Dealing with a modern King George

    As I was saying to a fellow peasant just the other day, it is
    ironic that this country should rebel against one King George only to
    bow down before another monarch of the same name more than 200 years

    That our own King George — he of the House of Bush — is truly of royal
    blood has become clear in recent days with the announcement that he has
    empowered the National Security Agency to spy on whomsoever and
    whatsoever it wishes under royal decree.

    Happily for him if
    not his subjects, this cannot be challenged by the picky laws and
    constitutional concerns that rule us poor common folk. It cannot be
    challenged because he says so, which is the traditional way of kings.

    Previously, before His Majesty assumed his sovereign powers, the
    president — as he was then quaintly known — had to go to a secret court
    if he wanted permission for his agents to snoop on enemies within the
    realm. The esteemed judges of this court would take out their official
    rubber stamp, and the matter would be handled satisfactorily for all
    concerned except for the knaves and scoundrels, hopefully not all of
    them Democrats.

    Although a rubber stamp administered in secret
    was about the same covering for civil liberties as a lace pasty applied
    to an exotic dancer, the common people nevertheless rested easily,
    because a genuflection had been made to their beloved Constitution.

    But kings do not bow down before anyone or anything. It is for us, the
    commoners, to prostrate ourselves before their highnesses. Thus did
    King George decree that it was too risky for the security of his
    kingdom to rely on a rubber stamp, which, after all, might wear out.

    Moreover, it was insulting for his agents to be kept waiting while the judges came in from the golf course.

    So he reasoned that, as he was fighting a war, one that conveniently
    for him was never going to end, he could do anything he liked because
    he was the king, or the commander in chief in the old manner of
    speaking. Laws, shmaws _ what were they to one so noble?

    everything is changed. Faith-based policies have rediscovered the
    divine right of kings. I hope the royal court realizes that I am
    writing this in the groveling position like the uncouth but humble
    person that I am.

    To show my fealty, I tug my forelock in the
    old ritual of subservience except that I haven’t got a forelock, as a
    result of male pattern baldness, and therefore, as a substitute, I tug
    my back mullet-lock in all honor and obedience.

    I pray King
    George for his gentle forbearance because he has said that even
    discussing his new royal powers may aid the enemy. Of course, the last
    thing I wish to do is aid the enemy. It’s just that the old habit of
    free speech dies hard.

    Now that King George has enthroned
    himself, it is only right that he assume the other trappings of
    monarchy. May I, his lowly and worthless servant, suggest a coat of
    arms? Perhaps a church built on the ruins of the wall of separation
    between church and state. Maybe lobbyists rampant on a field of money.

    His Majesty also needs royal titles tailored to the American context.
    It is my honor to suggest the following, which I hope the NSA will
    record to my credit …

    Henceforth, throughout the land, let
    him be proclaimed as His Royal Texas-ship, Defender of the Faith,
    Interpreter of the Constitution, Protector of the SUVs, Guardian of the
    Malls, Warrior King, Scourge of the Liberals, Bane of the Activist
    Judges, His Most High Majesty and Most Excellent King George W. the
    First of Many.

    We beseech you, your kingship, to institute a
    system of hereditary peerage based upon merit and loyalty (i.e.,
    campaign contributions) so that we peasants will have someone to look
    up to other than the tawdry celebrities on TV. Sir Rush of Bloviation,
    Sir Karl of Spin, these will be names to conjure with in the future
    days of dynasty. Perhaps, as a goodwill gesture, you could name Bill
    Clinton as a knight of the garter belt.

    Please, sire, forgive
    us our petulant Bush-bashing of former days before we realized you wore
    a crown. Spy on us as much as you want because we understand now that
    your knowledge of the Constitution is infinitely greater than our own.

    Indeed, it is good to be the king, at least for the king.

    Reg Henry is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His e-mail address is rhenry(at)