By Bill Steigerwald
“G.P. Bear for president”
Of all the animals the Inuit traditionally hunted, Nanuk, the polar bear, was the most prized. Native hunters considered Nanuk to be wise, powerful, and “almost a man.” Some called the bear “the great lonely roamer.” Many tribes told legends of strange polar-bear men that lived in igloos. These bears walked upright, just like men, and were able to talk. Natives believed they shed their skins in the privacy of their homes.
— Polar Bears International
THE NEWSEUM, WASHINGTON, D.C.
“… And with that,” said George Stephanopoulos, “let me bring in our special ‘Roundtable.’ This week, along with George Will, Paul Krugman and Cokie Roberts, we have G.P. Bear, the polar bear who, to put it mildly, caused quite a stir last week in the Senate. Welcome, Mr. Bear.”
“Thank you, George,” Grandpa said, adjusting his red bowtie. “Honored to be here.”
“So, Mr. Bear,” Stephanopoulos said, “you really hit a walk-off home run with your ‘Polar Bear Manifesto.’ Yesterday the Senate passed the Polar Bear Freedom Act by a 99-1 vote.”
“The legislation is a great Christmas gift for my species,” Grandpa said. “It’s everything we ever hoped for. It guarantees we will never be placed on the Endangered Species list. It prohibits wildlife scientists from studying or even touching us without our permission. And it allows any polar bear in a zoo to return to their homes and families.”
“They gave you everything you wanted, didn’t they?” whined Paul Krugman. “They’ve deregulated an important apex predator that needs both increased government oversight and guaranteed lifetime health care benefits.”
“With all due respect, Professor,” Grandpa said, “we were not given anything. The Senate merely removed the heavy chains that bound our freedom.”
“Nicely put, Mr. Bear,” said George Will.
“Thank you, Mr. Will.”
“Mr. Bear,” asked Will, “are you worried other intelligent animals whales, dolphins, elephants, even pigs will now come to Washington to demand their emancipation?”
“No, Mr. Will, I don’t see that happening.”
“Why’s that?” Will asked skeptically.
“Those species don’t know how to talk.”
“Point taken, Mr. Bear.”
“Mr. Bear,” asked Stephanopolous, “Senator Barbara Boxer who cast the lone vote against the Polar Bear Freedom Act has charged that you are not a polar bear at all but a highly paid lobbyist for ExxonMobil. And The New York Times has a Page 1 story this morning in which Al Gore called you ‘an immoral global-warming denier.'”
“You’re not trying to rile me up by repeating that liberal nonsense, are you, George?” Grandpa said with a quick wink to George Will.
“No, no, no, no,” Stephanopolous said nervously.
“Look,” Grandpa said. “Environmentalists have been exploiting polar bears for years. We know why they want us on the Endangered Species list. They want to stop all future oil drilling in the Arctic in the name of protecting us and our habitat. We like having oil rigs and pipelines around, George. They don’t hurt us and they break up the boredom. We like having humans around, too, as long as they don’t shoot us with anything.”
“So what comes next for you, Mr. Bear?” Stephanopolous asked. “Lecture tour? Book deal?”
“All of those things, George,” said Grandpa modestly. “My life’s going to be busy for quite a while. But I am looking forward to meeting Oprah and Glenn and filling in for Rush. My agent says Pixar will be doing the bio-pic and I’ll have a talk show on Fox.”
“I hear you’re moving back to Alaska,” Cokie Roberts asked coyly.
“I’ll be flying to my new home in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after the show to be with my daughter and grandson for Christmas Day.”
“I also hear you’re thinking of running for Congress in 2010,” Roberts said.
“Maybe,” said Grandpa, smiling as he gazed at the white marble dome of the U.S. Capitol Building outside the TV studio window. “I’m thinking more seriously about a run in 2012. But Sarah and I aren’t at liberty to discuss that … yet.”
This was a true story, except for everything that was made up to make it more dramatic or to mock someone. Any resemblance to real politicians, as well as any insult to the religious beliefs of global warming alarmists, was purely intentional. No polar bears, politicians or celebrities were harmed during the production of this docu-fable.