TEA PARTY HOBBITS: It is time to slay the Debt Dragon!
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: We have less than half our hit points! We’ll get annihilated!!
TEA PARTY HOBBITS: But we have to kill him NOW! He gets stronger every day!!
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: Maybe from eating, but not from healing. The Debt Dragon has been around for 600 years! We’d gain more hit points a day than him just resting for a while, especially since you’re too cheap to buy healing potions.
TEA PARTY HOBBITS: We can’t buy anything. We’re broke.
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: No, I’m broke. Greenspan the Green got tons of gold kicking all those dark elves out of their lairs in the Tower of CDO’s. We told Greenspan, “You’ve made plenty of money off these guys. Let’s Teleport back home,” but he said I was restricting your free movement, and you followed him, then boom, we get hit with an encounter we can’t run away from and wake up with half the cash gone. So why don’t you use some of Greenspan’s gold to buy some Potions of Healing for us?
GREENSPAN THE GREEN: I am a Potion Creator, not a Potion Buyer.
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: Not this again. This is what you always say. ‘Give me more money and I’ll create the potions myself.’ Then you go off and sell the rest of the potions to make money to magic items for yourself. How many times do you expect us to fall for that?
GREENSPAN THE GREEN: Potions will not help us. We should just rest until we heal.
GROVDO, THE TEA PARTY HOBBIT LEADER (grabs woman): We go and fight the debt dragon NOW, no potions, or she dies.
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: You know, we WERE fighting the debt dragon before you came along and said we were beating him too early. Then Greenspan led us to defeat at the Dotcom Cave and the Tower of CDO’s. Now you want us to go and fight the debt dragon for no other reason than you suspect Barack will get killed and you may survive.
GROVDO: You must be thinking of someone else. I did not join the party until after Barack defeated the Wizard Cheney and his chimpanzee familiar.
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: Different character. Same player.
BARACK THE BARBARIAN: Let her go and I’ll do what you say.
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: What?? He’s just a Hobbit. You could use one of your barbarian maneuvers to just grab her.
BARACK THE BARBARIAN: My advisers are not persuaded that is a winning maneuver.
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: What advisers? Didn’t most of them quit? And couldn’t you have made them promise not to do this while you were negotiating the spoil cuts just a little while ago?
BARACK THE BARBARIAN: I was sure that they would act responsibly.
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: Great call.
GROVDO: We’re going! Now!! (Cuts the woman.)
MCCAIN-SMEAGOL: The idea seems to be that if he kills the hostage, a crisis in the party will ensue and the people will turn en masse against Barack, then he would have no choice but to fight the Debt Dragon, destroy the Ring of Spending, and the Tea Party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.
MCCAIN-GOLLUM (changes personality): You Tea Party Hobbits! You can’t have our Precious!
TEA PARTY HOBBITS: Have it! We’re trying to destroy it!
BARACK THE BARBARIAN: You’re right, Tea Party Hobbits. The Debt Dragon is an important menace that we need to tackle right now…
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: …
BARACK THE BARBARIAN: But we must tackle it together, all of us at once if we are going to stand a chance!
GROVDO: Us? We’re destroying the Ring of Spending, not fighting the Debt Dragon. You are.
BARACK THE BARBARIAN: It is the only way we can take him down. I am willing to take considerable heat from my party to extend a hand to you and fight the Debt Dragon together… if you just provide a little auxiliary help from the side.
GROVDO: No, we’ve provided enough for the party as it is. As soon as you begin fighting the Debt Dragon, we will get a blessing from the Confidence Fairy and finally be safe from the Invisible Bond Market Vigilantes.
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: This is truly amazing. You heralded the Confidence Fairy every chance you got when Cheney led this party, but it’s never made an appearance. And it’s one thing to be intimidated by Bond Market Vigilantes. It’s another to be intimidated by the fear that Bond Market Vigilantes might show up one of these days.
GREENSPAN THE GREEN: I am in favor for the first time in my memory of having the Hobbits fight with us.
BARACK THE BARBARIAN (to the Hobbits): How about if I agree to fight the Debt Dragon without your help, and I give you everything you ask for, plus some things you didn’t ask for, will you at least let go of the hostage?
GREENSPAN THE GREEN: The fact that I am in favor of going back to the ways things were before Cheney is merely an indicator of how scared I am of this Debt Dragon that has emerged and its order of magnitude.
MCCAIN-GOLLUM: Take it! Take it!
TEA PARTY HOBBITS: No.
BARACK THE BARBARIAN: All right.
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: I think you’ve been emboldening them by the way you keep folding in the face of their threats. You surrendered on the spoil cuts; you surrendered when they threatened to break up the party; and now you’re surrendering on a grand scale to raw extortion over the hostage. Maybe it’s just me, but I see a pattern here.
(The Party Begins to Travel to the Debt Dragon, headed by the Grovdo and his companions: Bach-Sam, Perry, and Pip-Palin.)
MCCAIN-SMEAGOL: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell should be repealed following a study. The DREAM Act will provide a path to citizenship. Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.
MCCAIN-GOLLUM: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell shouldn’t be repealed. No, I wouldn’t vote for my own DREAM Act bill. Rev. Falwell came to my office and said that he wanted to put our differences behind us. I was glad to do that. I never considered myself a Maverick.
GREENSPAN THE GREEN: This is going to be disastrous. We’re not going to be able to get away from the dragon until we take some serious damage.
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: You were the one who reincarnated Grovdo after Barack killed him in his battle against McCain-Gollum. Our soothsayers prophesized that his soul would be lost in the wilderness for 400 years, but you brought him back in only a year stronger than ever. You had him charmed to do your bidding, and now you lost control over your own monster. He’s convinced he was conceived in a virgin birth, but even he doesn’t know the truth about his own origin story, that he’s the long lost son of Ron Paul.
GROVDO: Once the Spending Ring is destroyed and the Debt Dragon is defeated, our party we be back on the road to being great again, just like it was back in the original D&D red box edition.
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: You look back and wax nostalgic about the “simpler time” in the Golden Age of the original system, but you purposely forget minority races had only one class back then, and the wizards you put in charge like Greenspan instead run Second Edition AD&D games where all the high level characters use kits and ridiculous math to take control of the whole game away while entry-level characters have to multi-class just to keep up. At least First Edition AD&D allowed different races to be anything they want.
GREENSPAN THE GREEN: But then Third Edition went to ridiculous lengths to balance things out and it still doesn’t work. The original D&D’s rule about experience being awarded according to the gold piece standard would be a good system to bring back.
(Frum the Bard, a former writer for Cheney’s familiar, walks up.)
FRUM THE BARD: The original D&D’s rule about experience being based on the gold piece system was not as great as you imagined since none of the dice had huge modifier bonuses attached to them and experience awards were extremely random.
(The Party reaches Mordor and splits up, with the Hobbits taking the Ring of Spending to the Volcano and the rest of the party facing up the Debt Dragon. As the Hobbits climb, the Ring bears down on them and they begin to fight among themselves.)
GROVDO (entering volcano): I will have to do this alone….
(Grovdo holds the Ring of Spending over the volcano.)
GROVDO: Wait, if I throw this ring into the volcano, I won’t have any power over the party any more. (Releases his hostage)
(Meanwhile, the party fights the debt dragon.)
Barack unleashes a flurry of cuts against the debt dragon (1,000,000,000,000 d), but a spell reverses the attacks and they instead strike Barack.
The Debt Dragon casts a Delayed Blast Fireball on him that will cause the same amount of damage once it explodes.
The Debt Dragon strikes Greenspan for 266 damage.
Greenspan casts a Minor Healing spell, gaining 30 hp.
The Debt Dragon breathes fire on Greenspan for 513 damage.
Greenspan casts a Minor Healing spell, gaining 61 hit points.
Greenspan then knocks Barack down, causing Barack to drop his Treasury Shield. Greenspan then drops his own weapon and runs over to take shelter behind the newly fallen Treasury Shield.
BARACK THE BARBARIAN: What the hell was that for?
GREENSPAN THE GREEN: It’s the Tea Party Hobbits’ fault for being so uncompromising!
(The Tea Party Hobbits and their leader arrive just as Greenspan says this.)
TEA PARTY HOBBITS: What was that?
BLITZER THE WEREWOLF: He said someone didn’t provide enough damage to the Debt Dragon.
GROVDO: That’s right. Barack got knocked down because he didn’t provide enough cuts! And obviously that Treasury Shield wasn’t doing enough.
BACH-SAM: Barack’s last adviser should resign! He said Greenspan would never turn against Barack!
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: Gpeenspan said he knocked Barack down because of you! But who cares what Greenspan thinks! It was his Poor Standards that convinced you climbing to the top of the Tower of CDO’s was worth the risk! And if the Treasury Shield wasn’t doing enough, why is he cowering behind it?
(Bach-Sam sees the Ring of Spending.)
BACH-SAM: Grovdo, don’t tell me you failed to destroy the Ring of Spending!
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: Don’t act so betrayed. You’ve used the Ring for your own family in the past and you agreed “in principal” to Paul Ryan’s plan to keep the Ring working for the benefit of you Hobbits for another 10 years.
FRUM THE BARD: Looking over these stats, we took a lot more damage from the Tower of CDO’s than we originally thought. When people tell me that I’ve changed my mind too much about too many things over the past four years, I can only point to the devastation wrought by this crisis and wonder: How closed must your thinking be if it isn’t affected by a disaster of such magnitude? And in fact, almost all of our thinking has been somehow affected: hence the drift of so many away from what used to be the mainstream market-oriented WASP-ington Consensus toward to Faustian demonics and Ron Paul style anti-magic item sharing. The ground they and I used to occupy stands increasingly empty. If I can’t follow where most of my friends have gone, it is because I keep hearing Susan Sontag’s question in my ears. Or rather, a revised and updated version of that question: “Imagine, if you will, someone who listened only to Greenspan these last 10 years, and someone who listened only to Krugman. Who would have been better informed about the realities of the current demonic crisis? The answer, I think, should give us pause. Can it be that our enemies were right?”
The Debt Dragon breathes fire on Greenspan for 635 damage.
Greenspan casts a Greater Healing spell, gaining 430 hit points.
The Debt Dragon breathes fire on Greenspan for 520 damage.
Greenspan casts three Greater Healing spells, for 423, 126, and 214 hit points (763 hp).
The Debt Dragon claws Greenspan for 77 damage.
Greenspan drinks a healing tonic, gaining 4 hit points.
The Debt Dragon breathes fire on Greenspan for 420 damage and then claws Greenspan for 173 damage (593 d).
(The dragon circles the party ready to unleash more attacks on the party.)
SULLIVAN THE BARD: We’ve been told again and again that the real motivation of the Tea Party Hobbits is a multi-partisan movement to bring the debt and rule-making under control. I’ve never believed this, partly because these people were never to be found under Cheney’s familiar. It was primarily a laundering device to disappear the Bush years, re-brand the party as a wholly different entity and thereby avoid the long wilderness that the catastrophes of the last decade might have led them into. Now we have some large data sets to review the reality. And the reality is that the Tea Party Hobbits are largely the Cleric right-wing of the party. They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white right-wingers, they had a low regard for demi-humans long before Barack was leader, and they still do. Next to being a Greenspan follower, the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party Hobbit is to see religion play a prominent role in politics. They seek “deeply religious” elected officials, approve of religious leaders’ engaging in politics and want religion brought into political debates. The Tea Party Leader may say their overriding concern is a smaller rule-making, but not their rank and file, who are more concerned about putting the DM in the party. So Bach-Sam is not such a fluke, is she? Or a flake, for that matter.
FRUM THE BARD: It is a peculiarity of the current political moment that a politician with a history of pushing sectarian religious beliefs in rule-making has become a hero to a anti-magic item sharing movement. But is it so peculiar? The Tea Party is not exactly anti-magic item sharing – otherwise it would not so passionately defend medicine for old people. It’s a movement of relatively older and relatively affluent Hobbits whose expectations have been disrupted by the worst demonic crisis since the Great Cataclysm. They are looking for an explanation of the catastrophe – and a villain to blame. They are finding it in the same place that Bach-Sam and her co-religionists located it 30 years ago: a deeply hostile rule-maker controlled by alien and suspect forces, with Barack Obama as their leader and symbol.
BACH-SAM: And the Soviet Union!
KRUGMAN THE ROGUE: Looks like the dragon is coming down for another volley of attacks. Any last words?
GROVDO: This is all the fault of Barack’s leadership policies!
FRUM THE BARD: Question: Which policies? If so minded, you could describe Barack Obama as the biggest spoil cutter in history. You complain about excess spending. Fine. But isn’t the evil of excess spending supposed to be overshooting your maximum hit points rather than losing all of them?
PERRY: He spoke disrespectfully about Flying Carpet owners!
FRUM THE BARD: Really? That’s the indictment? Really?