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Thursday, 16 March 2006

image for Republican Party to President Bush: "It's not you, it's me"
After being unceremoniously dumped by his party, President Bush has secluded himself in the Oval Office

WASHINGTON DC - Early Monday morning, the Republican Party dumped President Bush by leaving a short voice mail on his Oval Office phone line.

"It's not you, it's me," said the GOP in the message. "I just think we need a time-out for a while."

The president was reportedly alone in his office when he first listened to the voice mail but the door was slightly ajar so those nearby could clearly hear what was going on.

Continued the GOP: "Please believe me, you didn't do anything wrong, Mr. President. It's just time for us both to move on. Sometimes in a relationship, people change. It's not anyone's fault. I just need some space right now. I love you W. And remember, we'll always have the 2000 election. Goodbye George. Don't call me."

When President Bush heard the voicemail, he is said to have wept uncontrollably and canceled all his appointments for the remainder of the week, locking himself in the Oval Office with an extra large tub of Ben & Jerry's "New York Super Fudge Chunk" ice cream and a six-pack of diet Sprite.

"The Republican Party is breaking up with me? Breaking up with me? How can this be happening to me? But we were so good together? Is there someone else? There's someone else, isn't there? It's that bastard Frist, isn't it?" the president supposedly sobbed while replaying the voice mail repeatedly in disbelief. "I can't freaking believe that the GOP didn't even have the nerve to do this in person. After all we've been through. This is the worst day of my life. I feel so worthless and used. Someone better comes along and the GOP just throws me in the trash like yesterday's bad news. I just can't believe this."

News of the presidential breakup shook Washington almost immediately with political pundits uncertain on what, if any, ramifications the end of this storied, "made in DC" relationship will have on the upcoming mid-term elections.

"This is a tough one," said Peter S. Brookings of the Washington DC-based non-partisan think tank, The Democracy Company. "The Republican Party seems to have acted selfishly without taking the feelings of the president into mind. I mean, what kind of heartless person dumps their long-term partner by voicemail at 6am on a Monday morning, no matter how bad he's screwed up lately? Why it's almost as if this whole relationship between Bush and the GOP was nothing more than a contract of convenience."

This is not the first time a sitting president and his party have gone through a messy breakup, although it does look to have the makings of one of the nastiest since the GOP broke up with President Nixon via singing telegram 30 years ago.

It is also the only time that a party has dumped a president so early into his second term, and without displaying many of the usual warning signs, such as voting with the other side or changing the name of the party from the Whigs to the Republicans without letting the commander-in-chief know.

One scholar can see a similarity between the events of this week and an ugly blot on American politics that took place early last century.

"When Teddy Roosevelt dumped the Republican Party for the Progressive Party in 1912, things got really ugly," said noted historian and MIT political science professor James N.F. Poliszewizc. "The Republican Party was depressed for years, not leaving the House of Representatives much or regaining any of its former glory until Warren Harding in 1923. In fact, there are some who say the GOP didn't really fully recover until it met Eisenhower, 40 years later."

Mary P. Goldstein, a Virginia marriage councelor of over 25 years, said that what happened is sadly all too common in today's political marriages, adding that in the past presidents and their parties used to stick it out together for the sake of the country.

Goldstein is also not convinced that what took place was a cut and dry case of an unhappy breakup. "I think what the Party did to Bush might really have been a subconscious way of lashing out at what another president did to it when it was a young party."

She added that her office is always open if the president and the Republican Party are interested.

"All these years later, deep down inside, the GOP still doesn't trust presidents and is afraid of getting hurt again," said Goldstein. "Instead of waiting to get hurt, it broke up with Bush first, in a mean-spirited fashion, lashing out at Bush the way it felt Roosevelt did years ago by abandoning it in its time of need. You could say Bush was just a convenient scapegoat for the GOP's lifelong insecurities."

The White House is not commenting on the matter.

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