So long, heartthrob

As a fearful nation bids farewell to outgoing Attorney General John Ashcroft, there’s a certain part of his legacy I’ll always remember fondly. No, it’s not the fact that thanks to the Patriot Act, my wife the librarian could theoretically be sent to federal prison for telling her boss what happened, if one day federal agents were to seize every computer in the library as “evidence.” It’s not the expanded freedom to wiretap enjoyed by every law enforcement officer in this great nation of ours. It’s not the way he and his administration have embraced wholeheartedly the idea of extended imprisonment without charges.

It’s not even the way, according to a dryly hilarious report by the Guardian, “Each time he has been sworn in to political office, he is anointed with cooking oil (in the manner of King David, as he points out in his memoirs, ‘Lessons from a Father to His Son’).” (Did everybody else know about that story but me? I’d long considered myself an avid follower of Ashcroft’s fucked-up Pentecostal behavior, but man, if I didn’t know this …)

No, friends, what I’ll remember about the guy neocon moron commentators insist on referring to as “General Ashcroft” (I believe he was in the same branch of the military as Cap’n Crunch) is one simple, heartfelt song. (My favorite line from the afore-linked Guardian story is the one that describes Ashcroft as “a grittily determined singer.”)

Like any reasonable American, my faith in the mainstream media is at an all-time low these days. Thank heavens for Jon Stewart, who on last night’s “Daily Show” brought back this world-obliterating footage for one hurrah. And to give credit where credit’s due, I regained a little bit of faith in CNN when I discovered they’ve given the “Ashcroft Sings!” footage its very own dedicated page. Maybe the press isn’t dead; maybe it’s just sleeping.

5 thoughts on “So long, heartthrob

  1. God damn I love that song. I want a duet album with William Hung singing quasi-patriotic songs with Republican leadership. Maybe cap it all off with Bush and Hung (now there’s a country duo) singing, “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.”

  2. My favorite thing about that clip is the fact that it’s 2-3 minutes long, but still has a few edits to cut the clip down to a reasonable running time. Every time I see it, I imagine that “Let The Eagle Soar” is an hour-long epic in which every state gets its own verse.

    Not only was he anointed with oil (which is crazy enough), but it was Crisco. Ewwww….

    Another fun fact about Ashcroft : apparently he’s afraid of calico cats because he thinks they’re possessed by the devil or something.

  3. Is Alberto Gonzales a singer-songwriter? I think that his confirmation hearings need a talent competition– oops, component– to help the Senate determine his fitness for office.

    Maybe we could have a call-in voting system, like on American Idol? We could all watch the performances on, say, C-Span, and then call our senators to express our preference. There weren’t any more voting problems with the AI system than with those in the Ohio or Florida plan, were there?

    We could screen calls from Guantanamo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, of course. No sense clogging up the lines with prank callers.

  4. Greg, that’s my other totally favorite thing about that song! It’s like not even the hardened journalists at CNN can watch all four-plus minutes of it!

    “The eagle, she soars over Alaska
    with its deep and boundless oil reserves;
    we bought it for a song from mother Russia,
    the Eagle, she gave Russia what she deserves!”

    Gonzales should at least tap-dance.

  5. Elwell: Let’s go whole hog and shoot for (at?) a trio: John Ashcroft, William Hung, and William Shatner. That would guarantee colitis in just about any music lover.

    :) Doug