My Sad Secret Society Meeting 

I've got a confession to make. I'm in the Secret Society. You know the one I'm talking about. Fox News and Congressman Devin Nunes have outed us now, so there's no use in denying it. They've uncovered how the nefarious "deep state" — the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the liberal mass media — is secretly working to take down our peerless leader, President Donald J. Trump.

Fox and Nunes have had help, of course — from patriotic Russian bots, Julian Assange, and from the president himself, who was the first to point out that the institutions we once trusted — to keep us safe from enemies foreign and domestic, to insure justice is served, and to inform the public — are all now in cahoots with one goal: to destroy the president's plan to Make America Great Again.

At our Secret Society meeting last week (I could tell you where it was, but I'd have to have you killed by an FBI agent), there was much concern about this. Several of our leaders actually said they thought the jig might be up.

First to speak was Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who, let's be honest, is one of our ringleaders. He told us the bad news — that the president and his minions were onto us. "They've figured out that Jim Comey, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, and I are lifelong Republicans in name only," he said. "As you know, all of us really work for Barack Obama, the One True Kenyan ..."

Chants arose in the hall — "THE ONE TRUE KENYAN! THE ONE TRUE KENYAN!" — but Mueller raised his hand, asking for silence.

"Yes, Obama is our leader, and he gave us a single instruction when he left office ..."

"Take Down Trump!" we chanted. "Take Down Trump!"

"Yes, but I have to be honest with you," Mueller continued. "That task is getting more and more difficult. Trump is getting rid of us, one by one. If he can take me out, all is lost."

Then CNN's Wolf Blitzer took the podium. "My secret friends," he began, "those of us manning The Situation Room are doing our best to get out damning information about this White House, but it's getting tougher. Sean Hannity is on to us. Jeanine Pirro is chewing my butt like a pitbull. Tucker Carlson is one sharp cookie, despite that stupid bow tie. And don't even get me started on Ann Coulter. He, er, she is a force to be reckoned with! Our measly 'facts' and 'breaking news stories' about Trump's Russian connections don't seem to faze these people. We're calling in fresh pundits every day, but it doesn't seem to matter."

Gloom descended upon the room.

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein then stepped forward, concern clearly etched on his face. "As we planned," he said, "I've tried from the start to skew this investigation to bring down President Trump. First by appointing my friend, Robert, who despite his heroics in Vietnam and decades of service to presidents of both parties, is, as we all know, secretly a crook and a liberal — and one of our best, at that. But we are facing obstacles that we never dreamed of. This patriotic coalition of white supremacists, Russian bots, right-wing media, corporate billionaires, the NRA, and amoral Republican Congressmen may simply prove too much for us.

"Nothing seems to matter, any more," he continued. "Trump can do anything. Yesterday, he decided to just flat refuse to enforce a Russian sanctions bill passed by Congress by a combined vote of 517-5! How does any president get away with that? It's crazy. He just ignores legislation passed by Congress, destroys environmental regulations, tweets insane and verifiable lies, raves about an impossible-to-build wall, and still, we can't stop him. He can have an affair with a porn star — A PORN STAR! — and the evangelicals just love him more. It. Just. Doesn't. Matter. I'm starting to believe that there is nothing we can do to stop this guy. ... I'm sorry."

The room fell silent as the perfectly diverse crowd stared into their cups of Peruvian chai latte. After a few moments, we all began to head for the doors, exchanging hugs and the Secret Society handshake. For me, it was a somber flight back to Memphis. It seemed an inescapable dark age was descending. I couldn't even get through my Vanity Fair. Norway, I thought. Maybe Norway.

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