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Sorting Out Tweedledum From Tweedledumber : Election: A handy checklist for voters who can't tell the parties apart.

November 04, 1994|ROSS K. BAKER | Ross K. Baker is a professor of political science at Rutgers University.

One of the big puzzles in Tuesday's congressional elections is whether voters will target all incumbents for retribution or only Democrats. As the campaign season wound down, Republicans were beginning to worry about what might be an indiscriminate rampage sweeping away not only the congressional allies of the much-reviled President but some of their own incumbents as well.

As a gesture of nonpartisan civic responsibility, I have made up a 10-point checklist for voters who think that both parties are so alike, there's no problem with indiscriminate incumbent bashing.

1. Democrats see welfare mothers as victims. Republicans see them as a possible answer to the servant problem.

2. Republicans want to make marijuana use a capital felony. Democrats want to make it an entitlement program.

3. On the problem of how to deal with the problem of the man-eating shark, Republicans want it killed by lethal injection; Democrats would enroll it in a job-retraining program.

4. Both Democrats and Republicans want certain medical procedures covered under health-care reform. Democrats want to cover nose-piercing. Republicans want to cover liposuction.

5. Republicans favor voluntary prayer in the public schools. So do Democrats, but they insist that it be bilingual.

6. Democrats believe that life begins at birth. Republicans believe that it begins when you get your first assault rifle.

7. Democrats believe that all the problems of society can be solved by Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Republicans would give the task to Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

8. Democrats are worried about the feminization of poverty. Republicans are worried about the povertization of femininity.

9. On the question of crime, both Democrats and Republicans believe in "three strikes and you're out," but Democrats would allow unlimited fouls after strike two.

10. Finally, Republicans believe in one God. Democrats believe in one God. At most.

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