by Jim Harris

Ron Paul was lying in a hotel bed in Nome, wondering how he ever lost the caucus so badly. After all, he was the only candidate who even took the time to visit Alaska. Now he was just wishing that he could go home to Texas and forget all about politics when the phone rang. It was his campaign manager.

Mitt Romney, who couldn’t stop saying “y’all” when he was in the deep south, discovered in Texas that if you play any country music song backwards, it will say, “My girlfriend is back, my truck is now running perfectly, and my dog is now alive!”

“Listen, Sarah Palin is mad as hell that you called her boy Gingrich a ‘whimpering little Shih-Tzu’ in a TV ad. She’s on her way down there. You better get out, pronto!” Paul sprang to his feet and darted out the door, not even bothering to change out of his pajamas. He was running across the tundra, frantically looking for a place to hide, when he heard the sound of a helicopter overhead. He looked up and saw Palin leaning out, shotgun in hand, yelling, “Eat lead, Libertarian!”

Paul felt the sharp sting of buckshot in his posterior as he scrambled into a nearby hole in the ground. It turned out to be a natural gas pipeline. It swept him along for what seemed like miles before spitting him out in a strange and colorful land that was like nothing he had ever seen before.

Where am I?” he said aloud. Suddenly a little band of Smurfs appeared. Their leader stepped forward and said, “This is Oz, Mister Paul.” “Well, it’s all very nice,” Paul replied, “but how can I get back home to Texas?” “That’s easy,” said the Smurf. “All you have to do is…” Just then, Barack Obama came riding in on a drone, accompanied by an army of flying bureaucrats. He was pointing at the ground and shouting, “Sign them up! Sign them up!”

“Run for your life!” shouted Grandpa Smurf. “They’ll force you to buy healthcare insurance, whether you want it or not. If you want to get back to Texas, just follow the yellow brick road and ask the Wizard.” Ron took off running down the road, and along the way he met and befriended some wacky characters who also needed the help of the Wizard: Rick Santorum wanted a brain, Newt Gingrich needed a heart, and Mitt Romney, whose birthday is a national holiday in the Cayman Islands, was in search of courage.

Continuing down the yellow brick road, the foursome watched overhead as a hot air balloon set a world record for the fastest free-fall. It broke a record previously held by Mitt Romney. When they finally reached the capitol building of Oz, they were ushered into a large rotunda, where they were greeted by a holographic figure in a red, white and blue suit. “I am the great and glorious voice of the people,” said the figure, “and anyone who doesn’t believe that is either a slut or a prostitute or both.”

Ron and his companions were suitably awestruck at first, but then they noticed that the voice of the hologram seemed to be coming from behind a nearby curtain, so they opened it. There, seated at the control board was Rush Limbaugh. “Oh, hi,” he said. “All right, I admit, I’m not really the voice of the people, but I am pretty powerful; this is the yawn of a new era, and I think I can help you all get rid of the whine flu.”

In a solemn tone he began, “Rick Santorum, if global warming is not real, as you say it isn’t, then why don’t your sweaters have sleeves? I understand you are so conservative that you won’t even take a bath with Mr. Bubble. I heard that the only airline you’ll fly on is Virgin Airlines. Even I can’t give you a brain, but I’ll tell you what I’ll do. Since you’re always saying how people who think differently from you are ‘disgusting,’ or that they make you ‘want to throw up,’ I’m going to give you the ability to throw up at will. I hereby christen you ‘Rick Gurgitate.’ Now get out there and barf your fool head off!

“Newt Gingrich, let’s face it, you’re as huggable as cactus; you’ll never have a heart, but what I can give you is a signed, notarized testimonial from your ex-wives. They hereby declare that you are ‘gross, verbose, and severely grandiose.’ I’m going to help you come out with a new iPhone app called ‘flabby jowels.’ And since I know you’re a fan of ‘Star Wars,’ your campaign slogan will be ‘May divorce be with you.’

“Mitt Romney, you can always tell a man who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but you can’t tell him much. Foreplay for you is staring at your own baby pictures. I’m going to take you to one of those grungy roadside cafes where you can meet just plain folks for a photo-op. They have a $9.95 all-you-can-keep-down buffet.

“And Ron Paul, I know you just want to get back home to Texas and forget about running for president, so I brought in someone who’s an expert in that regard. He can tell you exactly what to do.” Rick Perry then appeared and shared his wisdom. “Ron, just click your heels together three times and say ‘Oops!’ in a real funny voice. I’ll count off. Ready? One, two, uh, what comes after two? Oops!”

At that point the entire group went off to a fundraising event whose proceeds will benefit a new charity called “White Boys without iPads.” After that, because so many people are angry at these guys, they are all going to be placed in the Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program.