In a stunning announcement, Republicans acknowledged today that they were in fact the party of political corruption.
"There's no point in denying it," said Tom DeLay, the newly appointed Grand Old Poo Bah of the GOP. "We think corruption, like confession, is good for the soul. And confessing to corruption is even better."
Strategists adopted this new approach after internal polling confirmed the American people overwhelmingly believe that Republicans are the party of the rich and in the pocket of the special interests.
"Well, we are," said former president George. H.W. Bush, whom the party tapped to be the new Secretary of Noblesse Oblige. "You know, rich people are darn well entitled to their rights too. In fact, rich people are darn well entitled to just about everything."
At a recent "clothing and principles optional" retreat in Bohemian Grove, CA, the Republican leadership drafted a "fat cat's bill of rights" to articulate the party's new vision. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who, attendees said, resembles a fat cat even more when he's naked, called on the gathering to "return to the party of Teapot Dome and Richard Nixon."
"Republicans always do best when they can lie, cheat and steal their way into power," Gingrich said. "We need to unshackle the constraints of so-called "right and wrong" and get back to basics." The former Speaker spent the rest of the meeting signing copies of his new book, Abuse of Power for Dummies.
The gathering gave a thunderous standing ovation to Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young, and in a surprise appearance, Jack Abramoff.
"We paid someone off," DeLay said when asked how the convicted felon was allowed out of prison.
In fact, the new Republican strategy is based in part on what Republicans are calling "good, old-fashioned bribery". Republican National Committee Chair Mike Duncan said, "We're increasing walking around money and setting up "pay for vote" websites and, for residents of Ohio and Florida, private auctions on eBay."
Additionally, say GOP sources, President Bush is due to sign an executive order abolishing every state Board of Elections and contracting out their function to a consortium consisting of Dieboldt, Halliburton and Fox News.
"Why take chances?" remarked George H.W. Bush, who was starting to show off his skills at horseshoes when someone shouted "Skull and Bones" forcing Mr. Bush to leave the room.
The conference concluded with a chorus line of lobbyists and lawmakers, dancing the can-can and singing "Happy Days Are Here Again." Every member of Congress was sent home with a suitcase full of cash, filled with $100 bills affixed to a palm card reading "Vote McCain." Party leaders hope to distribute one to every swing voter in their districts, and at least two for residents of Ohio and Florida.