Welcome back to the Republican National Convention. To review, we had hoped, via a teeming arena in Florida, to infect as many as possible with our special brand of recklessness, but Gov. DeSantis beat us to that.
So we’ve taken notes from the Democrats and will do it remotely.
In a few moments we will hear our great president — live — a few feet from his secure bunker. But first: the remote roll call:
“Hello, America. This is Steve Bannon, talking to you from the courthouse jail in New York’s Southern District. Here along with others yearning to breathe free, I’m sharing Donald Trump’s message of white grievance and selling autographed border wall time-share panels.
“As Deep State prisoners, we pledge allegiance to QAnon above all. As for America, who better to ravage it all than the agent of chaos I had wrapped around my pudgy little finger in 2016: Donald Trump?”
“Hello, America. Paul Manafort here, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, reporting to you from home detention. I was in Loretto Correctional Institute when released due to the coronavirus. It’s a good thing I’m not an essential worker.
“You know, prison is no fun, but as I await my pardon for crimes against my country, I keep up on the news.
“Just because a bipartisan Senate committee judged me to be a ‘grave counterintelligence threat’ in dealing with Russians doesn’t mean I was a threat to anyone, certainly not Russians. They were very kind to me and my boss, and their kindness was reciprocated.
“Speaking of reciprocation: Donald, if you’re listening . . .”
“Hello, America. Michael Flynn here. You may remember me from the 2016 RNC Convention leading the ‘Lock Her Up’ chant. Good times.
“The Deep State convicted me of lying to the FBI and buttering Russians’ bread relative to sanctions even before my man Donald took office. Is that so wrong? I was only colluding with them, canoodling with them — nothing more. That’s no crime. Ask Bill Barr.”
“Hello, America. You know me. I’m the Cheshire cat, wear a derby hat, a Nixon tattoo on my back. I’m Roger Stone.
“It looked like I was going to spend a lot of time behind bars for lying to prosecutors, threatening witnesses, and that whole Wikileaks dump of stolen DNC data. Yada, yada, yada.
“When Donald Trump said, ‘Russia, if you’re listening,’ he knew it was unnecessary because he had me on speed-dial.
“Now I’m a free man because I’m Trump’s friend. Don’t like it? Those of you who think we’re crooks can kiss me right below Tricky Dick’s waistband.”
“Hello, America. I’m Rick Gates. You may not remember me, but I headed up Donald Trump’s inauguration and was Paul Manafort’s second-in-command. I served 45 days in jail and am on three years’ probation for obstructing Bob Mueller’s investigation.
“It was worth every penny. Manafort and I made big money from our Ukrainian lobbying. Throw in that Trump tax cut, and that’s some quarantine stash. On behalf of business partner Paul, let me say, ‘Two thumbs up, GOP.'”
“Hello, America. This is Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president for life. Four years ago we put the full weight of our 1,000-member-plus Internet Research Agency behind the Republican Party and Donald Trump, one of our best-tipping guests at the Moscow Ritz Carlton. We look forward to further ‘intergovernmental’ patronization. Nostrovia, Comrade Donald.”
“Hello, America. This is Cyrus Vance, district attorney for New York County. I’m looking forward to learning all about Donald Trump’s activities by examining his tax . . .”
“(Technical difficulties. Please stand by.)”
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: email@example.com.