My ten-year-old granddaughter looked up from her science homework the other day and posed me a question she thought would be a real stumper.
"Grampa, what's the world's largest invertebrate life form?"
"That would be the Democratic Party," I replied. "Why do you ask?"
"Because my science book says it's the ‘giant squid.’ They can weigh up to 600 pounds."
Upon hearing this stupefying factoid, I was forced to concede.
"Then I guess your science book is probably correct, sweetheart. Even loaded down with frozen blocks of corporate campaign cash, most Democrats don't weigh that much!"
"I'll bet the Democratic Party is smarter than a giant squid, though," she offered, graciously allowing me to salvage some semblance of academic face.
"I suppose it would depend on the squid," I posited. “That, and the number of Democrats present at the time of the comparison.”
“Well, Grampa, what if there were a lot of Democrats, and they were all meeting in Congress, making a really good plan to get us out of Iraq? Who would be smarter then?”
“Definitely the giant squid,” I quipped with confidence. “You see, honey, believe it or not, the more Democratic Congressmen there are in a room, the greater the likelihood the entire quorum will be outwitted by a single marine mollusk, not to mention a reasonably alert jellyfish. Take the Senate Majority for instance...”
But before I could get into my stride, my granddaughter again shifted gears.
“But Grampa, at least Democrats are brave, right? I mean, they have more guts than a squid, don't they?”
“Well technically, sweetheart, we know a squid has guts, because we can see inside it. Squid are transparent, you see, and that’s one thing you could never say about Congressional Democrats. Oh sure, they all claim to have “intestinal” fortitude and the “stomach” for a fight when they’re on the campaign trail, but once they get voted into office they line up to be gutted like nihilistic sardines fighting to get into the can. And once Democratic politicians are eviscerated, they leave behind whatever vestige of moral courage they once possessed as thoughtlessly as a lobster sheds his carapace. They quake in terror at the mere mention of imaginary sea monsters lurking in the Strait of Hormuz, and spend most of their time groveling on bended-fin before a barnacle encrusted, not-very-lifelike cement statue of “King Neptune the Invincible”, something 71% of the other fish find laughable, if not utterly baffling. It’s the damndest thing...”
Still my intrepid granddaughter was undeterred in her valiant attempt to find a place for Congressional Democrats at the apex of the invertebrate food chain.
“There’s just one thing I don’t understand, Grampa. If big old slimy bottom-feeding squid monsters are so much braver, smarter and more powerful than Democrats, then how come one of them doesn’t run for the Senate?”
“One already has, sweetheart,” I replied. “Isn’t there a picture of Joe Liebermann in your science book?”