Here's an account from field testing.
“Fuck you George—this one’s for my brother!” The war cry came from a stocky gentleman in a leprechaun suit whose uplifted elbow was headed straight for the President’s eye. Bush and the leprechaun toppled over into a messy heap on the asphalt. We helped the two of them up and the leprechaun stumbled away. I had just barely gotten the Commander in Chief of the US military dusted off when another blow, this time a crushing uppercut, came out of nowhere and sent the President’s rubber face sailing out over the crowd. The megaphone squealed and H----’s voice boomed out “Ooooooooo, that one had to hurt, ladies and gentlemen! Now whooooo’s next?” Meanwhile, B---- had run off into a little cluster of sumo wrestlers to fetch the weary face of the 43rd president of the United States of America. It was the fight of the decade!
Ringside seats to political theater aren’t exactly in high demand among the general public. But as luck would have it, downtown Chapel Hill’s famous Halloween crowds handled all the logistics for us. Voilà, 75,000 people ready for a wild night. And hell, we’ve all been to enough of these things to know how predictable they really are: way too many cross-dressing frat boys, Supermen by the dozen, fairies, fairies, fairies, and that guy who just runs around screaming, “Wooooo!” The scene was set for something—anything—to go down.
That’s where George came in—hanging on the end of a rope. Our effigy had a cloth-covered foam rubber head stuffed into a rubber Bush mask. He wore a dumpstered business suit (public figures sometimes dress down for the masses) and a pair of red boxing gloves. For an entourage, he had drummers, banner-bearers, stilt-walking capitalist puppeteers and their corporate marionettes, and, of course, the ladies and gentlemen of “the press.” One of our number played the ringside announcer, dressed in a tux and wielding a megaphone. He was the ham: “Get into the ring and take a swing at the king!” “Introducing—in the left corner, we have the challenger—uh, what’s your name, sir?” “Texas, Afghanistan, Iraq… Chapel Hill, YOU’RE NEXT!”
In fact, to our delight, we found that the crowd needed very little encouragement. On our way to the event, a taxi driver with limited English pulled over just to give the commander in chief a tidy thumping. With a little coaching and encouragement, chuckling liberals would give a symbolic tap on the nose—but most folks took it to the Prez with vicious abandon. The tightly fitted mask was knocked clean off the “dummy” too many times to count. Over and over the “puppet” was ripped from our hands by a hail of fists. When he crumpled to the ground, the crowd would commence kicking and jumping on his body in a manner we are more accustomed to seeing cops use on poor people. Each individual’s response to the effigy seemed to reflect the particular level of repression he or she suffered at the hands of the regime: members of the demoralized and depressed but safe classes tended to give a little tap; those demographically most likely to face state violence were themselves ultra-violent.
After three hours of continuous assaults, our dummy was almost completely demolished. Hundreds had dealt blows. Thousands had watched in astonishment at the anger his presence inspired. Everyone knew how things would go down if the head of state found himself on the mean streets of Chapel Hill without his bodyguards.
As usual, what carried the event was humor and good cheer. I hardly stopped laughing for three hours straight. This atmosphere left little opportunity for the few pro-Bush folks to try anything, and the spectacle of the vast majority of the crowd doing violence to their figurehead of choice helped deter them from threatening violence themselves. Every now and then a troubled Republican would come up to the Prez, saying something like, “You’re a good man, you’ve got my vote in ’04.” Bush would respond by socking them in the face! Such realism!
In sum: as keen observers, we feel that it is our patriotic duty to report what could be construed as latent feelings of violence, resentment, and readiness to brawl directed at the President of the United States of America. Now let’s get something straight: we do not suggest or condone engaging in fisticuffs with the President. When dealing with the President, we strongly advise against uppercuts, crushing rights, left hooks, jabs, roundhouse kicks, knuckle sandwiches, resounding smacks, boots in the ass or crotch area, blows to the ribs or face, haymakers, boxing of ears, or any combination of bonks, thwacks, swats, or pokes. If you are concerned about the world and want to effect change, such roughhousing is simply unacceptable. We recommend going through the established channels: being ultra-rich, rigging elections, and allowing airplanes to fly into buildings.