Sunday, February 25, 2024

Wingnuts of Washington

Posted

An unsuccessful plot by a radical fringe group to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has raised concerns here in Washington state over the security of some of our elected officials, specifically Gov. Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. Both have been the target of threats from hate groups who carry their disagreements with political policies and decisions to the extreme.

This current state of affairs inspired me to compose a fictional scenario similar to Crimson Contagion, the pandemic exercise carried out in 2019 by Trump administration officials to role-play the possible train of events that would accompany the outbreak of a life-threatening disease for which no vaccine was available.

I submit the following fictional narrative that unfolds over seven days as one possible outcome purely in the interests of animating the actions of those responsible for maintaining the safety and security of both of our above-named public officials:

Day 1: A domestic terrorist group calling itself Wingnuts of Washington (WOW) stages simultaneous diversions of the motorcades of Gov. Inslee and Mayor Durkin who are scheduled to attend the grand opening of the Dunkin'-Starbucks Coffee & Donut Emporium. The new business consortium engineered by coffee mogul Howard Schulz appears to offer the greatest security venue at the inaugural of its flagship store since every policeman in Seattle will be there. Anticipating this event, however, WOW diverts both parties with clever Detour to Donuts road signs that direct the security details away from the official vehicles thereby allowing an easy capture of the designated officials.

Day 2: Ransom notes, signed by “Desperate Men” arrive at both the governor’s mansion and Seattle City Hall. The notes demand a handsome ransom – is that a rhyme? – in small, unmarked bit coins for the safe and prompt return of both public servants.

Day 3: Taking a cue from our British friends across the Big Water - who were polled some years back on a website called Name Our Ship to select an official name for a new research vessel built for the National Environment Research Council - a campaign is launched on statewide and Seattle social media for suggestions as to how to respond to “Desperate Men” and their ransom request.

In the Name Our Ship contest an overwhelming majority of Brits crashed the site with the selection of Boaty McBoatface as their choice. Washington respondents likewise turn the tables on “Desperate Men” by demanding payment of a small fortune before they will agree to the return of the Gov. and Mayor.

Day 4: “Desperate Men” are now truly desperate. Not only do they have hostages nobody is willing to ransom, they face bankruptcy if forced to pay the counter-ransom demands to be rid of their charges.

Day 5: “Desperate Men” advise President Trump of their dilemma together with a request for federal agent intervention or a CARES Act loan to relieve them of their burden. The President, rather, condemns the activists for their boneheaded caper saying: “You know how expensive it is to feed, groom, house, transport, and entertain a public official, even a Democrat? They’ll be flat broke by Christmas. Take me for example. *During my first 3-1/2 years in office I visited one of my many properties – at taxpayer expense - nearly 400 times!” (*Editor’s note: This is the only part of the scenario that is not fiction. Look it up. The Swamp That Trump Built, nytimes.com).

Day 6: Running out of options, “Desperate Men” offer to release their captives to Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, Montana, Flint, Michigan, China, Syria, Iran, Russia, and unspecified other renegade states. All offers are rebuffed, however, with diplomatically worded replies to the effect: “Thanks but no thanks. We have enough problems with officials of our own.”

Day 7: “Desperate Men” concede defeat and decide to abandon their plans for a fat payday and dropped both Democrats at the one spot where nobody is likely to look for them: The Governor’s apple orchard.

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