"I wish to register a complaint about the Democratic Party: It's dead."
"No, no, it's resting."
"Look, I know a dead party when I see one, and I'm looking at a dead
party right now. Over the past eight years, the Democrats have lost the
presidency, both houses of Congress, almost all their majorities in
state legislatures, and most governorships. They'll surely lose
additional House seats in the next redistricting. Most of the current
justices of the Supreme Court were appointed by Republicans, as were
most current federal judges. The Democratic Party is stone dead. Dead as
"No-no-no-no-no! The party's just resting! Since 1994,
Democrats have gained in both houses. They're only one seat away from
taking over the Senate. And if Katherine Harris and the Supreme Court
hadn't mucked it up, Al Gore would be in the White House right now. He
won the popular vote by half a million. Democrats and Greens together
won over 3 million more votes than the Republicans. And the Dems
raised as much soft money as the Republicans for the first time in
history. Party's not dead. Just resting."
"All right then, if this party is resting, try to wake it up.
'Ello, party! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your alarm call!
Less than two years until the midterms! [Thumps party's head on the
counter, throws it up in the air, and watches it plummet to the
floor] Now that's what I call a dead party."
"No, no ... No. It's stunned!"
"Yeah. Can't get over not having Bill Clinton in the White House.
Doesn't have a spokesman right now. No bully pulpit. But just you wait.
Clinton or Gore will take charge. And watch Terry McAuliffe at the
Democratic National Committee. He'll bring the party back to life."
"Look, the only reason the party is sitting upright is that it's been
nailed there. Clinton has utterly disgraced himself. Gore ran the
worst presidential campaign in living memory. And Terry McAuliffe has
the moral authority of a lizard. He heads the DNC only because he raised
a ton of money for Clinton. He'll sell anything for money. Probably get
nailed on the Marc Rich pardon. You call that party leadership? You make
my point, sir! Party's dead! Gone to heaven!"
"No, no, no, no! The party's still breathing! Look--it moved!
Democratic Leadership Council's a remarkable bird, id'nit, squire?
Lovely plumage! Now, there's vitality for you. The DNC is right from the
center! The vital center! Even Hillary joined."
"The DNC stands for nothing, nada, zero, except it's anti-union. No
grass roots. No troops. No one out in America cares about the DNC. The
DNC says it's centrist, but centrism is wherever the polls say most
Americans are. Centrism is unprincipled. Centrism doesn't lead. It
follows. Centrism is Dick Morris. Centrism is nowhere."
"No, no! The party's just pinin' for the fjords."
"Pinin'--for the fjords? What kind of talk is that?
Look, if the party's alive, why doesn't it insist that the budget
surplus be spent on health care for the 45 million Americans without it?
And child care for the millions who lack it? And good schools for all
kids? Why doesn't the party say it's plain absurd to spend $300 billion
on the military when the Cold War is over, and tens of billions more on
a missile defense shield that won't work? Why isn't it outraged that 43
percent of the benefits of Bush's tax cut will go to the top 1 percent?
Why doesn't it insist on a tax cut mostly benefiting people who earn
less than $40,000 a year? Why does it play dead on the environment? Why?
Because it's not playing dead! It is dead!"
"No, no! It's pinin' for the fjords."
"It's not pinin'! It's passed on! This party is no
more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! It's
a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to
the perch, it'd be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are
now 'istory! It's off the twig! It's kicked the bucket! It's shuffled
off its moral coil, run down the curtain, and joined the bleedin' choir
invisible! It's bleedin' snuffed it! This is an ex-party!"
"Well, I'd better replace it, then."