President Peter Casey: we were secretly on his side all along
It’s about time we had a moneyed trigger-happy weirdo as head of state. #diversity
Joan Freeman, Liadh Ní Riada, Michael D Higgins, Seán Gallagher, Peter Casey and Gavin Duffy. Surely some only marginally-compromised elder statesfolk could have been conjured up to give Higgins some proper competition? Photograph: Tom Honan
Right you shower of bastards, now that Peter Casey is president* things are going to be very different around here. Obviously, we at The Irish Times would like to be among the first to welcome His Dragnificence to the Áras and to the rest of you, we’d like to say, boy are you going to be sorry. He’s going to remember those things you said about him.
We were, as you probably guessed, secretly on his side all along. We just feel it’s about time we had a moneyed trigger-happy weirdo as head of State. Hashtag diversity and all that.
So, let me remind you of Casey’s plans as laid out in his programme for sort-of-government:
1) The repatriation of all non-Irish dog breeds – your Pekinese, your Alsatians, your nefarious Bernese mountain dogs. Ugh. Look at them with their big stupid eyes and fluffy bodies all filled with the mammalian emotion “love”. Slobbery freeloaders coming over here, being all delightful with our presidents and stealing our dog jobs. Who among the Irish people will be unable to relate to my hatred of dogs?
2) Constitution-smonstitution. Reading’s for nerds. All members of the Army are to assemble at His Dragonship’s new gaff post haste. Wear your Army stuff.
3) “You can’t do this as president! You can’t do that as president! You can’t carry a sword on a plane! Are you qualified to operate that crane? Blah, blah, blah!” Whisht! I do as I please.
4) We will find De Valera’s gold! When I first recounted how the ghost of Eoin O’Duffy appeared to me in a dream and told me that De Valera’s treasure was hidden somewhere in the catacombs beneath the Áras, you laughed at me. Well, who’s laughing now? Certainly not the people who have been conscripted to bulldoze the presidential home (“But I’m not a builder!” Boo-hoo, whine, whine. Shape up or ship out, losers!).
And even if, as you keep saying, there are no catacombs under the Áras and ghosts don’t exist and there is no De Valera’s gold, well, what if I told you it was all a kind of metaphor and that the gold was in your heart? Stop laughing. I can do poetry too, you bastards. #wisepoeticpresident.
5) Have you seen The Running Man with Arnold Schwarzenegger? No matter, you’ll catch on soon enough. Yes, those are klaxons you can hear. Say goodbye to your weaker family members and find something pointy. I hate the weak!
6) A fiver for a picture with the president?! Gosh, that looks like a really good deal. What? You can even pay with credit cards? How convenient! What a convenient presidency!
To each of these plans, I say: If anything, he’s not going far enough. Yes, I know it’s surprising to see me, Fintan O’Toole (ignore byline picture), endorsing such positions. But let me be very clear. This is not because I am locked in a dark cabin on the presidential zeppelin, it’s because I now see how wise President Casey is and what clever ideas these are and I am very sorry that we all laughed at him. It has been a good day. Don’t send me to the cornfield.
And…. end scene.
Okay, that that was all a “back-up editorial” I was asked to write yesterday “just in case”. Pretending to be Fintan O’Toole was just a rhetorical flourish, or what you non-journalistic types call a “lie”. It’s some of my best work, to be honest. It goes on for several pages in this line. I’ve a great paragraph about Casey curing scrofula with an old potato his grandmother gave him and another about how he won Donegal back from the Brits in a card game at some crossroads (you may think you remember Donegal having always having been part of the Republic, but you are mistaken). We even commissioned an oil painting of Casey on a big white horse in lieu of a photograph (he frets that photography can give you a soul).
It was the least we could do. We at George Soros’s MSM have been wrong about so much: Trump, Brexit, whether La La Land was any good, the euro, the existence of Slenderman, Tayto chocolate bars, the Progressive Democrats, Taylor Swift – we were not going to be on the wrong side of history on this one too.
Yes, the incumbent, Michael D Higgins seemed, at the time of writing, to have charmed the nation again with dignity, doggerel and doggies (that’s what the D stands for). And yes, his challengers, most notably television businessmen Scrooge McDuck, the Fat Controller from Thomas the Tank Engine and Lex Luthor (I’m sorry, I’ve already forgotten their real names) seemed destined to return to the business parks of hell to brood and feed and plan their inevitable return in 2025. But, frankly, who knows anything nowadays?*
Apply for on a whim
All I know for sure is that the presidency was formerly an important job. Right now, it feels like something you apply for on a whim when your CV is laid out in Comic Sans and covered in jam and you’ve accidentally printed out one too many. Once you could turn to a talented child with hope in her heart and say: “One day you might run for president, my kind clever angel.” Now you’d be more likely to turn towards a slackjawed thug of an infant, one who has no respect for his uncle (you know who you are), to say: “If you’re not careful you might end up running for president, you weird pyromaniacal monster.”
I suppose I still believe in democracy. That said, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael should probably be obliged to put someone forward in future to keep the overconfident business loons at bay. Surely some respectable only marginally-compromised elder statesfolk could have been conjured up from obscurity to give Michael D Higgins some proper competition? It might have helped. Right now the presidency looks like something you run for as a bet. We have seven more years to think about what we’ve done.
*This article was written well before there was any inkling of a result. If I am very, very wrong about anything, then good enough for me