A YouTube New Year

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Didn't you sort of think you'd wake up New Year's morning and the Bush Administration would be gone? But no. It was still lying there next to us, the same old White House, snorting and farting in its sleep. Dreaming, in black and white. Dreaming dreams unaffected by developments in the waking world.

New Democratic majority? Here is what you can do with that, the titular head of Bushco told Congress this week: you can "set politics aside," enact Dick Cheney's "commonsense" agenda, and give the President a line-item veto.

I say Cheney's agenda because, even though Cheney did nothing in his own name this week, let's face it: Bush imprints himself upon his second in command. When he was governor, Texas was run by the lieutenant governor, Bob Bullock, a moderate-conservative old boy, and that's what Bush was. Bullock was a Democrat, and Bush prided himself on getting along with Democrats. Now that he's President, his Vice President is a right-wing warmonger with no use for Democrats, and so is Bush. So forget all this talk of impeaching the President. The way to go would be to special-prosecute Cheney, get him to resign, and while Bush was trying to get a replacement veep approved by Congress, he might start morphing into the de facto numbe two, Nancy Pelosi.

But now I'm the one who's dreaming. Bush singing, "Wish we all could be California girls"? I don't think so. In this country, we have more stability than that. In Iraq, people come and go: their prime minister says he wants to quit, while Saddam Hussein...

Let's hear it for YouTube! First it plays a major role in turning all us you-people into TIME's Person of the Year, and then it empowers us to watch a man get strung up. When will we get to choose which one of us hangs?

In the USA, of course, we don't taunt people when we put them to death. Well, okay, Bush, when he was governor, did kind of mock that one condemned woman who was appealing to him for a pardon. But that's not taunting, because it was behind her back. And by the way, if I'm Saddam, I welcome the taunting. At first, in the video, he's looking befuddled and pitiful. Is that the Saddam we went to war against? Then the taunting, and he's coming right back at them — dying as he lived, mad as hell in every sense.

Didn't it make you wonder how you would behave on the gallows? It's a real test for a funny person. I would do all I could to keep it light, but I don't know — I hope I'd be up to that. I'll bet the President would be — that chuckle of his comes out at the darnedest times. He'd be nicknaming the hangman "Stretch."

But not if he starts identifying with Nancy Pelosi. According to Christopher Hitchens in the new Vanity Fair, one reason "Why Women Aren't Funny" is that they don't share men's sense of the comicality of violence. Hitchens makes some good points, and he is brave (out of his damn mind) even to bring the whole thing up, but I'm skewing feminist on this one. I think Hitchens states the case wrong. It's not that women aren't funny. They (and I say "they" because I am not myself a woman, but I know that you may well be, and more power to you) — it is just that women, generally speaking (and I feel empowered to say this only because many of you have cheerfully copped to it, in my presence) — it is just that women often don't tell jokes well, because women tend to go directly to the punchline. Why? Because women never have any reason to delay orgasm.

Which probably has little or no relevance to Pelosi's determination to push through a lot of key legislation in 100 hours, whereas some of the guys... for instance Rep. Charles Rangel says, "the Speaker is tied up with her l00-hour agenda, and I'm on a two-year agenda."

To me, in gender-difference terms, that ought to be the other way around. But what do I know? I may not be cut out for this day and age. I still haven't gotten over seeing a madman die on my laptop.