Saturday, May 26, 2012

Puppet Show

A new take on an old fable:

Once upon a time in America, an aging woodworker named GOP-to (pronounced ‘Geo-peeto’) was lonely for companionship, anyone who would give him a feeling of relevance again.  GOP-to spent time in his creaky old Establishment creating wooden marionettes for public entertainment (you may recall his W-43 clown model), and one day he whittled himself a fine new wooden puppet.  He named his new puppet Mittens.

Mittens would do or say anything whenever the clever GOP-to pulled the strings.  Mittens would sway and dance in whatever direction the wind blew him.  Over a period of years, GOP-to learned to tolerate and almost accept Mittens as one of his own.  He would never love Mittens, but Mittens was all that poor GOP-to had left to carry on his legacy.

One night before falling asleep, GOP-to made a wish upon a star.  He wished that Mittens could be magically transformed into a real Leader.  During the night, the star, in the form of a Blue State Massachusetts Fairy, visited the GOP-to Establishment to grant his wish.  She made Mittens come alive, but not as a real Leader.  Mittens would walk and talk, but he was still only a puppet at heart.   The fairy told Mittens that if he wants to become a real Leader of flesh and blood he must prove himself to be brave, truthful and unselfish.  Mittens would have to learn to tell right from wrong by listening to his Conscience. 
Mittens did not understand what a Conscience was since none of GOP-to’s puppets had ever had one.  After all, GOP-to’s puppets had heads made of solid wood.  Never fear, said the Fairy.  She assigned Quinnipiac Polling to him as a Conscience so he could know how to think and how to act.  If Mittens could learn to obey his new Conscience, Quinnipiac, everything would be fine.

When GOP-to woke up from his 8 year slumber, he discovered that his wish had come true.  Mittens was alive, but not yet a real Leader.  He was still a puppet, which suited GOP-to just fine.  He was filled with restrained joy and resignation at his good fortune.   GOP-to put all of his other puppets into the closet for another 4 years, and placed his hopes and dreams in the marionette named Mittens.  

The next day, he sent Mittens off to school.  Mittens did not know how to interact with 99% of the people he would meet, and he did not know how to answer questions without GOP-to’s help.  This is one of the reasons that the naive Mittens was led astray by the conniving Tea Party Bandits, who convinced him to join Cable’s puppet show instead. Mittens became Cable's star attraction as a Magic Marionette, but when Mittens wanted to go home to Massachusetts…or Michigan…or Utah…for the night (though promising to come back in the morning), Cable locked Mittens in a birdcage built from his own previous statements and positions to prevent him from leaving or flip-flopping.

During the night, the Blue State Massachusetts Fairy came to ask why Mittens disobeyed GOP-to’s directions and did not stick to the script he was provided. Despite Quinnipiac 's urgings, Mittens tells an overblown story to hide his shame, but with each lie his unfavorables grew and grew until it was like the branch of a tree. The Blue State Massachusetts Fairy explained that "a lie will keep growing and growing, until it's as plain as the nose on your face." Mittens vowed to do better from now on and the Blue State Massachusetts Fairy changed his nose back to normal and set him free from his past position statements, warning that this will be the last time she would bail him out.

Unfortunately, on his way back to GOP-to's house, Mittens was once again led astray by Tea Party Bandits, who convince him that he was weak and in need of their help.  The only cure, they told him, was to go to Scorched Earth Island.  On his way he befriended Jim DeMint, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, three misbehaved and destructive Leaders.  Mittens and the other Leaders began to enjoy slash and burn politics, destructive ultimatums and intractable positions, much to Quinnipiac 's dismay. Then it was discovered the island harbors a terrible curse which turns Leaders into real Asses, who are then sold to work on the speaking circuit and in talk radio.  Eventually, his new friends on Scorched Earth Island were revealed to be complete Asses.  Mittens managed to escape as only a partial Ass.

Upon returning to GOP-to’s Establishment, Mittens found the workshop empty and learned (from a letter by the Blue State Massachusetts Fairy) that GOP-to, while venturing out to rescue Mittens from Scorched Earth Island, had been swallowed by a monster whale named SuperPAC.  SuperPAC had the power to eat and destroy anything in its path.  Determined to rescue his benefactor GOP-to, Mittens jumped into the fray.  However, Mittens was soon found and consumed by SuperPAC, where he was reunited with GOP-to inside the great beast. Mittens devised an escape plan by inventing his very own Sister Souljah Moment in order to make SuperPAC spit him out.
After SuperPAC's defeat, Quinnipiac reported that Mittens was dead in the water based on all available polling.  He would never become a real Leader.  At home, GOP-to mourned for Mittens, and in halting state-sanctioned prayers, begged for Mittens to be revived and reborn as a real Leader before November 6th.   


That’s all I can tell you.  You’ll have to watch the tale unfold yourself.  I don’t want to ruin the ending, but I can tell you that “brave, truthful and unselfish” is a pretty high bar for this particular puppet.

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