(with apologies to David Mamet)
A seedy, dimly lit boiler room under the U.S. Capitol. A group of hardbitten health care legislative salesmen are seated at grim Steelcase desks, on the phone with prospects.
Steny "The Lawyer" Hoyer
Hello, Congresswoman? Good evening, this is Steny Hoyer calling on behalf of Healthcarewood Estates. According to our records you have been pre-selected to cast a vote for this historic luxury entitlement property. Now as you know spaces for this exclusive opportunity are limited, and I... yes I've seen the polls, and... yes madame, I am aware of that. So may I count you as a 'yes' then? Hello?
Jimmy "The Whip" Clyburn
Steny Hoyer strikes out again.
Fuck you Jimmy. I was closing billion dollar legislative deals back when you were still peddling asphalt contracts in Charleston. I'm just on a bad luck streak. You wait, when those new leads from downtown come in old Steny will be back on top.
Pipe down you clowns. Waxy's got a live one in the conference room. God help me, if you assholes screw this up I will bust you back down to the soybean oversight subcommittee.
(inside the conference room)
Henry "Waxy" Waxman
What's the holdup? Come on Bart, all you have to do is ink it, right here.
I... I just don't know, Mr. Waxman...
Henry "Waxy" Waxman
Bart, please. 'Waxy.' I thought we were friends.
Sorry, Waxy. I'm just kind of confused about this 'reproductive health services' clause.
Henry "Waxy" Waxman
That's just some standard legislative boilerplate, we can fix it later. Scout's honor. All I need is one little signature, and a couple of initials here and here, and then we can go celebrate with a drink. I've got some very wealthy friends from Malibu I would love to introduce to you.
It's just that, well, haven't had time to talk it over with my constituency.
Bart, let me ask you something, man to man. Are you going to spend the rest of your term getting bossed around by the old ball and chain? Or are you going to man up, and for the first time in your life let your constituency know who wears the pants in your district? Believe me Bart, once they see this beautiful new surprise entitlement, you are going to get treated to the re-election of your life.
Sorry to interrupt Waxy, but your abortion clause commission check from NARAL just came in. What do you want me to do with it?
Bart! Bart, come back!
(shaken, Stupak leaves the room; Waxy turns angrily to Pete)
You son of a bitch - you stupid son of a bitch. You just cost me an undecided vote. Two weeks of dealing down the drain. You saw that Nancy, you all saw it. I had 'em ready to sign before this piece of shit killed it. I want my Cadillac and I want my committee assignment.
Undecided? Stupak? Ha. Stop kidding yourself Waxy. He's just a lonely red state pro-life stiff who likes to talk to salesmen. He's strung along everybody in the entire leadership office.
Steny, Jimmy - is that true?
Yeah, I wasted two weeks on that guy last month.
Why didn't you tell me, you bastard?
Because I don't like you, Waxy.
How are we supposed to make a majority from these deadbeats, Nancy? Where'd you get 'em, from the morgue?
Now wait just a minute...
Yeah, Nancy. Where are those leads you promised us? All those ones who were ready to flip?
(amid shouting, Rahm Emanuel enters the room)
Oh, am I interrupting something?
What kept you so long? Okay, all of you shut up and sit down. You wanted to know about leads? We got a special visitor today from downtown to talk to you about 'em.
They all here?
All except Charlie Rangel. He's down at the 3rd precinct talking to the cops.
Let's get started anyway. Okay people, let's talk about something important. You - what the fuck are you doing?
Tweeting the Coffee Party.
Put. That iPhone. Down. The Coffee Party's for closers. You think I'm fucking with you? I am not fucking with you. I'm here from fucking downtown. I'm here from Barack and Andy Stern. And I'm here on a fucking mission of mercy. Your fucking name's fucking Hoyer? You fucking call yourself a fucking salesman you fucking son of a fuck?
Nice fucking vocabulary, you fucking fuck. We don't gotta sit here and listen to this shit.
You certainly don't pal, 'cause the good news is - you're fired. You're all fucking fired if you miss that vote quota. The bad news is - you've got, all of you've got just seven months to get re-elected starting tonight. Oh? Have I got your attention now? Good. "Cause we're adding a little something to this bill's vote contest. As you all know first prize is a genuine leather upholstered committee chair. Anyone wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is ambassadorship to Belgium. Fourth prize is YOU'RE FIRED. Get the picture? You laughing now? You got seats. Andy paid good money for those seats, get their names and sell them. If you can't close this you can't close shit. You ARE shit. Hit the bricks pal, and beat it 'cause you are going OUT. And there won't be a lobbying operation in this town that will hire you.
The polls are weak.
The polls are weak? Fucking polls are weak. You're weak. I've been in this business 25 years...
Who the hell are you?
Fuck you. That's who I am. You know why, mister? You drove a fucking Buick to get here. I drove a half million dollar bulletproof Secret Service Escalade. THAT'S my name. And your name is you are wanting. You can't play in this game, you can't close them - go home and tell your pollster your troubles. Because only one thing counts in this congress: Get them to sign on the line which is dotted. You hear me you fucking faggots? A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing. ALWAYS BE CLOSING. C-B-S. Create. Bullshit. Sob stories. C-N-N. Cocksuckers. Need. News footage. M-S-N-B-C. Might. Soon. Need. Bailout. Cash. Listen pally, you put on the screws because it's fuck or walk. You close or you hit the bricks. Get out there - you got the swing votes coming in. You think they came in to get out of the rain? A guy don't walk in ask about earmarks lest he wants to buy. They're sitting out there waiting to give you their votes. Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it? What's the problem, pal?
You. You're such a hero, you're such a bigtime vote wrangler, how come you're coming down here wasting your time with such a bunch of bums?
You see these ballet slippers?
These Capezios costs more than your whole fucking suit. I spent $300 billion last month. How about you? You see pal, that's who I am, and you're nothing. Nice guy? I don't give a shit. Positive approval ratings? Fuck you! Go home to your shitty districts and kiss babies. You wanna work here - close! You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can't take this, how can you take the abuse you get in a Teabagger town hall? You don't like it, leave. I can go out there naked, tonight, into the House sauna and bring back 10 undecideds. Tonight! In two hours! Can you? Can YOU? Go and do likewise. Get mad you sonsabitches. Get mad. You want to know what it takes to sell entitlement programs? It takes BRASS BALLS to sell entitlements. Grow a pair. Votes are out there. Twist arms, they're yours. You don't, I got no sympathy for you. You wanna close, CLOSE. It's yours. If not you're gonna be shining my slippers. And you know what you'll be saying - a bunch of losers sittin' around Chris Matthews' Green Room. 'Oh yeah. I used to be a congressman. It's a tough racket.' These are the new earmarks. These are the Stimulus earmarks. And to you they're gold, and you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away. They're for closers. I'd wish you good luck but you wouldn't know what to do with it if you got it. And to answer you question, pal, why am I here? I came here because Barack and Andy asked me to. They asked me for a favor. I said the real favor, follow my advice and let the voters fire your fucking ass because a loser is a loser. And because it'll be easier to win re-election with a GOP congress.
Louise "Weezy" Slaughter
Maybe we don't actually need the signatures.
Who the fuck just interrupted me? Who's this broad?
That's Weezy, she's the bookkeeper. You want her fired?
No, let her finish. And this better be fucking good.
Well, I was thinking that maybe we could all just assume we had the signatures. We could say that Harry Reid has power of attorney, as far as we know. We could cash them at the drive-thru teller Friday night, and have the bulldozers going by Saturday morning. By Monday it'll be too late to stop them, and then we can start selling the lots at Cap & Trade again.
Now that's the kind of salesmanship I'm talking about. Weezy, you just earned yourself a brand new government made Cadillac. The rest of you losers get to work for those steak knives.