Special to TNP - At his daily news conference, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), claimed that "a new version of Dante's Inferno is necessary to ensure the long-term health of the country. In fact, I anticipate that it will form the basis of a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, that sacred document which was modified so eloquently by the Citizens United case, humanizing corporations. If only I could clone Antonin Scalia and get rid of Ruth Ginsberg, that left-wing troublemaker on the Supreme Court." (Ed. note: Inferno is the first part of Dante Alighieri's 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It describes Hell as comprised of nine circles for different categories of sinners.)
Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), the author of the initiative, is famous for the term "legitimate rape" and for telling uninsured cancer victims that "selling their car" would allow them to buy coverage. Priebus provided an outline of Akin's proposal for the assembled press corps. The format retains the original sinner categories but adds to the punishments:
-First Circle (Limbo) for virtuous non-Christians. The punishment is in not being able to rise up to Heaven, the best deal in the Nine Circles. It even has a Happy Hour hosted by Socrates, Einstein, and other notables. To this non-punishment, Akin has added videos of a Michelle Bachmann Fox News interview, thus transforming it into real punishment.
-Second Circle (Lust) for those who overdose on pornography and Viagra. Quite appropriately, these sinners are blown about by violent winds. Cleopatra is the most famous celebrity being blown, but Bill Clinton can be seen in the distance. The additional punishment has Dick Cheney targeting the fly-bys with his highly inaccurate 10-guage shotgun.
-Third Circle (Gluttony) for those who fail Weight Watchers or buy Oreos in bulk. Gluttons spend eternity lying in slushy poop, which has been favorably compared to the sewage outflow from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Here can be found Nero and Marlon Brando, among others. Akins has added a recording of Roseanne Barr screaming, "You're too goddam fat. You're too goddam fat . . . ," ad infinitum.
-Fourth Circle (Greed) for avaricious clergy and misers like Ebenezer Scrooge. This happy group competes in a never-ending contest involving pushing enormous weights against each other. A popular resident is Pope Leo X who is often pitted against recently deceased securities traders from Goldman Sachs. The new punishment has everyone in this group wearing smiley Bill Gates masks, with the constant drone of "Beast of Burden," chanted by Mick Jagger, in the background.
-Fifth Circle (Anger) for those, for example, who give the "bird" to senior citizens at stoplights. Depending on the degree of anger, sinners battle each other either above or below the surface of a dark marsh. Weapons include brass knuckles and lead fly swatters. From their skiff, various fallen angels accompanied by Cruella De Vil beat down sinners with their oars. Akin has placed Ayn Rand at the helm, who recites passages from her book, Atlas Shrugged.
-Sixth Circle (Heresy) for those who do not take the Bible literally, in other words, non-Baptists. Heretics are placed in fiery tombs and subsist on cayenne-flavored napalm spread on burnt toast. The most famous heretics, Martin Luther and Liam Breton, are seen basting the tombs with hot tar. As added punishment, Akin has the image of Tim Tebow at prayer projected onto the sulfurous clouds, while the Grateful Dead sing "Hell in a Bucket."
-Seventh Circle (Violence) for those who think Hannibal Lecter is a kindred spirit. This is the most picturesque circle, where sinners are either boiled in blood, fed to Harpies, or left in a flaming desert with fiery flakes raining down. Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin are seen dancing to another Grateful Dead tune, "Friend of the Devil." In future, Akins plans on having Madonna sing in a burned and wrinkled leather bikini that matches her burned and wrinkled skin.
-Eighth Circle (Fraud) for used-car salesmen in particular, but also for those who sell holistic medical cures. Punishments include being boiled in pitch, biting snakes, and Akin's favorite, whipping by demons. Noted fraudsters Jack Abramoff and Amway Chairman, Steve Van Andel, are seen selling condos in Heaven and snakebite remedies, respectively, to suffering sinners. Akin is in the process of developing clones of Fox News' Ann Coulter to be scattered around the circle, wagging their fingers in derision.
-Ninth Circle (Treachery) for those who enjoy both back-stabbing and front-stabbing. Famous back-stabbers include Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-RI), who left the Democratic Party and endorsed John McCain (R-AZ) for president in 2008 (still living, Lieberman has been placed on the waiting list). The most famous front-stabber, of course, is Marcus Junius Brutus, who assassinated Julius Caesar in 44 BC and is on loan from Satan. Akin plans on having wax images of himself, dressed in attire reminiscent of Moses, holding stone tablets that are inscribed with the Ten Commandments, placed at strategic locations around this circle. Like the center of Hell, this circle is kept at absolute zero (?459.67° F), which will allow the wax likenesses to survive throughout eternity.
At the very center of Hell, condemned for committing the ultimate sin, personal treachery against God, rests Satan, encased in ice. On special occasions, Satan is released from the ice and allowed to visit South Park, a small town in Colorado.