THE SECOND battle of Manassas is now being waged between Walt Disney and Civil War buffs of Virginia. The Disney corporation wants to build a giant theme park devoted to American history. The historians want the Disney people to take their Mickey Mouse ideas somewhere else.
If Disney can't get permission to build its park on hallowed Manassas ground, Joe Skalet has a suggestion.
"The company should move the park to Washington, which has been called Disney World North for some time now," he told me.
"Opening in Washington instead of Manassas would save the Disney company millions of dollars because all the fantasy is already there.
"The Capitol could be renamed 'The Magic Mountain.' There could be a magic show in which billions of dollars would disappear before the public's eyes. Elected officials could moonlight as clowns, and lobbyists, dressed as pirates, would sink legislation not to their liking.
"The dome of the Capitol would feature a 'Slide for Life' and you would go down in a pork barrel until you reached the bottom, where you could swim in a shark pool filled with Washington lawyers."
4 "Who would you put in the White House?" I asked.
"Mickey and Minnie. Everyone who worked there would be required to wear mouse ears. Every hour Mickey and Minnie would come out and have their pictures taken. Donald Duck would be their spokesman and he'd explain what they really meant to say."
"It's such an opportunity for kids to learn about our history," I told Joe. Disney might head for the Hill.
"One of the main attractions of the park would take place when it gets dark. Disney engineers have already figured out a way to put rockets on the Washington Monument, and every 15 minutes they could make it roar into space.
"There would be something for everybody. We are hoping to sign up Ollie North to sit in a swing where people could throw softballs at him, and if they hit him he would fall into a large tank of water.
"Another attraction would be a giant wheel with 20 numbers on it. For $1, visitors would bet on a number and, if they won, they could take home a stuffed toy in the likeness of a Supreme Court justice."
"Would you consider having Beauty and the Beast?" I asked Joe.
He replied, "I hope so. We could get Packwood to play the Beast."
"Who would play Beauty?"
"Anybody on the Hill he chooses."
Joe told me that he didn't think Disney would have any problem getting the park off the ground. "We would run a clean place where even Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would feel right at home."
Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.