I hate the man. Absolutely hate the man.
By J.R. Dunn
“I’ll make those f*ckers glad to mutate.”
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, in Roosevelt after Inauguration by William Burroughs
William Burroughs will never be an icon of the conservative movement. A proud junkie, an aggressive homosexual, a leader of both the Beat movement and the Counterculture, a man who shot his wife by “accident” while playing a party game, Burroughs was, if anything, the polar opposite of the conservative ideal.
But there was one element of Burroughs’ thought not altogether alien to conservatives: his opinion of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Relatively late in his career, Burroughs published a short piece titled Roosevelt after Inauguration, which featured FDR swaggering around Washington (this is fiction, remember), wearing a purple toga and accompanied by a gang of killer baboons whom he sends after his enemies. The story climaxes with the massacre of the Supreme Court by the baboons, whereupon FDR gazes contemplatively across the Potomac at the country now lying at his feet and utters the line quoted above.
What inspired Burroughs to embark on this exercise in nastiness remains unclear. He himself claimed that he was promised a high position in the St. Louis sewer department only to be denied it by New Deal do-gooders, but this may be only part of the legend. Whatever the case, Roosevelt after Inauguration remains one of the purest expressions of political hatred ever put into writing. If every foul attack made over the years against Nixon, Reagan, Gingrich, Bush, Cheney, and Palin were rolled into one, the result would not match a single paragraph. Roosevelt after Inauguration is a masterpiece of political scurrility.
Which brings us to Barack Obama.