I realize that this is just piling on, but I found this slightly stale bit of satire on my hard drive and decided to post it:
Bush Pledges to "Meet Tyranny Halfway"
Washington, DC—Following inaugural remarks in which he pledged to spread liberty throughout the world, US President George W. Bush and administration officials issued clarifications of the term "liberty" on Wednesday afternoon. "Look, I'm not trying to set an unreasonable standard here. I think we've done a great deal to close the gap between the US and totalitarian regimes," said Bush. Citing his administration's violations of the US constitution, election irregularities, eroding separation of church and state, illegal surveillance, and recent manipulations of the press, Bush claimed that "the despots of the world can learn a lot from us. The United States is doing all it can to reset the bar of liberty so that all nations can jump over it. Think of it as 'No Country Left Behind'"
"It's a case of the mountain coming to Mohammed," said the president, snickering and elbowing Vice-President Dick Cheney in the ribs.
The administration calls its new version of liberty "Liberty 2.0." The message the administration is trying to get across is that if a leader does his homework, elections are nothing to be afraid of. They can even give him a certain legitimacy he may have been lacking from his initial rise to power. "There are all sorts of liberty management techniques available to a smart leader," said Karl Rove, Bush's campaign strategist. "For instance, half the American public may be unaware of this fact, but this administration leads the world in the manipulation of a vocal and gullible religious minority to achieve political ends." Bush agrees: "I think if those mullah folks could see the work we're doing here, they'd be impressed."
"When the framers of our constitution, great men like Abraham Lincoln and John Henry, used the word 'liberty,' they meant the freedom to choose to love America, or leave it," said Bush. "We would like to see that freedom extended to the rest of the world."
"When people hear the word 'liberty,' they may have a particular preconception in mind," said Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. "The world needs to look at the president's statements in context, bearing in mind his unique definitions of words like "compassionate," "imminent threat," "international force," and "mandate."
A representative of a Madison Avenue firm that assisted the administration with the rollout of the new program said that several designations for the new freedom format were tested with focus groups before the current one was selected. "We tried several slogans: 'Liberty Lite,' 'Liberty Express,' 'It's Not Your Forefathers' Liberty, and '++ Liberty,' [pronounced 'Doubleplus' Liberty] before we settled on 'Liberty 2.0'. We're trying to make liberty more accessible to countries that may previously have felt that their policies made them ineligible."
Despotic world leaders were logging on to the administration's new Web site, www.gotliberty.gov, to see what tweaks they would have to implement in order to meet the new "Liberty 2.0" guidelines. "Wow, it's really not that big a deal," gushed one dictator. "Corruption and cronyism are still okay. I mean, if I can still disregard the will of the people and line the pockets of my buddies, I'm going for it! This is totally doable! I can still basically disappear people, and even torture is okay, as long as I appoint one of these...what did they call it?...Attorney General guys to clear it for me." I feel a bit embarrassed," said another ruthless autocrat. "It looks like we were just arguing about semantics."
A Middle Eastern observer says it's unfortunate for Saddam Hussein that the administration's new stance comes too late to help the former Iraqi leader. "With a few cosmetic changes, he could have brought his regime in line. Obviously, there was a lot of wiggle room on that whole torture thing, if only he'd known. I think he was pretty nervous about the international community discovering what his people were doing at places like Abu Ghraib. Oops! It would be funny if it weren't so sad."
Mr Bush said he has a message for the world's tyrants: "We have a lot more in common than people think."
Hey, I even designed a Liberty 2.0 T-shirt. You know you want one: