Two men, dressed in expensive suits, stood before a massive iron door.
"We're in a lot of trouble, aren't we?" the first man said.
"Just relax," the second one said as he knocked on the door. "We'll be fine."
"I don't know, Michael," the first man said. "He can get pretty cranky. You really won't like what happens when he gets cranky."
A shutter opened at eye level in the great iron door, and a face peered out. "Who knocks?" a voice demanded.
"RNC Chairman Steele," the man who knocked said. "And Governor Sanford of South Carolina."
There was a pause. "Hoo-boy," the voice said. "You guys are in a lot of trouble."
The door slowly swung wide. The two men stepped forward.
They were in a long, high-ceilinged hall with columns running down either side. The hall was dimly lit by torches set into the columns. At the far end of the hall, a shadowy figure sat on a darkened throne.
"Mega-dittos, O Great and Powerful Rush," the two men said in unison.
Flames shot up from behind a throne, thunder rolled, and a booming voice filled the great hall. "WHO COMES BEFORE ME?"
"Michael Steele, O Rush," Steele said. "And this is ..."
"Nobody, really," Sanford said. "Nobody at all." Then he threw himself on the floor. "Please, Mr. Limbaugh!" he begged. "Please don't hurt us!"
"SO," the voice said, "MR. STEELE. I HEARD YOU'VE BEEN SAYING THAT I'M JUST AN ENTERTAINER. THAT I'M...WHAT WAS IT YOU SAID?"
"I ... I don't think I remember."
"COME ON, MIKEY," the voice sneered. "SURELY YOU REMEMBER?"
"I said," Steele muttered, his eyes downcast, "that you were incendiary."
"AND UGLY. YOU SAID I WAS UGLY."
"Oh, lord!" Sanford whimpered from the floor.
"AND SANFORD! YOU SAID ANYONE WHO WANTED OBAMA TO FAIL WAS AN IDIOT! WELL, I WANT HIM TO FAIL! DOES THAT MAKE ME AN IDIOT? DOES IT? HMMMMMMMMMM?"
Sanford didn't answer. He had fainted.
"We're really, really, really sorry, sir," Steele quavered. "I don't know what we were thinking."
"OBVIOUSLY NOT," the voice thundered. "REMEMBER, I ONLY DO WHAT THE DEMOCRAT PARTY DID WHEN BUSH WAS PRESIDENT."
"YES! THE LIBERAL TRAITORS IN THE DEMOCRAT PARTY SAID THEY WANTED THE PRESIDENT TO FAIL!"
"I'm glad you brought that up, sir," Steele said. "Because we've looked through all the tapes and archives, and we can't find anything with any Democratic Party leaders...."
'DEMOCRAT!" the voice said.
"IT'S DEMOCRAT PARTY, NOT DEMOCRATIC! YOU MUST NEVER CALL THEM BY THEIR RIGHT NAME.."
"IT ANNOYS THEM. THAT WHICH ANNOYS LIBERALS IS GOOD POLICY, THOUGH THE UNBELIEVERS CALL IT CHILDISH. I HAVE SPOKEN."
"Yes, sir. Anyway, we couldn't find any Democrat leaders saying they wanted President Bush to fail. There was a lot of criticism of tax cuts, and later of the war, but ...
Thunder rolled. "YOU DARE TO QUESTION THE GREAT AND POWERFUL RUSH!?"
"Oh, no sire," Steele said quickly. "Not at all. In fact, Great One, we're relying on your superior brain and your most excellent and precise memory. So can you, who is the fount of all things Republican, tell us exactly which Democrat actually said they wanted Bush to fail? So we can take your wisdom back to your followers."
"DO NOT TROUBLE ME WITH DETAILS!" the voice bellowed. "I HAVE 25 MILLION LISTENERS!"
"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. ... Wait a minute. ... 25 million?"
"GIVE OR TAKE."
"But ... didn't 65 million people vote for Barack Obama?"
"MATH?" the voice rose in rage and the shadowy figure rose from the throne. "KNOW YOU NOT THAT NUMBERS THEMSELVES HAVE A LIBERAL BIAS, SO LONG AS THEY ARE NOT IN MY FAVOR!?"
"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir."
"YOU WISH MY MERCY?"
"Yes, O Rush," Steele said gratefully.
"THEN BRING OBAMA BEFORE ME!"
"BRING HIM TO ME! I WOULD DEBATE THE USURPER!"
Sanford was sitting up, blinking. "The president of the United States, debate a radio host? That's ... "
"YES?!?" the voice said ominously.
"Brilliant, sir!" Sanford said. "Absolutely brilliant!"
"BEGONE THEN, AND LET YOUR PUBLIC GROVELING COMMENCE!"
"Yes, Lord Rush," both men said, bowing and scraping as they backed out of the hall. The lights came up to reveal an obese, sweaty, balding man seated on a tin throne, next to a microphone, which he switched off. "Snerdley!" he called. "My medicine!"
A minion scurried up, bearing a colorful mixture of pills on a silver platter. "You really showed them who the boss is, sir!" he said obsequiously.
The fat man scooped up a handful of the pills and popped them in his mouth. "I did, didn't I?" he mused.
"They'll be back in the majority in no time with your brilliant leadership."
"Majority?" the fat man said absent-mindedly. "Yes, of course, their majority. Do you have the new ratings figures?"
"Yes, sir." The minion handed over a sheaf of papers, which the fat man perused.
"Excellent," he whispered.