WASHINGTON, DC–At a press conference Monday, pro-wrestling tycoon and entrepreneur Vince McMahon unveiled his latest broadcasting venture: X-SPAN, a 24-hour cable network that promises "in-your-face, X-treme lawmaking coverage that puts C-SPAN to shame."
"On March 24, everything you know about the legislative process goes up in flames," McMahon said. "Get ready for bone-crunching, smashmouth 21st-century lawmaking."
"C-SPAN is for wimps," McMahon added. "They're a bunch of grannies."
X-SPAN will make its debut at noon in the Bicameraldome, a $460 million, state-of-the-art facility McMahon built to house his new cast of legislators. Opening debate will focus on the Insurance Deregulation Act, an "X-plosive" new bill that would give large insurance firms greater leeway in investing in foreign holdings. The bill's sponsor, X-Representative Big Kahuna Joe (R-HI), vowed to reporters that he will "debate any opponent, any time, anywhere, regarding the merits of this bill."
According to the terms of the new McMahon-imposed legislative process, X-Representatives from all 50 states will introduce bills to the Big Bad House Of Pain. Bills passed by a simple majority will be run through The Gauntlet Of Warriors, a hard-core third house of Congress where proposed legislation must survive not only a floor vote but a vicious beating with spiked clubs. If the bill survives, it moves on to the X-Senate and then to the president, who can then either sign it or challenge its sponsor to a chainsaw joust. If defeated in the joust, the bill's sponsor is banished for all eternity to Capitol Hell.
In another move designed to stoke viewer interest, legislators will be allowed and even encouraged to date Senate pages, a bevy of short-skirted former strippers dubbed G.L.O.S.S.–the Gorgeous Ladies Of Senatorial Service.
"These gals," McMahon said, "are real sluts."
McMahon also promised to make congressional races more "X-citing" by lifting restrictions on soft money, electioneering, and throwing dust into an opponent's face to blind him. McMahon said he hopes that de-emphasizing "boring old ethics" will lead to more rivalries and betrayals, spicing up coverage.
For the upcoming legislative year, McMahon is grooming as a leading villain X-Rep. Big Chief Tomahawk (D-WY), a bare-chested Sioux chief famous for his "Warrior Shriek" filibusters. As for breakthrough stars, McMahon is touting The All-American Boy (R-KS), a strapping, blond "good" X-Senator who takes down opponents of his bills with his signature finishing move, the "Majority Whip."
Rumors are also swirling around Darkshade (I-Nether Zone), an enigmatic, masked X-Senator who never speaks and always appears with Nevermore, his chief advisor. According to Nevermore, the demons of Cataclysma will break free of their unholy bonds on Halloween during the pay-per-view Senate Slamma-Jamma Damnationals–unless Darkshade's revisions to the Family Medical Leave Act are approved before the stroke of midnight.
Despite McMahon's confidence in his new venture, political experts remain skeptical. Commenting on last Saturday's exhibition session, Dr. Anthony Wingfield of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government said: "This strikes me as a crass attempt to take a perfectly good political process and make it more exploitative and titillating. If X-Rep. Whack Daddy (D-MI) throws a smoke bomb at X-Rep. J.P. Moneybags (R-CT) because he made romantic overtures to the Beautiful Veronica, that does not make for good government, however satisfying it may be on a primal level."
X-SPAN is also drawing fire from conventional lawmakers, who subscribe to the old-school, "constitutionally mandated" process of lawmaking.
"The very idea of participatory democracy demands that we, the elected Congress, have full authority to sponsor and vote upon the laws of the land," said Sen. Don Nickles (R-OK), a "real" senator from Oklahoma. "This 'Bunko The Evil Clown' character may consider himself to be acting as senator for the citizens of Oklahoma, but the people know that the men they elected, James Inhofe and myself, are their real representatives in the senate."
Continued Nickles: "Besides, that thing where Bunko and [Sen.] The Gator [(R-FL)] double-teamed [Sen.] Billy Bob Banjo [(D-AL)] and hypnotized him into voting against his own fair-housing bill? That was totally fake."