Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Election Day Blog: The All-the-time Campaign

Following the 2008 U.S. presidential election, both political parties blanketed the country with candidates for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential races. There were hundreds of millions of dollars to be raised, opponents to be denounced, thousands of hours of empty television to fill and mortal fears and national security threats to be created and propagated.

Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, immediately took to the campaign trail in December 2008, touring the northern states in a reindeer-drawn sleigh. Promoting a platform of smaller government, high cheekbones and equal access to guns and cosmetics for all, Sarah Palin traveled the country as "Railin' Palin." Although she didn't ultimately win the presidency four years later, she did land a lucrative contract as spokesmodel for a nation-wide chain of women's plus-size clothing stores.

On December 31st, 2008, in the Smithsonian Institute, standing before the infamous Unabomber shack -- mistakenly believing it was the log cabin in which Abraham Lincoln was born -- Hillary Clinton, dressed as Baby New Year, announced her candidacy for president in 2012. "Although I have the highest regard and utmost respect for President Obama," Clinton said, "the sad fact is he has not done for this country what he promised to do. We cannot live with four more years of broken promises."

When Senator Clinton was reminded that President-elect Obama was still twenty days away from being inaugurated into office, she labeled the reporter sexist and banned him from all Clinton campaign vehicles.

"So much for eloquence!" shouted Don Summershyne in his stump speech. "So much for the audacity of hope!" Summershyne was at the start of the 2010 Senate race -- which he launched in February 2009 -- when he claimed a goldfinch landed on the window sill of his home in rural Iowa and spoke to him the word of Gawd. "This Whamma-Bamma-Thank-You-Mamma Obama fella has not delivered on any of the grandiose promises of the past two years!"

When it was pointed out that President Obama had not yet been in office one hundred days, Summershyne barred that reporter from the Senate campaign bus, which was, at that time, being converted into a presidential campaign bus. Another reporter, riding on the candidate's temporary bridge-between-Senate-and-presidential-races-bus, asked about Summershyne's experience: "You hadn't yet been elected to the Senate, but now you've shifted gears and are running for President. With no political experience, how do you feel you can make this leap?" To which the reporter was branded an elitist and whose TV station was barred from all future Summershyne events.

The 2024 bid for the White House heated up in 2013, when Democratic nominee, Kelowna Eukele, named Israel Burcitis as his running mate. The campaign grew even more exciting in 2015, when Burcitis declared himself an independent and campaigned against Eukele. Such political backstabbing and maneuvering hadn't been seen since 2011 when Reverend Heino Rike, the eleven year old Missouri evangelical running for the 2032 presidential election, replaced his mother with his dog as his running mate.

In 2014, Clint Fayette, independent candidate for the 2020, 2024 and 2028 presidential races, formally changed his first name to "President." Soon afterward, every person entering politics -- whether it was for dogcatcher, alderman, justice of the peace, sheriff or drain commissioner -- changed their first names to "President."

Among the numerous notable political stories of 2014, was the spectacle of the 2024 Democratic nominee debating the 2028 Republican nominee at an event organized for the 2016 nominees. Although a rigorous and spirited dialogue ensued, three days had passed before anyone realized the wrong candidates had debated. President Shawn Nepal, 2016 Democratic nominee had been off conducting a townhall meeting in a high school gymnasium in Fontainbleu, Montana, and President Conrad Guilfoyle, the 2016 Republican nominee spent that evening presiding over a gymnasium meeting in the townhall of Brittlebrook, North Carolina. Both candidates declared their events "a roaring success."

The 2016 presidential election was overshadowed by breaking news that Lout and LeRoy Palin-Johnston -- siamese twins born to Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston -- had thrown their hats (or, rather, single large hat, as they were joined at the cranium) into the ring for the presidential race of 2036. The seven year old candidates could not, however, decide who would head the ticket. The headmaster of their Alaskan montessori gun club suggested a duel might be the only honorable way to solve the dispute.

"Madam, is it not a fact -- a lamentable, bald-faced fact -- that if elected you intend to allow an open border to exist between Colorado and Kansas?" bellowed Judge President Monty Dwyer, Republican vice presidential candidate for the 2028 election. He directed his question at his opponent, President Kitty-Porn Fnu, Independent presidential candidate for the 2028 presidency.

"Colorada and Kansas are both part of the United States," President Kitty-Porn said. "Of course they should have open borders."

"Not after President Conrad Guilfoyle takes office in three years and expels Colorado from the republic!"

"But that's years away!" President Kitty-Porn protested. "And hasn't even happened yet."

To which Judge President Monty Dwyer turned slowly to the debate audience and said, "So much for you being 'The Candidate of the Future'."

By 2017, most major networks had their own spin-off presidential campaign channels. Fox News' Campaign Infinity channel featured shock jock, George W. Bush, who painted his ideas about candidates' strategies on clear Plexiglas using a brush and his own brand of BBQ sauce. The cornerstone of the Campaign Infinity channel was Shem Mountainson, former Idaho alderman, and the man whom many believed should have been chosen as John McCain's running mate in the archaic presidential campaign of 2008. The show was called Shem's Shithouse in which Mountainson separated "the wheat from the shit" for his viewers, telling them for whom to vote and whom to hate. CNN's campaign offshoot became a popular twenty-four-hour a day cycle of campaign infomercials. MSNBC reimagined itself as Playday with the Politicians, offering shows with candidates competing in American Gladiator-styled contests of strength and agility.

By the 2020s, much of the U.S. economy was predicated on elections. Citizens either worked for one campaign or another, or in the exponentially expanding industry of campaign marketing. Professional athletes and film stars tried moving into the political arena. They were shunned, for the most part, as rich, privileged people whose egos had outgrown their original venues. Voters preferred rich, privileged people who came from the guts of the campaign industry. Activists poured money into campaigns and campaigns funded activists. Citizens made their tax-deductible donations to the campaigns and worked on the pay-rolls that were funded by those donations. The print industry couldn't keep up with the demands for lawn signs. Ordinary citizens earned top dollar renting out their salt-of-the-earth domiciles to politicians seeking to film commercials around the Great American Kitchen Table.

Elections became like Christmas, the Oscars and the Super Bowl rolled in to one -- hours after the great event, operatives from both parties began planning the next one. By 2024, the U.S. presidential elections had its own stock exchange: the U.S.E.S.E.. Within five years, it was out-performing the Dow Jones Industrial Index.

By the 2032 U.S. presidential election took the same turn as the Olympics -- it was deigned to occur every two years rather than every four years.

People from the quaint old days of the early Twenty First Century may have been confused by the ever-tightening spiral of presidential campaigns. American citizens of 2036 embraced the political maelstrom: peoples' lawns were filled with signs trumpeting the names of dozens of candidates; Jerry Springer-like debates occurred in which the candidates often came to blows on the carpeted stage, tearing each other's clothing off as the audience roared; the foreign wars launched by each president made for great TV -- so much less demanding than quiz and dancing dog shows. The country and the economy and campaigns spun on and on. If a journalist from the quaint early Twenty First Century actually investigated this overheated dynamo of all-the-time-campaigns, they would have discovered that many of the candidates in whose names hundreds of millions of dollars were raised, for campaigns intended to stretch a dozen years into the future, didn't, actually, exist.

An industrious journalist from another time would have found that the country was like an unlubricated engine that had long ago fused into a single block of jagged, unintelligible metal and plastic. The illusion of its continued function was kept alive by the single level of government that never had any checks or balances. That level of government was Henry Kissinger. By the 2050 presidential election, the hundred and twenty-seven year-old Kissinger was proprietor of all the bank accounts of all the presidential candidates -- none of whom existed. After dozens of organ transplant operations and extensive steroid therapy, Henry Kissinger lived quite well in his palatial condominium within Cheyenne Mountain.

As Winston Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried", but there was no denying it made damned good business sense.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Country First: John McCain is deliberately throwing the election

Late, very late into the night after the second presidential debate, John McCain sat in the lounge area of his hotel suite with his face in his hands. Cindy was asleep in the bedroom. Wherever Sarah Palin was that night—in the muddle following the town hall debacle with Barak Obama, John couldn't recall the city where she was campaigning—was no doubt sleeping the untroubled sleep of the righteous. For his part, John felt sick to his stomach.

There was a tap the door, and then the door from the hallway opened. John didn't look up; he knew who it was: Blade, billionaire philanthropist, P.O.W. in the Hanoi Hilton from 1966 to 1973, and currently working on the John McCain presidential campaign as . . . as one of the many middle-aged guys milling about who looked important, but whose actual role was never really defined to anyone.

"Need a drink?" Blade asked. John leaned back in his chair. He looked exhausted and on the edge of tears. "Yeah," John said, forcing a smile. "Strychnine with a twist, please."

Blade sat down and slapped John's knee. "Country first."

John nodded grimly. "Country first."

* * *

There is really no question that John McCain is throwing the presidential election. If nothing else, the Republican party is realistic about its chances of winning a presidential election following the disastrous and immensely unpopular administration of George W. Bush. In short, whoever runs on the Republican ticket following Bush would effectively be thrown into a furnace of voter discontent, anger and outrage. Few people within the Republican party are as hated by the party as John McCain. Who better to throw into that furnace?

Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee were put out there to make the nominee campaign look credible, but with John McCain in the mix, there was really no question who was going to take the figurative bullet for the party—McNasty himself. So, John McCain's failing and nearly bankrupt campaign was put back onto its feet, and John pointed toward the finish line. After spending a king's ransom on his own run, Mitt Romney was told to withdraw. Giuliani and Thompson fizzled like cut-rate fireworks. And Mike Huckabee traveled the country like a conservative Richard Simmons speaking about his weight loss, and how he would similarly strip the country of its fat and flesh.

Which left only one—John McCain, a man so rightfully bitter over the political mugging he took in South Carolina during the 2000 presidential campaign that he didn't vote for George W. Bush. He was so disillusioned with the Republican party that he thought about becoming a Democrat. That is, until he was approached by his old military and P.O.W. friend, Blade.

"You should be talking to Al Gore," John McCain said, distracted and demoralized, the day of George W. Bush's first inauguration.

"I have," Blade said. "We've got all the documentation on how the Republicans used a company called Choicepoint to purge tens of thousands of eligible voters from the Florida rolls, thus highjacking the vote."


"He passed."

John McCain chuckled derisively. "Of course." He shook his head. "Every time I think about crossing the aisle for good, the Dems pull one more spineless puss-out that makes me wanna spit."

"Well, if you have the patience, we've got a plan," Blade said.

"You know I have the patience."

"Good. We're looking at 2004 . . ."

* * *

The plan to challenge George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election was nixed by 9/11. John McCain was no stranger to disappointment and to interminable waiting.

* * *

The night of Tuesday, August 10, 2004, John McCain stayed up long after Cindy had gone to bed. He wept in the sitting room of their hotel suite. There was a tap at the door, and then the door from the hallway opened. Blade entered.

"You motherfucking cocksucker," John McCain hissed at his friend.

Blade sat down. "I know."

John McCain wiped his eyes and glared at him. "I've voted with this child president, just as you asked. I've publicly agreed with him on policy that makes me wanna puke. But to hug him?" McCain's voice rose, but he caught himself and clenched his jaw. "But to hug that spoiled fratboy douche-bag? You had to have me do that, too?"

"Yes. I'm sorry." Blade paused, pained. "If 2008 has any shot of working, we've got to lay the groundwork now."

"I know," John McCain said. "But I want to vomit when I think of how the image of me hugging that soulless, monstrous miscreant is going to proliferate. I'm going to be hammered with that until I'm dead."

"Yes," Blade said. "But your country needs you, John. If 2008 is going to work, we need this."

"I understand," John McCain sighed, resigned.

"Country first," Blade said.

"Country first," John McCain echoed.

* * *

In early March 2008, Blade made one of his late-night visits to John McCain. "John, you're going to like this about as much as you enjoyed The Hug."

John McCain seemed to smile and wince at the same time. "Hit me."

"We're hiring Karl Rove to work on your campaign."

John McCain barked laughter. "Of course we are." He shook his head. "Will anybody buy it? I mean, come on. Everybody's going to see through that. I want that cocksucker's head on a pike, not on my pay-roll."

"I know, John, but if this is going to work, we need Rove on board."

"Well, if we're going into the heart of darkness, we may as well go all the way. Why don't we hire that fucking schmuck Steve Schmidt while we're at it."

Blade offered a cockeyed smile. "That was my next bit of news—we already did."

John McCain laughed. "Nathan Hale might've lamented having only one life to give for his country, but I'm giving every layer of skin on the way to giving my life." He paused. "I'll go down in history as one of our country's biggest fools—and we've produced some beauts."

"It's what the country needs, John."

"I know. Country first."

Blade nodded. "Yes, country first."

* * *

Going into the Republican convention, John McCain summoned Blade to his suite one night after Cindy was asleep. "Give me this," John McCain said. "I've given you The Hug, I've hired Rove and his band of gutless mercenaries. I've mangled nearly every position I've ever held. Give me this."

"Well, we do have that hurricane working in our favor."

"I don't care what the cover story is. I will not share a stage with Bush and Cheney. It's not going to happen. We've got some wonderful conniving minds on the payroll, put them to work on this."

Blade did and managed to divert Dick Cheney from the Republican convention altogether, and to limit George W. Bush's presence to a televised speech.

Later, backstage, as John McCain listened to Fred Thompson's gushing speech, Blade brushed by his friend. John said, "You know how Kevin Costner was cast as the dead guy in The Big Chill, but was ultimately cut out of the movie?"

"Yes," Blade said.

"They should've cast Fred Thompson as the corpse. This guy makes Styrofoam look interesting in comparison."

Blade looked at Thompson at the podium. "Yeah. Fred's got his strengths. Nobody's figured out what they are, but I'm sure he's got his strengths."

"He's an organ-donor-buffet, and you know it," John McCain said. He and Blade laughed.

* * *

The night following his address at the Republican National Convention—accepting his party's nomination as its candidate for president—John McCain stayed up late watching the news. At one point, a commentator spoke about the backdrop used during McCain's speech. Amid the lights and audience sounds, John McCain had paid no attention to the large video image cast against the screen behind him. The TV commentator pointed out that the image was of Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California and wondered if this was possibly a gaffe on the part of John McCain's staff—that they showed the image mistakenly believing it was Walter Reed Medical Center.

John McCain laughed and raised his glass of diet Fresca to the TV. "Cheers, Blade."

A figure stepped out of the shadows by the rest room. "Did I hear my name?"

John McCain whipped around in his chair, spilling his drink. Blade stepped into the lamp light. McCain relaxed. "Jesus, man, you scared the shit out of me."

"Sorry, but I wanted to be a fly on the wall when you heard about our flourish with the backdrop."

"You've got a flair for the absurd—I'll give you that."

"Glad you feel that way," Blade said as he sat down. "Because I've got another request."

John McCain grimaced. "Not another Hug."

"Yes, I'm sorry."

"What . . . ?" John McCain said, eyes shut, pained.

"Your running mate."

"Right, well Lieberman oughta piss off Rove and Co. pretty thoroughly."

"Oh, he would, but we have a better candidate in mind."


"Sarah Palin."

"Who the fuck is that?"

"She's governor of Alaska and by all accounts, she's George W. Bush in a skirt."

John McCain brought a hand up to his face. "You've gotta be kidding me."

"I'm afraid not."

"Will I have to hug her?"

Blade laughed. "No, it'll be strictly hands off. When you see her, though, you may regret that rule."

"She's hot?"

"She looks good, sure, but what a basket of vipers hiding within that MILF ‘hockey mom' exterior!"

"Does she have experience?"

"None whatsoever."


"A handful of scandals brewing, and a teenaged daughter who's five months pregnant."

"So, the true tanking of my candidacy now begins."

"It's been happening for a while, but yeah, we definitely step it up with Sarah Palin." Blade slapped John McCain's knee. "Hey, you'll love this one graphic we've got ready for circulation on the Internet."


"We have a caption under one of her pictures that reads: ‘Finally, a beauty queen who doesn't want world peace.'"

John McCain laughed in spite of himself. "I like it."

* * *

Although John McCain had never in his life entered a campaign or competition to lose, he rationalized the annihilation of his candidacy on election day as a win for America. The presidency of George W. Bush had been so catastrophic, so far-reaching in its malignancy, so damaging to the country, it was nearly impossible to pinpoint any one policy or gross misstep that eclipsed the rest: Allowing the 9/11 attacks to occur, allowing Osama Bin Laden to escape in Tora Bora in the autumn of 2001, the anthrax attacks, the Iraq war, outing CIA agent Valerie Plame in retaliation for an op-ed her husband, Joe Wilson, wrote about "yellow cake uranium" from Niger, domestic spying, the Mission Accomplished debacle aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln—seeing W. in that flight suit was almost enough to make John McCain join the Anarchist Party of America—Abu Ghraib, hurricane Katrina and "You're doin' a heckuva job, Brownie!" The execrable list went on and on until the reasoned mind simply turned away from the unchecked, unmitigated outrage.

These were the things John McCain kept in mind the next day when he introduced Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

The final nails in the coffin of John McCain's candidacy came in the flood of op-eds, both in print and on television, proclaiming him to be a man who looked like he'd sold his soul; that he was running the most discreditable, unprincipled presidential campaign in American history. Even Karl Rove—soulless imp of soulless imps—said that some of John McCain's advertising didn't pass the truth test.

"I couldn't look at him," John McCain said, exhausted, the night following the first debate with Barak Obama. "I just couldn't look at him. I can't stand this!"

"I know," Blade said. "It's like one of our old missions—if you succeeded, nobody would ever hear about it. If it went badly, you got all the blame and hung-out to dry."

"But the polls," John McCain said. "How am I even in the running? The American people aren't stupid. What are they thinking? I thought Sarah Palin would have voters running away from me in droves—and here she's energizing the base! It doesn't make sense."

"You know the party," Blade said. "The leaders dictate, the followers follow. And by God, the followers will follow them right off of a cliff, if need be, all the while believing themselves to be the truest blue of patriots."

"That's not what this country fought in World War Two for," John McCain said, shaking his head. Then he chuckled. "I wonder if Limbaugh and his band of latrine-lickers are choking on my candidacy as much as I am?"

Blade laughed. "I'll bet he is, though that $400 million contract he signed may be some kind of consolation."

"Well, if I'm going to be hated, I may as well be hated by assholes." John McCain sipped his diet Fresca. "I guess we've got the age-old cover of ‘Who would ever believe this, anyhow?' don't we?"

Blade smiled: "John, you know, conspiracies don't happen in this country."

"Yeah, tell that the Martin Luther King and the Kennedy brothers."

"At least, your being crabby with the press is helpful to the cause."

"That's the only part that's not an act. I don't want to talk to anyone—don't want to see anyone. Jesus, to sit there taking questions from reporters about why my campaign's changed, and I've gotta say I don't know what they're talking about . . ." He trailed off.

"It'll soon be over."

"Yeah, but I keep worrying, ‘What if I win'?"

"Then you govern like you ought to govern. Prosecute Bush and Cheney. Jail the CEOs behind the financial crisis. Get this country the fuck out of Iraq."

"But if I win, that means Palin will be Number Two. You know as well as I do, that swaggering, ambitious cunt will bump me off before I'm finished my first bottle of Geritol as president."

"We've thought of that."


"Of course. We've always had to plan for the contingency of you winning. Don't you worry, a few of those investigations in Alaska will bear fruit and Palin will have to resign as vice president not long after your first hundred days."

"But that gives her a hundred days to garrote me."

"Don't worry, John, you've got people looking out for you. And you'll be happy to know something else," Blade said.

"What's that?"

"We're announcing that we're pulling out of Michigan—all but conceding it to Obama."

"I like it." John McCain paused. "I won't cut and run in Iraq, but I'll abandon Michigan. If that doesn't pull me out of the running, I don't know what will."

"You betcha!" Blade said like a cast member of the movie Fargo. He and John McCain shared a belly laugh.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Shem Mountainson: The Man Who Should've Been John McCain's Running Mate

As Brendan Gill said of someone, "He took what he could not help about himself, called it a principle, and congratulated himself on practicing it."

Being a conservative in America is like attending a Russian fashion show: whether the models don evening wear or swim wear, it's all just a gray smok. And no matter what you want out of life, conservatism precludes you from thinking about or questioning your party's choice of leaders or policies. For much of his campaign, John McCain was vilified and ridiculed by conservative commentators. Now that he's the Republican pick for president, he's known to walk on water and raise the dead. And can turn water into Diet Fresca. Rather than flaunting these powers newly attributed to him by conservatives, John McCain has merely chosen a pretty woman from Alaska as his running mate.

And Republicans have embraced her as their own!

When Sarah Palin couldn't name a single newspaper or magazine that she reads, conservatives trumpeted: "She's a free-thinker! She doesn't want to endorse any one newspaper or magazine!" When she claimed she had foreign policy experience because she could see Russia from her home, conservatives nodded and accepted that because, yeah, life is that easy -- that absurdity affirmed their quietly held belief that they, too, could fly an airplane without training because they'd seen one fly, or be a movie star because they'd watched a movie, or hit a home run because they'd seen a baseball game.

I wish we could go back in time to the night before Sarah Palin was tapped as the vice presidential candidate, when McCain awoke in bed and said to the aides surrounding him and Cindy, "Let's piss off Karl Rove and choose someone from Alaska as my running mate! A fucking woman!" I would go back to that moment, and have McCain choose, instead, Idaho alderman, Shem Mountainson; a cross between Ed Gein and George "The Animal" Steele. Shem's six foot five, weighs all of 400 lbs, chews tobacco, wears voluminous overalls, and trudges around in workboots clumped with pig shit. Shem -- who believes in "freedom" -- brews his own booze, pays taxes when he feels like it, and wins every argument -- political, religious and sports-related -- with his irrefutable rejoinder, "Shut yer stupid mouth!"

Revising Recent History

McCain chose Shem as his running mate, and soon after every conservative in the country was joyfully shouting, "Shut yer stupid mouth!", driving around in SUVs with bumper stickers that read McCain/Mountainson '08 "Shut yer stupid mouth!"

Shem was intoxicated during interviews with Charlie Gibson, Sean Inanity and Katie Couric. The New York Times published op-eds lamenting Shem's public drunkenness, his tobacco spitting and free use of profanity during the interviews, saying it showed a lack of respect for the campaign process, for the office he sought, as well as for the voting public. Glen Beck responded that evening, "Respect is for the dead. Let Shem be Shem!"

At the one-and-only vice presidential debate, Shem entered the stage wearing stained overalls, leading his pet goat by a rope leash, and trailed clumps of pig shit across the carpeting. Mid-way through the debate, as Shem inebriatedly explained that he possessed foreign policy experience because he could identify a globe as "the earth", he spontaneously vomited onto his podium. Debate moderator, John Roberts of CNN, didn't notice this, but left-wing bloggers certainly did. Shem continued with the debate, and by the time of the nightly news afterward, everyone was talking about what had come out of his mouth.

"How low can Shem go?" Keith Olbermann lamented. "Ridiculous!" cried The Huffington Post. "Did you check the tits on the hottie in row fifty-three?" wondered TMZ.

Republicans being a party of uniters, circled their conservative wagons around Shem. "What? You've never vomited?" Bill O'Reilly sneered during his Talking Points. "Elitists!" cried Rush Limbaugh. "Only elitists don't puke!" And from Anne Coulter, "I'm so conservative, I vomit after every meal."

In a speech the following day, Nancy Pelosi was seen wearing an outfit that was growing in popularity among Democrats -- a pair of overalls overtop of her pantsuit. Halfway through the speech, she went into a strangely contrived coughing fit. Later, conservative bloggers accused her of trying to vomit during her speech. Pelosi adamantly denied the charge, claiming offense that anyone would think her capable of such shameless pandering.

During an open air event, wearing an enormous pair of brand new overalls over top of his business suit, Ted Kennedy vomited copiously while making a case against the election of John McCain as president. One teary-eyed observer who identified herself as a life-long Kennedy-admirer said, "He's still got it in him!"

When John McCain was asked about his running mate bringing a goat onstage during the vice presidential debate, the Republican nominee replied, "What goat? There was no goat. That's a conspiracy theory floated by far left-wing bloggers and propagated by the corrupt and compliant maintream media!" He closed his eyes, regained control of himself and said, "I dispute the premise of your question that there was a goat there in the first place." When asked about his running mate appearing drunk during interviews, McCain growled testily, "When I was a prisoner of war in Hanoi for five and a half years, I wished I had the opportunity to get drunk!" There was a lengthy pause as reporters sought to understand what McCain was talking about. When asked about his running mate vomitting on his podium during the vice presidential debate, McCain abruptly left the room.

President McCain

After winning the election, John McCain celebrated at his victory speech by feigning a heart attack. There was a moment of "ooh"s and "ahh"s throughout the ballroom, but all turned to joyous laughter when the new president straightened up, smiling, and approached the microphone. There were hoots and hollers. McCain gave a thumbs-up and bellowed, "Shut yer stupid mouths!" The applause redoubled.

But scandal followed Shem Mountainson into the vice presidency when The Smoking Gun published photographs of him making out with his seventeen year old daughter. Tucker Carlson, Marv Albert and Bill O'Reilly leapt to his defense, but for a day there were even conservatives tsk tsking Shem's behavior. When it was revealed that he was making out with his seventeen year old step daughter, The Drudge Report posted an unflattering photograph of Camile Paglia on its home page with the heading: "Ya Burn!"

One of the first declarations John McCain made as president was that the nation's economy was "as strong as Henry Paulson's voice," and lustrous as his hairline. The markets reacted negatively, but with the inauguration over with, and George W. Bush and Dick Cheney having long ago cashed out their chips in the $700 billion bail-out of Wall Street, who gave a shit? No one. Dennis Miller proclaimed John McCain "America's funniest president."

Breaking with the convention of pardoning criminals upon departing from office, John McCain jailed David Letterman upon entering office. Letterman was placed in gen-pop at New Jersey's Rahway prison wearing a dress and make-up and a sign that read, "Ugly girl." When asked about this complete break with tradition, and about the violation of Mr. Letterman's rights, McCain Administration spokesman, Toby Keith, looked squarely into the press pool TV camera and drawled, "Shut yer stupid mouth!"

John McCain's appointees

After the death of Chief Justice John Roberts in a waterskiing accident, Judge Judy was made Chief Justice. John McCain attempted to pardon Chief Justice John Roberts, but it had to be explained to him that he could only pardon crimes, not actual physical death.

Ken Lay was made Treasury Secretary after he revealed that he had faked his death in order to avoid prosecution in the Enron scandal. John McCain quickly pardoned him and then gave him an awkward hug.

Penn and Teller were made Attorney and General for their many years of conservative devotion. Their first act upon taking the post was to make the Constitution and Bill of Rights actually disappear. For once in their careers, they did not reveal how the trick was done.

Bill O'Reilly was made Information Czar and given the chairmanship of the F.C.C.

Rush Limbaugh was made the Archbishop of Canterbury.

And blogger Andrew Sullivan was welcomed back into the conservative fold and appointed as President McCain's liaison to the gay community and made Secretary of Indian Affairs.

As a parting gift to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condeleeza Rice, Alberto Gonzales and, of course, Karl Rove, President McCain sent them on an all-expenses-paid trip to Camp David. There, an air-raid siren screamed in the middle of the first night and the group was whisked into the site's lead-lined bomb shelter -- and then the entire complex was filled with cement.

* * *

The question must be asked: What's wrong with conservatives? They're on a sinking ship but only think, "Jeez, the water's getting closer. I can see my reflection even bett--"