The leash

By Erik Dolson

“Mr. President, may I have a minute of your time?”

“Billy Barr! You can have more than a minute any time, Billy. Come on in, you know how to approach my desk, right? Have I told you what a great job you’re doing?”

“Thank you Mr. President, I’m just doing my job.”

“And you’re doing it greatly! That’s what I just said! You spun Meuller Mutt until he corkscrewed into the ground, you’re investigating England and Italy for traitors who said the Russians helped me win the election, when everybody KNOWS it was my own stable genius … and you’re wiping out the Bidens with investigations in Ukraine and China … you da man, Billy Barr! Well, you would be da man except I’m da man. You know that, right?”

Donnie Boastful sat up higher behind his desk so he could throw a keen glance down at the Attorney General of the United States of America.

“Mr. President, I wanted to talk to you about … ”

“Say it.” Donnie Boastful clasped his little hands together, and hunched his shoulders. His mouth turned down into a determined tight little frown, a sign that he was going to hold his breath until he turned blue, or start saying very mean things.

“I’m sorry sir, but it’s important that we … “

“Say it, Billy.”

William Barr, Attorney General of the United States of America, long regarded as a man of ability and essential integrity, looked down at his hands resting on his thighs. The deep jowls that gave his face the slight look of a bloodhound fell forward as he made the inevitable decision.

“You da man, Mr. President,” he mumbled.

“I’m sorry, William, I didn’t quite catch that.”

“You da man, Mr. President,” William Barr said in a much louder and clearer voice while looking up at the president, who he could barely see behind the edge of the huge desk.

“Thank you, Attorney General Barr. This is what you’ve been saying all along, right? That whole thing about being a ‘Unitary President?’ That means ‘I’m da man?’ ”

“Well sir, not you so much as the office. Under the “strong unitary executive” theory, a president has more authority than is normally recognized by those who favor the weak unitary executive …”

“Billy?”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

“You’re doing that thing again. What’s that on the carpet right there? Under your right knee.”

“Besides what looks like the shadow of Jeff Sessions burned into the fibers? An eagle clutching golf clubs … ”

“Arrows. We threw out the one with golf clubs. That’s not the point. What’s the whole thing, the whole picture?”

“Well, if I could stand up sir, it would be easier for me to see.”

“No. Stay. It’s the seal. The presidential seal,” said Donnie Boastful.

“Yes sir, I see that now.”

“Do we call it the ‘executive seal?’ ”

“No sir, we do not.”

“And who is president?”

“You are, sire. I mean, sir.”

“So, I’m president, and you are helping me by promoting the strong president theory, and that means I can pretty much say who does what, is that right?”

“In the executive branch, yes it does.”

“So don’t make this so complicated. I’m the president, chief executive officer of this corporation, I mean company, I mean country. I hired you, I can fire you, and I can tell you what to do. Just like I did on my TV show. Is that the strong executive theory? It is if I say it is, right?”

“That would be a possible interpretation, Mr. President.”

“Billy, can’t you just say, ‘Yes, Mr. President?’ It would be so much easier.”

“It would be under certain circumstances …” Attorney General Barr mumbled.

“Billy? William?”

“Yes, Mr President?”

“That’s much better. You can go, now. As you crawl to the door, would you keep an eye out for a contact lens? Ivanka lost one this morning as we were having coffee.”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

“I think you’ve got this, Mr. Attorney General. And again, good work on throwing more shade on that Russian influence hoax. And I don’t know who put what in Sanders’ water bottle, and don’t you tell me — I don’t wanna know. Remember, all I said was he could become a problem, know what I mean? That heart attack was really smart, though! Stick a fork in him, he’s done!”

“Mr. President, sir, can we talk about you demanding impeachment for U.S. Senators and Congressmen who disagree with you? That’s not really under your authority …”

“You mean Reject Romney and Shifty Schiff and Nancy Nonsense? They are not showing me the respect, Billy. They’re hurting me, which means they’re hurting America. Which means they’re traitors, Billy, and I want you to investigate them for high crimes and misdemeanors. Get the goods and then we’ll impeach ’em.”

“Mr. President, we can’t impeach them, and certainly not for expressing an opinion … ”

“Billy, strong unitary president … did you forget? Hey, I’ve got to go. I have a 1 p.m. tee time out at Trump International with the owners of two NFL teams, AND, I’m making them pick up the tab for lunch and greens fees! I think I’ll charge them double.”

“Mr. President, you can’t profit from … ”

“Oh, Billy, don’t worry so much! They can afford it, and I gave them a little quid for their quo pro when those players were kneeling and disrespecting Amerika. Not kneeling like you are, but in a dishonorable way.”

“Mr. President, sir, may I ask you something? Why do you make me kneel when I come in here? You don’t make Rudy kneel, and he’s a lawyer.”

“Respect, Bill. It’s a matter of respect. I respect you more than Rudy.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Whenever I deal with someone that deep down inside I fear might be smarter than me, better than me somehow, I have to abuse them, tear ’em down, humiliate ’em. It’s how I prove that I’m superior. It’s not that hard to understand.

“Hey, if you find that contact lens, leave it on Pence’s desk. He’ll run it over to Ivanka.”

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About Erik Dolson

Erik Dolson is a writer living in Oregon

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