Opinion

The Great and Powerful Peloz Has Spoken: A play

Bob Maistros Chief Writer, Reagan-Bush '84 campaign

Scene: The Throne Room of The Wizardess of Peloz – four figures and a dog trembling at The Wizardess’ disembodied head as it floats above smoke and flames at the far end of the hall.


THE GREAT AND POWERFUL PELOZ: I am Peloz, the Great and Powerful! Who are you?

YOUNG WOMAN: If you please, I am The People … the small and meek. We’ve come to ask you …

PELOZ: Silence! The Great and Powerful Peloz knows why you have come. You want to stop health care reform and return home to smaller, limited government. As for you, Tin-Ear Conservative! Step forward. You dare to come to me for a heart? You earmarking, incumbent-entrenching, ueber-appropriating edifice of effete arrogance!

TIN-EAR CONSERVATIVE: Y-yes, you see, we were walking down Gucci Gulch, and —

PELOZ: Quiet! And you, Scaremongering Bloviator, have the effrontery to ask for a brain? You puffing, posturing, pique-provoking pile of peevish pugnacity!

SCAREMONGERING BLOVIATOR: Y-yes, Your Liar – I mean, Your Cheater – I mean – Your Wizardry!

PELOZ: Enough! And you, Cowardly Republican!

COWARDLY REPUBLICAN: Uh … uh … ohhh.

THE PEOPLE: He’s fainted! You ought to be ashamed of yourself – steamrolling him like that, when he came to you for bipartisanship!

PELOZ: Silence, Astroturfer! The beneficent Peloz shares all the goals of you and your Tea Party movement. And I might listen to you … but first, you must prove yourselves worthy by performing a very small task. Capture the seat of the late Edward Kennedy.

TIN-EAR: But if we do that, we’ll have to overcome decades of one-party control and the mainstream media!

PELOZ: Capture the seat, and I’ll hear your requests. Now, GO!

Scene: The group returns to the Throne Room.

PELOZ: Can I believe my eyes? Why have you come back?

THE PEOPLE: Please, ma’am. We’ve done what you told us. We’ve captured the seat of Edward Kennedy. So we’d like you to keep your promise to listen to us.

PELOZ: Not so fast! I’ve given the matter a little thought. I’m going to ram through this health bill anyway, while I have the votes. All it will take is a little reconciliation … and persuasion.

THE PEOPLE: Reconciliation and persuasion? But The People have spoken. And you don’t have the votes.

PELOZ: Do not arouse the wrath of the Great and Powerful Peloz! I said, I’m passing the bill, and it’s for your own good!

THE PEOPLE: If you were really great and powerful, you’d keep your promises!

PELOZ: You presume to criticize the Great Peloz? You ungrateful creatures! Think yourselves lucky that I’m pushing through this bill instead of single payer. The Great Peloz has spoken!

Suddenly, The People’s watchdog pulls back a curtain, revealing a woman clad in black leather, her hands feverishly working the levers of power, a Congressman on the floor with a long stiletto heel jammed into his throat, and another legislator counting a large wad of cash.

THE PEOPLE: Who are you?

PELOZ: PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE LEGISLATIVE CHICANERY BEHIND THE CURTAIN. I AM THE … Great and Powerful Wizardess of Peloz.

THE PEOPLE: You are?

PELOZ: Uhhhh – yes.

SCAREMONGER: You humbug!

PELOZ: I may be a humbug, but I just passed the biggest expansion of government since Medicare.

THE PEOPLE: You’re a very bad woman!

PELOZ: Yes, but I’m a very good Speaker, especially when it comes to getting votes. (Pushes her heel more deeply into the legislator’s throat.)

SCAREMONGER: You’d better be good enough to face minority status in November!

PELOZ: You can be as angry as you want. But I’ve just achieved the biggest liberal dream in history … and I’ve done you all a favor in the process.

SCAREMONGER: Done us a favor?

PELOZ: Yes. You, Scaremonger. For years, you’ve lazily retreated into dumbed-down demagoguery, noxious Know-Nothingism, brazen birther-ism and race-baiting rhetoric instead of producing a proactive and intellectually consistent vision of conservative government. Now, to retake power, I’m forcing you to do more than “just say no” and come up with your own agenda.

You, Tin-Ear. You wanted a heart. For a decade, you averted your eyes from the everyday problems of The People and turned your back on your own promises of limited government in pursuit of Abramoffian avarice. Well, in your opposition to my stimulus, cap and trade and health care reform, I’ve given you a heart. I’ve restored your True Belief in Reaganite conservative principles!

And you, Cowardly Republican. In 2005, you got your mandate … a second term in the White House and an increased hold on Congress … by promising to privatize Social Security, reform the tax code and rein in government-sponsored enterprises. Think how different things would be if you had maintained the courage of your convictions! But unlike me, when you ran into the least bit of opposition you turned tail and scattered like scared rabbits. It’s a little late, but I’ve given you some real backbone … now, you’re standing as one against our big-government wizardry!

THE PEOPLE: What about me?

PELOZ: I’m afraid you’re screwed. But those ruby slippers will be very stylish as we’re turned into France….

Bob Maistros was the chief writer for the Reagan-Bush ’84 campaign, a former Senate subcommittee counsel and a longtime public relations advisor for companies ranging from AOL to MTV to XM Satellite Radio. He now offers biting satire based on insights gathered at the front lines of headline-making corporate crises, political contests and the culture wars.