Bringing down the house

Innovative gadgets make it easier than ever to rid the country of pesky democracy!

By Joyce McGreevy

Published January 7, 2005 8:35PM (EST)

With the presidential inauguration scare-a-mony still days away, the Republican administration has already made dramatic progress in its "Regime Makeover" of America. Wow, how'd they do it? It's all about having the right tools...

The Silent Senator
Now with snooze alarm! It's just another jolly gathering of the Electoral College, and you and the gang are all set to certify what nobody can verify. But what if some senator spoils the moment by standing up to protest simply because a corrupt secretary of state systematically prevented the votes of many Americans from being cast or counted? Don't let this happen to you! Just plug in "The Silent Senator" -- now available in virtually every shade of Democrat, from "Go along to get along" Whitewash, and "I can't touch that" Golden Boy, to "I've gotten too comfy here" Gray! Don't forget the amazing, invisible "I'm there for you, America, just, uh, from somewhere far, far away," available in Transparent. (Sorry, no spine available for these models.)

But what if someone -- like constituents all over the country -- should attempt to reset "The Silent Senator," such as by pointing out that protesting the vote isn't about changing the outcome of the presidential election but about standing up for our basic right to choose who represents us? No worries! Just turn on the white-noise machine and "The Silent Senator" will blink "12:00, 12:00, 12:00," appearing to function normally while not giving you the time of day!

Alert! Alert!
There appears to be a programming glitch in the "Boxer" model. Engineers of the right and center are already on hand to troubleshoot any damage caused when Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) throw a spanner into the works of the machine. Fortunately, "The Silent Senators" are mostly running normally. Not one of them has voted with Boxer. Whew! Remember, guys, when it comes to representing us, "Just say no!" After all, if our votes don't count, it's not like we can kick you out of office.

Crisis in a Can
Ever found yourself short of a way to scare the American people? Then pour on a little "Crisis in a Can" and watch the faux fear fly. To use, simply stir it up, bring to a boil, give it a mouthwatering presentation on TV, and then ladle it down gullible gullets everywhere. Best of all, you can flavor "Crisis in a Can" with whatever you happen to have in stock, from Imminent Threat of Terrorism to Deadly Soda Pop. Best of all, "Crisis in a Can" is both a stimulant and a sedative, which means consumers will be on edge, off balance and under duress -- yet perfectly OK with that!

The Sum Totaler
Why did Social Security cross the road? Because the Republicans staged a head-on collision. The "Sum Totaler" then arrives on the scene to convince the average American that Social Security is so badly in need of repair that the only way we can fix it is to siphon off the gas and see if that helps. Oops, maybe not. OK, tell you what. Try slashing the tires, removing the engine, and vandalizing the headlights. Anything? See, I told you that thing was a piece of junk. That'll be $2 trillion. Make the check out to Wall Street.

The Pretty Darn Fast (PDF) "Dopey" Reader
How it works: Scans complicated bills and spits out a vote decision without causing any cumbersome build-up of understanding. Now reading bills will be so quick and easy it's like you're not reading at all!

Why Congress needs it: Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) tried to persuade Congress to enforce the three-day rule, which puts undue pressure on our busy guys and gals to read a bill before voting on it. As if anyone needed more than a few minutes to evaluate the pros and cons of a bill that might comprise thousands of pages of small print and contain hidden provisions leading to unalterable consequences for millions of Americans. C'mon, this isn't rocket science. Get on with it.

The Shill Game
Both game and game player fit snugly into any deep pocket! No battery or conscience needed, this baby runs entirely on major campaign donations. So simple even the president can play. Watch him rack up points for the insurance industry by pushing caps on jury awards to injured plaintiffs. Did we say caps? Make that kneecaps, as medically damaged kids and seniors on fixed incomes wonder what hit 'em! More hilarious than "America's Funniest Home Injuries," it's like two  two  two assaults in one! But wait, there's more. Buy now and malpractice insurance costs and health insurance premiums will continue to soar. After all, if they don't, the wrong terrorists will have won.

Coming up: "Tools for Fools" -- The Home Game
Fun for the whole family, and makes a pleasant alternative to organizing for health care coverage, pay equity and civil rights. The rules couldn't be easier and the only game pieces required ... are you! Just follow the instructions, move the designated number of spaces, and you too could win the chance to say, "Politics doesn't really affect me."

Joyce McGreevy

Joyce McGreevy is a writer in Portland, Ore.

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