The Dark Lord Sauron’s index finger was conspicuously bare as he stabbed at a Billings Gazette article about Gov. Steve Bullock’s plan to fight dark money in Montana politics.
“What do we need to do to better spread our cold grip across the state?” he bellowed as the savage roar of Republican legislators rose all around him. His thunderous words were well-received, with those in attendance firing assault rifles into the air, beating their foreheads with Bibles and knocking back shot after shot of Roughstock Montana Whiskey.
Speaking from behind the Black Gate, the Dark Lord led Republican legislators during their annual strategy retreat in Mordor. Throughout the weeklong event, Republicans from across the state looked at ways to move their party forward into the 19th century, from resisting any federal attempts to enforce gun control to fighting for lower taxes.
The retreat to their barren stronghold came at an embarrassing time for the party as they stagger to recover from a humiliating defeat in the recent War of Female Aggression. This March, an all-male extremist faction of the GOP failed to overthrow MSU President Waded Cruzado.
The weekend was kicked off with a rousing speech from former congressman Denny Rehberg, who recently took the position of Lord of the Nazgûl following his 2012 election loss to Sen. Jon Tester. He encouraged the party to never give up on their goal of complete and utter subjugation of all Montanans.
“Even Gov. Bullock is nothing more than an afternoon snack to a hungry Nazgûl,” he proclaimed while sensually stroking the neck of his winged mount.
Rep. James Crow, R-Justus Township, unveiled his proposal for mobilizing Uruk-Hai fighters as Election Day volunteers. He noted that they seem particularly effective at keeping young people and non-native Montanans away from polls.
Among the priorities outlined for the coming years were defeating Gov. Bullock’s health care overhaul for low-income Montanans, expanding natural resource development and recovering the One Ring so the Dark Lord may return to full power.
“We believe it is hidden somewhere near Missoula,” Rep. Krayton Kerns, R-Laurel, said as he rallied a battalion of orcs. “Trashing a liberal stronghold will just be a bonus.”
Additional workshops included a social media engagement presentation held by guest speaker Lord Voldemort — who informed the party that hashtags have no function on Facebook and make them look like they just learned how to check their emails — and a speech on effective voter suppression delivered by Benito Mussolini’s head-in-a-jar.
The Dark Lord Sauron told reporters he remains optimistic about the future of the party: “Weekends like these are just what we need to refocus and define our direction. Plus, nothing brings a party together like hunting endangered whooping cranes.”