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“Roll over, Nostradamus, and tell Miss Cleo the news…”

By David Podvin

The presidential campaign is going to be emotionally grueling, with many harrowing twists and turns. It will be especially taxing on MakeThemAccountable’s millions (and millions) of conservative fans who depend on this site as an essential component of a comprehensive program to regain their mental health. In order to lessen the anxiety of our recuperating devotees on the Dark Side, we now present an instant preplay, which reveals in advance all of the major political events that are going to occur.

One cautionary note: reading this column will be like skipping to the end of a book. If any of our readers enjoy experiencing the suspense of a political campaign and do not wish to know the outcome beforehand, please stop reading immediately. In the case of our conservative friends, of course, that means asking whoever is reading to you to stop immediately:

9/19/03 As the Gallup Poll reveals that the approval rating of George W. Bush has fallen below fifty percent for the first time since 9/11/01, Americans are horrified to learn of yet another (entirely coincidental) terrorist assault on our country. Tragedy is narrowly averted when a masked commando at the Lincoln Memorial is stripped of explosive devices by heroic members of EarthFirst! The obviously distraught man escapes capture and disappears into an armored limousine while insanely babbling, “Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher!”

11/16/03 The flagging candidacy of Joe Lieberman is given a huge boost when he is endorsed by newly elected California Governor Jean-Claude van Damme, who earlier in the week finished first in the balloting to recall unpopular incumbent Arnold Schwarzenegger. The momentum proves to be short lived when, right in the middle of announcing the endorsement, van Damme is recalled and replaced by voters with Tom Laughlin of “Billy Jack” fame.

12/25//03 Pat Robertson honors the birth of Christ by announcing, “I speak for Almighty God in decreeing that Americans must vote for Bush”. Later in the day, the evangelist inexplicably suffers a series of bizarre mishaps when he is repeatedly struck by lightning, attacked by swarms of locusts, and pelted by a torrential downpour of frogs.

1/3/04 The Washington Post’s Ceci Connelly again accuses Howard Dean of being “brusque”. A defiant Dean questions whether Connelly even knows the meaning of the word “brusque”. Connelly deftly counters “brusque” is the word Karl Rove always underlines in his directives about Dean to the Post staff, and that she thinks it has something to do with soup, “you know, like lobster brusque”.

1/13/04 Al Sharpton wins the primary in the District of Columbia, but his long shot candidacy suffers a fatal blow when (irony of ironies) he is falsely accused of sexual misconduct by Tawana Brawley.

1/17/04 John McCain enters the Iowa Republican caucuses, but he is quickly assailed by the Religious Right for his asinine contention that the Earth is not flat.  McCain wins the support of the moderate, rational wing of the GOP, which propels him to a lofty approval rating of three percent among the rank and file.

2/3/04 Over a two week period, Dean wins in Iowa, New Hampshire, Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, while finishing a close second to Lieberman in South Carolina. Kerry, Edwards, Graham, and Gephardt drop out. Surveying the political landscape, Tim Russert declares, “Looks like the wheels have fallen off the Dean bandwagon.”

2/24/04 After getting shellacked by Dean in Michigan, Washington State, Maine, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Idaho, Lieberman wins a nail biter in Utah. The covers of both Time and Newsweek feature doctored photos of Dean lying in a coffin under the caption “Elvis May Be Alive, But This Guy’s Campaign Isn’t!”

2/27/04 In a last ditch effort to stop Dean, the Democratic National Committee attempts to amend the party bylaws. The new rules would automatically disqualify any candidate who actively opposes the Republican agenda. The motion is narrowly defeated despite an impassioned plea from Russ Feingold, who warns that a big victory in November would leave Democrats like him with “no choice but to capitulate from a position of strength”.

3/3/04 Lights out. Dean wins California, New York, Ohio, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Lieberman withdraws, releasing his delegates to support Bush. Al From vows a floor fight on Dubya’s behalf, saying that centrist Democrats just feel so much more comfortable supporting a nominee who – like themselves – isn’t very bright.

6/8/04 Dean wins the final primaries of Montana and New Jersey, but a $50 million nationwide Bush advertising blitz is beginning to take its toll. According to Zogby, most independent voters are now convinced Dean is the guy on that videotape who threw a brick at Reginald Denny’s head.

7/19/04 Just as Dean is scheduled to announce that General Wesley Clark will be his running mate, Matt Drudge steals the spotlight by confirming that it was, in fact, Wesley Clark who killed Vince Foster.

7/26/04 Dean accepts the Democratic nomination for president, promising that his administration will govern on behalf of the average citizen rather than the wealthy elite. When he finishes, the wealthy elite provides viewers with an objective critique of his performance. George Will asserts that both he and his invisible friend Colonel Popcorn have concluded Dean is too far out of touch with reality to effectively govern the nation. Tony Snow and Mara Liasson have a fair and balanced debate regarding whether Dean is crazier than he is evil. Lisa Myers observes that Dean always seems to be wearing two socks, one on each foot, just like Hitler. Guest commentator Robert Reich states that a short guy like Dean is totally unfit for public service. All of the talking heads on all of the networks agree that the speech was an unmitigated disaster and, now that Americans have finally gotten a good look at Howard Dean, they will definitely hate his guts.

7/27/04 The Pew Research Poll shows that, for the first time in the campaign, Dean has surged ahead of Bush.

8/12/04 Reform Party nominee Donald Trump begins to siphon votes away from Bush’s conservative base. Trump proves to be especially popular among the country club set after he unveils his innovative “Soylent Red, White, And Blue” proposal. The plan encourages upper income Americans to satisfy their federal tax obligations by eating poor people, thereby reducing the need for wasteful government expenditures on housing, food, pediatric medicine, and other socialist nonsense.

9/2/04 Bush accepts the Republican nomination, but he is forced to ad lib when the teleprompter breaks down. Trooper that he is, Bush sallies forth, speaking from the heart. He vows to “leave no corporate contributor behind”. Mark Shields praises his candor. Bush promises to improve the health of the nation’s children by providing them with more dietary roughage in the form of chunks of asbestos in the drinking water. Fred Barnes admires the way in which Bush “thinks outside the box”. Bush pledges to wage war until General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman tell him they have made enough money. Bob Schieffer reminds viewers that even FDR never had the guts to say anything so bold. Bush is given a standing ovation by the adoring Republican throng when he concludes his remarks by promising to “lie and cheat as much as humanly possible to retain my ill-gotten power!” Hearing these poignant words, Brit Hume is literally moved to tears, and not fake Clintonian tears, but the real kind.

9/23/04 The first and, as it turns out, only presidential debate is held. Dean launches an all-out attack on the disastrous economic policies of the current administration. Bush replies that he adamantly opposes gay marriage. Dean condemns the imperialist Bush foreign policy. Bush responds that the thought of two men kissing makes him nauseous, although – as a real man – he is always ready to see a little lesbian action. Dean decries the irresponsible Bush environmental policies. Bush promises to never even acknowledge the existence of either Elton John or Nathan Lane. Impartial moderator Brian Williams of General Electric Cable News briefly interrupts the debate to opine that Dean is a “dangerous fag hag”. Afterwards, during the analytical phase of the broadcast, ABC’s G.W. Junior (née George Stephanopoulis) wonders aloud how Democrats could have nominated such a demagogic, hateful putz.

9/24/04 Overnight polls indicate Dean has gained nine points.

9/25/04 The Bush campaign announces that, due to urgent national security considerations, Dubya will be unable to attend the second debate, or any subsequent debate. Instead, he goes to Bob Jones University to participate in the 42nd Annual Non-Interracial Undergraduate Hootenanny. During a ceremony that overwhelms his supporters with nostalgia, Bush is presented the Lester Maddox Lifetime Achievement Award and receives a heartfelt endorsement from former Secretary of State (and former African American) Colin Powell.

9/27/04 The Southern Baptist Convention endorses Bush by citing his “demonstrable preference for superstition over science”.  Thus reassured, religious conservatives embrace the Republican nominee.

10/6/04 New Bush ads flood the airwaves with a nonstop assault on the extremism of the Democratic standard bearer. Suburban soccer moms are appalled to learn that Dean privately supports allowing illegal aliens to abduct pre-school children for use as fodder in ritualistic human sacrifices to Satan. The race tightens.

10/11/04 The national press trumpets the fact that Bush is now getting highly coveted endorsements from prominent Democrats like Patrick Caddell, Carrot Top, and that really hot blond from ABBA. Dean must content himself with being endorsed by tens of thousands of obscure scientists who are scared shitless that Bush is destroying the planet.

10/22/04 Bush has had a good three week period that featured no less than thirty-five front page stories in The New York Times about Dean’s poorly kept secret involving lycanthropy, or “werewolfism”. Now, Fox News reports that the wife of the Democrat is a pretentious, America-hating psycho bitch. Fox is later forced to retract its allegation and acknowledge that Dean has never even dated Peggy Noonan, much less married her.

10/26/04 The Bush comeback bid suffers a stunning reversal when Poppy gets drunk and admits to Inside Edition, “During the second term, there will be no more billion dollar goodies for the goddamn newspaper companies. My son has decided they’ve fed at the public trough long enough.” Next day’s headlines – The New York Times: “War And Recession Spell Doom For Bush”; Washington Post: “Bush Vietnam-Era Desertion Threatens Re-Election Bid”; Los Angeles Times: “California Energy Crisis Definitively Linked To Corrupt Bush Regime”; Chicago Tribune: “Bush’s Many Lies Obliterate His Foreign Policy Credibility”; Wall Street Journal: “Fuck Bush!”

10/27/04 The discovery of Poppy’s charred remains is overshadowed by an address from the Oval Office in which Bush The Younger proposes to stimulate the economy with massive retroactive tax rebates for industrial consumers of newsprint. Next day’s headlines - The New York Times: “War On Terrorism And Tax Cuts Insure Bush Second Term”; Washington Post: “Bush ‘Desertion’ Thwarted Viet Cong Capture Of Anchorage”; Los Angeles Times: “California Energy Crisis Proven To Be Urban Myth”; Chicago Tribune: “Bush Deftly Employs Pseudotruths to Keep America’s Enemies Guessing”; Wall Street Journal: “Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear Every Time Bush Comes Near?”

10/28/04 With Election Day approaching and his effort to be reappointed in jeopardy, Bush throws a Hail Mary and challenges Dean to appear with him on a “winner-takes-the-White-House” segment of Jeopardy! It becomes apparent that the old Karl Rove fix is in when the categories are “Potent Potables”, “Mangled English”, “Lengthy Afternoon Naps”, “Covertly Undermining the EPA”, “Stacking The Federal Courts With Klansmen”, and “Phony Crawford Cattle Ranches”. Bush loses anyway when, instead of phrasing his answers in the form of questions, he insists on screaming, “Yahtzee!”.  Dubya demands a mulligan, and the Supreme Court rules that recent precedent clearly demonstrates Republicans are entitled to a “do-over” any time they lose, so the campaign continues.

10/29/04 The Gallup Poll has Dean at 51%, Bush at 43%, and Trump at 4%, with the remaining 2% going to slender, healthy, and well nourished Jared Fogle from those Subway Sandwich commercials. Confronted with the imminent loss of the presidency, conservatives rally behind their man. Most notably, Bush gains the support of Tarzan, who lauds America’s current “law of the jungle” social policies.

10/30/04 Citing an imminent military threat to America, Bush declares war on North Korea. The Bush approval rating doubles.

10/31/04 Citing an unwillingness to help Bush politically, North Korea surrenders and applies for statehood. The Bush approval rating is cut in half.

11/1/04 Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge announces a “blood red alert”, a color code that indicates voting for Dean will result in terrorists slaughtering every man, woman, child, and puppy in America. Ominous explosions are heard along the Potomac, but the country is soon relieved to learn that it is just the sound of Ann Coulter killing herself. Juanita Broaddrick tearfully tells NBC News that, every day for the last sixteen years, Dean has beaten her in the head with a shovel. The Washington Times alleges that Dean is a transvestite who used to perform in Las Vegas under the name “Lola Falana”. Tracking polls show that Dean retains a safe lead. At the White House, the only audible sound is muffled sobbing emanating from the Coloring Book Room, which until 2001 was known as the “Presidential Library”.

11/2/04 Dean is elected president with fifty-five percent of the popular vote and 386 electoral votes.

11/13/04 Led by aides of imprisoned former House Whip Tom DeLay, Republicans riot in Miami-Dade County. They succeed in destroying all of the ballots cast by local blacks and Jews, which narrows Dean’s statewide lead over Bush to a precarious margin of 657,231 votes.

12/5/04 In a surprise 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court affirms that it is constitutional for a Democrat to win the presidency. The Republicans snatch defeat from the jaws of theft when Solicitor General Ted Olsen alienates the only member of the high court whom Bush appointed by referring to her as “Dudley Moore’s cheesecake costar in the movie ‘10’.”  Apoplectic over the outcome, Justice Scalia vows to begin writing opinions that are “even more insanely fascistic than my previous amoral rantings”. He then lapses into a vegetative state that renders him mentally unfit to do anything other than dispense psychiatric advice on the radio.

1/20/05 Howard Dean is inaugurated as the forty-fourth President of the United States. Seventeen minutes later - citing a civic obligation to preemptively thwart the numerous high crimes and misdemeanors that Dean is so obviously capable of committing - the House of Representatives votes to impeach the new president on a straight party line vote. The Senate then unanimously acquits Dean after Vice President Clark reminds conservatives “Guantanamo is still available for the incarceration of savages who seek to destroy democracy, if you catch my drift.”

On that reassuring note, dear conservative friends, we have concluded our journey into the future. Don’t you just love a happy ending?

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Last changed: December 13, 2009