WASHINGTON, DCIn a press conference on the steps of the Capitol Monday, Congressional Democrats announced that, despite the scandals plaguing the Republican Party and widespread calls for change in Washington, their party will remain true to its hopeless direction.
"We are entirely capable of bungling this opportunity to regain control of the House and Senate and the trust of the American people," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said to scattered applause. "It will take some doing, but we're in this for the long and pointless haul."
"We can lose this," Reid added. "All it takes is a little lack of backbone."
Despite plummeting poll numbers for the G.O.P nationwide and an upcoming election in which all House seats and 33 Senate seats are up for contention, Democrats pledged to maintain their party's sheepish resignation.
"In times like these, when the American public is palpably dismayed with the political status quo, it is crucial that Democrats remain unfocused and defer to the larger, smarter, and better-equipped Republican machine," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said. "If we play our cards right, we will be intimidated to the point of total paralysis."
Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) cited the Bush Administration's bungled response to Hurricane Katrina as a model for Democrats.
"Grandmothers drowning in nursing homes, families losing everything, communities torn apartand the ruling party just sat and watched," Lieberman said. "I'm here to promise that we Democrats will find a way to let you down just like that."
According to Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Democrats are not willing to sacrifice their core valuesindecision, incoherence, and disorganizationfor the sake of short-term electoral gain.
"Don't lose faithlessness, Democrats," Kennedy said. "The next election is ours to lose. To those who say we can't, I say: Remember Michael Dukakis. Remember Al Gore. Remember John Kerry."
Kennedy said that, even if the Democrats were to regain the upper hand in the midterm elections, they would still need to agree on a platform and chart a legislative agendaan obstacle he called "insurmountable."
"Universal health care, the war in Iraq, civil liberties, a living wage, gun controlwe're not even close to a consensus within our own ranks," Kennedy said. "And even if we were, we wouldn't know how to implement that consensus."
"Some rising stars with leadership potential like [Sen. Barack] Obama (D-IL) and [New York State Attorney General Eliot] Spitzer have emerged, but don't worry: We've still got some infight left in us," Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said. "Over the last decade, we've found a reliably losing formula, and we're sticking with it."
Dean reminded Democratic candidates to "stay on our unclear message, maintain a defensive, reactive posture, and keep an elitist distance from voters."
Political consultant and Democratic operative James Carville said that, if properly disseminated, the message of hopelessness could be the Democrats' most effective in more than a decade.
"For the first time in a long time, we're really connecting with the American people, who are also feeling hopeless," Carville said. "If we can harness that and run on it in '06, I believe we can finish a strong second."