"Welcome to absolutely the very last Republican presidential debate. We promise. I’m your moderator, Elizabeth Hasselbeck.
“Because the candidates have complained about their treatment by the media, each questioner on our panel has been selected by an individual candidate based on mutual affection and nothing more.
“Though we are here at Fox News headquarters, pursuant to agreed-upon rules, Megyn Kelley is nowhere in the building. So let’s begin.
“Our first question-answer team is — Ben Carson and Glenn Beck!”
Beck: “Dr. Carson, you are a truth-teller, man of great faith, a man of great intellect. When you say that a 10 percent to 15 percent flat tax would not explode the federal deficit as the Tax Foundation asserts, but that instead it will dynamically, indeed, miraculously, generate enough revenue to wipe out the deficit, I believe you. I really, really believe you.”
Carson: “Thank you, Glenn.”
Hasselbeck: “Our next question-answer team: Sean Hannity and Jeb Bush!”
Hannity: “Gov. Bush, do you recall when Vice President Cheney convinced many Americans that Saddam Hussein was tied to the 9/11 attacks?”
Bush: “Yes, I do.”
Hannity: “Do you remember when your brother convinced Congress that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons?”
Bush: “Yes, I do, Sean.”
Hannity: “And you remember when your brother got that congressional resolution and we rolled tanks and bombed Baghdad?”
Bush: “Yes I do, Sean.”
Hannity: “That was awesome.”
Hasselbeck: “And now, the duo of Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump.”
O’Reilly: “Donald, no mushball questions from me. You know how I work. No spin here.
“So, as I understand it, Donald, you’ve been accused of being racist in your highly reasonable claims about Mexico importing rapists and murderers into our country, and Mexicans preying on our people and gobbling up welfare benefits.
“The truth is — and you can verify this for me, Donald, because you know yourself best — but the truth is you are indeed a true friend to law-abiding brown-skinned people who stay where they belong. Isn’t that the truth?”
Trump: “Si. Es verdad.”
Hasselbeck: “For our next question-answer team, we have Marco Rubio and “Fox and Friends” morning host Steve Doocy.”
Doocy: “Marco – can I call you that? Thanks for being my question-and-answer friend. And as your friend, let me ask you: Your opponents point to a beyond-dismal, almost invisible attendance record in the Senate. You have pointed out, rightly, that you can serve your country better by traveling the country on the Koch brothers’ dime.
“After all, Marco, nothing can get done in the Senate with the specter of a filibuster by the Harry Reid chorus. And of course you have the dictator Obama waiting to veto anything great you might do, with his czars and executive orders. You tell me, Marco: What the heck is a senator to do?”
Rubio: “Run for president.”
Hasselbeck: “Our next candidate is Ted Cruz. For his questioner he has chosen Ted Cruz.”
Cruz: “Thanks, Elizabeth. Now, Sen. Cruz, please tell us a few things about yourself.”
Cruz: “Born in America to a steelworker and a candy-striper. Despite my humble origins, I was anointed by God to serve in the Senate and ultimately the presidency.”
Cruz: “That is an inspiring narrative. Tell us about your success in government.”
Cruz: “My foremost achievement was to shut down the government for 16 days in 2013. If elected president, I promise to do the same for at least four years. I ask for your vote.”
Cruz: “You have my vote.”
Hasselbeck: “Thank you, candidates and panelists. We apologize to candidates Fiorina, Paul, Christie and the rest for running out of time. We also have a report that Megyn Kelley has penetrated the security cordon and is in makeup. The candidates are being taken to a secure location.”
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.