just when you thought it was safe…

It’s the beginning of summer on Amity Island, DC. Beach weather. After our pandemic year, we’re all looking to relax and take it easy, to get our lives back to something like normal. Young people, feeling invulnerable, hold an impromptu beach party. Drinking. Flirting. Playing guitars. Skinny dipping in legislative waters.

The next morning, the remains of a lithe and vibrant young election result was found washed up on the beach. Noted legislative expert Dr. E. Warren examines the cadaver.

“The height and weight of the election result can only be estimated from the partial remains. It has been severed in mid-thorax. There are no major organs remaining. May I have a glass of water please? Right arm has been severed with massive tissue loss in the upper legislative musculature. This was no boating accident! This is what happens with the non-frenzy feeding of a large legislative-eating great white filibuster.”

This was no boating accident.

According to Dr. Warren, “The great white filibuster is attracted to the exact kind of splashing and activity that occurs whenever human beings go legislating civil rights. You cannot avoid it.” She convinces Police Chief Uncle Joe Biden to alert the Amity Island DC authorities. She tells them, “There are only two ways to deal with this problem: you either kill the animal, or cut off its food supply.” Chief Uncle Joe wants to warn the public, close the beach loopholes, keep democracy alive. But…

But Joe Manchin is the Mayor of Amity Island, DC. He says, “I don’t think either one of you are familiar with our problems! Amity is a political town. We need political dollars. I don’t think you appreciate the gut reaction people have to these things, Chief. It’s all psychological. You yell ‘Point of order!’ everybody says ‘Huh? What?’ You yell ‘Filibuster,’ we’ve got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.The beaches must stay open.”

The weekend comes. Political families gather at the beach. Adults are wearing sunscreen, sitting in beach chairs reading trashy novels, glancing up now and then at the young legislation playing noisily in the shallow water…the shallow water thirty feet from shore, where most filibuster attacks take place.

Da dum. Daaa dumm. Daaa dumm. DadumDadumDadum.

As Senators and ordinary citizens watch in horror, the filibuster strikes. An innocent Commission on the Insurrection is savagely attacked in full view of the people. Attacked, killed, dragged under the water, and eaten while politicians stand on the beach, helpless to stop the massive filibuster.

Sinema makes her presence known.

Their fears confirmed, Chief Uncle Joe consults a quirky, eccentric, grizzled local legislative renegade–Sinema. The chief asks Sinema to help find and kill the filibuster, to keep democracy safe. She says, “It ain’t gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills or naming a post office. This filibuster, swallow ya whole. Little shakin’, little tenderizin’, down you go. I value my neck a lot more than that. I’ll find this filibuster for democracy, but I’ll catch it–and kill it–for attention.”

The three of them–Chief Uncle Joe, Dr. Warren, and Sinema–go out to sea in Sinema’s ancient fishing boat, the Ego. She’s unimpressed with Dr. Warren’s anti-filibuster cage. “You go inside the cage? Cage goes in the water? You go in the water? Filibuster’s in the water? Our filibuster?” She begins to sing, quirkily, “Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies….”

Chief Uncle Joe is put to work ladling chum–bloody bits of minor legislation and judicial nominations–into the water to attract the filibuster. And sure enough, it appears. It’s enormous, gargantuan, a monstrous bloody-toothed freak of nature–a ravenous, insatiable creature of mythical proportion.

Da dum. Daaa dumm. Daaa dumm. DadumDadumDadum.

The filibuster approaches.

We’re gonna need a bigger Congress,” Chief Uncle Joe says. Sinema sees the filibuster up close and is staggered. She turns to Chief Uncle Joe and says, “When you have a place that’s broken and not working, and many would say that’s the Amity Island DC today, I don’t think the solution is to erode the laws of nature. I think the solution is for islanders to change their behavior and begin to work together with the filibuster.

Sinema turns her boat around. They head back to the harbor, where Mayor Manchin is waiting at the dock. Sinema and Manchin stand by silently while Republicans prevent future beach closures. The filibuster is still out there, still hungry, still waiting just below the surface.

Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu, you ladies of Spain. For we’ve received orders for to sail back to Boston. And so nevermore shall we see you again.