"Watch what happens when I set the program for 2007", Bishop said, as he punched in numbers on a keypad located on the back of the spokesman's head. "It will still issue the standard response we used two years ago when we wanted to block progress Michigan's issues. Here is what we had him say for a good portion of that year."
"That is not a priority at the top of the Senate's lists" said Matt Marsden, "We're occupying our time strictly on budget matters."
"I think we used that one so much that at some point we corrupted the program", the Majority Leader went on, "So early in 2008, we had to do a complete wipe of its memory. When we needed a new response around March because the House was upset that we weren't doing anything, here is the statement we programmed in to replace the old message."
"The focus needs to be on the urgent matters. And that's the economy and jobs right now," said Matt Marsden.
"That worked great for whatever we needed to obstruct in 2008. Used it all year long, as a matter of fact. For 2009, we needed it to say something about 'transparency' because we had decided that would be our new excuse when it came to the budget and other issues that we won't want to address. But when he spoke to the Detroit News just recently, he simply repeated a combination of 2007 and 2008 talking points", Bishop explained.
"Our primary focus is going to be on jobs and the economy," said Matt Marsden. "Anything beyond that is going to be pushed off to the side for now."
"Now, obviously 'pushed off to the side' means the same thing as 'not a priority', but the program has become so dysfunctional he won't even say the word 'priority' anymore. Since we think the public will not accept us using the same excuses that we have used for the past two years, the Senate will not be able to continue its obstruction until we have a spokesman that will say what we need it to say when we are questioned as to why we won't move any legislation this year. Therefore, it's imperative that we receive the funding for a new model immediately".
Bishop then switched off the power to the spokesman and declared that the Senate was "on vacation until further notice".
When the original "Chatty Matty" makers, the Norquist Robot Spokesman Emporium and Dog Obedience School, were contacted for comment, the company declined to address this particular case citing pending legal action from Republicans in other states who had purchased similar models. They did indicate that they believe the problem does not lie in the robot itself.
"These things are breaking down all over due to operator error", one official said. "We told them when they were sold that you cannot have the spokesman repeat the same thing over and over and expect top performance. The election season in '08 was the breaking point for quite a few of them".
"As a replacement, we're running a special on the Scott McClellans", the official offered. "But after the unfortunate 'book incident', we haven't had any takers".