In a remote area of Utah, within the vast acreage of some private land, where visitors are most decidedly not welcomed and trespassers seem to disappear without a trace, there is a protuberance on the land too large to be considered a hill, and yet not large enough to be considered a mountain. If a geological formation could be called nondescript, this one was it.
Buried deep underneath this protuberance is the home, or shall we say the headquarters -- no, we shall say, the lair of the Shadowsmiths, a cadre of individuals determined to determine the future course of America.
They are called Shadowsmiths not because they operate best in the shadows, away not so much from critical eyes as from critical thinking, but because they are, literally, shadows. They are individuals who negate the light with their lack of substance.
The derivation of the "smith" part of their name can be debated. But I believe it is because they have a complete lack of nomenclature imagination.
For a number of years now the Shadowsmiths have had but one goal: to grab the levers of National Executive Power. Not so much because they want to control the military or defund PBS, but because they want their own kind appointed to the Supreme Court. They really like those black robes.
In 2002, in order to achieve their goal, they kidnapped one Willard Mitt Romney, who at the time was saving the Winter Olympics. They brainwashed him, surgically altered his visage, and sent him off on an impossible mission to find certain tablets of gold. But, most important, they used him as a template, a mold, so to speak, for a series of androids -- or as they called them, "romdroids" -- that could do their bidding.
The first romdroid they made was Romdroid Plutocrat, whose task it was to raise money. Then they made Romdroid Moderate, whose task it was to win the governorship of Massachusetts. They made a Romdroid Family Man, whose task it was to be a good husband and father. The later models were the Romdroid Conservative, whose task it was to deny the Romdroid Moderate; the Romdroid Far Right, whose task it was to win his party's 2012 presidential nomination; and, finally, the Romdroid Ryan, whose task it was to win the 2012 presidential race. But not without help, not alone.
Five days ago, deep in this shadow neither-hill-nor-mountain, the leader of the Shadowsmiths, known only as Bob (again -- no nomenclature imagination), went into the lowest depths of their lair, to the climate-controlled clean room where the romdroids not currently being used were stored in vacuum tubes. The first tube was, of course, empty because Romdroid Plutocrat was never not being used. The second tube was not empty. Bob punched in the appropriate code, a glass door slipped open with a whoosh, and Romdroid Moderate emerged.
"You know even an android gets stiff joints. Don't you think you could have let me out now and them for a little skiing or something?"
"I'm sorry, Romdroid Moderate, but we just haven't needed you lately."
"Well, that's appreciation for you. I came through in Massachusetts for you, didn't I? I worked well with those accursed Democrats, didn't I?"
"Yes, yes, you did a fine job. And now we expect you to do another fine job."
"We need you to debate the president."
"You mean John McCain."
"No, Barack Obama."
"You're kidding me, that--"
"Don't say it!"
"I was only going to say American of African heritage. I'm a moderate, remember? Well, I guess you better fill me in on the facts, give me all the specifics."
"No that's the last thing we want you to have. To win this debate all we need you to do is study a particular scene from the 1967 American film comedy, A Guide for the Married Man. Study it, memorize it, and take into your manufactured bosom.
"You're kidding me?"
"Shadows never kid, Romdroid Moderate."
So Romdroid Moderate sat down in front of a large flatscreen monitor and watched the scene wherein a housewife returns to her suburban paradise to find her husband having illicit sex with a beautiful woman in their marriage bed. The wife is, of course, shocked. The husband -- as if rehearsed -- calmly gets out of the bed, as does the paramour, and together they quietly, calmly get dressed and make the bed while the husband denies completely the accusations his wife was hurling at him. Eventually the paramour leaves, leaving not a trace of evidence behind, but leaving behind a stunned wife, her mouth now possibly permanently wide open in disbelief.
At first Romdroid Moderate did not get it. And then Bob whispered in his ear, "For you, illicit sex is a $5 trillion tax cut." "Ah!" Romdroid Moderate quietly exclaimed. "And look at the wife," Bob said. "Look at her confusion, look at her doubting herself, look at her question her own sanity. If you deny the fact and substance of your $5 trillion tax cut, always with a smile on your face and a song in your heart, President Obama will react in exactly the same way."
And that is how Romdroid Moderate won the first presidential debate of 2012.