Everybody Loves a Crisis

A Modest Proposal (of Geriatricide) from the DNC

At a secret Democratic Party conclave, George-town, Valentine’s Day, February, 2005.
Transcript delivered to The L Magazine in the men’s room at Galapagos by a source at the DNC who wishes to remain nameless. The speaker’s identity remains unknown.

Let’s call this confab to order, shall we? Everybody here? The New Yorkers? Southerners? The Westies? I want to thank the DNC and all the heavy hitters for attending this little sitdown. This isn’t for the squeamish but I’m on urgent matters here, so listen up.

America faces a crisis. Isn’t America always facing a crisis? A crisis that later on, when no one’s looking, seems to slip right off the back of the boat and sink to the bottom of the pond without so much as a bubble?

And yet people buy it. Why? Because the Republicans are so good at selling it. They aim right for people’s nightmares — gay marriage (forget interracial marriage, that’s back burner stuff now), special preferences, attacks from shadowy foreigners (better than Communists even), abortion, you name it — and they twist it into a crisis that can only be solved by the most draconian actions you’ve ever seen. You want nightmares, crises? The Republicans are your party. Meanwhile, the Democrats sit around and try to “solve” things prudently. Useless.  

But no matter: a crisis. I speak now of course of the “looming Social Security crisis.” A “crisis” that’s been taking shape since 1978, when a young George Bush, taking a break from knocking back Lone Stars at tony Connecticut gatherings, predicted to me that the fund was sure to go bankrupt in ten years if the system wasn’t dismantled and handed over to Wall Street.

Anyway, 1988 came and went and Social Security survives to this day — so something must be done.

It is my feeling that the primary reason we are facing this particular crisis is because we liberals have yet to come up with a competing crisis. America only responds to doomsdays crises these days and if Democrats are going to insist on facing real issues, they’ll never get anywhere. Right now Bush can’t make up his mind whether it’s the environment or Social Security that gets dismantled first. Who’s making noise about that? A bunch of kids sending e-mails. Alternative fuels: utter silence.

The fate of our soldiers stuck in Iraq another two, maybe three years? Relaxing furloughs to Tehran no doubt.
If Democrats could just come up with some imaginary toothy beast who speaks a foreign language and is about to eat

Americans alive, they’d be home free. They could draw up a big bill, cram it full of whatever appropriations they like, and it would sail through.

But I digress. Hillary, Evan, please: no notes. You’ll want to be able to say you weren’t here.

I guess at this point in time we just have to accept the crisis we’ve got before us, phony as it may be. I want you to let go of whatever is left of your conscience, for the duration of my chat. It’s just weighing you down. For crying out loud, when did you all lose your sense of humor? And by the way, I haven’t noticed anyone moving to Canada or Europe yet. Last I looked

Teresa Heinz was still bingeing in Pittsburgh and Alec Baldwin was still chasing the waitresses at the Marmot.

Ok. The fact is the conservatives are actually weak right now. That’s right. We just have to marshal our forces on a completely imaginary issue, and we’ll be back in power in ’08. I kid you not. Would I lie to you? How did you get elected anyway? By listening to me. But that was long ago, back when we had moxie and some grasp of unreality.


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