Solidarity on the Mount
A suspicious mind riffs on Mitt's sudden spate of bad press
The first gentleman, call him Mr. Smith, spoke over the secure video link. “Mitt? Thanks for getting on with us. We just wanted to get together and give you our thanks for the service you’ve done us this election cycle. You’ve gone above and beyond the call and everyone on this link considers you a real hero.”
“Well, thank you, Cal. I appreciate that very much.”
The second gentleman, call him Mr. Jones, spoke next. “There are a hundred and fifty-four of us on this link, Mitt. And not a one of us would have traded places with you, even though we all knew it had to be done. You’re a man of rare metal and we thank God for you.”
The third gentleman, Mr. Brown, speaking from the study in his home in Beijing, said, “You were the perfect man for the job, Mitt, and we’re all damn lucky you recognized it. You accepted the fact that a dirty job had to be done and you waded in and did it. It was a thankless job but you sure do have our thanks.”
“Well, thank you all. How many did you say were on the link, Pete? A hundred fifty-four?”
“That’s right, buddy,” Mr. Jones said. “A century plus five-four. Pretty darn near everyone that matters.”
“We left a few out, Pete,” Mr. Smith chimed in.
“Well,” Mr. Brown said, “you can’t ever get one hundred percent solidarity.”
Many voices chuckled. A few of those voices were women’s.
“Mr. Romney,” a clear-voiced woman spoke. Her handsome African-American face came up on Mitt’s screen. “Barack and I want to personally recognize your sacrifice too. Obviously we’re all on the same team, but some of us are willing to do the really unpleasant things that help keep us all safe. One of my favorite books is To Kill a Mockingbird, and you so remind me of selfless lawyer Atticus Finch in the way you’re willing to do what no one else will do so that right can prevail. You’ve proven yourself one of those special people. Our role during this cycle is easy; yours is hard and I want to thank you for your selfless service.”
“Thank you, Michelle,” Mitt said. “That was very kind and very gracious of you to say.”
“Thanks to you, Mitt,” Mr. Williams said, “the people of the United States are going to feel like they defeated the dreaded one percent. As a result, we’re going to make more progress in the next four years than we made since the beginning of the republic.”
“And no New Deal this time, Mitt,” Mr. Johnson said. “At the end of the day we’re going to owe a great big chunk of this achievement to you.”
“Now now, okay okay,” Romney said. “I’ve had about as much of this I can take. I think you good people are beginning to mistake me for some kind of altruist. This is no sacrifice. This is business and its good business, and while I agree with all of you that we are on the cusp of a very exciting time, I think we need to take care not to count our chickens before they’re hatched.”
“No, but you’re taking what appear to be some pretty humiliating hits, Mitt,” Mr. Jackson said, “and good business or not, it takes a hell of a man to stand up and volunteer for the role you’re playing. I, for one, couldn’t do what you’re doing. My ego couldn’t take it.”
“We just want you to know we’re with you, Mitt,” said an older woman with a long neck and strident voice.
“Thank you, Phyllis. I’ll shut up now, if you’re going to talk.”
“Oh, go on! Incorrigible!”
“Well, thank you all for the call,” Mitt said. “Just the fact that so many of you could get together for a conference like this says a lot. I really am very deeply touched. As we move into the final stretch and watch Barack and the Dems beat the pants off us I do take considerable solace in knowing you’re all behind me.”
“Careful about the Dems comments, Mitt, there are more than a few of us on this link,” Mr. Clinton said, inciting a few chuckles.
“No kidding,” Mr. Reid added, inciting a few more.
“One moment, please!” Mr. Davis said. “I’d like to wrap this up by proposing a toast, but first a few preliminary observations.”
At that moment Ann Romney materialized beside her husband with a glass of iced ginger ale. He lifted it from the tray and smiled up at her.
Mr. Davis continued: “Ladies and gentlemen, are you lifting your glasses high?”
A chorus of yes’s was the response.
“If it’s champagne you’re lifting, put it down,” Mr. Davis said. “No champagne now. Save the champagne for test night. Here’s what I want to say. We’ve come a long way, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve come a long way since 1932. We’ve come through the dark night of taxes hiked to 90 percent and student protests—no offense to those of us who dissipated a portion of our youths participating in all that, myself included—but since Desert Storm, no harm no foul. Now we’ve finally got the laws in place, the public relations in place, the military elements are all in place. At last the end is in sight. So here’s to our achievement and here’s to the man out there on the campaign trail who more than anyone else, by permitting repeated affronts to his well-earned and unquestionable integrity, is helping us set up and hammer home that final nail without having to resort to manipulations at the ballot box. And let’s not forget that a damn good many of our parents and grandparents went through one heck of a lot so we could arrive at this point. Here’s to them and to all those on our Republican half. Michelle, we’ll toast the Democrat half on election night, I promise. But for now, here’s to Mitt Romney and his immeasurable contribution to the solidification of the world’s first mass and truly stable market!”
Voices on the link erupted in calls of “Here! Here!”