By Carla Norton, Guest Contributor
Writers' strike got you down? Me, too. So here's a little news parody for all you Jon Stewart fans:
"DISPATCH FROM 2012"
Good-evening from FXSF News. We have a ground-breaking report tonight from Future Correspondent Samantha Oh, who has time-traveled to the year 2012 to report exclusively to us on the next presidential race. Sam, hello, can you hear me?
Of course, John, you don't have to shout. (Our technology is sooo much better than yours.)
Great. So tell us, how's the 2012 presidential race shaping up?
Exciting news, John: the Republican candidate is apparently unstoppable.
Yes, current polls give Dick Cheney a 78 percent approval rating across both parties- that's right, both parties!-so he should easily take the Republican nomination and the presidency.
Dick Cheney? That's astonishing! What's behind Cheney's candidacy?
Simply put, the Grand Old Party has gone back to its roots, with emphasis on the "Grand." Rather than casting their agenda in dusty post-9/11 rhetoric, they're presenting a strong, clear message that everyone can support: "Money Means Might."
Catchy. But why is the GOP's message resonating so strongly with American voters?
Ironically, because President Edwards's anti-poverty initiative has been so successful, the poor have almost disappeared from the American landscape, and the GOP has capitalized on this by appealing to the wealthy, the extremely wealthy, and the truly filthy rich. That's virtually the whole country. Just imagine Edwards' support spilling, like the last drops of champagne, out of the bottle and into Cheney's crystal slipper.
But how did Cheney become the GOP frontrunner?
Given his brilliant reign as Vice-President, he's the heir-apparent for the Throne, I mean, the seat. Excuse me, we're still calling it the Presidential seat. But once Cheney is elected, it's a cinch to be renamed the "Presidential Throne"- a very popular plank of the Republican Platform.
But what has Cheney been doing since 2008?
Well, he's made oodles of money, something all Americans admire. And his brilliant book, Taking, has been on best-seller lists for months.
Wait, Cheney's book is called Taking? Is that in response to Bill Clinton's book, Giving?
Oh no, Clinton's book had limited appeal, with its emphasis on "loser philanthropy" (or "LP," as Cheney dubs it in his humorous and oft-quoted chapter 39), while Cheney's book is so wildly popular that it's being made into a video game, a musical, and a children's version, called Gimme!
I see. Any other reasons the 2012 race is shaping up so well for Cheney?
Yes, his campaign manager does a fabulous job of out-maneuvering the Democrats, stomping on their toes with her spike heels at every turn.
Spike heels? Who's his campaign manager?
Paris Hilton, of course. And she's really distinguished herself in the game. Ha! Little joke, there, referring to the hugely popular board game, "Cheney-opoly." Yes, her talent was recognized early on, with that very first bumper sticker: "Let Them Eat Oil!"
That brings up another question: What about Cheney's foreign policy platform?
Well, rather than trying to explain, explain, blah, blah, blah, Cheney's come out with a schedule for hostilities so we can predict which countries will be fighting at any given time-far simpler (and more profitable), than the tedious diplomacy undertaken by Secretary of State Joe Biden.
Scheduling hostilities? That seems complicated.
Oh, no. It's based on "Cheney-opoly." Anyone with the game can move their pieces around-the little oil wells, the fighter jets, the battalions-in step with actual events. Plus, there's the pleasure of raking in all those Halliburton-bucks!
But what happened to Clinton and Obama?
Who? Ha-ha, just kidding. Well, Michelle Obama has distinguished herself as vice-president-
What? Michelle Obama is V-P? What about Barack?
Well, he kept harping about his wife's brains and talent, so the Dems simply took him at his word and put Michelle Obama on the ticket.
But what about Hillary Clinton?
Oh, after that unsavory "S&M" video on YouTube, and then the Satan-worshipping exposé, plus the dog-fighting allegations. . . Well, she and Bill are living up in Canada. Not so bad, since the weather is so lovely up there now. And next week I'll be there to report on the Canadian border wall.
Don't you mean the Mexican border wall?
Oh no, the Homeland Security & Annexation Department has installed a free market zone across Mexico.
What? We've annexed Mexico?!
Yes, what a masterstroke by Homeland Security & Annexation Czar Bill Richardson. Instead of out-sourcing jobs to Asia, we just ship 'em south.
Well, Sam, thanks for that, uh, enlightening report from 2012. Any final words?
Just that my bill will be there yesterday. Please remit in Euros.
Happy New Year, wherever your time-travels take you! Carla Norton
Author note: Carla Norton is an author, journalist, futurologist and, now, satirist. Her articles have appeared in various publications and the Japanese edition of “Reader’s Digest” where she worked as an associate editor. She has also written two nonfiction books about notorious California crimes “Perfect Victim” (coauthored with Deputy District Attorney McGuire) that became a #1 New York Times paperback nonfiction best seller and “Disturbed Ground” a true account of the life and crimes of the Sacramento landlady who murdered her tenants and buried them in her garden.