Fourthbranch and the Sally Ann Quinn parlor game

By the grace of God I don’t get TV in my house, and, modulo the occasional exception of a cable intermezzo of a few months’ duration here and there, haven’t for nearly twenty years. But I’m not a Puritan, and so, when I’m on a business trip as I am now, I sometimes put on the tube, and if there’s no baseball to be found I check out what’s up with hoi polloi. So it was that tonight I saw for the first time, on TV, the legendary salonista Sally Ann Quinn.

She was pretty hot, I’ll admit; younger and better looking than I had imagined. After all, she was already a doyenne at the time of Bill Clinton’s first inaugural– a priestess in the cult of High Broderism. It was she who famously pronounced Slick Willy too plebeian, too common, to inhabit the place which we rubes across the land had thought belonged to us, viz, the White House, until Sally Ann Quinn set us straight. So you can forgive my imagining her an old hag.

As an habitual, nay, addicted reader of political blogs I had of course read about her shot across “Fourthbranch” Dick Cheney’s bow in today’s WAPO, in which she said that “some Republicans” were looking for an excuse, presumably medical, to ditch Cheney and replace him with the sweet-smelling dreamboat Fred Thompson. So when I got back to the hotel room tonight after a hard day in the Silicon Valley salt mines and began my futile search for non-Giants baseball and saw her name under the crylon “The Plot against Cheney,” I had to stop and look, as at the proverbial car wreck– this one with a decapitation.

I had read some wag (alas even Google cannot remind me who) who had said that Sally Ann Quinn’s head was so far up Fred Thompson’s ass she she could taste the Brylcream. So I was prepared for a ruthless machiavellian, a Borgia, a Soprano, a very Hillary! besotted with the manly musk of the driver of the rented pickup truck from the virile state of Tennessee, inheritor of the mantle of the manly man Daniel Boone or Davey Crockette, one; he of the Law and Order wooden acting and the child bride whose impressive cleavage so captivated the ex-dictator of the World Bank Paul Wolfowitz. But what I was not prepared for was a fucking moron.

But there she was on the Tee Vee, announcing that Fred Thompson was to be our new Vice President, and thus, ineluctably, our next President; all had been decided, done deal, nothing to worry about, go home, put on American Idol, and SuperSize(tm) it! Frankly, I was shocked.

Does she really think the American people have no say whatsoever in who shall be their Vice President? Granted, we chose somebody other than Dick Cheney over the last two cycles, but at least the Republicans had to put on a very expensive show, involving Brooks Brothers racketeering in Florida and an aquital by Don Scalia on the highest court in the land before we allowed them to take over the People’s House, install Cheney and his dummy, and trash the place. Attention must be paid, after all! We are not savages, you know.

Sally Ann Quinn, the legendary Hostess of Georgetown! I had hoped for something out of Flaubert or Tolstoy! Or if not Tolstoy, maybe Dostoyevsky or Proust. Katherine Hepburn in Lion in Winter; the pure political beast with a pretty face and the killer instinct of a mother cat on the Serengeti. But what I got was Paris Hilton on steroids (or botox?), DC’s answer to Norma Desmond. What a disappointment.

As part of the kabuki they had Richard Viguerire pretending to disagree with Quinn, saying that replacing Cheney with Thompson would be “every Liberal’s dream.” He said this about thirty times, unchallenged by the CNN bimbette, who is probably famous, whoever she was. He was convincing pretty much like Farfel used to be convincing when touting Nestle chocolate. (You young folk who don’t know what I’m talking about: that’s why God invented YouTube). For whatever it’s worth, I’m a Liberal, a pretty hardcore Liberal, a Massachusetts Liberal, and installing that slimy phony K-Street hack Fred Thompson in the constitutional office now usurped by Dick “Shoot-em-inna-face” Cheney is not my dream, nor is it the dream of any Liberal I know. Call me old-fashioned, Sally, but I kind of like the idea that we, not you, choose the knaves or fools who will rule over us.

Marcy Wheeler, the saint known these librul parts as Emptywheel, the intrepid blogger of Firedoglake, Dailykos, Last Hurrah, author of the Plame book of record Anatomy of Deceit, pointed out that Fred Thompson’s top “policy advisor” is Liz Cheney. Ventriloqist much, Fred? Color me not surprised. (When I think of Cheney’s hand up Thompson’s ass and Thompson’s hand up Bush’s ass, it kind of reminds me of the mouth-within-a-mouth in Aliens, with Sigorney Weaver as Ripley. (Where Sally Ann Quinn’s head is in this sceneario is not clear to me quite yet. . .))

We can only hope that when Dead-Eye Dick is forced to step down because his ticker cannot take it no more, and a new Vice President must be endorsed by the People’s Assembly, that Harry Whittington will be brought out in an emotional Hallmark Moment(tm) to kiss the ring of the man who filled him full of buckshot, and to put Hardon Fred’s name into nomination, while Sally Ann Quinn and Margaret Carlson fight over the Symbian-machine controller in the antechamber.

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