[Cue: Rattling chains and spooky organ music, topped off with a terrifying high-pitched scream...]
Gather 'round, ghosts and goblins, for our annual Hallowe'en tales to turn your blood cold, whether you hail from the Left or the Right side of our metaphorical political divide. Those on the Right, I'll begin with the spine-tingling fact that "left" and "right" come from where folks sat after the French Revolution -- meaning when you say you're on the Right, it actually comes from France! We haven't checked, but this may technically mean you are speaking French when you use the term.
[Cue: Crashes of thunder, flashes of lightning, and groans and moans from the crypt...]
For those of you on the Left... well, you're still recovering from the 2010 midterms a year ago, so I see you're already properly shaking in your boots. Heh.
[Cue: Shrieking wind, Zombies gibbering: "Brains... must eat brains!", and lunatic-asylum-grade mad scientist laughter...]
Now that we're all in the mood, let's sit back and enjoy two horrifying Hallowe'en nightmares, stitched together from the corpses of insane thoughts in my own brain, cooked up in a big black cauldron just for you.
Nightmare On Democrat Street
Look... up on the Hill... it's a bird... it's a plane... it's... Supercommittee!
Three weeks into November, the Supercommittee announces it has come to a deal. The deal was written by Republicans, and its entire contents are 100 percent of what Republicans were fighting for, with the added bonus that there be a new federal law which states anyone who has ever acted, directed, or in any other way been part of making a Hollywood movie never be allowed to enter the state of Montana. Democratic Senator Max Baucus announces he will be providing the crucial seventh vote to pass it out of the Supercommittee and force both chambers of Congress to vote on it, up or down. This surprises exactly no one.
The details of the plan are released, but they later turn out to have been false. The plan passes both houses of Congress and is signed by the president before anyone realizes what is actually in it. The new law has several controversial features, such as saving 90 percent of future projected Medicare costs by the new "Adios Amigos!" program. Everyone initially thought this meant putting all illegal aliens (no matter what country they actually came from) onto buses and driving them down to the Mexican border, where they would be abandoned in the Sonoran Desert to fend for themselves. When the fine print is examined, however, it turns out to be a program to ship all American seniors down to Mexico, to save money. After all, if you aren't here, we don't care how much it costs if you get sick! The new alligator-filled moat (also a part of the "Adios Amigos!" program) prevents almost all who are dumped across the border from coming back, and medical costs plummet in America as a result.
The new law also solves the infrastructure problem, by the simple expedient of taxing the poor at a base rate of 75 percent of income. Anyone who makes less than $75,000 a year is deemed "poor" for the purposes of this program. Those who do not pay on time are rounded up and used as indentured servants until they work the debt off. Since there is no mathematical way to do so at the minimum wage they are paid, this amounts to a lifetime sentence of hard labor. Millions of Americans caught up in this program build the most astonishingly futuristic infrastructure imaginable, with flying cars and jetpacks for all -- for all who make enough money, that is. The first to be rounded up are all the "Occupy" protesters across the land, who are soon sweeping the parks they had been camping in, at gunpoint.
Herman Cain wins the Republican nomination for president, and before next year's election a law is passed (over President Obama's veto) which restricts voting rights to those not working off their unending debt to Uncle Sam. Next November, Cain wins in a landslide.
[Cue: Homer Simpson saying "D'oh!"]
Nightmare On Republican Street
In a surprise move, a vast majority of the Tea Party movements nationwide (those which aren't funded by Dick Armey, I should say) declares its support for the 99 Percent movement. This throws the Republican Party into chaos, as they are torn between doing what comes natural to them, and doing what the Tea Party demands -- two equal but opposing forces. In a panic, the Republicans on the Supercommittee agree to every one of the Democrats' demands, as long as they get to name the bill "The Tea Party's New Plan For America." Democrats, sensing victory, agree, and the plan passes unanimously out of the Supercommittee. The Senate immediately passes it, and the House sees fistfights on the floor between battling Republican factions before it, too, passes the bill. Obama signs it, saying "I don't care what it's called, this is a good bill!"
The Occupy movement finally decides freezing their asses off on a cold sidewalk isn't any fun and realizes their newfound political power doesn't stem from just occupying any one piece of ground, but rather occupying as many seats in Washington as possible. The possibility of taking over the Democratic Party is debated, but voted down by a nationwide online "General Assembly." The Democratic Party breathes an enormous sigh of relief. But this is short-lived, since the next move the General Assembly makes is to declare their own party -- the "99 Percent Party." They immediately draft Elizabeth Warren as their presidential candidate, with Howard Dean as her running mate.
The 99 Percent Party announces its platform, which is described as "Populism on steroids." Taxing income below the level of $100,000 will be abolished, and replaced instead with a new "99 Percent Tax" which will be applied to "politics." This means the costs of lobbying will double, with half the money going to the U.S. Treasury. Also taxed: political chat shows on television. The cable news industries loudly complain, but Americans are so sick of hearing people scream at each other about politics on television that nobody pays any attention to them. The national debt is quickly retired, due to the mountain of money this new tax brings in during the 2012 election.
In the presidential race itself, the Republicans surprise no one by nominating Mitt Romney. However, Romney surprises everyone in a candid interview with Cooper Anderson just after the Republican national convention next year. In the interview, Romney announces that if elected he'll be governing as the "Massachusetts Mitt," and that he really doesn't have any problem with gay people getting married -- in fact, he might be in favor of polygamy, as well.
Republican voters recoil in horror, and Mitt's standing in the polls evaporates overnight. Romney's claim that he was intoxicated by Anderson's powerful and enchanting presence, and that he was talking "crazy talk... just plain crazy talk" is ignored by all. The Tea Party deserts the Republican Party en masse, and announces it will be supporting the 99 Percent Party... or, perhaps, staying home on election day.
The White House is overjoyed at seeing Romney go down in flames, at least until they read the polls and realize that while Romney has fallen to 13 percent support, Obama has fallen to only 23 percent -- while Warren has surged to 59 percent. The election bears this out, and President Warren is elected in a landslide. She announces the "era of the consumer" has begun. The 99 Percenters also sweep Congress, giving her the power to make good on such a promise.
The remaining members of the Democratic Party vote to dissolve as a political party, and instead just join the 99 Percent Party. The Blue Dogs flee to the Republican Party, as the remaining Republicans continue to exist as a fringe party -- having precisely as much power in Washington as the Libertarian Party does now.
And the most chilling thing of all (for Republicans, that is)... after Warren reforms the American economy, it begins growing at an astonishing 7 percent annual growth. Full employment is soon reached, and the 99 Percent Party locks in their hold on Washington for generations to come.
[Cue: Sound of someone being violently (and messily) hacked to pieces, screaming horribly all the while...]
Have a happy Hallowe'en everyone!
Follow Chris Weigant on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ChrisWeigant