A senior Democratic Party official outlined a new proposal that would allow only white voters to participate in the remaining primaries. Under this proposal the Party would only count the votes of Caucasians whose income level is considered to be "working class," and whose political orientation is considered conservative - or, as the official put it, "culturally non-elite."
"The other people can vote," he said on conditions of anonymity. "We're just not going to count their votes."
"We don't want those latte-sipping liberals choosing our nominee," he added. "You know who I mean: They're the ones who knew the war in Iraq was wrong and who don't like it when our presidential candidates - or their husbands - triangulate on torture."
Yet you're pushing to have the votes counted from Michigan and Florida, which you guys agreed wouldn't be counted and where Obama didn't campaign -
"Right! That's another reason we're discounting all these other votes. Gotta make room for the ones we're squeezing in through the back door."
How will this new plan exclude these "liberals," as you call them?
"First, no college towns," the official said. "We're not counting their ballots. And no college graduates either."
"They're not the votes we want. They're not 'real people.' real people are always white and never liberal. That lets out African- Americans, too, so we don't want them picking our nominee."
That doesn't sound right. Won't there be a big public backlash to a whites-only primary?
"Heh ... you'd think so, wouldn't you? But we've been using this logic for months now in making our pitch to superdelegates, and nobody's really squawked. I give the media a lot of credit for keeping the whole matter quiet."
What about white voters in states like Iowa?
"They don't get counted, either. Only white voters in big states, or little states that we don't have a chance in hell of winning. Those are the kinds of voters we need to win over, so we'll be counting only their votes going forward."
Um, I don't quite follow the logic. But what about caucus states?
"Nah. Any state irresponsible enough to hold a caucus instead of a primary deserves to be disenfranchised. I mean, even the word sounds elitist. 'Caucus.' They don't say 'caucus' down at the bowling alley, son."
But the caucus participants were hard-core Democratic activists - (at this the party leader tugged at his pants.)
"Caucus this, junior! Catch my drift?"
I hate to sound idealistic here, since I know how you guys hate that, but in picking a candidate ... shouldn't everybody's vote matter?
"Look, fella, do you want to win or not? If we're going to win, we need to get those white working-class voters - the ones that have consistently voted Republican for the last few elections. And to do that we have to bring out the Karl Rove playbook."
What do you mean, exactly?
"Oh, you know. Make senseless economic proposals like the gas tax holiday, because we figure - just like the Republicans - that the rubes are too stupid to know the difference. Then, when the people with some expertise disagree with us, call 'em 'elitist." Disparage the experts, just like Bush. We can see when something works."
But what about your fellow Democrats? What if they don't want to join in a counterproductive policy like the gas tax holiday?
"Then we put 'em on the spot, just like the Republicans do. That's the answer! Make them 'stand up and be counted' - Karl came up with a great phrase there. I'm sure he won't mind if we borrow it. If they won't pander along with us, cut 'em down like timber."
"Remember: The only voters we need to win are lower-income whites, and if we have to damage other Democrats to get 'em we will."
But what about African-American voters? Won't this new strategy of yours alienate them?
"Sure, but where are they gonna go? It doesn't matter how black people vote in the primary! Forget South Carolina! It's not like they'll vote Republican, right?"
And what about those liberals you've been taking for granted?
"They're so hardwired for the lesser of two evils that they'll pick it every time."
But if you've alienated liberals and African-Americans, you've depressed the entire base of the Democratic Party. The GOP's always said you need to energize your base to ensure high voter turnout and effective fundraising.
"Aw, hell, son! We don't have to do everything those Republicans do, do we?"
But the real voters you're courting aren't just lower-income white people, they're lower-income white men. So if you really want to use your logic, shouldn't you only count the votes of white men?
"No way, boy! That would violate one of our core Democratic Party values!"
Which value would that be?