LIKE OTHER DEEP-THINKING people, I'm full of principled, idealistic, high-minded indignation at the GOP. What a stampede of sleaze. Jack Abramoff is the world's best lobbyist--for the Federal Penitentiary System. Bob Ney was deep in the ethical rough at St. Andrew's. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's favorite weap ons system turned out to be the political suicide bomb. Tom DeLay may or may not have broken campaign finance laws, but he did his best to look like he was breaking them. He might as well have tied quail feathers to the GOP majority in Congress and sent it hunting with Dick Cheney.
Watching Republicans in Washington is like watching lemmings, if lemmings jumped into cesspools instead of off cliffs. Splash! There goes Mark Foley! Now the news networks are broadcasting G.O.P.U. around the clock.
Actually, the Republicans should be grateful for their lying, thieving scum. It distracts the public from the things the Republicans have done that are honestly bad. Our postwar policy is creating Weimar Iraq. And when the Islamofascist Beer Hall Putsch comes there won't even be beer.
Social Security privatization was presented to the electorate with a public relations and marketing flair not seen since New Coke. Intelligence collection has been given an additional bureaucracy to correct the problems created by too much bureaucracy in intelligence collection. "Homeland Security" sounds like a failed 1980s savings and loan. Didn't Grandma lose $20,000 when Homeland Security went under? Then there's No Child Left Behind. What if the child deserves to be left behind? What if the child deserves a smack on the behind? We have a national testing program to test whether kids are . . . what? Stupid? You've got kids. Kids are stupid.
Immigration policy will fence the border, providing economic stimulus to the Mexican ladder industry. The National Guard is stationed on the Rio Grande--U.S. troops standing be tween you and yard care. President Bush said that if illegal immigrants want citizenship they'd have to do three things: pay taxes, hold meaningful jobs, and learn English. Bush doesn't meet those qualifications.
And Republican federal budgets have shown less self-restraint than Mark Foley's instant messaging. Billions are being spent so college students will have someplace below sea level to get drunk during Mardi Gras. Hundreds of billions are being spent indiscriminately dumping Medicare prescription drugs on old people. There's a new warning on the Levitra bottle: If arousal lasts more than four hours you haven't screwed the taxpayers enough.
I am so moved by principle and idealism, so indignantly high-minded, that I'm changing sides. At least the Democrats aren't hypocritical about being scum. After Gerry Studds was censured for molesting an underaged congressional page, he was reelected six times. Therefore, in the mid term elections, I'm working to get Demo crats into office.
And work it is. There's the problem of putative speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, whose very name summons images of children coming home from day care madly scratching their scalps. Then, when you see Pelosi speak, it's impossible not to think of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. I hope her campaign slogan isn't "A New Kick-Off for America."
There is also the problem of issues for the Democrats to run on. You're going to elect Democrats to control government spending? And you're going to marry Angelina Jolie for her brains. The privacy issue--government spying on U.S. citizens--isn't going to work. True, NSA has been collecting all our telephone information, but anyone who's answered the phone during dinner knows that every telemarketer on earth has that information already. Illegal immigration? When the Democrats were in charge, the illegal immigrants were from al Qaeda. And as for Iraq, the best the Democrats have been able to do is make the high school sex promise: "I'll pull out in time, honest."
Maybe I won't work for the Demo crats. It's too much of a job. And jobs are not something the Democratic base is famous for having. Maybe I'll just act like a Democrat and stay away from the polls on November 7 and hang around the house drinking beer. In fact, I think I'll start practicing that now, so I'll be ready on Election Day.
Opposing Republican hegemony is not without cost. It's going to cost me my marriage if I keep hanging around the house drinking beer. But I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make sure the GOP loses. And I promise to stay involved in my children's' lives, occasionally picking them up at day care as they madly scratch their scalps. It takes a village, etc.
No price is too high to pay for principled idealism. And as soon as high-minded indignation has defeated the Republicans, there will be the impoverishment from protectionism, the horror of nuke-wielding petty dictators, and the increased killings by terrorists to prove it. Deep-thinking people will be relieved that Dennis Hastert can no longer cover up misbehavior in the congressional page program.
P.J. O'Rourke is a contributing editor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.