WWE, not unlike the Ultimate Warrior, has a lot of bad habits, but only ones that help this website survive. Besides a fascination with feces, outrageously lewd sexual story lines, and constantly humiliating Jim Ross, Vince and his band of merry yes-men have always had a thing for political jokes.
Well, not so much “political” jokes as jokes about politicians; making fun of Bill Clinton’s womanizing, for instance, is pretty uncontroversial and won’t actually challenge anyone’s political beliefs. In other words, nothing that can’t pass the Jay Leno test. And they’re not so much “jokes,” either, so much as trotting out an impersonator or three and having them do goofy stunts.
We all remember, unfortunately, the Hillary-Bill-Obama fiasco of 2008.
The McMahons being Republicans, most of the “fun” is had at the expense of the other guys. Oh, and there might be the odd pro-war propaganda segment or two thrown in there when the opinion polls support it.
|But one notable exception to the right-wing stance was in December 2006, when WWE took some cheap shots at the (by then) highly unpopular President George W. Bush. Mind you, this was after the final mid-term elections of Bush’s tenure had already come and gone, so it was safe to trash the Commander in Chief without affecting his or his party’s election chances.|
|On that night in the nation’s capital, Cryme Tyme introduced “George W. Bush,” an obvious stand-in for the real president. What was the occasion? Kanye West’s recent comment that George Bush didn’t care about black people. That remark was made at a TV fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina relief, which, you’ll recall, happened over a year earlier. So yes, on a geological time scale, that comment was recent, like the end of the last Ice Age.|
|WWE has since improved the timeliness of their responses to Kanye West controversies. Why, in 2009, Dave Batista parodied West’s interruption of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech a mere three months after the original incident had been run into the ground on the internet.|
|Speaking of delayed responses, while Kanye’s accusations were about Bush’s delayed response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, someone on the Raw writing team simply heard “George Bush” and “black people” and decided to run wild with it. See, said the fake Bush, he did like black people.|
|People like Colin Powell, one of his “homies,” and people like Condoleeza Rice, whom he called, “one hot little black bitch.” Classic Dubya! When you think of the all-time horn-dogs who have ever sat in the Oval Office, and you forget about Clinton and JFK and maybe a dozen or two other moderately sex-crazed presidents, George W. Bush would top the list.|
|But Fake Bush wasn’t finished. Why, another black person he was “down with” was George Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence. Hehehe! That was Thomas Jefferson. George Jefferson was a fictional sit-com character from 70s television. Silly goose! What would our wacky President say next?|
|Answer: the N-word.|
|Now, granted, he was using it in a friendly context, but even that is enough to get you suspended if you’re Michael Hayes or Vince McMahon. Well, not Vince McMahon, but Cryme Tyme still cut the President off just before he could make the kind of faux-pas that only a poorly-focused parody of Bush, Jr. could commit.|
|“Bush” apologized for misquoting himself. See? Aside from the strange racist overtones, WWE was partying like it was 1999! Or, more accurately, 2000. I bet if the Bush impersonator had thrown strategery in there, the audience would have just lapped it up.|
|The Chief Executive then said that if Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, who were feuding with Cryme Tyme, were the World’s Greatest Tag Team, then he was the World’s Greatest President. Actually, he said, “The Greatest Tag Team in the World,” but I’ve rephrased it because Haas and Benjamin didn’t actually call themselves that. So add “lack of product knowledge” to Fake Bush’s Wrestlecrap résumé.|
|As “Hail to the Chief” brought this segment to a merciful end, Shad Gaspard stole the President’s wallet as Secret Service stood by and did nothing.|
|Then, Cryme Tyme’s own theme music played as Bush started getting his dance on…|
|…or whatever middle-aged white characters used to say ironically for laughs.|
|Having the president dance was such a cheap way to get laughs that WWE would do it again in 2011. It’s such an uncreative gag; get any president in history to cut a rug, and at least some idiots are bound to laugh. Just be glad WWE wasn’t around during FDR’s day.|
|And just when you thought the most inane Dubya impersonation this side of Dana Carvey in Master of Disguise was over…|
|…Fake Bush realized he’d been pick-pocketed and demanded that someone “arrest those nigg— arrest those people!” Jerry Lawler pretended to think this was a riot, but everyone else in the audience just sat in shock, collectively gasping as the offending line was delivered. I would be shocked, too, if I found out the leader of my country was a flaming racist.|
|There was only one way to save this segment: cue Hail to Chief, have J.R. rationalize the debacle by implying that it wasn’t really the President, and have the King chuckle some more about that “misquote myself” line.|
|Finally, “George Bush” delivered not a double “V for victory,” but a double middle finger.|
|And just to further prove that the writers weren’t exactly sure of whom they were parodying, that was Richard Nixon’s trademark pose, not Bush’s.|
|Although I guess the middle fingers were authentic.|
And if you thought this poorly-received stunt would have dissuaded WWE from wasting air time with bad impersonations…
…Donald vs. Rosie would be booked just three weeks later.