WASHINGTON—In the wake of what is being called the deadliest midterm election in the nation's history, Washington's sole surviving politician, Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon's 4th Congressional District, emerged from the rubble of the Capitol building Wednesday to announce his intention to rebuild the fallen U.S. government.
The events of Tuesday night—which included live televised images of Sen. Harry Reid taking a gavel to the head of Sen. Mitch McConnell while Rep. Barney Frank repeatedly smashed the face of Undersecretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen against a marble column—left most Americans believing their entire government had perished in the post-election bloodbath. But the miraculous survival of DeFazio points to a possible way forward.
After fashioning a splint for his broken leg and treating himself for superficial head wounds, a shaken DeFazio addressed the nation Wednesday.
"If anybody can hear me, my name is Peter DeFazio, and I'm a member of the U.S. Congress," he called out from a makeshift podium atop the ruins of the Lincoln Memorial. "I—I'm not sure exactly what happened here, but I want to assure the American people that we, or rather I, will get to all of your concerns as soon as humanly possible. I promise."
"I will find my old office, or build a new one if necessary, and Christ, whose is this?" DeFazio added as he pulled a severed ear from his coat pocket. "Is this…is this [South Carolina Sen. Lindsey] Graham's ear? Jesus God, what happened here? What have we done?"
DeFazio claimed to have awoken Wednesday morning beneath the burnt and gutted body of the late Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), remembering little of the previous day's election, or the ensuing melee in which all three branches of government fought each other to the death across Washington.
The United States' last living federal official then spent the morning and afternoon making his way through the still-smoldering debris of the White House and the Capitol, sifting through heaps of corpses, and calling out for survivors without response.
In a first step toward reassembling the American system of government, DeFazio has begun collecting any undamaged bills, Supreme Court decisions, or treaties he can find—documents he hopes to put to use as soon as some sort of executive branch can be cobbled together.
"At one point, I remember pulling at Chuck Rangel's arm as he was strangling Saxby Chambliss and screaming, 'Chuck, stop, you're killing him!'" DeFazio said. "But he wouldn't listen. And then—oh, God—Justice Scalia. He came speeding down K Street in his truck, laughing, mowing down everyone in sight. Women, children—everyone."
"But we all did horrible things," added Defazio, shaking his head as he gazed into the distance. "Horrible, horrible things."
The 12-term Oregon congressman and de facto leader of the free world acknowledged that although many challenges lie ahead— including explaining his situation to foreign nations, figuring out how to print money, and combating the marauding bands of Tea Party activists now violently patrolling the streets of Washington—he remains confident that he will soon be able to get the U.S. government back in working order.
In the meantime, DeFazio is broadcasting a tape loop across all remaining D.C.-area radio bands in which he declares: "This is Peter DeFazio of Oregon's 4th Congressional District. If there are any elected officials out there who can hear this, know that you are not alone. Come to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. as soon as you can. It's time to start again."
"Everything is just so quiet now," DeFazio said later as he fished press secretary Robert Gibbs' corpse from the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. "Quieter than it's ever been before. Something about it is almost…peaceful."
Sources confirmed that while searching for a fertile female politician with whom to repopulate Congress, DeFazio discovered the body of a still-breathing Christine O'Donnell and crushed her neck with the heel of his shoe.