Clarey’s happy and he’s not on the Vicodin

by Brian Clarey

I’ve been smiling and laughing to myself quite a bit this week, and it’s not because I’ve started taking muscle relaxers again ‘— I haven’t. Part of my mirth stems from the discovery of a soft-rock version of ‘“Baby Got Back’” that I discovered on the internet by way of the Backwards City Blog ( about which I find myself chuckling at the oddest of moments. And another reason I’m just so damn happy this week is the seasonably cool weather that puts a spring in my step and makes my hair look just right. But that’s not the whole story either.

You see, mine is a multi-faceted happiness, the kind that only comes along every few years or so, when everything seems to be falling in place and all is once again right with the world, making me smile even bigger and less forcefully than Tom DeLay in his mugshot.

Oh yeah, I’m looking at it right now on the Washington Post site and the guy’s grinning like he just crapped out a silver dollar, with his House of Representatives pin on his lapel and his hair, always a bit helmet-y, neatly plastered in place.

He’s got no right to be smiling, by the way, unless he thinks it’s funny that he’s being indicted on conspiracy and money-laundering charges.

I think it’s funny. But then, I’m not Tom DeLay.

And this smug bastard is another of the reasons my mood has been so high as of late. He’s part of a larger picture I’m seeing, one that depicts the current president under extreme adversity as pieces of his rock solid administration begin to crumble.

That’s right: I’m enjoying it. Maybe not as much as Overman (see Omnibus, page 20), but still it makes me happy.

I like it when I see a guy like DeLay bumble towards a disgraceful end. Sure, the legal proceedings have yet to happen, but I know the guy’s dirty ‘— I can spot a crook a mile away. And while this talent may recuse me from jury duty it brings me pleasure in DeLay’s time of trouble.

I also take great pleasure in watching the foibles of the White House staff as they scramble to cover the asses of the higher-ups in the ongoing investigation of the Valerie Plame affair. And I wish I could see the looks on their faces when they realize the penalty for treason in wartime.

It’s death, you know. It is for soldiers anyway. I think cronies probably get a better deal than that, which is fine by me because if someone were to actually fry for this it might stain the fabric of my good humor.

You might say that I’m a cold-hearted son of a bitch to take such pleasure in the misfortune of others, but you’d be wrong. I wept real tears when the city of New Orleans was submerged beneath the floodwaters and her people left to scurry about the city like rats. But I did like it when Mike Brown was called on the carpet for his ineptitude and he reacted like a stubborn, scared rich boy who has never been expected to answer for a screw-up before. I liked it very much.

You know what else I like? I like it when a guy like Bush makes a major misstep like he did when he nominated his nanny to the highest court in the land and despite all the winking and nudging still managed to alienate his base.

It’s true: the churchies are pissed; the Republican senators and congressmen have foul flavors in their mouths; even my own father, a lawyer and ardent supporter of the GOP, threw his hands in the air over this one.

‘“I just don’t understand it,’” he said.

And the pundits’… oh man, the pundits have so much material to work with that they’re drooling over their keyboards as they type. Even Republican stalwarts are turning on Bush like hyenas.


This is from George Will: ‘“[Bush] has neither the inclination nor the ability to make sophisticated judgments about competing approaches to construing the Constitution.’”

This one’s from Ann Coulter: ‘“I’… don’t know when the Republican Party stopped being the party of merit and excellence and became the party of quotas and lying about test scores, but I don’t like that development either.’”

This one’s from Andrew Sullivan: ‘“Something is happening in Washington: the clothes covering Emperor Bush keep slipping quietly off. Alas, the only person who seems unaware of this is the president himself.’”

The words sound like sweet, sweet music to my ears.

Local conservative columnists haven’t flipped yet, including John Hammer and Charles Davenport Jr., who still cling desperately to the erroneous notion that their man Bush is a conservative.

I like that, too.

Of course, my smile fades a bit when I remember that we’ve got three more years of these morons and liars, and that there’s very little any of us can do about it. That’s when I start thinking about muscle relaxers again.

To comment on this column, e-mail Brian at