WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) today announced his willingness to sit down with President Obama to work on a “Grand Bargain” on budget and tax issues. The only stipulation McConnell placed on his offer to reach across the aisle for the good of the nation is that current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) be drawn and quartered before any negotiations begin.
“It is time to put partisanship aside for the sake of the country,” said Senator McConnell. “While I may not get everything I want through negotiations with the White House, just holding those negotiations will mean that Harry Reid has had his arms and legs pulled from their sockets via ropes tied to four separate horses as the screams from his then limbless-torso echoed throughout the land. And that’s a win for our side.”
Despite McConnell’s enthusiasm, experts warn that he may not fully understand the technicalities of his stipulation. “If Senator McConnell wants Senator Reid to be drawn and quartered, he will have to do more than just tie the Majority Leader to four horses in order to have his arms and legs pulled from his body,” said Professor Darius Rejali, an Iranian-born American torture expert who teaches political science at Reed College.
“First he will need to have Senator Reid dragged to his place of execution by horse, then Senator Reid would have to be hanged, yet cut down while still alive,” explained Professor Rejali. “Next, Senator McConnell would have to disembowel Senator Reid and burn the entrails before the horrified Senator, then he would need to behead Reid before getting the horses involved.
“Obviously there wouldn’t be any screams when the limbs were pulled off, what with the head having been lopped off beforehand,” added Professor Rejali.
Senator Reid’s office was aware of McConnell’s offer, and Reid Chief of Staff David Krone released the following statement. “The fact that the Minority Leader has admitted the need to sit down with Democrats at all indicates how just weak the GOP’s position is on taxes. While Senator Reid hopes his gruesome and public death will not end up being required in order to reach an agreement, he understands that all options must be on the table.”
The White House was quick to respond to Senator McConnell’s proposal. “The President is always happy to sit down with members of both political parties and find ways to work together to solve the nation’s problems,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “Naturally we cannot condone violence on the level suggested by the distinguished gentleman from Kentucky, but we remain open to tar and feathering or perhaps branding the Majority Leader, if it will bring the GOP to the table.”
While some have questioned the wisdom of introducing capitol punishment into the legislative process, historians note that it would not be the first time senseless violence was used to break legislative logjam.
“Originally, the office of Democratic or Republican Whip was intended to literally whip the other side into submission on difficult legislation,” explained Congressional Historian John Lawrence. “While attitudes softened just prior to World War II, Alan Cranston brought it back with a vengeance in the 1980s. Some of the things he did to [Republican Minority Leader] Howard Baker were just plain twisted. Cranston was a sick bastard.”