So Democrats, what will you be grateful for this Thanksgiving? Now that the dust has settled and the obligatory blood has been shed on account of the 2002 mid-term elections, let’s take a look at where you stand.

Hobble on over here now, guys.

So you lost a Dick, but gained a Nancy. What exactly were you thinking?

On behalf of Republicans everywhere, I thank you. But I have got to ask, what motivated this less-than-genius election of Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as your party leader in the House? When picking a public face for your effort, isn’t it best to pick a face that you are not afraid of showing in public?

I’m sorry guys and girls, but there is just something very not normal about Pelosi. Maybe it’s the dye job, or that “I’d just as soon kick you as shake your hand” smile of hers? I don’t know . it’s a little too staged for me . a little too, what can I say, not quite authentic. But who am I to talk about looks – we’ve got Denny Hastert (R-Ill.) and Tom DeLay (R-Texas) heading up our fashion show (you won’t want to miss the swimsuit competition).

You say that Nancy et al. help show the Democrats as “looking like America.” So now you guys are promoting from within based on quotas? Yes, it’s good progress for women that Pelosi has reached this level in congressional leadership, but is it really good for you as a party? And really, isn’t that the point here?

There had been some talk in the days immediately following the election that your party didn’t have a message – that you weren’t quite sure which tune you wanted to play, so you just didn’t play any. Sort of a masochistic quality to that if you ask me. But settling on Pelosi? Does she really look like America – a far left liberal hailing from San Francisco? How will that play in Peoria, Ill.?

Maybe you folks are happy with being the minority. I imagine that that’s possible – one gets accustomed to playing second fiddle and, after a while, the spotlight and expectations surrounding those in power are just too intimidating. Indeed, there is much to be said for playing second fiddle – you don’t have any expectations to surpass, you can contribute as much or as little as you want and, really, you don’t even have to get out of bed in the morning. Life will go on as planned without your two cents.

But I don’t think that is the case here. No, I think it’s something more troubling: you see this confluence of events surrounding the 2002 (and probably the 2004) election, and you just don’t have the energy in you to fight a battle that you are pretty much assured of losing. Who ever imagined that Sept. 11 would translate into such an enduring rally-around-the-flag effect? Then, who ever would have predicted that President Bush wouldn’t drop the ball or do something really stupid? And who would have guessed that you guys couldn’t scrounge up a presidential candidate by now who could hoist the Democratic battle flag? Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John Edwards (D-N.C.), Governor Howard Dean (D-Vt.) . of course, none of these characters graduated from Georgetown, so no wonder they can’t juice up an audience like you-know-who.

And then, alas, we have the case of Al Gore. In the last few weeks, he’s slowly been making his return to the living, and all that the living have been saying in return is “go back.” He’s the same guy, this time re-re-reinvented. I don’t think he’s what you guys need for 2004 – he certainly wasn’t what you needed the last time around. But don’t take my word for it; five out of nine Supreme Court justices agree.

In any case, this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful I’m not in your shoes. You’ve got a lot of decisions to make, not a lot of room for error (or optimism) and a Nancy Pelosi. Take solace though, this confluence won’t last forever – eventually voters will again show their fickle colors and crown us Ms. Congeniality.

But in the meantime, thanks again for the House. We’ll be sure to lock up when we’re done.

Adam Jones is junior in the College and can be reached at Point of Order appears every other Friday.

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