(EDITOR’S NOTE: We have it from several unnamed sources who were most likely in a position to know … that a meeting took place at an undisclosed location deep in the heart of the mountains of West Virginia Wednesday, mere hours before Senate Republicans and two would-be Democratics voted to kill the Voting Rights Legislation later that night. The transcript from that meeting follows …)
<Voice in background>: OK, you can rip her hood off now.
Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema: My God! Where am I? And, ewww, can somebody get me a hairbrush??? My lush, blonde, pink, red beautiful hair must look awful!!! And it’s so dark in here! Can somebody turn on a light … get me a mirror?
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin: Calm down now. You are deep in the hills of West Virginia in a holler due west of Washington, D.C., a piece. Mitch, can you rustle up a hairbrush for the little lady?
Sinema: Did you really need to dump me in a trunk and put a burlap sack over my head on the long drive over here???? I’m pretty good at keeping a secret, ya know. I mean, so far, I have the entire Democratic Party fooled.
Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell: <snort> Burlap???
Manchin: Shut up, Mitch, let me handle her.
Manchin: As to smuggling you away in the trunk of my Maserati, well, you can never be too sure in these situations. If we don’t make sure to kill these damn voting rights bills, our country will change in horrible ways that are just too hard to even imagine. Not everybody should have a right to vote, dammit. Besides, I got my eyes on a tight little beachfront property just south of Malibu that’ll be mine all mine when we kill these bills. Grandkids will love it, and it’ll keep the wife out of my hair while I wreck Biden’s agenda under the guise of being fiscally responsible.
Sinema: I am still sort of on the fence on that one … I mean, I did run on killing the Filibuster way back when so we could get things like this done … And kill ALL of his agenda?? I mean, that seems a bit extreme even for me, and I dye my hair seven times a month.
<Dead silence in the room for 42 seconds>
Sinema: Hello? Boys???? Everybody still here? HELLOOOOO????
<Dead silence in the room for 37 more seconds>
<Door opens and slams shut … a cold draft envelopes the room …>
Sinema: What’s happening? Why is it suddenly freezing in here???
<A spotlight switches on and is pointed directly at Sinema>
Sinema: Oh my God, turn down that light! I haven’t even had a chance to brush my fabulous hair and do my makeup yet!!!! And can somebody get me a jacket??? I’m freezing!
Dark Gravelly Sinister Voice: Shut up, and calm down, my sweet.
Sinema <screams>: OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT???????!!!!
McConnell: That right there is God.
Sinema: God?????? That evil, disgusting thing is God??????
McConnell: You bet.
Sinema: God’s a Republican?????
Manchin: God is Charles Koch, my little hot petunia.
Sinema: THE Charles Koch??? The fabulously rich and wealthy Charles Koch???
Manchin: The very one.
Sinema: Oh … well … you boys gonna just sit there, or are ya gonna get me that mirror, makeup and hairbrush so I can look a little more presentable for Mr. Koch.
Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn: Here ya go, baby doll. We wantcha ta look nice and perty when you cast that little ol’ vote tonight. Even picked out a smashing dress special for the occasion. It’ll go well with the current color of your hair. Trust me.
Sinema: Marsha?? That’s really you? YOU know about this place?
Blackburn: Why of course, dear. This is where I kissed the ring of one Donald Trump in 2016. Kissed something else, too, but never you mind … What a man!
Sinema: We’re talking about Donald Trump here. The fat, disgusting, lying, pussy-grabbing, racist orange guy who attacked our country? THAT Donald Trump????
McConnell: I told you this was a bad idea.
Manchin: Calm down, Mitch. Just calm down, I got this …
McConnell: I won’t calm down. All we needed was your vote to wreck this thing, Joe, and keep only real, white Americans going to the voting booth. Dragging in an outsider is risky business and unnecessary. I didn’t get to where I am in this party by being reckless … Why the biggest risk I ever took was being a meany to Trump on the Senate floor after the coup attempt, and that Nazi that hangs around with him is still stalking me everywhere I go.
Manchin: You mean, Stephen Miller?
McConnell: That’s the one. Found him hanging upside down in the closet where I keep my collection of brown, penny loafers one day. Scared the bejesus out of me. All I had was a shoe horn to defend myself.
Manchin: Damn … Yeah, you don’t want to get on the bad side of that guy. I hear he gargles embalming fluid.
McConnell: What’s wrong with that?
Manchin: Ummm … Anyway, I can’t be doing all the heavy lifting for the Democrats to kill all this, Mitch, you know that. We need a sorta pretty face from a swing state to give me some cover. Make it look like Progressives AND Moderates are against this thing.
Sinema: Hey, I’m no progressive! And sorta pretty????????
Manchin: Shhhhhhhhhh … we know that, but a fair amount of Americans don’t. And you’ll clean up like a China Doll when Marsha’s done with you.
Sinema: China Doll? Isn’t that just a little bit racist?
McConnell: I’m telling you this is a bad idea. She’s gonna blow our cover.
Blackburn: Krissy … baby … you’re not gonna blow anybody’s cover now are ya …
Sinema: Well, this is a lot to process. I mean, when you guys asked me to vote down the Infrastructure Bill in exchange for the $50,000 gift certificates to Forever21 and Target I thought I was done.
Blackburn: $50,000 is all you got????
Manchin <interrupts>: Marsha, I don’t think this is a …
Blackburn: Baby, you are about to get an offer you cannot refuse. You’ll be rich beyond yer wildest dreams …
Sinema: I mean, well, ummmm … how much are we talking?
Blackburn: Mitch? What are you and Mr. Koch prepared to do for this courageous little gal so she’ll vote right alongside us on these terrible, terrible voting bills?
<mumbling in the background>
Koch: Five million. Cash. Immediately deposited in an off-shore account of your choosing. You got three seconds to decide. I’m a busy man.
Sinema: <gulp> Five million bucks???? Done, God! I mean, Charles. I mean, David, I mean … Oh my God!!!!! Five million dollars!!!!!!!!
Blackburn: Now that’s my sweet, little girl. Bless yer heart. Now let’s get you into that perty red dress we picked out for you just for this occasion, and go vote …!
(D. Earl Stephens is a published author and finished up a 30-year career in journalism as the Managing Editor of Stars and Stripes.)