Congressional Daydreams

from The New Yorker

Daily Shouts

Congressional Daydreams

By James Folta

May 31, 2017

[photo caption: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi fantasizes that she’s hiking in California.PHOTOGRAPH BY SUSAN WALSH / AP]

Senator Rand Paul imagines that he sponsors and passes legislation to abolish the I.R.S. once and for all. Then he demolishes the I.R.S. headquarters, brick by brick, with his bare hands.

During a long vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi fantasizes that she’s hiking in California. She imagines coming upon a lost Speaker Paul Ryan. Pelosi helps the scared Speaker find his way back to his car. As they walk, he starts to weep, saying that he’s been so, so wrong. He promises to listen more and swears that he’ll stop calling Pelosi “Nance.” Pelosi stops at a beautiful brook to enjoy a glass of Zinfandel. No one bothers her ever again.

Representative Kevin Yoder likes to dream that people instantly know which state he represents. He doesn’t even have to prompt them with, “It starts with a ‘K’ . . . No, not Kentucky.”

Representative Adam Schiff imagines that the C.I.A. passes him documents conclusively proving incriminating relations between the Russian government and President Trump. Schiff brings the files on “Meet the Press” and literally rubs Representative Devin Nunes’s face in them. Nunes’s tears reveal invisible ink documenting how Trump also conspired with the Chinese government. Schiff is a hero and Nunes resigns live on air.

Senator Ted Cruz closes his eyes and tries to conjure something, anything, but cannot.

While on a long donor call, Senator Lindsey Graham spins a fantasy that he’s touring Baghdad with a Special Forces unit when, suddenly, someone shouts, “Convoy nearby! All of ISIS’s top guys are there! We all have to attack now—you too, Senator!” Graham demurs, but the commandos insist, “Senator, we need you.” Taking off his tie, Graham springs into action. As he’s always suspected, he’s a badass super soldier, making impossible shots and bravely charging in while seasoned fighters cower. He even catches a grenade in midair and tosses it back at the terrorists. Graham becomes the eighth senator to receive the Medal of Honor, and President Trump, while pinning the award to his chest, whispers to Graham, “You’re better than me.”

Representative Bradley Byrne dreams about eventually moving from being the head of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections to being the head of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Senator Bernie Sanders imagines standing arm-in-arm with protesters, facing down a line of cops in front of Wall Street. The photo is on the front page of every newspaper, and the big banks are so embarrassed that they reach out to the senator to negotiate major socialist reforms. The resulting bill revolutionizes finance and banking, legalizes weed, and makes the birthday of Eugene Debs, whose name everyone knows, a national holiday. At the huge rally to celebrate, Sanders convinces everyone not to get so dang distracted by phones all the time! And so the world rejoices and Sanders can finally stop worrying about everyone Twittering at him.

Senator Cory Booker fantasizes that he is Mad Max, but in the “Game of Thrones” world. It rules.

After a tough day, Senator Elizabeth Warren succumbs to a reverie in which she’s windsurfing off the coast of Nantucket. She’s a natural—effortlessly slicing through the waves, doing tricks, and impressing everyone. It’s so relaxing that, by the time she returns to shore, she has figured out a way to eliminate all student debt.

Senator Mitch McConnell imagines himself at a town hall in Kentucky. The cheers are deafening. He gazes out at the signs in the packed room: “You’ve been given a raw deal and have done admirably, given the circumstances”; “Jon Stewart was unnecessarily cruel with his impression of you as a turtle”; “We think jowls are sexy now.” This is McConnell’s first nice dream.

Representative Paul Ryan dreams he is dead; every American wails that he was taken too soon. He watches, pleased, while sitting on Ayn Rand’s lap in heaven.

During a quiet moment, Senator Marco Rubio envisions himself taking a walk through Tampa. A passerby notices him and waves. Rubio coyly waves back. But the constituent steps closer and firmly grabs both of Rubio’s hands. Gazing into the man’s eyes, Rubio feels like he is floating in the warm Gulf waters. Soon, a spontaneous crowd of hundreds gathers. They all look so happy to see Rubio! All at once, they say, “Marco, you are heard. You are adored. You are supported. And we love your boots.” The crowd hugs Rubio and the senator is on the verge of joyful tears when he wakes with a start. Ben Carson has been in his office the whole time, staring at him.

Senator Chuck Schumer drifts off and fantasizes about eating a delicious tuna club on rye at his favorite Brooklyn diner. The waitress refills his coffee and asks him to explain tax reform. It is a perfect afternoon. Except that this hasn’t been a dream at all! Schumer rants to his waitress for twenty minutes before falling asleep into his tuna club.

__________

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