Suzanne Fields

An important senator is hit by a truck and dies on the street. He arrives at the pearly gates and is greeted by St. Peter.

"Well," says St. Peter, "we seldom see a member of Congress up here, and we've decided that you must spend one day in hell and one in heaven and then choose where to spend eternity."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator to hell. When the doors open below, he finds himself on a cool, green golf course. (It looks a lot like St. Andrews in Scotland.) His friends and old colleagues greet him with warmth and bonhomie, eager to reminisce about the good times they had getting rich at taxpayer expense and fattening their pet pigs. After a round of golf and a massage, they dine on lobster, caviar and champagne. Satan turns out to be a very friendly fellow, with laughter and jokes.

Soon the 24 hours pass and the senator returns to heaven, where he spends another amiable 24 hours, playing the harp, floating from cloud to cloud, admiring angels who look a lot like Marilyn Monroe, singing all the many verses of "Amazing Grace," and enjoying the pleasures of discipline and restraint. St. Peter finally tells him it's time to choose.

"Well," the senator says, "heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell. They're my kind of people."

St. Peter escorts him to the elevator for his final descent into hell. When the doors open this time, he finds himself in a barren land of waste, rubble and garbage. His friends, in rags, are picking up garbage, stuffing it into ever bigger bags as rubbish continually falls from above.

"I don't understand," the frightened senator stammers. "Yesterday there was a golf course, a clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar and drank champagne at restaurants that looked a lot like the Palm and Charlie Palmer's, and had a high old time. Now there's nothing but garbage and my friends look miserable."

"Ah," says Satan, "yesterday we were campaigning. Today, you voted."

No matter which party governs, it can always expect to be aggressively pursued by bribery, debauchery and corruption. Temptation trumps good intentions when the elected become more concerned with holding on to power than pleasing the people who put them in office.

It's remarkable how many Republicans and conservative friends of Republicans are not only not wasting time on regrets about how the elections turned out, but are actually satisfied with what happened. A lot of the people who put the Republicans in power think the party had a hard lesson coming.

Suzanne Fields

Suzanne Fields is currently working on a book that will revisit John Milton's 'Paradise Lost.'

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