By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Six months ago, we offered our Republican friends a unique opportunity to show up then-Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry while making a clear demarcation on what constitutes heroism, commitment and truth.
We offered to shoot them with a gun.
Or a really big slingshot.
Or a really small tank.
Mostly, we wanted to deliver into their bodies a similar amount of the metal received by Kerry while he was fighting in Vietnam. Republicans, who have always been suspicious of those who "serve" in the military—Kerry, John McCain, George Marshall—disputed how hurt Kerry actually was and, during the GOP National Convention, mocked him and his two Purple Hearts by wearing Band-Aids festooned with purple hearts. This they did while worshipfully listening to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert, who, between them, served exactly—let's see, carry the two, bring down the nine—ZERO days in Vietnam.
Now, to some, this seemed, well, unseemly, insulting even to those who had served, died or been wounded fighting for their country. It's akin to having a Secretary of Defense who refused to sign by hand letters of condolence to families of servicemen and -women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and instead used a machine.
As we read the signs that essentially called the Massachusetts senator a pussy, watched GOP delegates proudly wear their purple-hearted bandages on their noses and heard swift-boat vets snicker amongst themselves—in front of national TV cameras—about Kerry's "wounds," it made us wonder how many of these folks would let us shoot them in their arms. Just come down to our Santa Ana offices, we said, let us blast you, we said, and we'll show the world it's just not that big a deal. Anyone can take the lead. Anyone. Bring your family. We'll shoot them, too.
So, to date, our offer has been taken up by exactly—let's see, carry the two, bring down the nine, allow for the wind—ZERO Republicans.
Now, some may interpret this as positive proof that Republicans are cowardly hypocrites, but I'm going to say the fault is ours. While appealing to Republicans' sense of honor and patriotism, we neglected to appeal to that which triggers and defines those principles for them: money.
We offered to shoot them with nary a mention of cash, tax break or no-bid contract. With that in mind, not to mention the fact Kerry has said he may consider another run for the White House (For real? Aww,caawrap),we dipped deep into the OCWeeklydiscretionary spending fund, which is used only for important projects and when the Music Department runs amok. That is why today we are able to offer any Republicans who allow us to shoot them a gratuity of $68.19. That's right 68 DOLLARS and 19 CENTS for just coming down and allowing us to shoot you in the arm with a gun. Or maybe a hydraulic stapler. We have options (though, it's only fair to tell you that, like the Viet Cong, we are not formally trained).
Well, I think we're talking your language now. Bang, bang; ching, ching; and you, too, can join those other great, shot Republicans: Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Lee Harvey Oswald. It's a win-win situation. No Kevlar, please.