Seven candidates meet in a flag-festooned auditorium, with flag pins and teabags pinned to their lapels. Unfortunately, then they opened their mouths.
MARK SANFORD: Hello, I’m Fox commentator and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, moderator for this evening’s debate between the Republican Presidential candidates. First question: what measures would you take to ensure that nobody can enter the United States from any Latin American country other than Argentina?
JON HUNTSMAN: I think your question assumes –
RICK PERRY: I would do three things. First, I’d build a fence. Second, I’d dig a moat. And the third thing….third thing….Wait a minute, it’ll come to me….
HERMAN CAIN: Well, my fence would be electrified! And it would be smack in the middle of the moat, so people who tried to cross would be electrified and fried until their eyes bugged out and looked all crazy.
MICHELE BACHMANN: Like this! (Demonstrates.)
NEWT GINGRICH: I don’t think electrification is necessary. (Crowd boos.) Just shooting them is fine.
SANFORD: Are you sure you want to take such a moderate position, Speaker Gingrich?
MITT ROMNEY: Well, my moat would have mechanical alligators with laser beams!
RON PAUL: The Constitution doesn’t say anything about alligators.
ROMNEY: Actually I was against that all along.
PAUL: Border control should be done by private industry, with armed bands of vigilantes patrolling. Paid in gold, obviously.
SANFORD: Next question is for Speaker Gingrich. What are your thoughts on the importance of defending marriage?
GINGRICH: That’s a very important subject that I was just discussing with my wife Groverina.
SANFORD: Isn’t your wife’s name Calista?
GINGRICH: Oh, that’s so last Thursday. Calista came down with a life-threatening illness, so I dumped her and married the salesgirl from Tiffany’s. I blame the gays.
SANFORD: Oh, me too.
BACHMANN: My husband Marcus has dedicated his life to saving marriage from the gays. So much so that he hardly ever comes home.
SANFORD: Next question is for Governor Romney. You’ve previously stated your support for Roe v. Wade. Later you said you’re in support of a fetal personhood amendment. What’s your current position?
ROMNEY: I think those examples show that I’ve always been consistent. I support personhood for zygotes, corporations, and cyborgs. Especially cyborgs.
PERRY: The sanctity of life is absolute. And if anyone says any different, I’ll execute them! (Audience cheers.)
BACHMANN: I’ll waterboard them first, and then execute them! (Audience cheers.)
PAUL: As a libertarian, I believe the government should stay out of people’s private lives. So we’ll contract out to a corporation to make women’s reproductive decisions for them. Paid in gold, of course.
GINGRICH: I think we should pass an amendment saying that corporations are the only true persons. It’s discussed in my book, which is available on my website. Just google me.
SANTORUM: I agree. Only, um, don’t google me.
BACHMANN: Did anyone google me?
CAIN: I did not google her! I never even touched her!
HUNTSMAN: On this issue –
SANFORD: Next question is for Governor Romney and Senator Santorum. Whose dog should be more nervous?
ROMNEY: Mine. I mean his. I’ve always said that.
SANTORUM: I believe Americans would abolish the ASPCA if they realized it was providing contraception to dogs and cats.
SANFORD: Next question is on China policy.
HUNTSMAN: Great, that’s an area where I have a lot of experience.
SANFORD: The question is for Mr. Cain. How important is it to keep China from getting nuclear weapons?
CAIN: I’ve got all these thoughts swirling around in my head about it. It’s absolutely crucial, even if it means we need to invent time travel to do it. And that doesn’t need to make sense, because I’m not a politician, I’m a businessman. (Audience cheers.)
SANFORD: For the next question, we have a guest moderator, Zombie Reagan. (Audience cheers.)
ZOMBIE REAGAN: Hello candidates. What would be your view on an economic plan where entitlements were protected and the top marginal tax rate was 50 percent?
BACHMANN: That’s totally socialist! Nobody should pay any taxes at all, except the 47 percent that currently don’t pay federal income taxes!
CAIN: I have a 9-9-9 plan. 9 percent tax on imports from Uze-beki-beki-beki-stan, 9 percent tax on all goods except pizza, and no taxes on calling 900 numbers.
PERRY: My plan is just three points, which makes it 3 times better than yours. Abolish all taxes and services, raise revenue by charging admission to executions, and….durnit, what was the third one? Nice red uniforms?
PAUL: No taxes. And no government. Government is evil. That’s why I’m running to be in charge of it.
GINGRICH: My plan is based on a wonderful book by Jonathan Swift called A Modest Proposal. Also, five-year-old janitors.
HUNTSMAN: My plan is –
SANFORD: Now we’ll take questions from the audience.
HUNTSMAN: I wasn’t finished.
SANFORD: Sorry, we have to leave time in case Chris Christie wants to say something.
HUNTSMAN: He’s not even running!
SANFORD: He might be flying his helicopter from next door as we speak. First audience member. You, sir.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #1: Hi, my name’s Joe and I’m a plumber.
BACHMANN: Joe the Plumber!
AUDIENCE MEMBER #1: No, not that guy Sam who wasn’t really a plumber. I’m an actual licensed plumber. I spent 30 years working really hard, building a business, and then the economy crashed and my company went under. My unemployment ran out, and then the bank foreclosed on my home even though it turned out they didn’t really own it. So I guess my question is, as President, what would you be doing for people like me?
ALL CANDIDATES: GET A JOB, LOSER!
SANFORD: Next question.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: Hello, I’m Mike Huckabee. My question is, am I out of my mind for not running against this crew?
ROMNEY: Yes. I mean no. I mean that in the most consistent way.
(Sarah Palin has replaced Mark Sanford at the moderator’s table.)
SARAH PALIN: Hello, I’m Fox commentator and Russia monitor Sarah Palin. (Winks.)
CAIN: Oh yeah!
PALIN: Governor Sanford seems to have disappeared and left a note – something about hiking the Appalachian Trail. So I’m taking over for my usual $100,000 speaking fee. I only had room for one question on my hand, and it’s for Mr. Huntsman.
HUNTSMAN: I get a question? Really?
PALIN: The question is: if I jumped back in the race, how much cash do you think I could milk it for?
HUNTSMAN: Well, probably –
PAUL: None, because if it’s not gold, it’s not really money.
BACHMANN: I had a woman come crying up to me after the last debate, and she said that she’d been a Palin campaign volunteer, and touching a check made out to Sarah Palin made her mentally retarded.
PALIN: We have time for one more audience question, and we haven’t gotten a photo-op with a person of color who isn’t a candidate. There’s only one here. You, sir.
(Audience member #3 is an African-American man with prominent ears and very fake-looking moustache.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER #3: I just want to thank you all for this very illuminating debate, and hope that you have several hundred more of them between now and election day.
PALIN: I think we can do that.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #3: Yes we can.