Thursday, February 14, 2013

USrael: The Movie

Well, not quite. But it's a bloody good beginning.

I refer, of course, to the brilliant, Circus Israel-standard Saturday Night Live parody of Chuck Hagel's grilling by Republican senators at his recent confirmation hearing. (Hagel, Obomber's pick for defence secretary, is the subject of my 4/2/13 post 'One Dumb Thing'.)

Unfortunately, it didn't actually make it to air in the US (!), but it's gone viral on the internet.

Since I couldn't find a transcript, I thought I'd supply one. Savour:

Voice: On Friday the former senator appeared once more before the committee handling his nomination. It did not go very well.
Senator Levin, D-Michigan, Chair: If the room could come to order please! Chair recognises the distinguished senator from South Carolina, Mr Graham.
Senator Graham, R-South Carolina: Thank you, Mr Chairman, and thank you, Senator Hagel for appearing before us once again.
Hagel: Not at all, Senator.
Graham: As you know, Senator, I like you.
Hagel (puzzled, playing along): I like you too.
Graham: That's why I have to tell you that I'm frankly troubled by some comments you have made in the press regarding our relationship with our closest ally Israel. Those comments trouble me. They trouble me. I find them troubling and am troubled by them. Specifically, a quote that appeared in the April 1998 edition of the Washington Post. You said, and I quote: "The US will always have an extremely close relationship with the State of Israel, but that's not to say that in every single instance our interests and those of Israel will be identical." Now, I like you, Senator. I do believe you're a good man, but when I read that statement I thought to myself: Is this a typo? Are my eyes deceiving me? I mean, does he really think that our interests and those of Israel could ever be different? Or have I slipped into some parallel dimension where white is black and black is white, where the sun rises in the west instead of the east like it's supposed to? Where cats go 'woof woof' and dogs go 'miaow'. Is this some kinda crazy dream world where the sky is green and the grass is blue, horses ride people or... instead of going 9&7 San Diego Charters went 7&9? (Hagel looks completely nonplussed) Where the school bus doesn't take kids to school, it takes parents away from school. Some mad bizarro universe where...
Levin (banging gavel): The time of the Senator has expired.
Graham (sighing): Why don't you like Israel?
Hagel: Senator, I support the State of Israel.
Levin: The chair recognises the junior senator from South Carolina, Mr Scott.
Scott (young, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed & black): Hi! Thank you Mr Chairman. I ask my colleagues to forgive me because the subject of Israel is a very emotional one for me. As an African-American from South Carolina love of Israel is in my blood. (Holding back tears) I'm sorry, I just love that little country so much. The people of Israel are the warmest, the most generous, kindest, gentlest, the most self-effacing...
Hagel: Really?
Scott:... easy-going people on God's green earth. (Counting on fingers) Err... Israel has the best food.
Hagel (incredulous): What?
Scott: They got the best beaches, the most beautiful women in the world.
Hagel: That's very subjective.
Scott: Let's see, what else they got? They make the best movies and they... ah... have the best rock and roll hip-hop.
Hagel: Well that's doubtful.
Scott: They even have the tallest mountain in the world.
Hagel: That's definitely not true.
Scott: Yeah. And Ben Gurion Airport - that's the best airport ever.
Hagel (dubious): I guess.
Levin (banging gavel): The time of the Senator has expired.
Scott: So when you criticise Israel, you're walkin' on the fightin' side of me!
Senator Sanders, I-VT (old, Jewish): I'm sorry, but I've got to say something.
Levin: The Chair recognises the Senator from Vermont.
Sanders: As everyone in this room knows, I am a... a Jew... (mock cries of surprise from senators: D'oh... Oh really?... Wooh!) An old Jew, and like all old Jews I love the State of Israel. But what my Republican colleagues are doing here is pure grandstanding.
Levin: The Chair recognises the Senator from Arizona, Mr McCain.
McCain, R-Arizona: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Senator Hagel, I think you know that no one in this room cares more deeply about the safety and security of Israel than I do.
Scott: What?! That is a lie!
Graham: I... I love Israel more!
Levin (banging gavel): Order!
McCain: So let me pose you a hypothetical. You get an urgent call from the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, who truly is one of the greatest men of this or any age.
Graham: Bingo!
Scott: Damn straight! Damn straight!
McCain: And he says to you: It is vital to Israel's security that you go on national television that night and perform oral sex on a donkey.
Hagel (shocked): Oral sex on a donkey?
McCain: That's right, that's right. Would you do that... for Israel?
Hagel: Senator, with all due respect, why would the security of Israel depend on...
McCain: Excuse me, if it's alright with you, I'll ask the questions here! Now remember, the security of Israel is at stake. Would you fellate that donkey?
Hagel: I don't think so.
McCain: Then I regret to say, Senator, that I cannot support your confirmation.
Scott: Hey, I'd do it. Bring me the donkey!
Graham: For Israel I'd do it in a second, but then I grew up on a farm so...
Sanders: Excuse me, excuse me. Mr Chairman, once again this is pure grandstanding by my Republican colleagues. In any case, fellating a donkey is not even possible. Donkeys are castrated...
Levin: I believe my distinguished colleague from Vermont is thinking of mules. Donkeys are not castrated. And even if they were, you couldn't tea bag them. Maybe you could still... a... you know... fellate them... (turns to Hagel in confusion) Does the witness have a question?
Hagel: Do I need to be here or...
Sanders (oblivious): Fine. I will stipulate that the donkey... or the mule... whatever... you know... has all its private parts...
Voice: At this point the hearing began to veer off track and Senator Hagel was able to slip away without anyone noticing.

Of course, it couldn't happen here... could it?

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