Priebus Lost: Book 4

IN summer Cleveland, four Days and four Nights
Of turmoil pass’d within th’Arena huge
Of Quicken Loans cacophonous, whose Stage
Was by the Right’s abundant talent cross’d;
From fi’ry Giuliani, to young Ernst
Star rising of the Party, and Cotton, he
Who for a 2020 run e’en now
Was being groomed, so dim were thought the odds
For Trump this year: All spake their piece on stage,
And so did Carson, Christie, Rubio,
All former rivals of Trump pacifi’d
And now begrudgingly allow’d to speak
(Alongside the founder of UFC
As well as some guy from Duck Dynasty).
Four days of vicious slurs against the Dems,
Felonious Hillary denounc’d, with cries
Of “Benghazi!” oft interspers’d, and “Blue
Lives Matter!” too, had pass’d, and some small hope
For Trump’s success renew’d, despite the calls
From holdouts various to stand oppos’d
To their own Candidate, and vote instead
Their Conscience, and concede to Hillary
Before one Vote was cast. In secret now
Was Priebus met with his Lieutenants; cheers
And ovations upon their Chief
And mastermind they shower’d: “Noble Reince,
Wise Priebus, Chairman great of all the Right,
Your words again have proven true: while we,
Your faithless Crew, thought Trump divisive, foul,
Incapable of beating Clinton, you
Maintain’d your Trust, and without fear or qualm
Our Nominee endors’d; and now we see
Your faith repaid. His fervent Speech capp’d off
A Convention magnificent, and prov’d
That of Restraint he’s capable, and that
His careless words and deeds shall not define
His White House bid, and even less impair
Republicans elsewhere in their Campaigns:
The Senate and the House shall not turn Blue.”
At this untemper’d praise delighted, Reince
Repli’d in turn: “Aides, trusty Staffers, friends
And comrades firm, there is no need to fear
Trump simple, easily controll’d, who has
No desire to lead himself, and gave
We true Conservatives total license
To write his Platform, and his Veep, the grey
And archconservative Mike Pence, select:
He only thinks of Winning, nothing more.
The White House he shall give us, after which
The actual Rule shall be our own. Now come,
My charges, let us go and witness him
Campaign across the Nation; watch how he
Expounds our winning Message, and promotes
Conservative Contestants high and low,
By his charisma raising each and all
Who shares our Principles. With him to mouth
The people’s Voice, our victory is sure:
For crony Hillary the White House gates
Shall clos’d remain, now and forevermore.”

Their work in Cleveland done, now Priebus’ crew
Awash anew in confidence, and sure
Their man would now on Message stay until
November, and advance their right-wing Cause
From Sea to shining Sea, amass’d themselves
Behind closed doors to watch their charge campaign
And tear the Dems to shreds, or so they thought;
For soon they gaped appall’d, as Trump proclaim’d
Through serial declaration not his goals
As President, but rather slanders launched
Against his Foes, when better judgment said
To keep his mouth shut, and on Message stay:
“Thank you. These Democrats, they’re just a
Disaster for the country. A disaster.
Just terrible. Look at this email scandal.
There’s thirty thousand emails Crooked
Hillary hasn’t turned over to the
State Department. It’s terrible. She’d be
Terrible for the country. We need Russia
To come in and show what’s in those emails,
Because there’s bad stuff in there, very bad,
Believe me.” At this a puzzled Staffer turn’d
And ask’d his Boss, “Is that not Treason? Does
His plea for foreign Intervention not
Endanger all of us Americans?”
“Well,“ responded Priebus, “What he means—“
“And what about that Khan woman?” spake Trump
In interruption swift. “I tell you why
She didn’t speak at the DNC. It’s
Because the Muslims, they oppress women.
It’s true. It’s their whole thing. The Democrats
Won’t say it, because they’re politically
Correct. They won’t say ‘Radical Islamic
Terror’. They’re weak. They’re scared. They won’t
Stand up to our enemies, like I will.”
“Aw, Christ,” exclaimed an Aide, “I can’t put up
With this Crap. Is this really what we stand
For now—attacking Veterans to make
A point? Fuck it. That’s it. I quit.” He stood
And left, and made a point to slam the door.
For minutes held the awkward silence, until
At last rose Priebus, who with honey’d Tongue
These words of reassurance spake: “All those
Whose Constitution weak cannot condone
The missteps many of our charge, last Hope
We have to bar corrupted Hillary
From uncontested pow’r, go take your leave
And trace your comrade’s footsteps out the door.
Ye who remain, of Fortitude immense
And deep-set Principles, whose Loyalty
In time of need shall not for long be left
Unrecompens’d, I vow to you: the Prize
Will all our struggles justify. I’ll not
Deceive you now, my Acolytes: I’ve had
My doubts, myself. A lot of them. Is Trump
Really controllable, like I believed
At first? Is taking back the White House worth
Potentially abandoning our Values
And Principles in service of a man
Who lit’rally might be a sociopath?
Is our fixation with Clinton so
Extreme that we can’t stop and think about
The consequences of giving the keys
To the Republican Party to a—
Whoops, sorry, got off track there. What I mean
Is this: there is no room for doubt. We can
And must defeat fell Clinton, for the good
Of Party and of Country, and no qualm
Display, or quarter give, in our defense
Of this great Nation, dearly lov’d by us,
Against the Witch who seeks to turn to ruin
What Jefferson, and Washington, and all
The Founding Fathers long ago design’d.
We cannot rest: the comments ill-advised
Our Candidate made will require a swift
And calculated salve to mend the wound
That to our standing with our Veterans
Was cruelly open’d. First, we must compose
A swift Apology, and then with Vets
Trump should appear, and his support for all
Who serve be made express’ly clear. This we
Must quickly do, before he says something el—”
“Guess what Crooked Hillary wants to do,”
Came barging in the voice of Trump, whose speech
In N.C. was by all the networks shown,
Its shocking comments without end replay’d:
“Guess what. She wants to get rid of the
Second Amendment. Ridiculous, right?
And the worst part is, if she takes office,
There’s nobody that can stop her. Well,
Except for the Second Amendment people,
I guess. You know what I mean, right?
Yeah, that’s right. (What I mean is that someone
Should shoot her. Just in case that wasn’t clear.)”
Now Priebus sigh’d and rose, and to the door
He walked with hurried step; alone he fled
To his Office, whose door he locked, and lights
To total darkness dimm’d; and to the wall
Repeatedly his Head impress’d, and thus
A desperate Mantra o’er and o’er pronounc’d:
“It’s just until January, that’s all,
Then you can step down and let someone else
Run this stupid Party, and have some peace,
It’s just until January, that’s all…”