Wednesday, December 05, 2012

John and Jim have a little talk

SceneDecember 4th, 2012.  Waning days of the 112th Congress.  South Carolina Senator Jim Demint relaxes on the Corinthian leather couch in his office, shirt sleeves up, television remote in hand.  His gaze is intent on the television screen.  His peace is disturbed by a commotion in the lobby.  There are sounds of scuffling, a sharp "Excuse me, sir!", the fine hickory door flies open.  Speaker of the House John Boehner storms in, followed by Georgia, DeMint's personal assistant. 

Georgia:  Sir, it's the Speaker.  He insisted.
Boehner [entering, he plants his feet, hands on hips]:  Wouldn't you say it's time we had a little talk, Jim?

[DeMint assesses for a moment.]

DeMint:  It's fine, Georgia.  Why don't you go home for the evening?  And give my compliments to your husband. 

[Georgia hesitates. Glances at Boehner.]

 DeMint:  It's alright.  You go on home, now.

[Exit Georgia.  The Senator stands, points the remote at the television.]

DeMint:  I tell ya, John.  There is a lot to learn from the old televangelists.   Take Jim Bakker, for instance.  Nobody but nobody could work a crowd like him.  They'd cry for him while he went through their pockets. 

[He flicks off the television.]

Boehner:  You're killing our party.

[DeMint smiles, saunters to the wet bar.  He pours himself a whiskey.]

DeMint:  Drink, John?

Boehner:  I don't need a god-damn drink!

[DeMint pauses in the act of stoppering the whiskey bottle.  His eyes flare briefly.]

DeMint: John, I'm worried about you.  With all due respect, you seem to be losing your nerve.

Boehner:  That's one way to put it.  Or you could say I know who my friends are.

DeMint:  I didn't much appreciate how you disrespected those boys on the Budget Committee.  Amash and Huelskam.  They're good people.  Tea Party folks.

Boehner:  Jim, how long's it been since you were in the House?  I think you forgot how it works.  You see, I'm the Speaker.  And that means if you're a Republican in the House of Representatives,  Job One is to kiss my ass. Eric Cantor and everybody else.  Amash, Huelskam, and Schweikert didn't understand that.

DeMint[grinning like a carnivore]:  Feelin' your oats, are ya?  Funny you should mention Cantor.  I might have to buy that boy a drink one of these days.  If I can catch him when he's not lightin' up the Menorah.  

Boehner:  Take your best shot.  But you better watch your own chickens.  You know how Senators are.

DeMint:  Didn't you see what I did with that Disabilities Treaty?  Even with the old stiff sitting in the well!

Boehner:  Don't fool yourself, Jim.  Dick Lugar may not be coming back.  But Orrin Hatch and Richard Shelby are still here.  And they're not likely to forget how they had to vote.  They're old fashioned.  They think friendship means something.

DeMint:  John, if you object to how Leader McConnell is handling his caucus... 

[Boehner throws back his head and laughs.  DeMint smirks in spite of himself.]

Boehner:  You can play your games with Mitch all you want, Jim.  But let me tell you this:  I'm not gonna stand by and let you kill off the Republican Party.  We lost the election.  And that means we need to deal with this administration.  If I have to, I'll sit down with Nancy.  That's right, Jim.  I'll cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi before I'll let your Tea Party clowns crash land us.  This is the party of Abraham Lincoln, not Jefferson Davis. 

DeMint[sneering]:  I always knew you were just a damn Yankee carpet-bagger.  But here's some news for you, John.  You're too late. The South has awoken.

Boehner:  You folks never learn, do ya?  We always end up having to beat it into ya.  Just like General Grant.

[A long silence while the two men assess each other.]

DeMint:  Mr. Speaker, I thank you kindly for this visit, but if you'll forgive me, I'm to meet Mrs. DeMint shortly.

Boehner:  Oh, I'm leaving.  Give my best to Debbie.

Update:   [Two days later, on December 6th, Senator DeMint announced he would resign his seat in order to head up the conservative Heritage Foundation.  Looks like Boehner and McConnell worked something out.]

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