Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Saturday, November 29, 2003  

[Zipping off for an impromtu trip to Seattle. So I leave you with a little Friday Satire--a day late.]

WASHINGTON: In what is likely to change politics in America forever, all but three congressional Democrats yesterday became Republicans. Following three years of humiliation and defeat at the hands of of unifed GOP, former Senator Minority Leader Tom Daschle (R-SD) yesterday called his party obsolete. "We're not an effective opposition party anymore. We've stood by while our colleagues have systematically removed us from the process of governing: we're no longer included in drafting or considering legislation, are not allowed to ask the President questions--hell, they even called the cops on us when we got uppity! At least this way we wll be able to listen in on the process. It's long been a tenet of my leadership style that you should take what you can get." Just three Democrats, Senator Russell Feingold (D-Wis) and Representatives Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore) refused to join the majority. Said DeFazio, "I'm still damned proud to call myself a Democrat."

The unprecedented move will have profound effects on the Presidential race. President Bush now finds himself in a primary battle against three powerful former Democrats, John Kerry, Dick Gephardt, and Joe Lieberman, and one middling legislator, freshman Senator John Edwards. The Democratic field has now narrowed--front-runner Howard Dean finds his competition weakened to just Al Sharpton, Carol Mosely Braun, and the Ohio Democrat, who now finds his profile substantially raised. General Wesley Clark was ambivilent about his status. "I wish I knew they were planning this two months ago, said the general, who was ironically himself a former Republican. "I would have been in a strong position to challenge the President. Now we have a decision in front of us."

According to sources close to Daschle, the decision came during the recent debate over Medicare. "We were so disorganized. You have the DNC putting out an action alert to defeat the bill, and meanwhile Tom's thinking it looks pretty good. Total confusion. Watching Denny [Hastert] and Tom [DeLay] pull out the thumbscrews in the House to get those votes--man, that was organization. We got to thinking, 'Well, maybe that's the kind of organization we could use. One thing led to another, and here we are." Democrats will now have access to a number of key committees and caucuses to which they were previously barred by Republicans.

Boise State political scientist Martin Mumford pointed out that, strategically anyway, the plan had merit. "If you look strictly at politics, Democrats have a slight edge. The moderate Republicans from New England who tend to side with them outnumber the Zell Millers who side with Republicans. So now, with everyone being a Republican, you could make the argument that moderates can finally wrest control from the neocons." Mumford added, "Though of course, they've sacrificed a lot. They have no party now, and the states and DNC are livid. It could also backfire pretty spectacularly."

For the moment, the GOP and White House are welcoming the defectors. Said the President in prepared remarks, "We want to welcome those fine legislators and commend their wisdom. We have long felt that the Democratic Party was the last barrier to a number of initiatives we'd like to enact. We now congratulate these former foes for their decision to join the patriotic fight against terror which they previously opposed, to help in reviving the economy through tax cuts to those who need them most--which they also opposed, and to cut out the depraved rot that gnaws at the fabric of our great nation--rot they once defended. I said years ago that I would be a uniter, not a divider, and I'm pleased today to deliver on that promise."

Speaking from an undisclosed location, the tiny band of remaining renegade Democrats remained defiant. "Not only are we not alarmed by this development, we are grateful for it. Now we have a united party, one that champions the rights of everyday citizens. As we are now vastly outnumbered, we've made a few changes. Instead of the donkey, we are replacing our mascot with a pirate. We intend to raid the power of the wealthy from our hardy little sloop. And this is our new symbol." With that, Dennis Kucinich unfurled a black and white Jolly Roger. "Let the fight begin!"

posted by Jeff | 10:24 AM |
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