Monday, January 31, 2005

Neoconservative Objective Number Three: The Democratic National Committee

Yes, there is still much work to be done in Iraq, as you have heard someone say every 30 seconds over the past two days. But the global crusade for democracy does not wait upon police and administrative matters. It is time to survey the horizons beyond Iraq, and draw new plans accordingly.

I realize that Iran and Syria rank high on everyone's "to-do" list. And of course, Saud Delenda Est, sooner or later. But given our current commitments, it's time to turn our attention to objectives closer to home, and show that we can deal with domestic matters with the same degree of reckless enthusiasm. It's time that we deal with that most troubled region of the world, the Democratic National Committee.

In the DNC we have all the components of a fledgling democracy, just waiting for someone to pick them up and piece them together. The DNC's very name suggests democratic aspirations. And elements within the DNC have been struggling to implement a quasi-democratic election of their own, but so far without success. What's the big hold-up? The Vatican once elected three Popes in less time than this. In 69 AD, the Romans cranked out four new emperors in less time than this. But the DNC's efforts just grind on like a damaged gearbox, and the mounting bill for catering and trashed hotel rooms is threatening their economic stability. Responsible persons need to step in at this point, and give one of their viable candidates a leg up.

Does the United States have a vital interest in the Democratic National Committee, you may ask? Of course not, smartass. Nor does the DNC have any impact on world oil markets, or access to enriched uranium, et cetera. There is no evidence that they possess any weapon which has sharp edges or moving parts - apart from occasional noise pollution and misdemeanor vandalism, the DNC poses no threat to its neighbors. All of which, I submit, is beside the point. This is an idealistic humanitarian effort, not some of your cynical Nixon-Era realpolitic. You don't like it? Go sob on Henry Kissinger's lap.


1. William "Watertight" Smith. Former US Senator from Michigan, and former chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. Earned the nickname "Watertight" during the 1912 Senate inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic, when he asked, "Why didn't the passengers just go into the watertight compartments and close the doors?"
STRENGTHS: Knows how to ask the tough questions. Comes from Michigan, which is almost a Red state.
NEGATIVES: Smith died in 1932. An interim chairman would have to preside until a suitable Smith clone could be deployed. There is, by the way, ample precedent for political participation by persons who are currently dead.
OVERALL EVALUATION: An untimely choice, at best. Michigan is currently in a bad light with DNC partisans, following an effort by state party officials to impose a DNC dictatorship headed by Donald "Baby Doc" Fowler.

2. Edward "Quagmire" Kennedy. Younger brother of famed US President John F. Kennedy, and current senior US Senator from Massachusetts. Kennedy is a member of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee and has extensive political experience.
STRENGTHS: Besides the obvious dynastic connections, Kennedy was the brother-in-law of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who has a fanatical cult following. Kennedy has great appeal to monarchists and celebrity-worshippers who would otherwise feel disenfranchised.
NEGATIVES: Poor driving record. Makes enemies faster than Keebler makes cookies. Might turn DNC into a breeding ground for Mary Jo Kopechne Brigade terrorists.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Good. Note that it is not customary (or in fact, strictly legal) for a sitting US Senator to also occupy the DNC chair. On the other hand, it is also not customary for a US Senator to ingest massive quantities of psilocybin and amyl nitrite, so Kennedy is an anomaly to begin with.

3. Karl Rove. Currently a political advisor to President George Bush. Extensive political experience, and proven record as a fund-raiser.
STRENGTHS: Huge name recognition among DNC faithful. We're talking HUGE. Studies show that 73% of coherent verbal utterances by DNC staffers feature "Karl Rove" as either the subject or direct object. Has a reputation in the DNC for god-like competence, and the kind of supernatural mystique previously attained only by Haitian dictators and pagan agricultural deities. Is rumored to have Osama bin Laden tied up in the trunk of his car.
NEGATIVES: Currently a Republican. Has mercenary instincts that could be exploited, but this might require a supplemental appropriation or some creative budget-looting. Also, bears disturbing resemblance to "Principal Weatherbee" from Archie comic books.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Excellent. This choice would be highly appealing to those who feel the DNC needs to be "shaken up" like a hysterical prostitute.

4. Howard Dean. Former Vermont governor. Front man for the so-called "Howard Dean for President" phenomenon, a charismatic religious movement that traces its roots to 19th Century Dunkerism.
STRENGTHS: Is not related to former Nixon aide John Dean. Combines the outlandish appeal of a Marilyn Manson with the wholesome, middle-American looks of a John McCain. A sort of ersatz Eugene McCarthy for the Johnny-Can't-Read Generation. Attracts lots of media attention.
NEGATIVES: Attracts lots of media attention. When appearing on talk shows, displays poor sense of self-preservation. And geography. Dean's followers may pose the worst threat to public safety since China's "Cultural Revolution". Has many enemies in the powerful Clinton crime family.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Poor. A Chairman Dean may ultimately alienate the DNC's allies in Canada and France, when the Jerry Lewis-like appeal starts to wear thin and the Jimmy Carter-like folksiness starts to threaten international security.

5. Barbra Streisand. Former Assistant Secretary of State, 1992-2000. Extensive political and fundraising experience.
STRENGTHS: Stalin, meet Stalinda. Superb authoritative manner, excellent command voice. Lyrical sense only slightly inferior to Jesse Jackson's. Would instill discipline and parade-ground precision to the DNC, after the manner of General George McClellan.
NEGATIVES: Also has General George McClellan's ego, and General George McClellan's politics. Has General George Armstrong Custer's sense of prudence. Has General George Patton's sense of public relations. Has General George C. Marshall's sense of humor.
OVERALL EVALUATION: Excellent. A Karl Rove who doesn't frighten middle-class housewives.