it when I'm out from behind the web-senseless firewall.)
Screamin' by Michael Ackley:
Harry Potter spells lesson for congressional muggles
"Heavens to Betsy!" exclaimed Howard Bashford. "Amy, look at this."
Bashford, top aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Amy Handleman, who held the same position under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were perusing J.K. Rowling's latest "Harry Potter" book, looking for material their bosses might quote to enhance their pop-culture credibility.
"What is it?" asked Handleman, looking up from her copy of "The Deathly Hallows."
"Look at what Rowling has Harry saying," said Bashford, pointing to a paragraph deep in the volume. "It seems Rowling has lost control of her own character. Instead of having him gain peace through clever, wizard diplomacy, she has him fighting!"
"No!" said Handleman, scanning the paragraphs her counterpart indicated, in which Harry was asked why his wizard mentor "didn't tell him to hide, then? ... Why didn't he say to him, 'Take care of yourself, here's how to survive?'"
To this Rowling had Harry respond, "Because ... sometimes you've got to think about more than your own safety! Sometimes you've got to think about the greater good! This is war!"
"Maybe those terrorist bombings in London sort of, you know, unhinged her," suggested Handleman. "I never thought she'd openly advocate war, which we know is never justified."
"I don't know," mused Bashford. "You have to admit it's kind of stirring - fighting evil and all."
"OK," replied Handleman. "At the very least we should run it by Reid and Pelosi."
Which they did.
Reid and Pelosi immediately recognized not only the impact the words could have the public, they also recognized their logic. They altered their rhetoric slowly - to protect themselves politically from flip-flop charges - until they were calling for victory in the war on terrorism.
Eventually, they rallied the nation to the cause, seeing that a united country must prevail in the battle against the evil jihadists. Rather than hurting themselves with the electorate, their stock rose, and with it, the public resolve.
Faced with a unified United States of America, jihadist ranks dwindled, Iraq and Afghanistan were stabilized and President George W. Bush was only too happy to share the glory.
And that's enough fiction for one day.