Memo to my Democratic friends:
Are you really going to do this? Seriously?
I ask because there is no way you can lose next year's elections, unless you try awfully hard - which you seem to be doing.
We had this same conversation about four years ago, when you somehow got the idea that John Kerry (John Kerry!!!) was your most electable candidate. In hindsight, you probably realize he was the only one who was unelectable. But that's all water under the Swift Boat.
This one should be a stone-cold lock. Republicans blew their chance when they had power, spending money like Paris Hilton on a binge. President Bush's approval ratings are at Nixonian levels. And the polls suggest voters are wavering between wanting radical change and wanting to burn the damn place down.
That includes Congress, which you geniuses have managed to make even less popular than Dick Cheney - even though, so far, Nancy Pelosi hasn't actually shot anyone. But at least a freak hunting accident would be something, which is more than this Congress has accomplished. Somehow Pelosi has presided over a do-nothing Congress that has still managed to piss off just about everybody.
We're at the point where some of Pelosi's friends need to take her aside - and leave her there.
Then there's Harry Reid. I'll admit that Republicans have come up with more than their share of boobs, dullards, and creeps over the years, but Reid zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry, I fell asleep at the keyboard there. I assume nothing happened in the Senate while I dozed off.
"Progressives," of course, have been clamoring for Reid to do something about the war in Iraq, which he hasn't. But he did manage to fire off a nasty letter about something Rush Limbaugh didn't say. Reid also zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
As I was saying, Democrats have a historic opportunity here, and you seem to recognize that. But you must first win the election, which is still a year away. The raping, pillaging, taxing, social engineering, amnesty and wild-ass litigation will have to wait.
But you can't wait, can you? Charlie Rangel is already out there with a $3 trillion tax hike; your moonbat fringe is slavering over impeachment; and your frontrunner can't decide what she thinks about Social Security, Iran or driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.
Let's think about this, people: massive tax increases, foreign policy weakness, bizarre social experimentation and flip-flops. Great. How did that work for Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter and John Kerry? And for those of you who think that massive healthcare reform is the ticket, does anybody out there remember Clinton I and the 1994 election?
True, the public is sour on Iraq, and Bush's ratings are down. But what exactly were you thinking when you drew a line at "waterboarding"? That's your defining issue? Making sure we aren't too mean to terrorists who might have information about active plots? And you also want us to stop listening in to al-Qaida's international phone calls? George McGovern, call your office.
Given the sleaze that oozed out of the last GOP Congress, corruption might be a good issue. But how far can you ride that horse with Hillary at the top of the ticket?
Here are some words you definitely don't want to hear over the next 12 months: Lincoln bedroom, presidential pardons, interns, stained dress or bimbo eruptions. (You can take a quick time-out to recover from the flashbacks.)
A skit on last weekend's Saturday Night Live featured a costume party at the Clinton household attended by all the Democratic candidates, including Mike Gravel in a straitjacket, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd as SpongeBob SquarePants, John Edwards as a hobo, and Barack Obama as himself.
Hillary wore a white dress, which everybody - including Bill - assumed was a witch costume. The audience got the joke...every time.
That's going to be a problem.
Let's talk again later.
Charles Sykes is a Milwaukee-based writer and radio talk-show host.