WASHINGTON, DC—George Washington Memorial Hospital is struggling to deal with an influx of Republicans with concussions, broken bones, and internal injuries suffered during the recent stampede to discredit Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, emergency-room personnel reported Monday.
"Triage is in utter chaos," paramedic Gerald Polder said. "This guy in a suit came in with multiple contusions, a subdural hematoma, and a broken nose. I asked how badly it hurt to bend his knee, on a scale of 1 to 10, and he said, 'I'm hurt worse than Kerry was when he got his Purple Hearts.' That's not helpful."
Polder said he has not seen so many right-wing injuries since the late '90s, when hundreds of Republicans were hurt climbing on and off the Newt Gingrich bandwagon.
While squashed toes have been the most common injury, the more dramatic include the skull and spine fractures suffered by an elderly senator who was trampled in the mad dash to smear, bash, and cast aspersions on Kerry. Many of those bearing sound bites also have dislocated joints in those places where their fingers were pried from microphones.
"I was in the crowd on the National Archive steps," conservative Washington Times columnist Paul Greenberg said, holding his head as he awaited treatment for deep shock and moral outrage. "When I realized everyone else there also wanted abstracts of Kerry's congressional voting records, I started to run. I guess we all had the same idea at the same time. It feels like I got rolled over by a 10-ton think tank."
"I was lucky, though," Greenberg said, wrapping himself in the flag. "Worst thing hurt was my pride."
Washington has reported the largest number of casualties, but across the nation, reports are still coming in from politically "red" states made redder by the spilled blood of conservatives caught in the maelstrom of accusations and flailing bodies.
"It's bad down here," Savannah (GA) General Hospital director Lloyd Sautner said. "We were still treating hurricane victims when all these politicians were hurt in the whirlwind of manufactured controversy. Anywhere there were reporters and TV cameras, Republicans were climbing all over each other in an effort to be heard."
Los Angeles producer Margaret Oakes said the set of the TV show Roundtable was overrun with frantic conservatives.
"I tried telling them to stop, that they were only hurting themselves, but they didn't seem to fear for their credibility one bit," Oakes said. "One woman tried to get to the front of the crowd, slipped, and fell face-first into a forest of microphone stands. When I asked her where she was hurt, she said, 'the cheek... of that man to misrepresent his voting record on gay marriage.'"
Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) called for an end to the zealotry that has already resulted in the hospitalization of 86 GOP members.
"Let us not rush to judgment and inadvertently hurt our own image," Shays said Sunday. "This Republican-on-Republican violence must end."
Shays added that his prayers are with Rush Limbaugh's family. The conservative radio personality died Tuesday when a busload of pro-Bush Vietnam veterans, in their rush to lambast Kerry on the air, ran a red light, swerved to avoid a carload of National Review reporters, and smashed through the wall of the Excellence In Broadcasting studio, killing Limbaugh and three sound technicians.