Matt Towery

And here we have the addle-brained nephew Jethro (a.k.a. Karl Rove). He's always showing up with some new-fangled invention, like a spy hat made out of steel, with which he knocks himself out every time he plunks it onto his head.

But what did Jed care? He recognized the zaniness around him. But he was confident in his own skin and knew he had the resources to do whatever he pleased.

He also knew that crafty captain of industry, the powerful banker Milburn Drysdale, would always be there to steer Jed and his kin back onto the straightaway. Drysdale had that ability to persuade everybody that everything was OK. Especially when it wasn't.

Now. We've identified the modern-day aliases of Jed, Jethro and Miss Jane. But who on the White House grounds could possibly qualify as the political version of that crafty wizard of Wall Street Mr. Drysdale?

Back to that in a minute.

Just in: the unflattering poll results on Jed's popularity in the race for smog commissioner. Again we find our political Clampetts in one of their typically confused and seemingly dire set of circumstances. Luckily, Jed's brilliant campaign manager, Jethro, has concocted a way to divert the public's attention.

"I know, Uncle Jed," says Jethro. "We can nuke that there Iran and get everybody's mind off these bad pollin' numbers!"

"Wee, doggies," Jed replies. "That idea might just be a good 'un, Jethro." And Jed runs to grab his hat, fire up the truck and head downtown to run the concept past Mr. Drysdale.

There's one problem, though. The real power in the Clampett family has, atypically, sat back and watched while Uncle Jed, Jethro and the rest of the clan are led around on a leash by the crafty Drysdale.

In our political revamp of the story, clan boss Granny (a.k.a. Barbara Bush) is no rustic from the hills. While the TV show's Granny sports a shotgun, Matron Barbara wears tasteful pearls and an impeccable blue suit.

But she's still hell on wheels, just like Granny. And she doesn't sit around watching her good and decent kinfolk sink beneath the waves of the "cement pond." By the time Jed has grabbed his hat, Granny has already telephoned Drysdale, yanking him out of an important meeting, and threatened to pull her portion of "political capital" out of his bank.

"Yes, Granny. Yes, ma'am. Fire the press spokesman -- you've got it. Change Jethro's duties -- it's handled. Protect Mr. Clampett -- absolutely. Forget the nuke stuff -- done," he says.

Her phone calls must be considered pretty important, because Drysdale had just been enjoying a fat-chewing session with a pal of his who'd only recently retired from the OK Oil Company with a cool $400 million in his pocket.

"Hathaway," shouts Drysdale. "Get these things done right away!"

"Right, Chief," says the ever-polished and efficient Miss Jane.

"And by the way," Drysdale adds, "get my shotgun for me. You know, the one that shoots in the wrong direction? The one Clampett used to find all that oil in the first place. I'm going hunting with a friend."

"Right, Chief."


Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
 
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