A friend of mine recently made the astute observation that Herman Cain has never held any sort of public office. Never a congressman, governor, or senator, the most Mr. Cain can say is that he’s a citizen. He is, in other words, Citizen Cain. Pretty good, right? Now that we’ve all had a good laugh, it’s time to get serious.

Things are looking pretty grim if you’re a Republican. Well, actually, things are looking pretty grim no matter who you are, what with the social and economic fabric of the nation disintegrating and all. But the Republican Party seems to be seizing the moment with a delightfully inept aplomb most evident in their scrappy field of presidential contenders. Let’s look at this lineup of upstanding citizens one by one, shall we?

There’s John, the reasonable one. Unfortunately for him, everyone knows that flexibility and intelligence are boring. There’s Michelle, the very crazy one. She was alright, but if there’s one thing GOP voters like better than very crazy, it’s very very crazy, and so we arrive at Rick, the very very crazy one. But he got cocky and started showing up drunk to debates. (Ron Paul, who is very very very very crazy, is unelectable because he is from space and no one can understand his alien language.) Next came Herman, the man obsessed with pizza. Man, this guy loved pizza. Too bad he was ignorant, lecherous, and boastful about personality traits that made him quite unfit to have the nuclear launch codes. And we are left with the current frontrunners, one of whom is named after a lizard, and one of whom is named after a glove.

Republicans are in need of a hero, a fresh candidate who is dogmatic enough to appeal to the conservative base, but not scary enough to alienate the perennially important independent voters. And since it seems as though the GOP has run through every viable human candidate, the time has come to get creative. Introducing the next president of the United States: my cat, Gracie.

First of all, I can tell that Gracie does not like taxes. Sure, she hasn’t made any explicit statements on her tax policy, but she undeniably has a very strong sense of what’s hers. Her philosophy? More for me, less for everyone else. And that presumably includes the federal government. Just try to take her food from her while she’s eating. She’ll hiss at you. Or try to pull that catnip-filled ball on the fishing rod up in the air. She’ll jump right for that ball. She’ll probably lower the catnip-filled ball tax rate down to zero percent.

Her position on immigration is conservative, too. She is very protective of her territory, and she’ll make it known if she doesn’t want you around. The first thing she’ll do is hiss at you. Then she’ll go pee on the fern in the front hall. Then she’ll go pee on the fern upstairs. Then she’ll vomit on the basement carpet. And she’ll keep peeing and vomiting until you leave. Yes, this is a cat mighty suspicious of outsiders.

She also doesn’t believe in climate change. But that’s because she’s a cat and doesn’t know what it is.

Do you doubt that Gracie the cat has the determination to get the job done? If there’s work to do, she will stay at her desk all day, especially if there’s a little patch of sunlight she can curl up in. In fact, I have seen her stay in one place for hours and hours and hours, just focusing and thinking. But you don’t need to worry about her being alert when that 3 a.m. phone call comes in. She’ll be inexplicably zipping around the house, waking everyone up.

Yes, Gracie is the all-American cat. She enjoys the activities that make Americans such great people: eating, sleeping and watching television. Or, I suppose more accurately, looking in the direction of television. So, Republicans, while you may laugh at my suggestion, answer me this: What foreign nation would declare war on us after Gracie plops herself down on the Prime Minister’s lap, looks into his eyes and lazily drools for a delightfully cozy hour?

Get ready, America, for Citizen Cat.