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Barack Hussein Obama, newly elected President of the People’s Republic of America, today announced his choice of William Ayers, a former leader of the 70s militant antiwar group, the Weather Underground, for U.S. Secretary of Defense. The appointment allays concerns of many peace movement progressives who had feared that Defense Secretary Robert Gates, overseer of the military surge in Iraq, would be asked to stay on.

“Man, oh, man – socialism has finally come to America!” sobbed Mr. Ayers, when reached by telephone. “I’ve waited so long – now I’ll show them who’s washed up!”

Mr. Ayers was referring to attacks by John McCain’s presidential campaign, which alleged that Barak Obama harbored some sort of nefarious, anti-American ties to the 63-year-old Ayers, whose organization in the 1970s bombed government sites and staged confrontational rallies to stop America’s war in Vietnam. As Mr. McCain became more desperate for support, his insinuations of an Ayers conspiracy became increasingly common. The final presidential debate contains a McCain reference to Mr. Ayers as a “washed-up terrorist.”

Bill Ayers is, in fact, an elementary education theorist who has spent his last few decades above ground, infiltrating the University of Illinois at Chicago as a Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar. In 1997, he won Chicago’s Citizen of the Year award for his work on a public school reform project. Today, he says his past activism would make him the perfect advisor to the President in matters of “armed struggle.”

History, however, may prove that some Republican suspicions were correct. Bursting with post-election glee, Mr. Ayers revealed that he has indeed been advising Barak Obama all along, even in such matters as his election night appearance. “Who do you think told Michelle to dress the whole family in red and black?” asked Mr. Ayers. “Way to subliminally convey our radical egalitarian, anarcho-communist values!” Mr. Ayers says he looks forward to implementing further “right-on” changes.

“Comrade Obama and I share a common dream,” continued Mr. Ayers. “We agree the only way to achieve true human dignity and justice is by securing the United States as an iron-fisted, free-love liberated zone. To that end, I shall recommend starting our administration off with a series of small property bombings – of our own military-industrial complex.”

Such a project would, according to Mr. Ayers, effectively end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and prevent further encroachments into Pakistan. “First, we bring the boys and girls home,” explained Mr. Ayers. “Then we order them to blow up Lockheed Martin, Blackwater, Raytheon, AIG – all the major military contractors and implicated multinationals. Finally, we get them to organize the masses so that, together, we turn these corporate/military installations into daycare centers, food coops, legal clinics. Whoa, let’s not forget the Capitol Building – that would make a great birthing center.”

Ever “unrepentant,” Mr. Ayers added, “I feel we can’t do enough.”

President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney have not returned phone calls for several days. Anonymous sources close to the President-elect say that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney are among several officials from the outgoing administration who are being held incommunicado at socialist labor camps, newly constructed for “the real washed-up terrorists.”

Experts are unable to predict how long it will take to accomplish the “People’s liberation” of the U.S. defense infrastructure. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who may well be positioning himself for a role in the new administration, cheerfully conjectured: “We could be in this for years.”

Reached by email, past presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton, who denies rumors of her own ambitions for an Obama Cabinet post, nevertheless supported the Ayers appointment. “Let’s remember that Barak Obama is the first African-American to be elected President,” wrote Ms. Clinton, whose current Senate webpage photo shows her sporting an attractive blue headband with matching fringed poncho. “No way is Barak going to play the Establishment game and pull the same imperialist crap – that would be so lame. Peace Out. ;)”

Everyone in the so-called “red” states who voted for McCain was unavailable for comment. However, the rest of America appears audacious enough to hope for real change.

“I want to be able to tell my kids that everybody’s equal, war is bad, and the Earth should be saved – without them thinking I’m some whacked-out, post-hippie depressive,” said Minerva Blaustein, 58, kindergarten teacher in Astoria, Queens. “I need to know that things are getting better.”

Nineteen-year-old Ricky Sandoval of Brooklyn agrees. “Baby, I could enlist, get my degree, and still be able to stay home and protect my country from its own war economy,” said Sandoval. “Because, now that Obama’s won, the LAST thing this country would do is forget about the deaths we’ve already caused and send more troops to the Middle East – right? The last thing?”

Details at 11:00. On the Weather channel.

SUSIE DAY can be reached at: sday@skadden.com

©  SUSIE DAY, 2008