Now that the dust has finally cleared from the electoral battlefield and Bush prepares to make his second inaugural address, it’s time for us Democrats to finally come to terms with our loss. There have been over a dozen reported cases of distraught Floridians checking into therapy over what they are calling “post-election stress disorder.”

I don’t blame them. The mere thought of four more years would’ve driven me to alcoholism if I weren’t there already.

But as for me, I’ve decided to take a different path to electoral recovery. You know what they say – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. So I’ve gone out and picked up some Milton Friedman, read up on my Moral Majority literature and wholeheartedly dedicated myself to the doctrine of “compassionate conservatism.”

The first tenet of “compassionate conservatism” is that welfare sucks. The government shouldn’t be giving money away to people who sit on their asses and do nothing, right? Even if these bums happen to have debilitating mental disorders and were thrown out on the streets by Reagan’s health care cuts, that’s just no excuse for not having a job. I agree. Let’s end all welfare. I think we should take this even further, however. One of the biggest welfare recipients today is the Iraqi people. As of now, the United States government has spent over $144 billion in Iraq trying to rebuild the country’s infrastructure and re-establish security.

Granted, the American military destroyed their infrastructure, and the countryside has been ravaged by constant skirmishes, but guess what? That’s fucking tough. Get a job, you bum Iraqis, and stop leeching off the American government.

Right next to those freeloader Iraqis are our very own Republican red states, which, for all their bitching about how much they hate taxes, take more federal tax dollars then they put into the system. A liberal blue state like California gets 81 cents back for every dollar it pays to the federal government, while a conservative red state like Mississippi gets $1.84 back for every dollar it puts in.

Liberals say welfare’s not a handout; it’s a hand-up. Well, that’s baloney. The only time we should be giving a “hand up” to anybody is when we’re flipping them the bird, which is exactly what we should start doing to these red states. Did you hear that, Alabama? No soup for you!

The second tenet of “compassionate conservatism” is the promotion of so-called “family values.” I was born into something resembling a family – albeit our idea of a good time was refraining from fighting for five minutes – so I think I have some idea of what they’re talking about. A family means a man, a woman and 2.5 kids, right? Homosexual sex, marriage, cuddling, holding hands and, well, homosexual existence in general are just not acceptable. The exception, of course, is lesbian porn, which even conservatives agree is hot.

Again, I agree, but I think it hasn’t gone far enough. We can all agree that there’s nothing more anti-family than divorce, right? Well, I propose we ban divorce altogether. Just think of all the families we’d save! Granted, this would need to be doubly enforced in the states where divorce rates are the highest – states like Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wyoming. That the states with the highest divorce rates are red states and the state with the lowest divorce rate is that heathen America-hating homo state Taxachusetts is a convenient coincidence, I’m sure.

You know, I could get used to being a compassionate conservative. If being a conservative means saying one thing and doing another, I say sign me up! And you know what they say – when all other excuses fail you can always fall back on blaming Clinton’s penis. Willie’s winkie will always be there for us.

Neil Visalvanich is a Daily Nexus columnist.