodies.  No arms and legs to saw off.  But you know something, Mr. President?  I was thinking about it last night.  If this were a real battle, if they were using real ammunition, shooting off real cannons, somehow I’d feel safer working here with Walt then I would back at school.

Abe Lincoln: And why do you say that, Pete?

Pete: Because I’d know what to expect.  And these days, we don’t know.  For instance, I was riding on the Metro last week, and this fat lady got on.  I mean, she was so fat, she was all out of breath.  Part of me wanted to tell her to lose weight.  But then I thought, suppose she’s not really obese?  Suppose she’s got enough explosives under that dress to blow us all to smithereens?

(A mutter of, “That’s the truth.”)

Pete: It’s nothing and it’s everything.  You turn on the water and wonder what’s coming out of the tap.  The lights flicker and you ask yourself, what now?

Bill: Yeah, right.  And emptying your mailbox can be such an adventure!

Abe Lincoln: But there are so many security people here.

Pete: Only because George W. Bush is around.  For the rest of us, believe me, it’s different.

Abe Lincoln: Are you saying that nothing is being done for your own security?

(Chorus of snickers.)

Walt Whitman: I have been informed of a new government agency!

Pete: The very thing we need the most!

Walt Whitman: It is called the Office of Homeland Security.

(Louder snickers)

Pete: Here is their color chart.  See. Here we are, on yellow.

Bill: I wonder how much that cost?  My son’s day care class could have come up with something better for millions less.

Abe Lincoln: And where are we on the chart?


Abe Lincoln: And how long have we been on yellow?

Walt Whitman: Since lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed.

Pete: Oh, at least.

Walt Whitman: For which reason, Pete requested that I compose an heroic ode to this new agency, Today Is Yellow:

(removes paper from jacket and recites:)

Today Is Yellow

According to the Great Tom Ridge
(Whose words are posted on the fridge)
His color code, which matches Jell-O
Informs us that today is Yellow.

(All:  Yellow!  Yellow!  Yellow, Yellow, Yellow!)

(Boom box starts.  Pete turns his cap around and continues, rap style:)

Consider that Abu Zubaydah
An Evildoer, from Al-Quaida,
Says that this time, it is no prank,
He’s blowing up the Mall, the Bank!

(All:  He’s blowing up the Mall, the Bank!)

And could there be a plan more vile?
The supermarket’s every aisle,
Meat and potatoes face their doom,
With broccoli, they go ka-BOOM!

(All:  With broccoli, they go ka-BOOM!)

It makes no sense to scream or bellow,
Tom Ridge insists: Today is Yellow.

(All:  Yellow!  Yellow!  Yellow, Yellow, Yellow!)

Abe Lincoln:  Well done, Gentlemen!  Thank you!

(Pete and Walt Whitman take a bow.)

Pete: Oh, my gosh, look at the time!  We’d better get down to the tent and start setting up.  We’ll be getting our first queasy stomach any minute.  You’ve got the salt pills?

Walt Whitman: Right here.  Mr. President, ladies, gentlemen, we hope we will see you soon.

Pete: Yes, but not in the first aid tent.

(Pete and Walt Whitman exit Stage Left.)

Jimmy’s Mom: He’s cute, that young fellow.

Bill: Mr. President, may I ask you something?

Abe Lincoln: Of course, Bill.

Bill: Those two, together, well, um…

Abe Lincoln: You need say no more, Bill.  I’ll tell you what I truly think.  In my time there was so much hate, that when I saw any two who loved each other, it brought so much joy to my day.

Nate: And speaking of bringing joy to our day, isn’t that Tony’s van?

Jimmy: Looks like he’s got the whole gang with him.  Yo, Tony!

(Tony, his wife and children file in, Stage Right, and all meet Abe Lincoln.)

Bill: Great seeing you and the gang, Tony!  We were scared that maybe you weren’t going to make it.

Tony: Sure, ‘twas enough to get the whole bunch together. Then we got stuck at the checkpoint.  They had to go through everything.

Child #1: They had a sniffing dog.  They put mirrors under the van and looked through the engine.  It was neat!

Child #2: It wasn’t neat, it was a silly waste of time.  Do we look like terrorists?

Child #1: With your face, you kind of do.

Child #2: You want a knuckle sandwich?

Tony: Now that’ll be enough of that!  Leave the fightin’ to me.

Maggie: You have to understand, they have all those security people because the President is here.

Child #3: Yeah, right here!  (High-fives Abe Lincoln.)

Child #4: Where’s Julia?

Julia: I’m over here.  Come help me and Grandma.

Tony: So, did I miss anything?

Bill: This.  Walt Whitman wrote out a tribute to the Office of Homeland Security.

Tony: Oh, ‘tis the famous color code, is it?

Nate: You got it.

Tony: Let’s see this thing, now.  Homeland Security Advisory System, is it?  Low, Guarded, Elevated, High, and Kiss your arse good-bye.

Maggie: Tony!

Tony: Well, they’re the ones who made it up, not me!

Johnny Reb: Tony, I don’t know how you do it.  All those kids and all this stuff going on.  I’d be worried sick if I were in your shoes.

Tony: And Maggie and meself, we do our share of worrying.  Truth is, it’s a relief to tuck them into their beds at night, we
know we made it through another day.  But when I need a good laugh, all have to do is look at this.

(Holds up color code.)

Abe Lincoln: Tony, how does a family man like yourself deal with it all?

Tony: Careful, Mr. President, I just might tell you.

Abe Lincoln: I’d like to hear it.

(All:  “We all would!”)

Tony: All right, but remember, you asked.  Gather ‘round, kids, time for our special.

(Band plays introduction to Wearin’ O’ the Green.  Tony sings:)

Threat Condition Green
(Sung to the tune of "Wearin' of the Green")

O Paddy dear, and did ye hear, they’re jerkin’ us around,
They got a brand new color code, by which we all are bound,
They say the end to war and terror never will be seen,
They say our children’s children won’t see Threat Condition Green.

(All:  “They say our children’s children won’t see Threat Condition Green.”)

There’s orange and there’s yellow, they made a rainbow true,
And then they say, what’s not so bad is Threat Condition Blue.
But right there on the top they’ve added Threat Condition Red
It’s just their way of telling you, your arse will soon be dead.

(All:  “It’s just their way of telling you, your arse will soon be dead.”)

Remember in September, for when the smoke was clear,
Those Irishmen who walked into the fire without fear.
Each faced his death with courage, and each a vow he makes:
“I’m doing to Al-Qayda, what St. Patrick did to snakes.”

(All:  “He’s doing to Al-Qayda what St. Patrick did to snakes!:)

(Band segues into Riverdance sequence; Tony’s kids dance.)

So, Paddy, when you hear of all the rumors going round
No matter what you do, don’t let the bastards get you down,
There comes a day when once again our color can be seen,
There comes a day when we’ll return to Threat Condition Green!

(All:  “There comes a day when we’ll return to Threat Condition Green!”)

(Commander appears in a golf cart from Stage Right.)

Commander:  Join ranks, men!  The rebs are on the move!

Jimmy: Let’s go!  Mom?  Julia?

Julia: We’re almost done.  Want to come with us, Grandma?

Jimmy’s Mom: I wouldn’t want to miss this!  (wags finger at Johnny Reb.)  See that ye stay put!

Abraham Lincoln: I’ll keep an eye on him.

Bill: You’d better, he’s a spooky one, he is!

(All leave the parking lot, Stage Left.  Laura Bush runs from Stage Right, screeching.)

Laura Bush: Bushie!  Oh, Bushie, this way!  We’re going to see an elephant!

(The two Secret Service agents jog behind her.)

Abe Lincoln: It sure did get quiet.

Johnny Reb: It won’t stay that way for long.  Once that battle gets going, let’s just hope that none of the neighbors are still in bed.  I must say, if you’ll pardon me, a helluva hot day they picked for it.

Abe Lincoln: That’s one thing that has not changed in the slightest.  Those summers.  I remember them all too well.

Johnny Reb: Would you like something cold to drink?  Let’s see what them yanks left in their cooler.  (Opens it up.)   Oh, wow!

Abe Lincoln: Have you any sarsaparilla?

Johnny Reb: Why, no, but there’s Co-Cola, Pepsi, Sprite, Mountain Dew.  Oh, and Perrier water.

Abe Lincoln: That sounds fine.

Johnny Reb: It’ll take ‘em a while to set up.  But once it starts, you’ll know, all right, you’ll hear it from here to Kingdom Come.

Abe Lincoln: I’m still surprised you decided to do the Battle of Babbittsville.  What you have here is much bigger than the original.  Babbittsville was only a minor skirmish, described by both commanders as an act of tomfoolery.

Johnny Reb: That’s what George Bush wanted, even though we both blew it.  (Sighs.)  But it’s the war that matters, isn’t it?  Not the battle.  And your boys won the war.

Abe Lincoln: Ah, but at what price, Johnny?  At what price?  And I’ll tell you there was many a day, I thought we had no way of winning.

Johnny Reb: That a fact?

Abe Lincoln: Many a day, Johnny.  I remember it well, a still night, just like last night, and I could not sleep.  I got up, took a stroll around the White House grounds.  And I said to myself, in a few hours, all of this will be gone.  The boys in grey will come charging across the river, burn it all to the ground.  The White House, the Capitol, all of it gone forever.  And I said to myself, what was that expression you used?  I blew it, Johnny.  Yes, I blew it, and history would not be kind to me.

Johnny Reb: That’s not what happened!  We all love you, Mr. President, even where I come from, down in Carolina.  And I’ll tell you something else, too, though nobody else had better hear me say it.  I wish to God you were in the White House right now.  And I’m not the only one who does.

Abe Lincoln: Well, Johnny, as I was saying, my term is long gone.  It came to a rather abrupt end, didn’t it?

Johnny Reb: Yeah, that it did.

Abe Lincoln: Enough about me.  Tell me about yourself.  You’re in the Civil Service?

Johnny Reb: Oh, yeah!

Abe Lincoln: Can you tell me about the work you are doing?

Johnny Reb: Well, Sir, we have a saying where I work.  I could tell you what I do but then I’d have to kill you.  I may be just a rebel boy from Carolina but I’m not John Wilkes Booth.

Abe Lincoln: Say no more, I understand.

Johnny Reb: (Sighs.)  What I can tell you…I gather information, I write it up, I stick red flags all over it, somebody says, “that’s nice”, and it ends up in the shredding machine.  Day after day, I feel like a rat on a treadmill.  Going fast and getting noplace.

Abe Lincoln: So you feel no one is responsive to what you are saying to them?

Johnny Reb: George W. Bush…I’ll tell you, Mr. President, it’s like everything I say goes in one ear and out the other.

Abe Lincoln: Nothing in between his ears to stop it?

Johnny Reb: Nope.  Now, if you were still in the White House, and I gave you a security briefing, I have a feeling, you’d at least care.  You’d write things down.  Make lists.  Follow up.  There’s a lot I don’t dare tell you.  But some, I can.

Johnny picks up Julia’s guitar and strum a few chords, then the introduction to:

Al-Qaeda's Along The Potomac Tonight
(Sung to“All Quiet Along The Potomac Tonight”)

Al-Qaeda’s along the Potomac tonight,
With their pockets all stuffed full of cash.
They move in the dark, leave no credit card trail,
For we’re told, asking questions is rash.
‘Tis nothing, a memo or two now and then,
And it makes little sense to deplore it.
And we know for a fact, should George Bush pick it up,
He will toss it aside and ignore it.

Al-Qaeda’s along the Potomac tonight,
Plotting out its own list of upheavals.
They’ve nuclear, bio, and chemical threats,
And an infinite number of evils.
And whenever we try, they tell us to wait,
The time has not come to inquire,
They say by themselves, they’ll investigate
And they sink deeper yet into mire.

For we know that George Bush and his dynasty,
Made a vast lot of money from drilling.
For oil and for gas, and now weapons of war,
And devices good only for killing.
And we know that we dare not risk giving offense,
Or cause one of his cronies to sadden,
If that one should be hailed as a king or a prince,
Or is known by the name of bin Laden.

There were mothers and fathers and daughters and sons,
There were nephews and nieces and friends
And they picked up their cell phones and told us good-bye,
And the love that we shared never ends.
All quiet along the Potomac tonight,
No sound save the rush of the river.
While soft falls the rain, where their ashes remain,
They are gone from our midst now, forever.

Abe Lincoln: Johnny, there’s no question about it.  I’m going to have to have a long talk with your president.

Johnny Reb: If you don’t mind…really, if there’s anything you can do, anything at all…

(A series of crashes and explosions.)

Abe Lincoln: They’ve started.

Johnny Reb: It’ll get a lot louder.  You won’t be able to hear yourself think.

(More noise.)

Abe Lincoln: Perhaps I can see from over here.

Johnny Reb: Yeah, there’s a pretty good view of the field.  I must say, our boys are making a real effort!

Abe Lincoln: Ours, too.

(A sudden, bloodcurdling shriek.)
Laura Bush: Bushie, I see you!  You get out from under there right now, or I’ll give you something to be afraid of!  Bushie!  Don’t you “Lawdy, Miss Scarlett” me!”  All right!  That does it!  When I get you back to the White House, you’ll never hear the end of this!  (Laura Bush faces audience.)  Oh, I give up!  (Storms off, Stage Left.)

(The two Secret Service Agents enter, running, form opposite sides, calling “Mr. President!”  and “Ms. Bush!”  They collide in the middle and knock each other cold.  Pete and Walt Whitman cart them off.  For a while, the noise level is too high to say anything.)

Abe Lincoln: He skee-daddled.  Incredible.  Simply incredible.

Johnny Reb: But, true.  And not for the first time, either.    Hey, what’s going on?

(Jimmy appears, Stage Left, with Julia, his mother and another Confederate soldier)

Jimmy: Did you see it?  Did you see what we did?  Hot dang, we just won the Battle of Babbittsville!

Rebel #2: And so did we!

Abe Lincoln: You won?  Both sides just won?

Rebel #2: Daggondist thing y’all ever did see!  Listen!

Julia: Grandma, they’re playing our song!

(Band starts playing "Battle Hymn of the Republic," softly at first, then louder as both armies approach the parking lot.  As armies file in carrying flags, they sing:)

Bush Knew, Now Made Public
(Sung to the tune of "Battle Hymn Of The Republic")
NOTE: MIDI music runs for 3 verses - click musical icon again for the rest of the verses.

(instrumental intro)

Mine eyes have seen the disgrace of the fleeing of George Bush
When he said, “To Hell with all of you, I’ve got to save my tush.”
So he got himself on Air Force One, and took off with a whoosh.
He went to hide, was gone.

We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
He went to hide, was gone.

Oh, he knew the day was coming soon when terrorists would strike.
For the CIA had warned him, and the FBI alike,
Still, George Bush did just ignore them, to his ranch he took a hike,
He went to hide, was gone.

We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
He went to hide, was gone.

From his perch above the prairie, from the safety of his chair
He is telephoning Cheney; hoping help will soon be there.
For wherever there is danger, George Bush knows he must beware.
He went to hide, was gone.

We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
George Bush is fleeing on.

Though the towers are collapsing, though the Pentagon is flame,
George is looking all around him, seeking someone else to blame,
For if only he would face the truth, he’d hang his head in shame,
He went to hide, was gone.

We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
George Bush is fleeing on.

George declared a War on Terror to make up for his own lack.
Of common sense, and leadership, and that he’s just a hack,
Maybe next time he will bolt and run and never will come back!
He went to hide, was gone.

We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
George Bush is fleeing on.

Bush had told the FBI to keep Bin Laden off their list.
Cozy business ties through Poppy let slip through a terrorist.
But that pipeline through Afghanistan had headed Bush's list.
He went to hide, was gone.

We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
George Bush is fleeing on.

(The two roughed-up Secret Service Agents speak briefly to Abe Lincoln, as the crowd erupts into shouts of “Speech!  Speech!”)

Abe Lincoln: A speech you want, a speech you’ll get.  I believe there is one here in my back pocket…no?  In this coat, perhaps? Ah, yes.  (unfolds paper)  Four score and seven years ago…(does a double-take).  That’s not the Babbittsville address!

(Crowd cheers.)

Abe Lincoln: Yes, I suppose I should close with a few words.  But first, an announcement.  President George W. Bush has been "Medivac-ed," I believe that is the correct term, back to the White House.  It seems he is suffering from a digestive indisposition common among Bushes.  And I am told, and this is a direct quote, that should he and I meet now, he would “do to me what his Daddy did to the Prime Minister of Japan.” (Louder cheers.)  I gather this is something quite unpleasant.

(Laughter.)  So in conclusion, before I go, and the time has come when I really must leave you, let me say this: In my previous speech I made mention of the fact that the world will little note nor long remember what we say here.  Folks, I could talk till the cows come home.  But you did the impossible here today.  Both sides won.  You think my time was so different from yours?  It was not.  I see before me a strong, determined people, and you will survive!   So let me say in parting to you, Johnny, and to all of you:  those who died shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that the government of the people (entire crowd joins in)  by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth.
Farewell, my friends, I can remain here no longer.  (exits, Stage Left.)

(Laura Bush, looking bedraggled, enters Stage Right, followed by two tattered Secret Service Agents.)

Laura Bush: Where did he go?  He has to stay.  We’re going to have a photo op as soon as Bushie feels better.

Agent #1: Ms. Bush, that’s what we tried to tell you.  Really, he can’t stay any longer.

Laura Bush: Then call the casting department and have them send over another Lincoln!  For pity’s sake, what’s wrong with you?  Who was that actor, anyway?

Confederate Commander: Madame Bush, if I may be so bold?  (Bows deeply and tips his feathered hat.)  Surely you noticed how much the people loved him?

Union Commander: And how much he loved the people?

Laura Bush: Are you telling me that…no, no, it can’t be!

Agent #2: I’m afraid so.  He really is Abe Lincoln.

(Laura Bush flees, shrieking.  The two Agents stumble after her.   Assembled cast sings final verse:)

George declared a War on Terror to make up for his own lack.
Of common sense, and leadership, and that he’s just a hack,
Maybe next time he will bolt and run and never will come back!
He went to hide, was gone.

We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
We're not sorry now to boo ya!
George Bush is fleeing on.

(Julia turns the color code around, the reverse says: “That’s all, Folks!”)

The End


Ruffles and Flourishes (instrumental)

Hail to the Chief (instrumental)

When Bushie Comes Flying Home Tonight (melody & original lyrics, by Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, 1863, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”,  updated lyrics by Mary M. Schmidt, 2002.)

George Bush, Come Again No More ("Hard Times Come Again No More" by Stephen Collins Foster, 1855, updated lyrics by Mary M. Schmidt, 2002.)

Today is Yellow  (Rap rendition of poem by Mary M. Schmidt, 2002)

Threat Condition Green (Traditional Irish melody, “Wearin’ O’ The Green", updated lyrics by Mary M. Schmidt, 2002.)

Al Qaida’s Along the Potomac Tonight  ("All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight,"  original lyrics by Ethel L. Beers, 1861, melody by John Hill Hewitt, 1863, updated by Mary M. Schmidt, 2002.)

Bush Knew, Now Made Public ("Battle Hymn of the Republic," melody & lyrics by Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, “John Brown’s Body”, 1861, updated lyrics by Julia Ward Howe, 1861, updated by Mary M. Schmidt, 2002.)

More George W. Bush song parodies from The Dubya Song Book!

Copyright © 2002 by Mary M. Schmidt, aka Julia Ward Lynx
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