My 2006 Jack O'Lanterns. Spooky, eh?
[Today's column is in two parts -- one frightful tale for each side of the aisle.]
Nightmare on Democrat Street
The votes are cast, and carefully counted.
Democrats make gains in the House, but (unfortunately) not enough to gain control. Voters in districts served by Diebold voting machines show a strange pattern of voting for Republican candidates in overwhelming numbers, but Democratic complaints are dismissed as "mere whining" by Republicans, and the mainstream media soon tires of the story.
Ken Mehlman defends the accuracy of the vote, saying, "San Francisco was kind of a surprise, voting out Nancy Pelosi and overwhelmingly going for write-in candidate Pat Robertson, but the will of the voters must be respected." He also points out that some districts served by Sequoia voting machines actually voted strongly for seceding from the United States and joining Venezuela, asking, "Why aren't Democrats questioning those results?"
But Democrats still have something to be ecstatic about -- because they've taken control of the Senate: 51-49. Rejoicing is heard across Blue State America!
[CUE: exterior haunted-house style black-and-white shot of the Capitol.]
Of course, the true makeup of the Senate is 49-2-49, since there are now two Independent senators -- Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and...
[CUE: loud and ominous organ chord.]
...Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (Sorry, netroots, but this time he really did have "Joementum"). But since both have sworn to caucus with the Democrats, the result is a 51-49 split.
Before Democrats can relax and enjoy their victory, however, the Baker-Hamilton report on Iraq is released. President Bush (now fighting for political relevancy) does the unthinkable and demands Donald Rumsfeld's resignation. Democrats celebrate once again, as they see their view of the Iraq fiasco completely vindicated.
[CUE: same shot of Capitol, with lightning flash and thunder roll.]
...Bush surprises everyone by announcing the appointment of Joe Lieberman as Secretary of Defense. The public views it as a historic "reaching across the aisle," and Bush's approval numbers climb above 50% once again. Lieberman, of course, accepts.
Since Lieberman was just elected senator, this causes a sudden vacancy. The Republican governor of Connecticut gets to name a replacement to Lieberman's Senate seat, and -- unsurprisingly -- selects a Republican.
This shifts the balance of the Senate back to 50-50, meaning Vice President Cheney casts the deciding vote, and...
[CUE: dark closeup of desk with plaque reading "Karl Rove;" sound of insanely evil laughter, followed by minor-key dirge-like organ music.]
...the Republicans retain control of the Senate!
My 2004 Jack O'Lantern. Haunting!
Nightmare on Republican Street
The votes are cast, and carefully counted.
Democrats wake up the day after the election in control of both houses of Congress. Nancy Pelosi becomes the first female Speaker of the House.
[I really should just stop here -- as that alone is horrifying enough for the GOP!]
House committees begin rigorous investigations of how we got into Iraq, and what has happened there since. KBR executives are put to the question using our new all-American "rigorous questioning" techniques (personally approved by the Vice President's office, and -- of course -- not to be considered "torture").
Massive corruption is uncovered, reaching all the way to the top. Massive war profiteering is exposed. The filth is so blatant and repulsive that even Republicans are shamed and embarrassed by it.
To show they are not connected with the scandal (and grasping at any straw which could get them re-elected), some Republicans call for impeachment. Speaker Pelosi reluctantly agrees (taking time out from her hectic schedule of passing laws to: mandate forced gay marriage for any single male over the age of 30; introduce sex-ed classes in kindergarten, complete with free condoms; and guarantee Social Security benefits to all illegal aliens, including Osama Bin Laden -- should he decide to move here), and backs down on her pre-election promise not to hold impeachment hearings.
Michael Moore is named Special Prosecutor, and holds his own investigation of Bush and Cheney. Eliot Spitzer serves as legal advisor.
[CUE: dimly-lit shot of Moore and Spitzer (with brandy and cigars) laughing maniacally, with flames of Hell in background.]
Their findings are turned over to the House, and it becomes obvious to the public that the whole thing is a gigantic conspiracy between Bush, Cheney, and Halliburton. Cheney's name is added to the Articles of Impeachment, which are passed overwhelmingly in the House.
The Senate holds a trial, and then promptly votes 70-30 to remove Bush and Cheney from office at the same time. They are subsequently frogmarched out of the White House in handcuffs, and handed over to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where they face war crimes trials.
Since both are removed simultaneously, there is no one left to appoint their successors. This means...
[CUE: sound of terrified shrieking woman, and spooky chains clanking.]
...Nancy Pelosi (being third in the line of succession) becomes President Pelosi for the next two years!
[Happy Hallowe'en to all! This week's column is a day early due to the holiday timing. Next week I'll be early as well, with some pre-election fun.]