Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Furlough of Reason, or,
Shutdown as a Way of Life

I.  Nullification Now, Nullification Forever

"This the greatest opportunity for nullification since school integration." - Rand Paul

"All in favor say, 'Hee-haw!'" - Speaker of the House John Boehner

"You've turned this party into a suicide caucus!"
"Weak sauce! Spider caucus!"
- Sen. Tom Coburn devoured by the Texas delegation

"The fact that I of all people am forced to be somewhat responsible here, it just shows how dark things are." - Rep. Peter King

"Everything I needed to learn about government, I learned in student government." - Paul Ryan undresses before a strange alter

"But politics is opportunism!" - Marsha Blackburn in disbelief on CNN
"Do you think that if you had pushed for a single-payer system we'd be in this mess today?"
"Well, [perturbed exhale] we'd be in a better mess."
- Olbermann and Obama on cigarette break at ESPN

"In this Gilded Age all clichés become reality!"
"HAW HAW, well, I don't think of it as Gilded so much as Transparent."
- a horribly sunburnged Paul Krugman having blue margaritas with Sheryl Sandberg on St. John

"My cock is like the Excalibur--"
[from the gallery] "--like John Boorman's Excalibur!"
"Shut the hell up!"
- Sen. Chevy Cruz, Sen. John McCain

"What I don't get is, why aren't young people more motivated to participate in a quarter-millenium-old government specifically designed to indefinitely defer the abolition of slavery?" - Harry Reid

"In the U.S., we get really wasted in July and August, then everything gets really fucked up in September and October." - John Kerry in a private meeting with Mohammed Javad Zarif

"Crack my eggs. Piss on my birthday cake. Do whatever you want to me. Just don't put me out." - John Boehner addresses his Caucus

"You people don't even fucking get it. This isn't about the budget. This is about representative government. This is about taking off the mask. Tearing down the old gods and raising up the new. Man will be burned away by the fires of History, and in his place there shall be only Value." - Eric Cantor to his kids on why they can't go to the beach this year

II. How I Spent My Unpaid Vacation

"Happy Hick Everyone!" - World War II veterans accidentally liberating the Dr. King Memorial

"If this really is the end, then there's something I have to tell you: I've always hated you." - Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution G. Wayne Clough to his wife

"Jesus, this place looks like the rest of D.C." - George Will, stepping over litter and the unemployed in the National Mall

"Ah! Ice cream headache!"
"That's gin."
- John Boehner's first post-Shutdown press conference

"When your Founders imagined that American would combine Rome with Athens, they did not mean it literally." - Angela Merkel

"The difference here is the distinct lack of the mystical and erotic sublimity that characterized our Shutdown. A feeling Calista and I can only now find in the Catholic Church." - Newt Gin Ginch

"Beginning at midnight, government agencies will start shutting down, one by one. If it goes on long enough, the State will be reduced solely to its military, law enforcement, and security functions, and all public employees will be slaves. In other words, it will be a Utopia." - Rick Perry

"Now is our time to act, if only we existed!" - the Left

"If the Dead Ceiling isn't raised, the improperly buried shall rise, banshees shall keep vigil round the Capitol, lion shall lie with lamb, and your wine shall be of blood." - Barack Obama, conference call with Congressional Leaders

"The answer to every question is No, even when it is Yes." - Rep. Tom Graves

"Your eyes are sick and swollen! Take it easy now. What kind of deal would end this?"
"You don't understand. We do not want a deal but the end of all deals."
- Susan Collins lost in the House Tubes talking to GOP Members in the darkness

"Man, I've never seen it like this."
"Haw haw haw. Pass the vape. It's simple, old buddy, they are Bolsheviks for the rich."
- Joe Biden and Bill Clinton on the roof of the Naval Observatory

"You'd like to think that I'm a miserable old Scrooge and that's why I do these things, but the truth is, I feel fucking great. I'm high as hell. I'm eating better and sleeping better. My shits are clean and regular, and my wife and I are having the best sex of our lives. Because I have that special kind of confidence, that sense of purpose and existential security, that only comes from wielding power. It's one thing to have the pleasure of knowing you're right. It's another thing entirely for it not to matter." - Sen. Chevy Cruz

III. Elysium

In 2017, Cruz left traditional politics behind to form the League of the Virgin, a "Madonnaist" paramilitary organization dedicated to "the direct, lived realization of the Kingdom of God." Scornful of "representational government," it pursued a "politics of transubstantiation" and founded a sprawling network of autonomous ranches in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. To this day it not fully understood--even by the survivors--how these communities managed to flourish in the open desert. "We sup on the milk of the Madonna," said Cruz during his sole interview of the period, on Charlie Rose, "and ask no more 'Whence?' than does the Infant of the Breast.'"

Following the Standoff at Purgatoire, the League expanded relentlessly. One by one, South- and Midwestern states ceded territory to the League, some voluntarily (Arizona, Oklahoma), some in military defeat (New Mexico, Colorado), and others as part of their own political manoeuvrings (the Mormon Free State, the Suzerain Empire of Texas and the Rio Grande). After absorbing the Failed States Region of Former Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana, the League was preeminent in the Red Zone.

Its supremacy was not to last. The League was weakened internally by a prolonged insurgency led by Duke Mountain Inhofe of the Tulsa Protectorate, who broke with Cruz over his interpretation of the Menarche Tis Theotokos. Tens of thousands were slaughtered before Inhofe was sacrificed by ultras of his sect. Still more disastrous was League's unilateral decision to open a second front in the Transoceanic War by sending filibuster parties to instigate conflict with the Bolivarian Federation. When Cyborg Rex Obama discovered the League's treachery, he ordered General Stanley DarkChrystal and the University of Pennsylvania Robotics Team to suppress the League. Consumed by Civil War, North America might have fallen to the Sino-Latin Rim had it not been for the Portal, which, through the swift imposition of its Will in the Majestic Terror, at last brought an end to the Government Shutdown of 2013 to [illegible]

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