Scroll To Top

This House Is

This House Is


Comedian Kate Clinton descends on D.C.'s Dupont Circle for a saging of the White House before ushering in President-elect Barack Obama.

If you thought you saw smoke wafting up from Washington, D.C., Monday night, it wasn't just steam billowing out of Dick Cheney's ears at the thought of surrendering his throne.

Instead, it was hundreds of queers and our straight brothers and sisters joining comedian Kate Clinton in the gay hub of Dupont Circle at her unofficial-yet-sacred inaugural ceremony: the Saging of the White House. That's right, Clinton and her followers burned sage in order to rid the first family's residence-in-waiting of any evil spirits that may be left lurking in the shadows of George W. Bush's presidency.

If it sounds "deep lez," as they say, it was -- equal parts Wicca and woo-woo, complete with spontaneous renditions of "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine," the famous antiwar refrain, "Ain't gonna study war no more," and a ritualistic cleansing administered by Brooklynite shaman Mama Donna.

Clinton explained to the crowd that she had come up with the idea after reading that following President Bush's visit to Machu Picchu, shamans and priests were called in to sage the area and exorcise it of bad spirits. "And I made a joke," recounted Clinton, "I said, 'We should sage the White House.'"

In honor of Obama's National Day of Service, Clinton enlisted the crowd to help move the nation forward. "The basic legacy of the Bush regime is cleanup on aisle 5 and 7 and 9 and everywhere. We have a lot of work to do and that's what we're starting here tonight," she said.

"Signs are good everywhere," Clinton told the throng. "In New York City a plane landed on the water," she said to cheers, "and there was a competent pilot, there were helpful flight attendants, and people helped each other get off that plane safely. It's a miracle on the Hudson; it's a good sign for tomorrow."

Borrowing from many faith traditions including the Catholic religion, Clinton also engaged participants in a read-and-response litany in which she would name objectionable Bush administration policies and the crowd would reply with everyone's favorite sports chant, "Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!"

Here's a sampling of Clinton's litany:

Clinton: Stolen and rigged elections and border suppression Crowd: Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

The axis of evil, weapons of mass destruction, my pet goat Hey, hey, Goodbye

Preemptive war, the Patriot Act, wire tapping Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

Walter Reed Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

Walter Reed (yes, she said it twice) Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

Haliburton, Blackwater, mercenaries, K-street lobbyists. Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

Water boarding Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

Kangaroo courts, indefinite detentions, loss of habeas corpus and other extraordinary renditions Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

Guantanamo Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

Federal homophobia, sexual hypocrisy, electoral gay bashing and anti-gay violence Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

Don't ask, don't tell Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

Don't ask Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

Don't tell Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

Intelligent design Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

After about an hour in the 30-degree weather, Clinton called the saging to a close and the nation breathed a collected sigh of relief. Then, naturally, the house music kicked up and the masses danced to close out the ceremony.


Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Kerry Eleveld