Satire

The Blame Game

Behind the scenes of the government shutdown.

“Okay,” Mitch McConnell cleared his throat in a dignified manner. Or, really, as dignified as one could be when they were sitting criss-cross-applesauce along with the other leaders of the Republican party. In the corner, their faithful leader and god-fearing President took his mid-afternoon nap. “The name of the game is simple. We find reasons to blame the Democrats for the shutdown. Most creative reasons win a new tax cut that benefits you directly.”

“Isn’t this shutdown good for us?” Eric Trump asked in between his teething exercises. “My dad is great! President Dad!”

“Only an idiot would say that out loud,” Lindsey Graham sneered.

“I’m using it,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, rapidly taking notes on her iPad. On either side of her, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson did the same.

“What about discussing how we’re going to get the government working again?” Jeff Flake asked. “Rather than just trying to blame the Democrats, I mean.”

“That would alienate half our base,” Paul Ryan pointed out. “Sure, we have reasonable Republicans who simply want tax laws that benefit them at the expense of our most in-need citizens, despite our stated beliefs in governing with Judeo-Christian values in mind. But we also have people who hate Mexicans and Muslims and black people and the LGBT community to the point that the laws they want would be legitimately unconstitutional. So, in a way, Eric is… right.”

Eric did a victory lap, trying to high-five as many people as possible. He was almost impressively unsuccessful.

“What if we blamed the democratic party for everyone an undocumented immigrant has ever killed?” Kellyanne Conway asked.

“That has nothing to do with the shutdown and is a completely insane claim to make, but I like it,” Mitch responded. “Make a video and put your best people on it.”

Kellyanne slithered out of the room, rubbing her hands and cackling.

“What if we point out that the president is working during the shutdown? We could have a picture of him in his  signature trucker cap, a frown that somehow looks childishly petulant despite his 71 years, and absolutely nothing on the desk in front of him,” Hope Hicks suggested. “It’s how he usually works.”

“That’s great. Great PR move. Nothing can go wrong. But what about attacks directly related to the shutdown?” Mitch asked the room.

“Women’s rights,” Ivanka enunciated very clearly (good job, Ivanka!), “are good.” Everyone murmured in agreements without much enthusiasm before Jared Kushner powered her down for the day.

“Blame Chuck Schumer,” Ryan suggested. “And the Democrats for not wanting to make a deal where they had to choose between CHIP and DACA.”

“Won’t someone notice that we have the majority in both houses and the executive branch?” Graham pointed out.

“Shut up, Lindsey,” Stephen Miller snarled before turning into a vampire bat and flying out of the room.

“He works better if he only has half the story,” Tom Cotton said in defense of Stephen Miller’s abrupt departure. “We all do, actually.”

Everyone agreed.

“I’ll bring up Hillary somehow,” Hannity promised.

“I’ll talk about how a plurality of children of Mexican ethnicity in Arizona, even the ones born here, makes us less American with a Canadian immigrant,” Carlson added.

“We’re really earning our keep as one of the few government agencies left that still gets paid during the shutdown,” McConnell mused. “Good work, everyone. Now let’s take a siesta. We deserve it.”

Featured image via Flickr

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