Thanksgiving in Dystopia
Thanksgiving in Dystopia
President-elect Mitt Romney held his first post-election press conference today outside his palatial estate in La Jolla, California to discuss the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza, the results of the presidential election, and to lay out his plans for what he called the most ambitious "100 Days" blueprint in modern American history. At his side was his wife, Ann, who was resplendent in a $73,000 Gautier dress and a hat made from three live ocelots and the feathers of the last known Utah Godsblood Finch in existence.
Also present was Vice President-elect Paul Ryan, who handed out vouchers for a free turkey sandwich from the local YMCA cafeteria to the large assembly of reporters, all of whom were missing Thanksgiving with their families to be present at the press conference. When a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle grumbled about the meager offering on such an important holiday, Mr. Ryan replied, "That's the great thing about this country; it's a voucher, and you can choose not to use it. God bless America!"
President-elect Romney began the press conference with a short opening statement about the ongoing Middle East crisis. "Israel has no better friend in the world than the United States," he said, "and will have no better friend than President Romney when I am sworn in. What is happening in Israel is important to the security of Israel, and to the people of Israel, the Israelis, who are in Israel, as we all know. A proper resolution to this conflict is important to the security of the United States, as well. Gaza is, of course, Afghanistan's primary route to the sea, and given our war effort there, it is vital that we support our close ally Israel in this time of escalade crisis...I mean to say, escalating crisis."
"Sorry about that," he said, interrupting himself. "One of my sons wrecked our SUV last night, so Ann and I have been shopping for a new one, and 'Escalade' is probably the way we're going to go, so it's kind of stuck in my head."
The mention of his son brought a storm of questions from the assembled reporters about the legal status of Mr. Romney's eldest son, Tagg. The highly publicized election-night incident, in which Tagg Romney punched and kicked an African American reporter from the Associated Press who bore a vague resemblance to President Barack Obama while screaming, "You're the liar, darky! You're the liar, darky!" resulted in the soon-to-be First Son's arrest on assault, battery and hate crimes charges. Waving off the questions with a smile, Mr. Romney said, "Tagg is a good boy, and once Paul Wolfowitz is confirmed as my Attorney General, I am sure we will reach a just and equitable resolution of the matter." The reporter who was assaulted has not regained consciousness, and remains on life support.
The mention of Paul Wolfowitz as Mr. Romney's nominee for Attorney General brought another boisterous round of questions about his Cabinet choices, and about his plans for the first months of his administration. "I'm not one for giving details," the President-elect said, "but those rumors you've heard about John Bolton returning as our UN Ambassador can probably be called reliable." Pressed to give an indication on who will replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, given the current Mideast crisis, Mr. Romney said, "That woman has done very well. This election, however, was a referendum on President Obama's light-footed foreign policy in the Middle East. Returning to a proven, effective policy of heavy, of heaviness, of being heavy, of stepping heavily, I can confirm at this time that my good friend John McCain is receiving serious consideration for the post."
Asked about rumors of a return of Donald Rumsfeld to the post of Defense Secretary, and about unconfirmed reports that former Vice President Dick Cheney actually has the inside track on the job, the President-elect broke into a wide grin and replied, "No comment. Let them fight it out, and we'll see who's still standing."
Asked about his plans for the first 100 days of his administration, Mr. Romney said, "We have a number of policy initiatives that I intend to begin work on my first day in office. Obviously, the economy is job number one, so my first act in office will be to begin the repeal of Obamacare, which was a terrible idea to begin with, and which no reasonable person believes should have ever been implemented. I will deliver on my promise to create across-the-board tax cuts for the job-creators in America, so they can continue the patriotic work of trickling wealth down to everyone who wants to believe they'll ever actually be wealthy."
Pressed by a reporter from Truthout, an online alternative news source, about whether such policy initiatives - especially the tax breaks - amounted to nothing more than gifts to his wealthy supporters, Mr. Romney grew stern. Leveling a finger at his disheveled questioner, the President-elect said, "Young man, the President of the United States does not give 'gifts.' The president, if he is me, delivers on his promises to make this great country a great country for every American who makes this country great. You obviously have no idea what that means." Shortly after this exchange, the Truthout reporter was escorted off the property by five of Mr. Romney's personal security guards, one of whom was seen carrying a large burlap sack.
At the conclusion of the press conference, Mr. Romney and his wife wished the assembled reporters a happy Thanksgiving, and made their way up the lawn towards their door. When a heavy thrumming sound suddenly filled the air, one reporter called after the President-elect, asking what the noise was. "Oh, that?" Mr. Romney asked. "That's just the grandkids playing on the car elevator. They just love it." His wife Ann threw a dazzling smile over her shoulder at the reporter, the scarlet feathers in her hat rippling in the breeze. "Isn't life wonderful," she cried.
In other news, authorities are still searching for answers after a body in a burlap sack washed up on posh Sandansea Beach. Investigators have been unable to identify the victim, as the body was missing a face, every tooth, and all ten fingers. There are no forensics to speak of, as the ocean washed away any residual evidence. "Whoever he was, he must have really pissed someone off," said a source in the County Coroner's office who asked to remain anonymous. His comment was certainly due to the seventeen bullet holes found in the victim's skull. La Jolla residents who have any tips are asked to call the US Attorney General in February or March.
William Rivers Pitt is a Truthout editor and columnist. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: "War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know," "The Greatest Sedition Is Silence" and "House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation." He lives and works in Boston.