Until the existence of Democratic operatives was publicly revealed recently by Dennis Hastert, I was content to let the past be the past. But with his words opening old wounds, I felt compelled to sit down and write this confessional about my own experiences as a Democratic operative.
I was in college when I got a call from a stranger, a man with a Greek-sounding name I had never heard before. He said he’d seen some of the articles I’d written for my college newspaper and wanted to meet me and talk about a job offer. Ecstatic, I assumed he was a headhunter from a recruiting agency who wanted to hook me up with a killer job in print. I didn’t know at the time that I would be meeting a billionaire.
“Kid,” George Soros said to me as he puffed a cigar in a booth at Kelsey’s Pub, “I want you to go undercover for the Democratic Party.”
I thought he was joking, but he was not.
“Sure, we've got a Democratic Congress," Soros explained, "but the GOP has a stranglehold on the Executive branch, and the only way we’re going to change that is to bring them down from within. Can we count on you?”
From reading my liberal-leaning columns Soros had correctly surmised that I was no fan of the current administration (after eight years of a Ronald Reagan presidency, the United States was now under George H.W. Bush, a remnant of the Reagan administration). He was looking for young, single people who could commit to “the cause.”
Joining up for the cause meant dropping out of school and relocating to UNC Charlotte, where no one knew me. Soros would finance the whole thing, including some phony transcripts that were worked up to facilitate my admission.
My family and friends couldn't understand why I suddenly had to pick up and leave home in the middle of my degree. They seemed dubious when I explained that I had found out about some good opportunities in North Carolina, but I had to ignore their enquiries and go ahead with the move.
On the odd chance anyone at UNC had seen my column, which once a week featured a small black and white photo of me, I felt it necessary to change my appearance. Before long my normally blonde, curly locks were replaced with straight, jet black ones. (The dye I used would later cause all of my hair to fall out.)
I also became "Sean McGuinness" (yes, I picked the name) for the benefit of those I would soon know.
My first “assignment” was pretty straightforward: Join and infiltrate the College Republicans, the first step for many a budding young GOP hopeful. I was familiar with the organization, as they had been active at my previous school. I’d even written about them in my column.
Soros explained that there were thousands of Democratic operatives out there, and that each had started with a simple, menial assignment. I admired the forethought and discipline that went into the massive operative plan, which had people infiltrating the Republican Party at all levels. I also thought it was a little bit crazy, but I went ahead with my assignment nonetheless.
So, for the first time in my life, I bought a jacket and a tie. I started attending College Republican meetings and rallies, where I vocally railed against the “tax and spend Democrats” and the “liberal media” right alongside them. Living that lie sometimes made me physically ill, but I did it. It was all part of a greater plan.
What was not part of the plan was meeting “Emily.”
Emily was the local co-chair of the College Republicans. An charismatic young auburn-haired woman, Emily was at the tail end of a relationship when I joined. Within a few weeks she and I were meeting outside the group.
A few months later during the Christmas break, against the wishes of her parents, and with some hesitation from Emily, we got an apartment together. Though we couldn’t keep our relationship a secret – indeed, there was no reason to – we decided it was best to keep our cohabitation to ourselves.
Emily was as firm in her beliefs about relationships as she was about politics. During the first few months we dated we never had sex. I’m not saying nothing physical happened, but we never took it all the way. That changed a short time after we moved in together.
I kept up the façade of an ardent young Republican for almost the entire first year of school. But toward the end of the second semester I blew my cover. Yeah, I fucked up.
I had kept regular contact with some of Soros’ subordinates to let them know what was going on. I usually called them from a payphone (this was pre-cell phone, mind you), but I became careless and would sometimes call them from the apartment.
One evening while Emily showered I called in from the living room. After hanging up, I turned out the lights and went into our bedroom. Emily was standing by the bed in tears. The shower was still running in the bathroom, but she’d apparently never gotten in it. She’d been listening to my phone conversation on the extension.
“Sean, is this true?” she said. “Or should I call you 'Pete?' Is this all a lie? Have you been lying to me the whole time? You’re... a Democrat?”
The normally modest Emily didn’t even seem to realize her robe had fallen open as, dazed, she fell back against the dresser.
I didn’t bother to try and deny the conversation to Emily; she had heard what she had heard. I shook my head and apologized. I went to hug her but she pulled away. I reached for her a little more forcefully and embraced her.
“So I guess when you said you loved me, that was just a big lie, too?” she asked, her face resting against my arm.
“No,” I said as I stroked her hair. “That part’s true.”
With that, she let up her resistance a little, and I pulled her tighter to me. Seconds later a long, slender needle plunged through the back of her neck and into her spine. She fell limp in my arms. The most she’d felt was a small pinch, like a vaccination, when I put the needle in. Beyond that, she quickly met with whatever follows this life.
I didn’t feel good about having to kill Emily. But protecting the operation was what was expected of a Democratic operative. And I was just getting started. It was a killer job indeed.
To be continued...