It's 6 AM. I'm in Joe Lieberman's "Command Bunker" somewhere in Connecticut, and I'm bleeding, badly.
It'll take me awhile to tell you how I got to this point. It's a long story, but one that needs to be told, so I'll put off my decision as to whether I should try to break out of here and find a doctor until I'm through writing this post.
Connecticut is a bloggers paradise right now. Nearly all of the big dogs are here. I don't think you can through a rock anywhere without hitting a high-ranking member of the Francotariat.
The problem is that they are all here for Ned Lamont. I think I'm the only pro-Lieberman blogger in the state--make that the world now that LieberDem's decided to beat a hasty retreat by blending in with the crowd.
I have to say that Joe hasn't made it easy for anyone to blog his campaign. We are alien to him. He distrusts us. He fears us. He blames us for working a weirding mojo on his constituency, causing them to believe that they, mere proles, are wiser than he in the ways of war and servicing Our Leader.
That's why when I finally got through to someone in the campaign, the volunteer in charge of collecting aluminum cans to fund their web budget, he warned me not to reveal my identity as a blogger to anyone else in the campaign. "They'll kill you; they'll kill you, dead" he said before promising to email me directions to the command bunker.
I arrived early this morning at a little after 1 AM. The entrance was located in an unlighted vacant lot, overgrown with weeds and stinking of garbage. The volunteer had warned me about this, but assured me that looks were deceiving. The weeds, garbage, and to a certain extent, the location itself, served as camouflage, hiding the bunker's location from Democrats and, more importantly, bloggers.
I'll admit that I was more than a little jumpy as I made my way through this gauntlet of jimsonweed and Huggies, but as I grew closer and began to make out the outline of the bunker's entrance, I heard music, faintly at first, but growing louder with each footstep until I finally recognized it as ABBA's Waterloo. I relaxed then and even broke out in a smile a few step later when I saw Bill Kristol--yes that Bill Kristol, Irving and Gertrude's boy--standing in the entrance way.
My smile didn't linger. As soon as Kristol spotted me, he began angrily shouting questions at me, strange questions like "What did you eat for breakfast," and "What did you do last Saturday?". My answers seem to satisfy him because he switched to rummaging through my bags, mumbling something about ham sandwiches. Finally, he spied my laptop and asked the question I'd been dreading, "Are you a blogger?" Remembering the volunteer's warning, I lied, "No, I'm a day trader." That seemed to make him happy. He smiled, cackled, slapped me on the back, and led me into the bunker.
As bad as everything had been up to that point, I wasn't prepared for the squalor, the stench, or the lunacy I witnessed as I made my way through the door. It was like the locker room from hell. The bunker, lined in concrete, was dim and dank. White Castle wrappers littered the floor and the air reeked of a mixture of sweat, urine, and Hai Karate aftershave.
There were a group of young men and women partying in the far corner. They were the source of the music I had heard earlier. They were still playing ABBA, but the song was now SOS. I wondered if that was the only CD they had. Their choice in music combined with their party apparel, togas with neckties, convinced me that they were the College Republicans Joe had hired to help him get out the vote.
Glancing toward another part of the bunker, I saw a gathering of people who had endorsed Joe. Nearly everyone was there--Jeff Gannon, Bill Bennett, David Brooks, the whole Fox News line-up, even Marty Peretz who for some reason was holding a sewing machine and gesticulating wildly at Michelle Malkin. The only person I didn't see was Ann Coulter.
Turning toward the front of the room, I finally caught my first glimpse of Joe Lieberman. He was seated high above the rest of the room in what looked like a throne. It was a big, high-backed chair, upholstered in purple velvet and lined in gold and ermine. The chair--oh, what the hell, it was a throne, dammit--was so immense it dwarfed Joe. He looked like a little elf.
He was dressed as always in his senatorial suit, but tonight he had added an accessory--a Miss-America-style sash upon which was written, "Sen. Joe Lieberman, POTUS in Waiting." I thought that was very strange until I saw the familiar lettering of the New Republic down on the sash's bottom end. Obviously, it was a cherished gift.
Lanny Davis stood just to the right of the throne in the place traditionally reserved for the court jester. He appeared to serve some kind of translation function. Every time Joe spoke, Davis seemed to repeat it, using different words. It sure looked like translation, but I couldn't be certain. ABBA's Mama Mia drowned out the pair's words.
Seeing that there was a long line of people waiting for an audience with the Senator, I decided to mingle with the crowd. I hoped that someone would give me a tip on a great story, so I could join the ranks of such great blogger-journalists as Charles Johnson and John Hindraker.
I was a little thirsty, so I headed for the keg in the College Republican corner. They were a friendly bunch. Introductions hadn't even begun when they handed me a beer bong and started chanting, "drink, drink, drink." After a few rounds of this it struck me that neither I nor any of the CR's would be in any shape to help with the GOTV effort if we kept drinking like this. I pointed this out when my turn came around again and was told that they had hired illegal aliens to serve Joe in their stead. "It was a tough decision," the little wirey one named Ben said, "none of us wanted to talk to Mexicans."
"That's right," a heavy-set CR also named Ben chimed in. "I wanted to offshore the job by contracting with a call center in India; but Ben," Ben continued, pointing at a third Ben, "reminded us we could save a lot of money if we employed aliens and then called Immigration before we paid them. It's WJWD, what Jeb would do."
We all had a good laugh at their inborn Republican cleverness and then I decided to move on. Stepping over Ann Coulter's unconscious body--"Hey," I thought, "she's here after all"--I staggered in the direction of the Lieberman endorsers.
Marty Peretz, still holding his sewing machine, ran over to greet me. "You have to help me, buddy," he said in a pleading, almost whining voice, "My wife won't give me any more money to help Joe; the most I could get out of her was this sewing machine. Do you want to buy it?" I replied that I only had enough money to get back home, and he walked off, dejected.
The Peretz experience soured me on doing any further mingling. Noticing that the line to see Joe had dwindled down to the final caller, I decided to push on through the endorsers and say hello to the Senator. And it was a good thing I did. As I passed Marshall Whitman, I heard him telling Michelle Malkin that in his experience, there wasn't a lot of difference between working for the DLC and working for the Heritage Foundation and the Christian Coalition. Now, I'm a conservative and proud of it. But that kind of pickup line is enough to make even me a little sick.
I was run over by a pizza delivery man as I tried to put Whitman far behind me. He was trying to elude William Kristol, who was screaming that the pizza guy was an anti-Semite. After Kristol brought him down with a flying tackle, he announced that the intruder was armed with a canadian bacon pizza. Suddenly, Kristol's earlier interrogation of me made sense.
Anyway, I made it up to the throne just as the last person in line was finishing his audience with the Senator. As he turned to leave, I heard Joe mumble, "Fucking Democrats. I hate them." Cued in some way, Lanny Davis loudly proclaimed, "The Senator meant Republicans. Joe Lieberman hates Republicans...uh...but he thinks it's important to work with them in a bipartisan manner unlike his Demoratic...err...Republican...err...it's important to be bipartisan."
I approached Joe. "Are you another fucking Democrat," he asked.
"Are you a fellow Democrat," translated Davis.
"No," I replied, "I'm a Republican."
Joe smiled, "What can I do for you?"
"I want to report on the last day of your primary campaign," I replied.
Joe's smile was replaced by a series of angry contortions that made him look more like John Bolton than any human I've ever met. He yelled, "you're a cocksucking blogger," and leapt out of his throne, grabbed a bottle of grape Nehi out of Davis's hand, smashed it against the throne's golden armrest, and used its sharp broken edges to slash a deep cut across my chest.
I though I was dead. He'd have killed me for sure if Bill Kristol hadn't intervened, separating us while screaming, "no, no, no, he's a day trader!"
So now, it's hours later, and here I am in the corner farthest away from Joe, blogging and trying to stop the bleeding after my wound opened once again. Joe has a gun now. He's ranting about how the bloggers are out to steal his Senate seat, which I guess the throne has come to represent. Occasionally, he'll scream a name like Atrios, Kos, Jane, CT Bob, or Spazeboy and fire a shot into either the College Republican's keg or Marty Peretz's sewing machine. The CR's love it when he does that. They whoop and holler and say how it's so much better than being in Iraq. Marty cries.
I'm going to make a break for the door now. Wish me luck.