Saturday, November 24, 2007

Caucus Sucker

DeerTick, East Carolina. The E. Howard Hunt Convention Center and Jai-Alai Courts. 0900 hrs.
I couldn't believe I was really here. For a small-town hard-case like me to be hanging out in downtown Deer Tick--our state capitol and chief beef-jerky exporter--was one thing; to be attending our Republican caucus and helping to pick our Presidential nominee was the thrill of a lifetime.
Welcome Reactionaries, the banner hung across the hanger-sized hall proclaimed. As huge as the words were, they were almost lost in the sea of American and Confederate flags that symbolized our conservative virtues--loving your country, and sentimentally glorifying a genocidal racist past. This was my kind of convention.
I had already noticed some hot Republican chicks checking out my camo tuxedo. The ballot box might not be the only thing getting stuffed tonight, I thought, winking at a redhead over my complimentary virgin martini. She winked back. This was truly the best day of my life, and I'd only gotten here by sheer luck.

Fort Braggart, East Carolina. The McFab compound. Three days before the convention.
I rushed to answer the phone before it quit ringing, struggling to pull up my pants and hide my Mike Huckabee calendar at the same time. I tossed the calendar under my bed and got to the phone on the sixth ring.
"I can't believe it's not butter consumer hot line," I answered.
"Um...Randy McFab please?"
"Maybe. Depends on who's calling." I never give away my identity without good reason--a mercenary is always aware of operational security.
"You don't know me, but--"
"That's good enough for me. This is Randy McFab."
"Well, yes sir. I'm calling on behalf of the East Carolina Armed Republicans."
Ah, ECAR. I'd been a member since Hector was a pup, whatever the hell that means.
"Continue," I said. "This line is secure."
"I'm happy to tell you that you have been selected to represent Parish County at the East Carolina Republican Presidential Caucus, Mr. McFab."
"I--what? Why?" I couldn't believe it. All my hard work, all the times I stood up for what was right by 1950's standards--had it finally paid off? It had.
"Yes, Mr. McFab. We chose from among all the people in the county who still support George Bush...And you were that person. We'll be happy to cover your expenses, and we're sure you'll support whichever candidate is most dangerously out of touch with the majority of Americans."
"You bet I will," I said. "Semper fuckin' Fi."
I started packing immediately.

DeerTick, East Carolina. The E. Howard Hunt Convention Center and Jai-Alai Courts. 1100 hrs.
I had been mixing and mingling, sharing my political views with my fellow patriots and getting high on virgin drinks and second-hand cigarette smoke, when an important-looking fellow in a Brooks Brothers suit thrust a microphone in my face. A younger, more casually dressed man behind him pointed a video camera in my direction.
"Welcome to the caucus," Brooks Brothers said. "What issues are most important to you?"
Holy Shit. I recognized him. Brooks Brothers was none other than Guy Testoral, the weatherman for the local Fox affiliate. He never predicted sunshine, because sunshine is for liberals and pansies.
"Well, Mr. Testoral, I--" Strange. My voice was echoing throughout the convention center. I glanced up and saw that our interaction was being displayed on the huge video screens that adorned each wall of the building. They had been interviewing random attendees, but I never expected I would be one of them. This was no time for stage fright, so I put on my game face and answered like a pro. "You're really cool, Mr. Testoral. I...Hello everyone."
"Very good sir. But tell us about your views," Testoral said.
"Well...I'm a simple man," I said, and everyone applauded at that. "I know that you don't need no book learnin' to plow a straight line or govern a nation." The applause was louder. "I am against terrorists, especially when they attack America." The response was deafening, and I was shocked to see that the thousands of people present stood rapt, watching me on the screen.
"I can see you're a man who has thought out his positions," Testoral said. "Why don't you tell us your name."
"McFab," I said, speaking into the mic. "James...I mean, Randy McFab."
"McFab!" someone yelled from across the room.
"Mr. McFab," Testoral said, "what would you do if you were President?"
"I would free G. Gordon Liddy, sir."
"He, uh, he's been free for years."
"Then I'd free him again!" The place erupted in cheers. Damn, this could get addictive.
"And what should be done about Iraq?" Testoral asked.
"Kill 'em all," I said, "and let Reagan--i.e. God--sort 'em out!"
Someone else shouted McFab! and it became a chant. McFab! McFab! McFab!
"Quiet, please," Testoral implored the crowd. "What about health care, Mr. McFab? Which candidate has the answer?"
"None of 'em. If people without insurance are unhappy with their health care, they should complain to their doctors. And as for gun control..."
Guns! Guns! Guns! the crowd yelled.
"As for gun control, " I continued, "gun control just means staying on target when you're emptying a clip into a Puerto Rican who's trying to steal your bike." More applause. "Not that a real man would exercise or ride a bike, " I added, and the shouts and applause went on for nearly a minute.
When it finally died down, Testoral asked me one more question. "What about the majority of Americans who don't agree with our small-town, uneducated beliefs? What place do they have in a democracy that doesn't actually count a majority?"
"Mr. Testoral...It only takes three people to make a majority. God, guns, and guts. And two of those ain't even people."
The convention center got louder than the end zone stands at a Georgia Bulldogs game.
McFab! McFab! McFab! McFab! McFab!
Testoral thanked me and I headed towards the bar for a virgin scotch on the rocks.

DeerTick, East Carolina. The E. Howard Hunt Convention Center and Jai-Alai Courts. 2000 hrs.
Wow. Since my interview, I'd been congratulated by hundreds of people, even people with jobs who normally don't talk to me. I had four or five fat, ugly chicks to choose from for tonight's entertainment, and some of them were only fat or ugly--not both. I was on top of the world, and the virgin boilermakers I'd been drinking only added to my elation.
"McFab?" It was Testoral. "I need to speak to you in private."
I discarded my O'Douls and followed him through a door and into a smoky room.
It was dark and, as I said, smoky. Seven or eight men sat around a table, looking very serious and smoking even more seriously.
"So...McFab." He was at the head of the table, and was fat enough to be the obvious leader.
"Yes sir. Randy McFab." I stood at parade rest, just like I'd been taught from books and movies about the Marine Corps.
"The people love you, McFab," he said. "Do you know that?"
"Love is an emotion common to liberals and hippies," I said.
"And that," he said, pounding the table, "is why we want you!"
"Want me? " I didn't get it. "What, you need someone killed? I should tell you I charge seven bucks an hour plus expenses, and I expect a back rub and--"
"No, no," he laughed. "Maybe you don't know me. I'm Boss Balltoucher," he said. "Don't ask how I got the nickname, it's a long story. The fact is, McFab..." He paused to cough violently and light another cigarette. "I've been running the Republican party here since Hector was a pup. Who the the hell is Hector? I don't know either. The point is, the people here love you, and I know a candidate when I see one. We want to nominate you as our...Well, nominee."
Heads nodded around the table.
"Nominee for what?" I asked. "I don't understand."
"For President," Balltoucher said. "For President of the United States."
My head swam. This was way beyond even my most extravagant dreams, the ones involving Ann Coulter and a loofah.
"I don't know what to say," I said. "Except that...Yes, I should clearly be President of the United States."
"Very gut." The voice sounded foreign, and it came from a small, skinny man at the table. "There is only one thing we require, Mr. McVab," he continued. "We require..."
Boss Balltoucher interrupted. "This is Dr. Heinrich Tang, Randy," he said, indicating the little man. "He worked for the East German family planning police. Until being fired."
"Um, hello doctor."
"Ja," doctor Tang said. "I was let go for...How do you say? Breakfast fetus? Anyway..." The doctor pushed himself back from the table, and I saw he was in a wheel chair. "I am quite certain, Herr McFab...I am quite certain you are electable...Unlike the serial adulterer Giuliani, or the Baptist Huckabee who thinks man lived with dinosaurs, or the stinking, filthy MORMON!" He screamed the last word, and shook violently for a few seconds before composing himself. "And as for that McCain," he continued, catching his breath. "Herr McCain got captured, didn't he? The wehrmacht does not get captured!"
"I agree, I guess," I said. "But as for what you require, I'm not sure what you mean."
"Yes!" Balltoucher took over again, and pulled down a world map from an overhead display. "This is the world, McFab," he said. "And as you can see the weather sucks."
There were indeed little sad faces over various countries.
"What we need," Balltoucher continued, "is a candidate who will listen to real science--scientists like Doctor Tang here--and realize global warming is a good thing!"
"Sehr gut," Doctor Tang added.
"But--global warming isn't real," I said. "It's a liberal lie."
"We all thought that," Balltoucher said. "Doctor Tang?"
"Ja." Tang wheeled himself towards the world map. "This is antarctica," he said, pointing towards the map. "The ice there is melting. Also here, in the nord pole. The warming is real, and even my research has failed to prove otherwise. Though I tried. Oh mein Gott I tried!"
"It's okay, doctor," Boss Balltoucher said, patting the German's shoulder. "His guilt crippled him," Balltoucher whispered towards me.
"So..." I didn't know what else to say.
"So, Mr. McFab," Balltoucher said, "we need a candidate who will say this is all for the good. Even the idiots out there now acknowledge that it's happening. We need someone who will say it's for the good, so we don't end up with a country full of sissies driving cars no bigger than what we need. So we don't end up turning off a light when we could leave it on for no reason. So we don't stop equating a large pickup truck with masculinity. So we stay American!"
"Ja," Doctor Tang said. "Weitzer zu American!"
"We can get you elected," Balltoucher said. "I mean, they have to count Florida."
I felt all my happiness drain out of me. The elation was gone, and even though I had been picked out to be special I knew the really special thing was to be right.
"You sicken me," I said. "All of you." I looked around the table to make sure they all knew they sickened me individually as well as as a group. "How can you be so blind?" I walked to the map and did some pointing of my own. "Alaska!" I shouted, thumping the map. "It's cold there! Russia!" I said, pointing to the southern hemisphere. "Cold there, too. Gentlemen," I said, leaning on the table, "there is no such thing as global warming, and anyone who thinks there is is a commie, a liberal, and probably much worse--a democrat!"
"But Randy," Balltoucher said, "the science--"
"The science? The science?" I got right up in his face. "Science is the liberal philosophy that claims gun deaths are caused by bullets; that murdering murderers doesn't solve the murder problem; that gay marriage isn't the reason my wife left me for a breakdancer! I spit on your science," I said, and spat on the coffee urn in the center of the table. "I'm not your candidate. If I'm running for anything, I'm running because I have warrants out for me. Not for this pack of lies."
I swept out of the room, pausing only to fill a cup of coffee from the urn and fill my pockets with a few of the Ba-Lack Obongo pins they had on the table.

Fort Braggart, East Carolina. The McFab compound. 0 900 hrs. The next day.
"So," Mama said, a good bit of breakfast in her mouth, "I heard they nominated you for President."
"Yeah, they did." I took a bite of deer sausage and washed it down with Zima. "But they weren't real conservatives, Mama. They were closet liberals."
"Well, I hate that you had a job and didn't take it, but..." She handed me the morning paper with a few items circled. "Burger King is hiring."