Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Shadow of Skepticism Cast on Government’s Secure Location

VIEWPOINT Shadow of Skepticism Cast on Government’s Secure Location By Tim Sullivan

I got back from spring break last Friday to learn that the United States of America, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to establish a shadow government sheltered at an undisclosed secure location outside of Washington. Check that – that decision was made months ago; the decision made over spring break was to let us denizens of Washington know that the federal government is apparently quite afraid that this city might not make it much longer than a banana at a monkey convention.


Apparently, the move was a reaction to a story in The Washington Post that reported that, in the event of a major nuclear, biological or chemical attack eradicating the top levels of the executive, legislative and judicial branches, the United States had no contingency plan for the continuation of government. That report was the governmental equivalent of a newspaper story saying that the human body, in the event of the dislodging of the head, has no plan for the continuation of life.

Let’s face it folks, if we lose the federal government in one fell swoop, it won’t matter how many shadow bureaucrats there are, we’re going to have a constitutional crisis.

I know that in the wake of a nuclear attack that’s exactly who I’m going to look to for leadership, the shadow labor secretary who’s been hiding in a cave under Dothan, Ala. You’ll forgive me if I don’t break out in a spontaneous rendition of “Oh Captain My Captain.”

The creation of a shadow government is a major development in America’s homeland defense strategies. It is also represents potentially the most boring gig in the entire history of government. It must be tremendously boring to be the actual secretary of Agriculture, never mind the secretary-in-waiting. Can you imagine being the shadow IRS commissioner? Just sitting there all day, eagerly anticipating the day you might get to be in charge of all the auditors, going through countless accounting simulations and tabulation drills in case you’re ever called upon to serve.

I also have a few questions about this “shadow government”?

Is there a Shadow Boxing Commissioner?

Is there certain information accessible only to the shadow counterparts of actual bureaucrats so that they can respond to informational inquiries “Sorry, I can’t answer your question. Only the Shadow knows.”

Will the shadow government ever evolve into a sort of minor league government where bureaucrats hope to make it to the big leagues in Washington? It will be at this point that first-string bureaucrats in danger of losing their jobs will actually be scared of their own shadows.

The creation of a shadow government by the United States also caused me to do some reflection of my own. What if a cataclysmic event precluded me from going about the business of doing the stuff I do? Who would carry on the vital job of being Tim? Faced with no alternative and a rapidly escalating array of threats, I had no choice. I opted to create a shadow me.

The experiment failed, however. Unlike the federal government, I do not receive trillions of dollars in annual tax revenue. I simply could not sustain the significant resource allocation it took to stow a shadow me in the cave I rented near the Monongahela River. y shadow simply wasn’t working for me. It was just sitting there like a stooge. But ever resilient in the face of terror, I adjusted. I decided to put my shadow to use.

For example, real Tim will be responsible for the spending of money; Shadow Tim will be tasked with the making of money.

Real Tim will be assigned the job of drinking on the weekends; Shadow Tim will have the title of “Hangover Management Engineer.”

Real Tim will eat candy; Shadow Tim will go to the dentist. Real Tim will go to the afternoon classes; Shadow Tim will hit the morning ones. Real Tim will basket-hang; Shadow Tim will get back on defense. Real Tim will wash, Shadow Tim will dry.

Maybe Georgetown should make similar continuity plans as well. Just imagine it, a prestigious Catholic university hidden in a crappy location. We can call it Notre Dame.

There would be a shadow vice president for student affairs, prepping to make shortsighted and ill-conceived decisions at the drop of a hat if ever called upon.

And if we were really serious about carrying on Georgetown in the event of a tragedy, there would have to be Shadow Stewards, since the real ones are so absolutely vital to the running of the school presently. In fact, in order to be safe, we should probably send them all to an underground secret bunker immediately, kind of like the one they’ve fashioned for themselves here in the Copley Crypt.

Ha. An underground bunker nestled in the Duluth suburbs; sort of gives a new meaning to the phrase “service in stealth” doesn’t it.

Contingency plans would be created for campus activists as well, with shadow students campaigning for the creation of an SLGBTQ Resource Center. (Shadow LGBTQ Resource Center. Your guess is as good as mine as to what the other letters mean. And doesn’t that sound like how a Spanish-speaking announcer would introduce a GBTQ resource center: Es el GBTQ center . I digress.)

Shadow Craig Esherick, now that would be a tasking job, sitting around all day not drawing up last-shot plays. Of course, we already have a Shadow Men’s Basketball team, because that thing parading around MCI Center all winter sure as hell wasn’t the real one.

But as scary as all of the contingency plans are, imagine what would happen if Georgetown were to lose one of its vital components, or if they couldn’t deliver the bags of taco meat to Taco Bell.

Now that would be scary.

Georgetown Forever (or for as long as Washington is standing).

Tim Sullivan is a junior in the College and Editor in Chief of The Hoya.

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