"The times... I suppose one could say that they're changing," said a reflective Dick Cheney, speaking from his sparse  but comfortable living quarters at the Naval Observatory. "The Clinton Menace, which we first confronted back at the turn of the millennium, has effectively been vanquished, and with the help of our good soldiers such as Rush and that Hannity asshole, the Democratic candidate for president is a scary negro. You could say that we've laid the cornerstone for a thousand years of the Republican Reich, and you would not be wrong, my friend."

It felt odd to be called friend by the Vice President of the most powerful nation in the history of the planet, but in a way it also felt right. The grand old man sensed that I was a bit uneasy, and smiled comfortingly as he poured out a generous three fingers of 1964 Lombard Glen Grant single malt into a crystal glass hand cut by Dolley Madison. He handed me a Bud.

"Dolley was quite a character," Cheney chuckled. "You know, Thomas Jefferson was a widower, and she used to fill in for a lot of 'first lady functions', if you know what I mean, and I think that you do. She was in the White House in 1814 when the bloody British burned it down... of course she was the first lady at the time, but the thing is, a lesser woman might have allowed herself to be burned to a cinder, but not Dolley. No sir, she grabbed her snuff and she grabbed her husband, the president, and together they pulled the portrait of George Washington - the one over there in the foyer - they pulled it off the wall and got the hell on out of there. Couple of weeks later, they won the War of 1812."

Lynne Cheney, looking radiant in a black wig and red lounging pajamas, lit a Viceroy and rolled her eyes, exhaling a cool stream of gray smoke before speaking.

"James and Dolley did not win the War of 1812, you historical ignoramus. They signed the Treaty of Ghent, which in effect ended the War of 1812. We didn't managed to annex Canada, and we lost thousands of our valuable slaves. And the British weren't even giving the war much of an effort because they were busy fighting Napoleon."

"My wife is obviously no Dolley Madison," Cheney laughed, pouring another three fingers of Scotch. "Dolley understood that it didn't really matter in the new world who won or who lost - that can all be sorted out when you rewrite history. The only loss that really matters is the ones you can't rewrite, the ones with too many witnesses, like Japan in the second World War. Maybe we didn't win the War of 1812, but we got a hell of a song out of New Orleans. Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Iraq? I know a lot of people sure as hell are."

"Dolley used to sleep with a sword at her side..." the Vice President said, his voice trailing off into wistful silence. It was time for me to go, and he kindly gave me another Bud for the road, then watched as I drove past the guard and off into the great unknown.


2008, Mark Hoback