Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

A Democratic Debate Sketch

No offense intended. This is all in jest. I have no agenda. I'm just trying to be funny.

All nine candidates are on stage. The lights come up.

DAN RATHER: Jumping jehosophats! It's more crowded than Michael Jackson's bed! Welcome to tonight's debate between the nine leading Democratic candidates. We're coming to you live from a granary in the middle of a square state that normally never gets on the news except for this weird primary system we've got in this darn country. Let's begin right away with opening statements, since I'm hungrier than a fat man at Disneyworld and I want to finish this before my most recent face lift starts to sag. We'll start with you, Senator Edwards.

JOHN EDWARDS: Thank you, Dan. And thank you to the good people of Iowa for hosting the nine of us this evening. If there's one thing I've learned on the campaign trail this season, it's how many people really do get me confused with that guy on the SciFi network who talks to dead people. But if there's two things I've learned, it's how special the good people of Iowa really are. There's nobody smarter than an Iowa caucus voter. Nobody. And I'm here to tell you that despite the fact that I spent most of my career as a trial lawyer, profiting off the misfortunes of others, I am the one candidate on this stage who can stand up for the little people. Little people like you, Congressman Kucinich. I want to move America forward, move this nation ahead, and move this country in a direction we can all identify on a compass. Thank you.

DAN RATHER: Your move, Congressman Gephardt, and then we'll just continue in that direction while I take a quick break to reapply my stage makeup and switch to my "evening teeth."

DICK GEPHARDT: Thanks, Dan. I'm as white as a ghost. I really am. It's hard to believe that just thirty-six years ago, I stood on this very stage for the first time, in my inauguaral run for the Presidency back in 1968. Since that time, I've learned a great deal about this country, about myself, and about the good people who vote in the Iowa caucuses. Together, from this stage, we've seen a man walk on the moon, the loss of famed comic actor John Candy, and the dawn of the Internet Age. I have waited my turn. And now it is my time. I ceded the floor to Walter Mondale, to Michael Dukakis, to Bill Clinton, to Al Gore, but I will not lose to Carol Moseley Braun. No, 2004 is the Year of the Gephardt, and under my leadership, I'll take Iowa -- and my home state of Missouri -- and make you the only two states in the union. With your support, I'll annex the eastern half of the country for Iowa and the western half for Missouri, and together create a super-nation, to defend the rights of workers, lower taxes for the middle-class, and never, ever raise the retirement age. I pledge to you that even if science eradicates all disease and we live until the age of 850, you will get your social security checks at age 65, even if I have to rob a bank to pay for it. That's the Gephardt promise. Long retirements, except for me, until I win a Democratic nomination. Thank you.

CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN: Look around this stage and what do you see? Look carefully, and you'll notice that one of these things is not like the others. Eight men. Eight white men, except for Mr. Sharpton. All with reasonably legitimate qualifications to be President, except for Mr. Sharpton and Congressman Kucinich. And then there's me. A one-term Senator who lost her re-election campaign and got sent to New Zealand. Do you think they send rising stars in the party to New Zealand? When they're looking to beef up someone's resume for a future run for the White House, do they ask them to go be ambassador to New Zealand? Before I was banished to the land of the platypus, I couldn't even find New Zealand on a map. When they told me where I was going, I looked at them like they had said I was going to Mars. At least now there's a TV camera on Mars. In New Zealand all they have is water and island. I don't even know how I got there. I blacked out on the plane and woke up in the mouth of a platypus. It was scary. I want to be your President so I don't have to go back to New Zealand. Please don't let them send me back there.

AL SHARPTON: I am the most entertaining thing about the Democratic Party these days. That is sad. But I am glad. Not mad. Because I never had. So many television cameras following me before. Except when I was in trouble. Ross Perot is probably sitting at home wondering how I replaced him as the guy in these debates for entertainment purposes only. He didn't get the memo. I missed one debate and I heard it was pretty boring. I'm going to do a cartwheel now. Thank you.

DENNIS KUCINICH: Why have they put me after Carol and Al? I'm not like them. I have a website. Go to my website. Read my plan. You'll see that I want to take the profit out of health care. Doctors should make the same amount of money as Iowa farmers. Before the subsidies. Like most Americans, I go to Canada when I get sick. Because socialized medicine works. My campaign has no money, but I like it that way. We don't need an economy built around money. Capitalism is overrated. We need barter. I'll trade you my left arm for a hundred thousand votes. How about that? They say I'm unelectable, but I'm only unelectable because no one will vote for me. We can fix that problem. All I need to do is dress up like Howard Dean and then maybe Time and Newsweek will write stories about me instead of the two-page spread I got in the J.C. Penney Catalog-Magazine last month. I also need a new wife. To support my campaign and buy me fresh tofu. I can't afford new tofu. All of my tofu is old. Vote for me and you'll never get sick again. Socialized medicine can do that.

JOE LIEBERMAN: Is this a great country or what? I was almost Vice President. Isn't that amazing? I love this country! If only the voting machines in Florida worked, I wouldn't have to spend a year of my life sharing a stage with Dennis Kucinich and eating kosher hot dogs at every roadside shack in Iowa and New Hampshire to prove to you people that I'm just a Regular Joe. Instead, I'd be sitting in the Vice Presidential mansion, lighting the menorah and thanking God for all of my blessings. I can't believe I was almost Vice President. I would have been a great Vice President. I would have gone to all of the weddings, and the funerals, and the bar and bat mitzvahs. Oh, the bar and bat mitzvahs. You know who's not getting invited to my daughter's bat mitzvah? Al Gore. And to think: I slept with him for that spot on the ticket, and this is how he repays me?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Thank you, Iowa. Three months ago, probably none of you had ever heard of me. You'd heard rumblings that there was going to be a new candidate entering the race, but nobody knew who I was. Do you know why? Because I'm not a real person. I've been invented from whole cloth by the moderate wing of the Democratic party in consultation with Senator Hillary Clinton, who actually lives inside this costume I'm wearing and supplies my words into the automatic voice generator. You see, the DLC looked at the past two hundred years of election data and came up with the perfect candidate. Military experience, no extreme views, a nice smile, well-groomed eyebrows, and a generic name. In the test runs I was Hank Clark, but now with the whole metrosexual thing we thought Wesley would appeal more to the female audience. Sounds less threatening. Yesterday I went in for a tuneup and they loaded in the wrong card. So all I can talk about is football today. They thought I was going to a dinner with Joe Namath. I was supposed to go last week, but he tried to kiss me and it got awkward. They meant to load in the health care card. I don't know what it says. My memory chip is all maxed out. Sorry.

JOHN KERRY: I am a tall man. Usually, they put me next to Dennis and I look like a giant. But I asked them to stop doing that because it was scaring my children when they saw me on TV. It was also scaring my wife, so she bought a new TV that makes me look shorter. It was expensive. But she's rich. I am the only candidate on this stage who is a Senator from Massachusetts. I am also the only candidate who is tall. They say that usually the taller candidate wins the election. That means you should vote for me. That's the best reason I've got. Vote for me. Because I'm tall.

HOWARD DEAN: I just received word that they have revived Josef Stalin and brought him back to life and he is terrorizing Russia and killing millions of people, and threatening to do the same thing here. I think we should stay out of it. We are not the world's policemen. He is not that dangerous. As long as he doesn't unseal my gubernatorial records, I think we'll all be safe. We should ignore him. We should also ignore lots of the stupid things I sometimes say when I'm speaking off the cuff. My campaign manager, Joe Trippi, who hates it when I mention his name Joe Trippi and then the NY Times writes glowing articles about him Joe Trippi, he gave me new cuffs so I wouldn't speak off the cuff as much. These cuffs are long. Almost as long as the confederate flags they fly down in the backwards South with all those religion nutjobs. I talked about the religious nutjobs a lot when I was governor, but I sealed my records so you'll never find out. I also think we should invite Josef Stalin over for tea because he's not dangerous at all and we also don't need a military or any weapons. We should spend the money on better glue for my records instead.

DAN RATHER: Thanks for joining us. We now return to an all-new episode of "Becker," already in progress.