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A Request for Help...

Perhaps the weirdest of all Washington intellectuals-on-the-make is Marshall Wittman, now of the DLC and the "independent minded progressive" Bull Moose weblog at

Today we see Roger Ailes's mind explodes as he contemplates Marshall Whitman of the 2000s:

Bull Moose: The Moose and the Donkey are pleased to join hands--or more precisely, hooves--and express gratification that Ralph Reed is not going to become Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. Nor will Brother Reed, whose eyes were on much higher aspirations, hear the strains of "Hail to the Chief."... Once among the highest and the mightiest in Republican councils, Reed could not win a low-turnout Republican primary in his adopted home state; indeed, state senator Casey Cagle wound up routing him by double digits.... The Moose does not fault brother Ralph for having been a leader in the religious right. There are many good and decent folks in the religious conservative movement. What the Moose faults Ralph for is his hypocrisy and crass cynicism as he reportedly exploited the good will of religious folks. Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff truly deserve each other...

And Marshall Wittman of the 1990s:

Quote Cuisine: In 1988, Marshall Wittmann founded "Jews for George" and sure enough George H.W. Bush was elected president. In 1989, Wittmann was rewarded with a job as deputy assistant secretary of Health and Human Services. The ex-Trotskyite neocon['s]... job was to serve as liaison between HHS and social conservatives who were lobbying the department to tighten restrictions on abortion.... But Bush lost in 1992.... [H]e thought, " Hmmm, a Jew goes to the Christian Coalition, that might be interesting." He was savvy enough to figure that the Christian Coalition might want to hire a Jew just to show it wasn't bigoted. He wrote to Ralph Reed, the group's executive director, and asked for a job. Reed took him to lunch at Bullfeathers and hired him.... [T]he job was fascinating and it put Wittmann in the middle of the Republican revolution that seized control of Congress in 1995. He also got to attend a lot of Christian church services."I kinda liked the speaking in tongues," he says. "I've always wanted to do that in a meeting some day"...

But that's not all. In his time, Marshall Whitman has been a Clean-for-Gene 1968 Democratic liberal, a Young Sparticist, a Yarborough Texas Populist-Democrat, a worker for the Radical Zionist Alliance and then the UFW, an employee of the National Treasury Employees Union, an employee of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, an anti-affirmative action Cultural Republican, a Jew for George [H. W. Bush], a Republican HHS staffer in charge of liaison with the crazies, a Christian Coalition apparatchik, Heritage Foundation liaison for Congress, a Hudson Institute staffer, a John McCain flack, and now an independent-minded progressive working for the Democratic Leadership Council. It is the zaniest careening ride of ideological chameleonship I have ever seen--far outstripping that of the original "Vicar of Bray."

So I want to ask one and all for help in composing, to the tune of the "Vicar of Bray," the:

Marshall Wittman Political Drinking Song

When good Ralph Yarborough was in Senate,
And Texas populism was in flower;
I worked for him like a loyal tenant , And so hoped to gain some power.

And this is true, I am no fool,
I'll always have the juice, Sir.
That whatsoever Party may rule,
I'm the progressive Bull Moose, Sir!

When Linda Chavez made her move,
To try to win in Maryland.
To her anti-PC message I grooved,
And there I took my stand.

And this is true, I am no fool,
I'll always have the juice, Sir.
That whatsoever Party may rule,
I will still be the Bull Moose, Sir!

When Clinton with Bush played the hob,
And kicked me out of HHS,
I found I badly needed a job,
And Christian Coalition feathered my nest.

And this is true, I am no fool,
I'll always have the juice, Sir.
That whatsoever Party may rule,
I'm the progressive Bull Moose, Sir!

When John McCain made straight talk
And needed a press spokes-man,
I talked the talk and walked the walk,
And always was the yes-man.

And this is true, I am no fool,
I'll always have the juice, Sir.
That whatsoever Party may rule,
I will still be the Bull Moose, Sir!

And now I'm at the DLC,
A Democrat--giving it my best,
Working to empower Nancy Pelosi,
Until I figure out where to jump next.

And this is true, I am no fool,
I'll always have the juice, Sir.
That whatsoever Party may rule,
I'm the progressive Bull Moose, Sir!

Still needed are verses for:

Eugene McCarthy
The Young Spartacists
The Radical Zionist Alliance
The United Farm Workers
The National Treasury Employees Union
The National Association of Retired Federal Employees
Jews for George [H.W.] Bush
Republican DAS in Health and Human Services (with the job of keeping anti-abortion crusaders on the reservation)
Heritage Foundation liaison with Congress
Hudson Institute

Russ Hunt provides the original:

The Vicar of Bray

In good King Charles's golden days,
When Loyalty no harm meant;
A Furious High-Church man I was,
And so I gain'd Preferment.
Unto my Flock I daily Preach'd,
Kings are by God appointed,
And Damn'd are those who dare resist,
Or touch the Lord's Anointed.

And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my Dying Day, Sir.
That whatsoever King may reign,
I will be the Vicar of Bray, Sir!

When Royal James possest the crown,
And popery grew in fashion;
The Penal Law I houted down,
And read the Declaration:
The Church of Rome I found would fit
Full well my Constitution,
And I had been a Jesuit,
But for the Revolution.
And this is Law, &c.

When William our Deliverer came,
To heal the Nation's Grievance,
I turn'd the Cat in Pan again,
And swore to him Allegiance:
Old Principles I did revoke,
Set conscience at a distance,
Passive Obedience is a Joke,
A Jest is non-resistance.
And this is Law, &c.

When Royal Ann became our Queen,
Then Church of England's Glory,
Another face of things was seen,
And I became a Tory:
Occasional Conformists base
I Damn'd, and Moderation,
And thought the Church in danger was,
From such Prevarication.
And this is Law, &c.

When George in Pudding time came o'er,
And Moderate Men looked big, Sir,
My Principles I chang'd once more,
And so became a Whig, Sir.
And thus Preferment I procur'd,
From our Faith's great Defender,
And almost every day abjur'd
The Pope, and the Pretender.
And this is Law, &c.

The Illustrious House of Hannover,
And Protestant succession,
To these I lustily will swear,
Whilst they can keep possession:
For in my Faith, and Loyalty,
I never once will faulter,
But George, my lawful king shall be,
Except the Times shou'd alter.
And this is Law, &c.

The British Musical Miscellany, Volume I, 1734. Text as found in R. S. Crane, A Collection of English Poems 1660-1800. New York: Harper & Row, 1932.

To play the melody, click here. The words on this folk song site have been adapted to modern tastes, but the tune's wonderful.

Back to Russ Hunt's Web Site