Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Intercepted Democratic Memo
From: Howard Dean
To: Terry McAuliffe, Chair, Democratic National Committee
RE: Thinking Outside the Box
Terry, there's a very good chance that I'm going to be taking your job soon. When that happens, I'm going to want to put my own stamp on the post. Now that Election 2004 has had some time to sink in, I think It's time we started looking forward to the next election and figure out how we can avoid another ass-kicking. I've had my best people working on this and they've come up with a number of strategies that I think could do the trick. Please have your team look at this and start working on getting these ideas into place so I can hit the ground running.
The Sci-Fi Strategy
We live in a high-tech world. We've got all sorts of scientific miracles that we should take full advantage of. That's why one of our proposals is to exhume two of our most popular presidents of the past and get creative with their DNA. Then, in 2008, we run a clone ticket of FDR and JFK. Charismatic? You know it. They also have a proven track record that's unparalleled. Roosevelt won four times. With cloning, we could make it five. While we're at it, we can fix his legs. As close to a sure thing as we could get.
The Hard to Get Strategy
We simply don't run anyone. We sit out the primaries. We skip the convention, thus saving a whole bunch of money. We let the liberals and the moderates stew in their juices. Then we throw them a candidate at the last possible second, with little/no advertising. They'll be so desperate, they'll vote for whoever we put up. Gore, Edwards, hell, they'd even vote for Gephardt and he's got an excitement level of, like, negative twenty. Make them come to us. It could work.
The Party Hearty Party Strategy
We got a whole lot of nothing this time by having Kerry play it as conservative as possible, trying to woo some of the Christians to our side. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Forget them. They're far too busy thumping their bibles to consider our guy. Which is why we should got the other way. Let's do something to motivate people who never vote. The youth turn-out was okay this time, but it could be fucking spectacular. In '08, let's run a ticket they can relate to. Let's run Snoop Dogg and Christina Aguilera. Sex and drugs! Let's make sure they know our candidate is getting some on a regular basis. Let's have a veep contender that voters can enjoy picturing naked in the voting booth. Let's send out canvassers with Democrat Rolling Papers. Let's have Snoop doing bong hits at the convention. You want to talk about “rocking the vote”? Un-fucking-stoppable.
The CBS Strategy
The Democratic party this year was a lot like CBS seven years ago. We put out stuff that excited nobody, using the same methods we've used for fifty years and people ignored us like crazy. This is why we should take a page from the Tiffany Network and use some of their tools. We need reality shows. Step one: we eliminate the whole “primary” thing. Noone buys that primaries are the least bit meaningful anymore anyway. The real decisions are made by us party bigwigs who figure out where the money should go, so it's not like the people would be losing much. Step two, instead, we have a thirteen week reality series. We have the candidates all move into one big house. They can bitch about each other's lack of international experience on the Confessional Cam. They can compete in wacky endurance contests. Then they are eliminated one by one in a dramatic “Tie Ceremony” in which all the candidates who are chosen to stick around are given a power tie. We call it “My Big, Fat Obnoxious Presidential Candidate.”
The Mob Strategy
This one's pretty self-explanatory. We hire the mob to kill the GOP nominee. Sure, maybe this means we have to run Cuomo, but it's worth it in the end, right?
The If You Can’t Beat 'Em, Join 'Em Strategy
Sure, the Democrats can feel good about the ethics of our party. We didn't resort to the sort of underhanded tricks that helped Team Bush slime its way back into the White House. But that's sort of like the third grader walking home day after day with black eyes and bloody noses who is lauded for his restraint when set upon by bullies. At some point, the third grader needs to either learn himself some karate or higher a bigger kid to do some ass-kicking. Karl Rove has been taking our lunch money for too long. We need to find our own K.R. We need to put him to work digging up (or, as Karl himself has done, making up) dirt on the Moron-in-Chief. That's not too hard of a job, people. The man was a draft-dodging coke-head and he's done a shitty, shitty job in office. You're trying to tell me there's nothing in there that's more exploitable than some jizz on an intern's dress? Kenneth Starr succeeded because he didn't give up even when there was nothing to find. He by God stayed at it until there was. So let's find our own dirty-playing attack dog, wave some Bush-scented steak under his nose and set him to work.
The Bugs Bunny Strategy
What good did it do having an intelligent candidate who spoke knowledgeably and eloquently in the debates? None whatsoever. Which is why we should take a page from classic Warner Brothers cartoons. Instead of elaborating on policy and pointing out his opponents flaws, our guy should dress up like a hair stylist and put dynamite curlers in the Republican's hair. He should use twisty-turny logic to convince the Republican nominee that it’s not rabbit season, but rather Republican season. Then Elmer Fudd—or whoever's moderating—can step out from behind the desk and blast him in the face with a shotgun. The Dem should dress in strangely provocative drag and lure his GOP counterpart into falling through a trap door. These cartoons are classics for a reason, people. They've got effective, timeless strategies for dealing with your opposition.
The Celebrity Strategy
The other side's going to run Arnold. You know it. They're already working on a goddamn amendment. They want Conan in the White House. Who do we have that can fight that kind of star power? Hilary? Please. She's smart, but she's never shown the can-do attitude that Shwarzenegger displayed in The Running Man. We need to fight fire with fire. We need to run Harrison Ford. He's one of the top box office draws of all time. We've already seen that he can be president. He'd get the butts into the voting booths. I mean, who'd you rather vote for? Han Solo or Mr. Freeze? Sure, we'd have to get him to ditch the earring and, if he's still seeing Calista Flockheart, we'd need to force feed her a sandwich or two, but other than that he's solid. President Ford to terrorists: “Get off my plane!” I get chills.
The Cutesy Strategy
We run a cocker spaniel puppy. Hear me out on this one. Do you honestly think any other candidate could face him in a debate? One or two wags of the tail and the other guy would be toast. Who's going to question his views on foreign policy when he rolls over on his back so you can pet his belly? With those long ears and those big eyes, who wouldn't vote for him? Think about it: No sex scandals! He’s neutered! The photo ops, my God, the photo ops! There's no situation where he looks bad! Hell, he could piddle all over Kim Jung Il and nobody'd think twice. You think Dubya could get away with that?
Whatever we do, we need to innovate. We need to rethink how we do things. I'm ready to do that. Call me this weekend. We'll grab some crabcakes.