The Tea Party folks are hitting the road again, with their signs proclaiming that President Obama has plans to turn the US into a socialist state, that he's putting together death squads to murder Grannies and dispatching black helicopters to abduct those who disagree with him.
This does indeed sound paranoid, but I have discovered there's some truth to it. Evidence of this comes in the transcript of a recent Obama cabinet meeting, leaked to this reporter by an anonymous source:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: OK everybody. We have a lot on our plate, so let's run through some items. First, there's the Granny Death Squads. Secretary Sebelius, how's that going?
SEBELIUS (HHS SECRETARY): Sir, we have purchased 500 car dealerships around the country that have gone out of business.
OBAMA: What will we do with those?
SEBELIUS: We could save money because all the dealerships have hydraulic lifts. Remember the old clunker Buicks and Pontiacs people turned in? We could drop them on the grannies, killing two birds with one stone.
OBAMA: So to speak.
SEBELIUS: Yes, Mr. President.
OBAMA: That sounds a little inhumane. Do we have a backup plan?
SEBELIUS: We could order up a batch of the stuff they use in shelters to put down crazy pit bulls.
OBAMA: Much better. Now, about education. Secretary Duncan, how are we proceeding with the re-education camps to make America's kids all socialists?
DUNCAN: (EDUCATION SECRETARY) We have a contract with the Children's Television Workshop for a new Muppet, Mao. He has red fur and when you wind him up, he warbles, 'Old McDonald had a collective farm, E-I-E-I-O.' Oscar the grouch will complain that religion is the opium of the masses. Fidel Castro will sing with Miss Piggy. Gay Teletubbies will carry purple purses.
OBAMA: What's socialist about that?
DUNCAN: Nothing, but they're really cute. And it will keep the gay rights groups happy until we repeal "Don't Ask, Don't tell."
OBAMA: How will we get parents to send their kids to our camps?
DUNCAN: Are you kidding, Mr. President? The camps are free for K through 6. Do you know how frazzled those parents are? They'd send their kids to free camps if they were run by space lizards.
HOLDER (ATTORNEY GENERAL): Mr. President?
OBAMA: Yes, Mr. Attorney General?
HOLDER: Did you see that congresswoman Michele Bachmann says the country is running out of rich people?
OBAMA: I did hear that, yes.
HOLDER: And she also said that the last time there was a Swine Flu outbreak was when another democrat, Jimmy Carter, was president.
OBAMA: Actually, it was under Gerald Ford.
HOLDER: Yes, but do you think she's on to us?
OBAMA: How could she know that we are slipping Swine Flu virus into the martinis at the national meeting of the Chamber of Commerce?
HOLDER: Only to those members who oppose our cap and trade energy bill.
GEITHNER (TREASURY SECRETARY): Mr. President!
OBAMA: Yes. Secretary Geithner. You seem upset.
GEITHNER: I don't think it's nice to kill rich people. Some of my best friends are rich people.
OBAMA: We aren't offing rich Democrats, Tim. Just Republicans. And the flu won't really kill them, just put them out of commission for a while.
GEITHNER: Well, that's different. But some Republicans are good guys. Like Hank Paulson.
OBAMA: Give me a list. But don't make it too long.
BENJAMIN (SURGEON GENERAL): Mr. President?
OBAMA: Yes, Dr. Benjamin?
BENJAMIN: I have an idea to keep the budget down. Since the secretary of HHS isn't going to use the gas guzzlers to kill grannies, maybe we can use them to transport pregnant 13-year-olds from their junior high school nurses' offices to abortion clinics.
OBAMA: Are they safe?
BENJAMIN: The clinics? Yes sir.
OBAMA: No, the cars.
BENJAMIN: Yeah, they're safe, they just use a lot of gas. But it's cheaper than ordering fleets of buses. And they'd draw less attention.
OBAMA: And we're not telling the kids' parents?
BENJAMIN: No. They'd get upset if they knew. Heck, these days you can hardly give a kid an aspirin without some crazy parent rushing in to sue the school district.
OBAMA: Now, Secretary Gates, how are we doing on procurement of the black helicopters?
GATES (DEFENSE SECRETARY): Do you mean the ones that will swoop down, grab members of the National Rifle Association and send them to be deprogrammed and turned into pacifists in Sweden?
GATES: Well, there is a snag.
OBAMA: What's that?
GATES: We tested the program out on Dick Cheney. He put down his rifle, but he's still shooting people in the face with Super Soakers. He got George Bush the other day and W was really teed off.
OBAMA: Back to the drawing board on that one, I guess.
GATES: Yes sir. We need the choppers for Afghanistan anyway.
OBAMA: OK people, I can see you are all working hard on the Obama agenda. That's it for now.
The cabinet members leave. President Obama gets up, strolls to the window in the oval office and looks out the window onto the Rose Garden. A big smile spreads across his face. He says, to no one in particular, "God, I love this job!"
Caryl Rivers is a professor of Journalism at Boston University and author of Selling Anxiety: How the News Media Scare Women.