You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination.
That's the signpost up ahead...

Let us now introduce one Douglas Patton, a man who has both political speechwriter and policy advisor printed upon the yellowing face of his well worn business cards. And though he would be reluctant to admit it, Patton has another craft he plies as well - that of political columnist. Mister Patton has not been sleeping well lately, because of certain disturbing dreams, dreams about the past, frightening dreams where history itself is not only rewritten, but shockingly transformed. Tonight's episode of the Twilight Zone is appropriately titled 'Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue'.

On August 25, 2004, headlines across the country screamed the story: “Our Worst Nightmare Realized;” “Dirty Bombers Strike Five Major Cities;” Now We Truly Are At War;” and “Millions May Be Dead!”

A ragged newsboy wanders down the street, tears streaming down his dirty but innocent face: "Extra! Extra! Millions die in nuclear blasts! Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The end is surely nigh!"

 

Narrator: "Meanwhile the president is in a state of near paralysis".

President Bush, winging his way across the Pacific on Air Force One after a trip to Asia, ordered the Pentagon to DEFCON 1, where it stood prepared for all out war — but with whom? Was this, once again, the work of Osama bin Laden? Was it Saddam Hussein? Both? If only he had pushed harder to take out the Iraqi dictator when the intelligence clearly pointed to him as a source of weaponry for terrorists.

The plane's radio crackles and an urgent voice is heard: "Mister President, we're locked and loaded. Are you receiving our signal? What is our target? Repeat - what is our target?"

 

George Bush looks morosely at a Jack Daniels mini-bottle, tears streaming down his clean but guilt-stricken face. He hurls the bottle to the floor and buries his face in his hands. Whispering. Prayer-like. "I wish... I wish to God I knew... Was it Osama... No, he's not powerful enough on his own... He can't be... It must be... no, maybe it's... no... yes... it's both... both of those monsters... Saddam helping Osama to destroy... Oh, no... Heaven help me... If only I had pushed harder to take out that damnable Iraqi dictator when the intelligence clearly pointed to him as a source of weaponry for terrorists... Oh God... I've let them all down... Dad... Dick... the American people..."

Congress immediately returned from its August break for a special emergency joint session. Strangely, Washington, DC, had not been among the cities hit...

Narrator: "Rather strange, indeed..."

...but in the interest of security, members of the House and Senate met under heavy guard in the underground at STRATCOM Headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, near Omaha.

Narrator: "STRATCOM, near Omaha, Nebraska... Why did I even bother to mention Washington DC..."

“Mr. Speaker, I can scarcely utter the words,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, intoned.

Flashback shot of Nancy Pelosi, earlier that day, in a Washington DC dressing room, surrounded by a flurry of make-up artists. She is wearing only an ivory colored teddy, and sipping a Cosmopolitan while watching the horrific scenes of destruction on three HDTV screens. The volume is turned off, and the sounds of Franz Ferdinand fill the room. George Soros is smoking an enormous doobie.

 

"George, please don't bogart that joint. It's Iraqi gold, you know..."

“This morning, downtown Manhattan, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Seattle and Los Angeles are smoldering, radioactive ruins. We have no idea how horrendous is the loss of human life today.”

Cut to limo shot, where Pelosi is swigging from a bottle of Cristal.

"Was I properly dramatic, George? Oh, don't get me wrong... I do feel just horrible about this whole mess, but if we can just bring George Bush down in disgrace, I think it will be all worth it. Anything to save our precious abortion rights".

 

Close up of Soros' evil grin. Spittle flecks the corners of his lips: "Don't worry, darling. We'll always have Washington DC."

 

Narrator: "Their precious abortion rights were hanging by a mere thread... How many more would die for their denial of the threat from outside?"

“Our nation is under attack as never before,” Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV, said in a wavering voice. “God help us all.”

Close up of an angry God: "No way, Jose."

For a few days, the nation stood united, much as it had after the September 11, 2001, attack. There was a clear sense of frustration. America, the most powerful nation in the world, had the capability to strike back with the most terrible arsenal ever assembled. And yet, we sat, contemplating the consequences of our actions.

Two lobbyists sit at a fabulous bistro on K Street in Washington DC, eating quiche and mixed fruit. One opens his Prates Brunelleschi Italian leather briefcase and casually drops the Buccellati Sterling flatware inside.

 

"Got to run, pal. I'm off to see Senator Ted".

 

"You think he's going to bite on our proposal?"

 

"Sure thing. He is the conscience of the nation. Ahahahaha."

 

"Ahahahahaha."

Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-MA, was the first to break the bipartisan spirit. Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate, he delivered a blistering address accusing the president of ignoring intelligence suggesting that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Narrator: "Weapons of mass destruction... It was so obvious..."

“The president had every opportunity to take out this evil dictator,” Kennedy said. “We all knew he had WMDs. We all knew he had ties to terrorists. We all knew, but it was the president’s responsibility to deal with Saddam Hussein, and now America is paying the price for George W. Bush’s incompetence.”

Cut to Oval Office, where an exhausted President Bush is conferring with his top aide.

 

"So that's it, Jenna? You think that we should give bin Laden the state of Israel, and just issue a declaration of disapproval to Saddam? With millions dead?"

 

"We have to, daddy. The Bible says to turn the other cheek. And besides, with no drilling in ANWR, we're still dependent on them for oil. Iraq is offering us twenty-six dollars a barrel till we can get the country back on it's feet."

 

"Damn this country and it's unsavory addiction to foreign oil. If only we had listened to Al Gore... I wonder what Karl would have said..."

 

"Put the bottle down, daddy! Karl is in jail."

After that, Senators Hillary Clinton, Dick Durbin, Joe Biden, Tom Harkin and Barbara Boxer all took up the cause. In the House, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, was the first to utter the “I” word — impeachment.

Narrator: "The first to utter the I word... Ironic, isn't it?"

“Mr. Chairman,” she announced in a committee hearing in late September, “this president has failed to defend this nation in time of war. His actions in ignoring clear intelligence concerning the danger of WMDs in the hands of a lunatic borders on treason. At the very least, he is guilty of willful, criminal incompetence. Therefore, I am today calling for articles of impeachment against one George Walker Bush, President of the United States.”

Cut to the O'Reilly factor: "...has sold the country down the river in a rickety rowboat. There are no second acts on the American stage, and the very least we owe this president is a speedy impeachment, and a lifetime behind bars, where he can ponder his reluctance to act to save the country he was elected to lead. To do anything else would be ridiculous."

A few loyal Republicans in the House and Senate tried in vain to stop the proceedings, but in the end, George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, became the first man ever impeached, convicted and removed from the office of the presidency.

Close up of Douglas Patton, sweating, sheets twisted, eyes moving rapidly behind closed lids. Camera pulls back to reveal Rod Serling, smoking in a darkened corner of the room.

 

"Douglas Patton, a man condemned to not only relive history, but to constantly rewrite it, in all it's terrible permutations, each equally possible, at least here, in The Twilight Zone."

 

 

©2005, Mark Hoback