The conclave

Habemus oligarch!

[An oak-lined room in the bowels of Manhattan. Seated in luxurious wing-back chairs are MARK ZUCKERBERG, LEON COOPERMAN, MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, JEFF BEZOS, JIM WALTON, LARRY ELLISON, and STEVE BALLMER. Waiters circulate and refill their glasses. Standing before them is WARREN BUFFETT.]

BUFFETT: I think you all know why we’re here. The Democrats are out of control. Once upon a time you could trust a Democrat: Tsongas, Hart, Clinton, even Obama — though I know you don’t approve, Leon.

COOPERMAN: Damn insolent jig! But he could have been worse, I suppose.

BUFFETT: I’ll say! Jamie, you made out alright in the recession, didn’t you? We all did.

ELLISON: Even Dick Fuld has a quarter billion, and he should be in prison.

BUFFETT: Hey, hey, bite your tongue.

BALLMER: Warren, we’re a half mile underground, no one can hear us.

BUFFETT: Doesn’t matter! You can’t give even that much air to such thoughts. Why, look at the robber barons — they let unions exist, back when they could have just murdered all the leaders and been done with it. And see how long it’s taken to beat them back! No, you so much as think such a thing and it’ll find a way out into the world. It’s not enough to crush these ideas in the minds of the peasants; we have to crush them in our own minds as well.

GATES: Hear, hear.

BUFFETT: Back to business. Biden’s senile, and the little gay guy’s too green for the job, so we have to take care of things ourselves.

ZUCKERBERG: What about Steyer? He’s a billionaire and he’s already running.

BUFFETT: Barely! Anyway, man’s lost his damn sense! I had half a mind to tell him about our Mars colony, invite him aboard, make him see sense. But you know I actually think he wants to save the planet.

ZUCKERBERG: [laughing] Like that was still possible!

[A general wave of laughter.]

BUFFETT: Anyway, I got all your votes, and there was a pretty clear consensus Mike should be the nominee.

[A few applaud; some protest good-naturedly.]

BALLMER: Bloomberg! The man’s got no charisma.

GATES: Yeah, not like you, right Steve?

[General laughter.]

BALLMER: What about Jim’s boy Luke? He’s young and handsome. People could like him.

GATES: Jim, you want to tell him?

WALTON: We can’t be sure of Luke’s mind. You fellows know how it is, raising a child who knows he never has to worry about money. [Lowers voice] The other day I caught him watching a Bernie Sanders video.

[Gasps all around.]

BUFFETT: That’s the fault of all you computer fellas! Made all the kids soft in the damn head!

ELLISON: He’ll learn. There’s nothing wrong with socialism —

EVERYBODY: As long as it’s for the rich!

ZUCKERBERG: Well, God knows I don’t want to do it. I mean you all saw me on Capitol Hill, I’d be impeached in like ten minutes. But why Mike?

BUFFETT: He was Mayor of New York.

BALLMER: Oh come on! He bought that job. And look what happened after he left — they elected a bunch of socialists! They threw Jeff out on his ass!

BEZOS: [Sourly] They didn’t throw me out, I withdrew.

BALLMER: “I withdrew!” Ha. Richest man in the world gets his ass beat by a girl bartender!

BEZOS: [Sputtering] Yeah well, well I saw you dancing, dancing at that thing, that sports thing, and you looked like, you looked like a, a thing, like a fish, a dancing fish —

BUFFETT: Fellas, fellas, ease up now! Let’s take a deep breath and remember we’re the richest men on earth! And Steve, I know what you mean, but Mike’s done the job, and the peasants think it makes a difference. Mike, I assume you’re game.

BLOOMBERG: Of course. I have a little speech written —

[Groans, catcalls.]

BUFFETT: Save that for the hustings, Mike. Anyway, you know we’re behind you and if it comes to it, we’ll just buy the votes to get you in. Now that we’ve got that settled, I have a special treat: I’ve been secretly breeding passenger pigeons, and eight of the last 15 in existence are being served in the dining room! Come on, boys!

[Everyone gets up and heads out, except BUFFETT, who intercepts BLOOMBERG.]

Moment of your time, Mike — [quietly] listen, it was a near thing, but actually the boys wanted Gates for the job.

BLOOMBERG: Gates! But why?

BUFFETT: Search me, but look, I fixed it for you because it’s too important to leave this thing to a tyro like Bill. Love him like a son but when he shakes people’s hands they reach right for the Purell. Just one thing, though — when you get in there, can you see your way clear to sell me Yellowstone?

BLOOMBERG: Warren, that’s what friends are for.

[As the song plays, BUFFETT and BLOOMBERG head out with the arms around each other’s shoulders. CURTAIN.]