Before there was Avatar, before there was Star Wars, there was... Newt Gingrich!
My name is Newt Gingrich. I hail from the proud southern state of Georgia. I didn't actually fight on the side of the Confederacy, but I talk as if I did.
One night, after a particularly brutal drubbing at the polls -- damn you, Santorum! -- I drank myself senseless. The next morning I found myself magically transported to Mars -- or Barsoom, as the local inhabitants call it.
A beautiful alien princess was leaning over me. I could tell she was beautiful because she was mostly naked. I could tell she was alien because she had red skin; probably lazy and lacking a strong work ethic as well.
"I am Princess Dejah Thoris of Helium, stranger. Who are you?" She was communicating with me via some form of telepathy, which was good -- it meant I didn't have to bother learning her language of the ghetto, or teaching her my language of prosperity .
"I am Newt Gingrich, president of the United States," I lied. I figured Martians didn't follow Earth politics too closely, and a little resume padding couldn't hurt. "And I'm here to bring you backwards, primitive people enlightenment."
I took a few tentative steps towards her. I quickly discovered that, due to Mars' lower gravity, I could bound around like a jackrabbit on steroids. Which was a tremendous relief, given my tremendous girth.
I noticed Princess Dejah Thoris gazing at me admiringly. "Are all Earthmen endowed like you?"
"No," I replied. "Even on Earth I'm considered a god among men."
She looked dubious. "You resemble one of the great white apes who haunt the deserted cities of Barsoom, but... "
"Trust me, I am the epitome of masculine physiology." I slid my wedding ring off and slipped it into my pocket. I mean, what was the likelihood Princess Thoris and Callista would ever run into each other, am I right? They literally lived in two different worlds.
"Well just don't stand there looking beautiful, sweet cheeks," I said. I am nothing if not a man of action. "Take me to your leader."
"That is just the problem, Newt Gingrich, president of the United States," Princess Thoris pouted. "We have no leader. The city states of Helium and Zodanga have been at war for over a millennium. Neither side has the strength to overcome the other, so the war drags on and on."
"Sounds like the Republican primaries," I said, sensing an opening. "What are they fighting about?"
Princess Thoris stamped one shapely foot; she looked cute when she was angry. "The Zodanga savages believe there is an infinite amount of energy, water, and air, so they squander these precious things, whereas we Heliumians know Barsoom's natural resources are finite, and so we carefully husband them. If the Zodangans had their way, Barsoom would already be a dead, uninhabitable planet."
"The Zodangas are right," I said. "Global warming is a myth." I figured if she didn't know anything about Earth politics, she didn't know anything about me and Nancy Pelosi.
"But I am so close to inventing cheap, renewable energy! I just need a little more time... "
"That green energy stuff is a pipe dream, Princess. The solution is to drill, baby, drill!" I looked at her meaningfully, and she blushed an even deeper shade of red. Apparently double entendres worked telepathically as well. "The best thing you can do now is let me negotiate a peace settlement with the Zodangans -- and install me as regent of Helium."
Princess Thoris looked crestfallen, which was even cuter than angry. "Is there no other way, Newt Gingrich, president of the United States?"
I paused to consider. "You got any other political parties?"
"There are the Tharks," she said hesitantly. "Nine foot tall, four-armed, green nomads. But they are a barbaric, cruel, and ignorant people, interested only in fighting and plunder."
"Perfect! They sound just like the Tea Party! I'll use them as shock troops to squeeze the maximum concessions out of the Zodangans."
I was just about to tell Princess Thoris to conduct me to the nearest Thark encampment, when a bald weirdo in a kaftan suddenly appeared. "Newt Gingrich, president of the United States," he solemnly intoned, "I would have words with you."
Princess Thoris cowered fearfully behind me, which put a plank in my election platform. "Who the hell are you suppose to be? You look a little like Ron Paul, only with less hair."
"I am a Thurn!" the stranger said menacingly. "I am one of the secret priest kings of Barsoom who surreptitiously manipulate events behind the scenes for our own nefarious purposes."
"Sounds like a Super PAC," I said. "Okay, what do you want? I can offer you a percentage of the take in exchange for your backstage support."
"You misunderstand me," the Thurn said. "We wanted to invite you to join us. You sound like our kind of people."
We shook hands on it. Princess Thoris fell submissively at my feet. I knew Obama was shortsighted for canceling the Mars space program. "Oh, Newt Gingrich, president of the United States, is there nothing you cannot do? You are truly my Jeddak, my emperor! You have conquered my heart! Do with me what you will!"
"I certainly will," I said. "As long as I'm on Barsoom."
Follow Robert Brenner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/robert_brenner