How the Vice President Stole America’s Ideals

On the joint occasion of the holiday season and Vice President Cheney’s recent statements again advocating the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” – torture – we refreshed Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic in hopes of seeing a change of heart on the part of the Vice President.

How the Vice President Stole America’s Ideals


Every Who Down in Whoville Liked humane treatment a lot.

But the Grinch who lived at the Navel Observatory, Did NOT!

The Grinch hated the rule of law and also, the whole transition season!

Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.


It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.

It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.

But I think that the most likely reason of all,

May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.



“January 20th is coming ! It’s practically here!”

Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming,

“I MUST find some way to stop accountability from coming!”

“Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,

Then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry BooHoo!”

“That’s a noise,” grinned the Grinch, “That I simply MUST hear!”

So he paused. And the Grinch put his hand to his ear.

And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.

It started in low. Then it started to grow.


The SASC Report said that torture couldn’t be blamed on some bad apples

An assertion with which the Grinch struggled to grapple

He HADN’T stopped accountability from coming! IT CAME!

Somehow or other, it came just the same!


And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,

Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?

It came in a mostly still-classified report

It came with plenty of bipartisan support.”

And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.



Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!

“Maybe actionable intelligence,” he thought, “doesn’t come from waterboards,

Maybe building rapport brings more rewards,

And keeps our soldiers safe, and our ideals intact.

When tested by terror, what’s important is how we react.

And when we stay true to America’s meaning

Our policies on torture won’t go careening.”



And what happened then? Well…in Whoville they say,

That the Grinch’s small heart Grew three sizes that day!


Published on December 19, 2008


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