Are they serious? As serious as their "blood for oil" bumper stickers. The Billionaires for Bush hope you see through the glistening veneer of irony and appreciate them for what they are -- a "strategic media and street theater campaign," according to their policy statement, an inspired group of merry pranksters in tuxedos and evening gowns. They are joking, of course, but the issues are real. They're concerned that Bush's everyman appearance masks the fact that he's stashed over $200 million in his re-election fund and sits next to some very wealthy people. The Billionaires just aren't interested in the obligatory soapboxing in the protest zone; they realize the way to get people to listen -- and to think -- is to get them to laugh.
Billionaires for Bush chapters have sprung up around the nation, with protest marches in unlikely places. The Billionaires took limos to their local post offices on April 15 and held signs thanking the hapless plebians for paying taxes so the rich don't have to. Wait, the people said, do wealthy people and corporations (who are people in the legal sense, after all) get tax breaks? Yep, in some cases. And now that you're thinking about it, hopefully you'll try to find out if the Billionaires are right -- or wrong. It's the thought that counts, as far as they're concerned.
Last Saturday the Billionaires staged a nationwide "Cheney Is Innocent" rally and vigil in support of the vice president, who's been accused of Enron-like tomfoolery during his tenure at Halliburton. If you're concerned about our corporate overlords, consider buying a "Free the Enron 7" bumper sticker. The Billionaires will appear at the Republican National Convention, and they're also staging a "Million Billionaire March" on August 29, in which the wealthy "from Beverly Hills to Grosse Pointe to Wall Street will converge on NYC."
Meanwhile the Billionaires are staging a cross-country limo tour in the swing states to rally support for their favorite candidate. (And despite his matrimonially acquired fortune, it ain't Kerry; check out their position statement on the wealthy ingrate at www.billlionairesforbush.com.) Missouri's a swing state, in case you didn't know, so the tour rolls into Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-6731) on Thursday, August 19, at 7 p.m. The Billionaires will plead their case and attempt to buttress their fortunes with sales of their new book, Billionaires for Bush: How to Rule the World for Fun and Profit.