You can't say you weren't warned. Back in September, months before the election, the vice president made it crystal clear what would happen if you didn't support the team. If you bet on the other horse. You'd be considered one of Them. To have consorted with Them. To have aided and comforted by your show of non-support; to have encouraged Them to strike again even harder than before. If you had listened closely, here's the message you would've got: Criticize the president, vote for the Democrat, and you might as well get on the plane with the next bunch of Them; you might as well be the one handing out the box-cutters. Remember what the Bible says, the friend of my enemy is my enemy. (Psalms maybe? Anyway, in so many words.) Did the solemn warning from on high not give you pause? Did you think he was kidding? Did you buy into the belief that those guys are all guff, all blow, and wouldn't be thinking payback? That after the election, they'd say, Oh well, that's the rough and tumble of the process. It's over now so we'll just forgive and forget. Let bygones be bygones. You weren't that naïve, surely. You didn't know that they had drawn a line? And that it wasn't for you to say when or how you crossed it? That it wasn't your call? Of course you knew. People always know when these lines are drawn and when they decide whether or not to cross them. They may not want to admit (even to themselves) that they know, but they know. The survival instinct alerts them. Alarm bells go off. And even after the bells, there's time to remedy, to recross and detreason, as Ol' Zell and Dennis Miller (to pick a couple of quick easy examples) showed. But there comes the time when the time runs out. And you always know. So don't say you weren't warned, and don't say it never occurred to you that you might be held accountable. It occurred to you, all right. In the back of your mind you knew all along. That sooner or later there'd be the knock on the door. (The knock used to be at midnight, the black car waiting as you quickly gathered your things.) And the polite notification that there were some matters that needed clearing up. Some explaining you needed to do. Here at Bushworld, or at one of the other new holding facilities. Re-education camps. C amp Dick. Camp Abu Rummy. And you had to have known this, too: that there wouldn't be the frivolity in it this time. No more the Homeland Security spooks checking out what you were checking out at the library and being almost apologetic about it. Innocuous questions about Mediterranean-looking acquaintances. About suspicious activities you'd been involved in, such as wanting to ban guns or not ban abortions. No, this was the Double Jeopardy round, with harder questions. The library spooks were the old-fashioned rough-and tumble; this was Century 21 Amerika. Bushworld. Of course you can see it now, hindsight being 20/20. That yours was a crime of considerable magnitude. There was a war on. If the leaders of it, the instigators, couldn't get the support of their own people, how could they ask allies to send cannon fodder? How to win credibility with the enemy if homegrown critics were at the same time undermining that credibility? Great crimes. You had the chance, you had time. Motive and opportunity. You can see that now. Too bad you couldn't have seen it before the time ran out. Too bad you didn't heed the vice president's clear warning while you still could. Then it would have been a simple matter of just shutting your mouth and voting responsibly and none of this unpleasantness would have been necessary. The knocks. The confiscations. The isolation. The deprivations. The penalties. The removal. Nobody likes those things. Well, OK, yes, the attorney general does. And some of his new deputy inquisitors, brought over from the old OIC. But others at Bushworld aren't unmoved by the high price that must be paid for these great crimes of speaking your mind and voting your conscience. They know the crimes must be consequenced, as Commandant Huckabee has verbed, but they aren't total strangers to pity. Renunciation goes a long way with them and in many small ways they can make the reprogramming easier. Remember to use the right slogans when filling out the forms: War is peace; ignorance is strength; Fox is fair and balanced. Remember that it's your duty (and not just Jeb's) to love Big Brother and not just to say that you do. Otherwise, everybody into the shower before orientation. Get rid of those cooties here on the first day of the rest of your life.