Death by necrophilia

As Republicans suffer through a rough patch, Dr. Dean is, thankfully, here to save them with his own poor decisions.

Last month, a low-level staffer employed by Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., ignited a political firestorm by penning a memo speculating that the Terri Schiavo controversy presented a great opportunity to score political points with pro-lifers. All 55 Republican senators denied having seen the memo, and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, swiftly denounced it.

Nonetheless, the mass media promptly declared it the work of prominent Republican “officials” or even “party leaders,” and weeks of denouncing conservatives as either slimy and unprincipled opportunists or fascistic theocrats ensued.

But unfortunately for those hoping to reverse three consecutive electoral debacles for the Democratic Party, a leading Democrat apparently has no more professionalism and discretion than an amateurish assistant to a freshman Republican senator.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean boasted to an audience of approximately 200 people at a breakfast sponsored by a gay rights’ organization in Hollywood that, “We’re going to use Terri Schiavo later on … This is going to be an issue in 2006, and it’s going to be an issue in 2008.” Dean, who once claimed he could be the nation’s “first gay president,” proceeded to envision advertisements featuring images of DeLay superimposed with the words, “Do you want this guy to decide whether you die or not?” 

And after a deluge of disastrous publicity, from the ethics problems of DeLay to the alternately hilarious and profoundly dispiriting antics of U.N. ambassador nominee and apparent isolationist John Bolton, the Republicans have finally found deliverance. As usual, that salvation has come from the feet lodged squarely inside the mouths of Democrats. The talking points simply write themselves:

“True, a Republican staffer thought evangelical Christians might like it if we kept Terri Schiavo from slowly dying of dehydration. But the head of the Democratic National Committee relishes the thought of hoisting her cadaver like a bloody totem before the American people in the hopes of averting another humiliating defeat!”

If the mainstream media doesn’t pick up on the story, it will be Rathergate all over again: They’ll malign President George W. Bush a few months before the election on the basis of obvious forgeries, but they won’t criticize Dean for replacing the donkey with the exhumed corpse of Schiavo as the new Democratic Party mascot! Damn you, liberal media! I wonder what’s on Fox News …

James Carville once posited that “when your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil.” With all due respect to the ragin’ Cajun, that’s a terrible idea; whenever Democrats try it, they always seem to throw themselves in instead. Using a comatose woman for partisan advantage was bad enough; exploiting the corpse of said comatose woman is political suicide by necrophilia.

Christopher Oster is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]