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Satire: A "Hardball" Exclusive! By: William Katz
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, May 24, 2005


CHRIS MATTHEWS:  The foreign relations committee of the Continental Congress is weighing the nomination of Thomas Jefferson to be ambassador to France.  Tommy Jefferson – Virginia planter, great writer, so-so politician.  There's a lot of heat over this one.  Muskets are blasting.  Let's run to the hearings.

CHAIRMAN:  Meeting will come to order.  Mr. Jefferson, welcome.

 

THOM. JEFFERSON:  It's a pleasure to be among friends.

 

CHAIRMAN:  You may take off your wig if you like.

 

JEFFERSON:  Thank you, I will. 

 

CHAIRMAN:  As you know, your nomination has attracted much praise and much scorn.  We're here to get to the facts.  We'll start with Delegate Boxer.

 

BOXER:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Mr. Jefferson, as a woman, as a pro-choice mother, I believe we must reach out to other nations.

 

JEFFERSON:  So do I.

 

BOXER:  Oh, I don't think so.  I've read your Declaration of Independence, and I'm very upset.

 

JEFFERSON:  What don't you like?

 

BOXER:  It's belligerent.  It's unilateral.  It sends all the wrong messages.  We need a man who'll win friends, not lose them.

 

JEFFERSON:  Could you be specific?

 

BOXER:  Yes.  You say, right at the start, "When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands.."  Am I correct so far?

 

JEFFERSON:  Yes, I wrote that.  I think John Adams changed a word or two.

 

BOXER:  "Dissolve," Mr. Jefferson?  Just split off?  Go our own way?  Without any multinational approval?

 

JEFFERSON:  Well, I don't know who you'd call.

 

BOXER:  You don't.  And you want to represent us in a country that prepares quiche.

 

JEFFERSON:  What does eating have to do with this?

 

BOXER:  And then you write, "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal.."  Did you say that?

 

JEFFERSON:  Guilty.

 

BOXER:  Mr. Jefferson, do you know how arrogant that sounds?  Who are we?  You neo-revolutionaries think we're the center of the universe, the only people who count on our small planet.  And "self-evident"?  You're going to meet graduates of the Sorbonne and say "self-evident?" 

 

JEFFERSON:  Yes.

 

BOXER:  I need a break.

 

CHRIS MATTHEWS:  We're back with "Hardball."  With me is Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation.  Katrina, what'd you think?

 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Disgusting.  The man is a rich Virginia hick.

 

MATTHEWS:  You think he'd mess up in France?

 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  He'd be a disaster.  Don't forget, Chris, his last declaration started a war.  That's the neo-rev plan – more wars, more American power.  Then we wonder why they hate us.

 

MATTHEWS:  What else don't you like?

 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  He's a southern religious nut.  He says in that so-called declaration he wrote, "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.."  He's going to say that to the king of France?   

 

MATTHEWS:  I get your drift.  Quickly, if he goes down, who's your choice to replace him?

 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Well, it's too bad we lost Benedict Arnold.  At least the man knew now to relate to other countries.  I'll have to think.

 

MATTHEWS:  They're starting again.  Let's go back to the combat. 

 

 

CHAIRMAN:  Chair recognizes the gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Kerry.

 

KERRY:  Thank you.  You know, Mr. Jefferson, I fought in the Revolution.

 

JEFFERSON:  Yes, I've heard.

 

KERRY:  I was right there with the troops, until I decided we'd been at it too long.  Then I came back, and in good conscience, as a patriot…

 

JEFFERSON:  Yes, I've heard.

 

KERRY:  But that's the past.  Mr. Jefferson, have you ever lived in France?

 

JEFFERSON:  No.

 

KERRY:  I have.  Studied there.  My wife speaks several languages. 

 

JEFFERSON:  Yes, I've heard.

 

KERRY:  And I'm worried about your style.  I understand, when the Declaration was being written, you kind of bullied the other delegates.

 

JEFFERSON:  Bullied?

 

KERRY:  You and John Adams went at it.  You tried to have his changes taken out.

 

JEFFERSON:  Well, we disagreed.

 

KERRY:  Makes me uncomfortable when a man doesn't tolerate dissent. 

 

JEFFERSON:  Now, wait, it was my Declaration.                          

 

BOXER:  Let me get in here.  So it's about property rights, and ownership.

 

JEFFERSON:  I didn't say that.

 

BOXER:  If it had been written by someone a little more sensitive, and diplomatic, it would have been our Declaration.  Ours.  Men and women, gay and straight, including dissenters.  We are a community!

 

JEFFERSON:  Yes, that's what I tried to say.

 

BOXER:  And the way you end this Declaration – we pledge "our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."  How macho, Mr. Jefferson.  And you want to go to the most feminine of nations?

 

JEFFERSON:  I can handle it.

 

BOXER:  I need a break.

 

CHRIS MATTHEWS:  Fireworks.  Blood on the floor.  Katrina, what'd you think?

 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  He's bully boy with a big house.                  

 

MATTHEWS:  You think Jefferson's his own man?

 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  You kidding?

 

MATTHEWS:  Who runs him?

 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Chris, read The Nation next week. We're ripping the lid off, exposing this man for what he is.

 

MATTHEWS:  Gimme a heads up.

 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  We call it, "Thom. Jefferson – Front Man for Ariel Sharon."

 

William Katz is a New York writer, author of ten books, and a former editor on The New York Times Magazine.




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