Note: As with most satire, the following is fiction. But it may provide a welcome break from G-7 chaos and White House dysfunction.
Transcripts of a secret meeting organized by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have recently surfaced that outline a shocking GOP plan to take total control of the government. The purpose of the meeting was to establish an agenda for 2019 and beyond. A reporter acquired the document from one of McConnell’s legislative assistants after a night of heavy drinking at a D.C. bar. Posing as a Russian agent, the fearless journalist promised the staffer that Russian cyber experts would use social media to sell the plan to the American public and hack voting systems throughout the U.S. to ensure huge Republican victories.
When asked for comments, McConnell called the story just another outrageous example of fabricated fake news. Attempts to contact the staffer fizzled and a rumor that he had been assigned to a remote EPA outpost near the Arctic Circle could not be confirmed. Fortunately, a friendly leaker — who observed the group from a hidden location behind the podium – provided some audio/visual “color” to the written dialogue.
McConnell started the meeting with a promise. He would immediately move to change the Senate rules to eliminate filibusters in 2019. This would enable Republicans to pass all legislation with a simple majority vote. Prospective Speaker of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) rose to offer support from his side of the Capitol. With an excited tone, he agreed to push through bills to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the 1965 Medicare amendments to the Social Security Act. Approving nods and smiles were seen throughout the room.
McConnell continued that his top priority was to replace at least two current justices on the Supreme Court with “cooperative” conservatives. He was sure Justice Anthony Kennedy could be encouraged to resign if we “sweeten his retirement” and that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wouldn’t hang on much longer at her advanced age. Then with a voice rising to a crescendo and totally out of character for the typically stone-faced Leader, McConnell almost shouted, “With the Supreme Court secured, THERE’S NO STOPPING US!” This plan was greeted with resounding cheers and a standing ovation by everyone in the room. Several became so emotional they passed out.
Discussion turned to a perennial enemy – the mainstream media. Various speakers agreed that years of GOP bashing and President Trump’s constant denigration had prepared the public to turn against the major publications and networks. Fox News’ Sean Hannity spoke up, suggesting a new Department of Public Information that he would be pleased to head. With the passage of laws giving this agency broad authority he pledged to approve regulations that would make sure all the news was “appropriately conservative”. He agreed to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to see how the media is controlled by the Kremlin. A loud “Hear, hear!” signaled unanimous approval.
The group then focused on a major security threat — guns. McCarthy worried that the number of guns in private hands might present a problem as the government transitioned from a democracy to an oligarchy. He warned that military styled assault rifles could be used to mount a popular insurgency. Authorities needed to know who had them and where they were. One attendee observed that due to National Rifle Association lobbying and GOP support, there were no government records to go by. Then one staffer provided a simple solution: “We already have the NRA membership list, don’t we? If we target this group we can confiscate 75 percent of all guns in the U.S., maybe more, and certainly most of the assault weapons.” This idea was enthusiastically supported by all attendees.
Concern was expressed about controlling powerful corporations, particularly those in Silicon Valley. This task was delegated to Rudy Giuliani — who was expected to replace Jeff Sessions as Attorney General — and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) slated to be appointed director of the FBI. Nunes just smiled and assured the group that there would be no problems after several CEOs are targeted with investigations. A billionaire corporate donor quickly jumped to his feet. “You mean progressive CEOs, don’t you?” Upon being assured of that, he sat down and continued writing checks to support the agenda.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who was the only female present, announced that her staff had been working on programs to replace the pubic education system with private charter schools where conservative ideology could be taught more effectively. She added that a committee was studying various brainwashing techniques to “re-educate” students. Attendees looked surprised that DeVos had actually come up with a good idea and applauded politely.
Lastly came a discussion of Trump’s title when the Constitution is amended. This was his major concern about going forward. Trump preferred Supreme Leader, Dear Leader or Brilliant Leader but the North Koreans had already used those. McConnell thought Trump would be satisfied with Exalted and Beloved Leader with a subtitle of Renowned Deal Maker. Further discussion of how to replace him with someone who could actually lead was tabled. It was decided to address this issue after the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation were released.
The reporter who broke this story couldn’t independently verify the authenticity of the transcripts or the comments by the leaker but observed: “It sure as hell sounds plausible to me.”
Put this out as news and its plausibility will be unquestioned.
Machiavelli in the Discourses on Livy—…republics with good laws allied to good arms can master necessity for a time, but historically, successful republic breeds failure, because in the end the republic is corrupted by wealth.
Both funny and scary at the same time. Thanks for a look into the future.