The Republican Party announced today that it will honor the legacy of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy by continuing its campaign to defeat any prospect of health care reform.
"Senator Kennedy was a great humanitarian," said Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, "who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the least fortunate because he understood how easy offering such help can be. We, the Republican party, will honor his memory by continuing our scorched-earth campaign to ensure that not one single uninsured resident of our country ever receives access to health care."
Former Representative Newt Gingrich explained the thinking behind the Republican strategy.
"So far," Mr. Gingrich explained, "we have distracted the American people with outrageous lies, stoked fringe paranoids into a violent rage to break up town meetings, and fomented a nationwide atmosphere of hysteria that makes every decent citizen wonder if the country has gone to Hell."
"We've completely stolen the conversation," Gingrich said. "So part of it is, we are so close to putting a stake through the heart of this thing, we cannot afford to stop."
"But also," Gingrich continued, "now is the time to take our dissembling hypocrisy to the next level. You thought death panels, Obama-Hitler posters, and gun-wielding citizens at town meetings were brazen, and possibly insane? Wait until we honor Senator Kennedy by bludgeoning his most cherished legislative dream into oblivion."
Some Republican Senators, speaking off the record, said their party's strategy may be reprehensible, but they have no choice but to go along.
"It breaks my heart to stand mute as our party operatives honor Senator Kennedy by sabotaging health care reform," one Republican senator said, "but you should see the campaign donations I received from drug and insurances companies in the last cycle. Jesus, it was unbelievable."
Other Republican strategists explained that Kennedy's passing only increased the need for outrageous distractions, and that as far as outrageous distraction were concerned, this one would take the cake.
"We cannot afford to have the passing of America's foremost proponent of public health care create a somber moment in which the national conversation turns to the merits of reform," one strategist said. "That's a game-changer for us. It's the Hail Mary pass that beats us in the last second."
"That's why we're going to, again, manipu -- er, direct the conversation in the way we have to this point," he said. "In these situations, you go big. You go bold."
Republicans denied that their plan to honor the Massachusetts Senator by killing his greatest legislative dream was insensitive, irrational, hypocritical, or insane.
"This is no more crazy than claiming that the Senate health care bill would institute death panels," one strategist said, "or recruiting mobs of LaRouche wingnuts to tout Obama's Nazi affiliations, or denigrating a program that will lift millions out of misery by calling it 'socialist.' And you don't hear anyone in the media calling those stunts crazy."
"Except," the strategist added, "that guy who has that comedy show. But he was the only one."