[Disclaimer: This article is satire, or what we used to call "fake news" before actual fake news started poisoning the political discourse!]
“We were looking for this thing…” said Rep Nancy Pelosi, forgetting what a spine was called.
Democrats House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer were arrested for grave robbing, last night. Caught in the act, shovels in hand, the two were taken into custody, booked, then released on their own recognizance.
This reporter was able to interview them about the incident.
“What brought you to the graveyard?” I asked.
“We were looking for this thing,” Congresswoman Pelosi said. “What was it called, Chuck?” she asked, turning to Senator Schumer.
Senator Schumer looked puzzled, as if he was searching his memory for something but couldn’t quite remember what it was. “I don’t recall, now. It started with an S. A sp – sp – ” He started stuttering, not able to pronounce the word.
“A spine?” I volunteered.
Immediately, they both got this blank look on their faces, just like the androids in Westworld when they’re confronted with an anachronism.
“I’m sorry, what?” Congresswoman Pelosi asked, puzzled.
“Oh, yes, a sp – whatchamacallit,” said Senator Schumer. “I don’t know why I can’t remember that word. What did you say it was, again?”
“A spine. Backbone.”
They both nodded as if they knew what I meant, but they still looked confused.
“So you were looking for a spine,” I said, helping them along.
“Yes, we were told we needed one,” said Pelosi. “I’m still not sure why, but it seemed important to our constituents, so we went looking for one.”
“I tried to find one among the Senate Democrats,” Schumer said. “Everyone I talked to just looked at me puzzled, unsure what I was talking about. Well, almost everyone. Elizabeth Warren got snippy with me. Said if having a white nationalist, crazy man-child as President didn’t help me find mine, nothing would. She was no help at all.
“I even asked Marco Rubio, thinking he might know. People were saying he might have one after he asked Rex Tillerson one or two difficult questions. But he said, he didn’t really have one – Trump had taken his long ago.”
“I had a similar experience on the House side,” said Pelosi. “Not one of my Democrats knew a thing about…” Her voice trailed off. There was that lost android stare, again. “What did you say it was, again?”
“Spine,” I said.
“Yes, yes. Not a single Democrat seemed to have one. Maybe we don’t need one of these…” There was that blank stare, again.
“Yes, maybe we don’t need one. It’s best not to change anything, keep doing things the way Democrats always have done. That’s best. Just keep doing what we’ve always done. It’s working. Democrats now control a third of state legislatures, nearly a third of governorships, and we won the popular vote.
I’m a glass one-third full kind of person,” she added, smiling brightly.
“Yes, and don’t forget we control almost half the Senate,” Schumer added, smiling.
“Just in case, though, we kept looking for this thing everyone says we need. I crossed the aisle looking for one and asked Paul Ryan if he knew where I could find one,” Pelosi said, continuing her tale.
“He was very helpful. He told me I could find a Democrat’s spine in the same place I could find a left-handed smoke shifter and 500 feet of shore line. But I really didn’t have time to go to the beach. This is an emergency, after all.”
“It is,” added Schumer. “The most unqualified, divisive, bigoted President in history has taken office. Everyone says we’re going to need this… Whatchamacallit?”
“Spine,” I said, being helpful, again.
“Yes, this thing… We need it to stand tall against Trump and his message of hate. Unless it’s about infrastructure. Or taxes. Maybe defense, too. We might have to yield on climate change, some, and food stamps, too. But that’s politics,” Schumer said with a shrug.
“We wouldn’t want to be seen as obstructionists. That strategy got the Republicans nothing but the White House, the Senate, and the House. It just doesn’t work.”
Schumer looked at me conspiratorially at this point. He put his finger to his lips and said, “Don’t tell anyone, but we Democrats have a full-proof strategy: We yield on everything until they get it all. It will lull the Republicans into a false sense of security.”
“Then, maybe we’ll show some…”
“Spine,” I said.
“Yes, that thing. Maybe we’ll show some when Trump nominates a Supreme Court justice.”
“We’ll show him,” Pelosi said, cheering Schumer.
“Yes, I intend to ask at least one mean question and if I have to filibuster for five or ten minutes, you know I will.”
“You go, Chuck!” Pelosi said.
“Don’t forget trade. Trump wants to make some changes to NAFTA. We’ll probably have to yield on that, too.”
“Yes, trade, too! You’re right, Nancy. But we’re going to find something to fight him on. And for that we might need this…”
“Spine,” I said.
“Yes, that. We have to fight Trump, sort of, on at least one or two issues. At least until he starts tweeting. Oh, those tweets.” Schumer looked scared at this point; I decided to get them back to the original issue.
I decided to get them both back on track, trying to take their minds off the thought of terrifying tweets. “What took you to this particular grave?” I asked, checking my notes. “Why the grave of Lyndon Baines Johnson?”
“One of my constituents heard about our search for a…” Schumer paused, android blankness passing over his face, yet again.
“Yes. He was kind enough to send us both shovels and this letter.” Schumer produced the letter and started to read. “Dear Senator Chuck Schumer. The citizens of the United States have heard about your search for a spine. I’ve sent you and Nancy Pelosi each shovels. Also enclosed is a map with directions to LBJ’s grave. Use the shovels I have sent you to dig him up. While dead and rotting, LBJ’s corpse has more spine than the entire Democratic party.
Best of luck with your search. The United States is going to need it.”
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