Recently, I made fun of Dan Quayle for trying to get a campaign contribution from a Baltimore doctor.
Quayle had sent the doctor a snazzy come-on letter promising him a special seat at the Republican convention, invitations to fancy balls and meetings with bigwigs if the doctor would cough up $1,000 a year.
But it turns out the doctor is a lifelong Democrat, who just happens to loathe Dan Quayle.
Which I thought was pretty funny. Until a few days ago when I came across something even dumber than Republicans trying to get money out of Democrats:
Bill Clinton trying to get money out of me.
His letter came disguised as a telegram. The envelope was yellow and said in brown letters: "TELEPOST. High Priority Communication."
I hate fake envelopes like these or the ones that make you think you are getting an IRS refund check.
To me they are one step shy of actual fraud.
So I rip open the envelope, and the letter inside is printed on yellow paper and in all capital letters just like a real telegram:
"THIS WEEK IN NEW YORK I ACCEPTED THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION FOR PRESIDENT," Clinton tells me.
So not only isn't this a real telegram, but it is late to boot.
"YOU AND I HAVE THE POWER TO SHAPE THE OUTCOME OF THIS EXTRAORDINARY AND HISTORIC ELECTION," Clinton writes.
But what is so extraordinary about this election? What is so historic?
Seems to me it is just another presidential election. They come every four years: Less often than gypsy moths but more often than locusts.
"LOYAL DEMOCRATS LIKE YOU ARE THE HEART AND SOUL OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY."
In that case the Democratic Party is in big trouble.
Because not long ago I got a letter from some guy named David Dean Shobe who told me in 60 different ways what kind of sniveling swine I was for criticizing Al Gore in a recent column.
So shouldn't Bill Clinton be sending fake telegrams to drones like David Dean Shobe who would be glad to shower him with money?
But Bill Clinton does not care. He would rather bother me instead.
"I AM COUNTING ON YOU," he tells me. "WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT, WE CAN'T SUCCEED."
In that case, Bill, don't send out any change of address cards instructing people to write you care of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year.
Besides, I already give money to presidential campaigns.
I am one of those suckers who checks off the dollar contribution on my income tax every year in order to give the Democratic and Republican nominees about $57 million each.
By checking that little box, I am telling the federal government to take $1 of my taxes and put it in the pockets of Bill Clinton and George Bush.
In other words, a dollar that could go for new roads or space stations or humanitarian aid is going to politicians.
Do you see any other checkoffs on your tax form, by the way?
You do not.
You do not see a checkoff that says: "I want $1 of my taxes to go for solar energy research."
You do not see a checkoff that says: "I want $1 of my taxes to go to help the homeless."
Nope, the only checkoff is for the pols. And what do the pols do with the bucks they get from all of us idiots?
They buy TV commercials with them.
Brainless, annoying TV commercials.
And even that money does not satisfy them. No, they want more.
Bill Clinton's phony telegram to me was on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, which is allowed to raise unlimited funds to squander on the presidential election.
"PLEASE RUSH YOUR GENERAL ELECTION KICK-OFF CONTRIBUTION -- AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AFFORD -- TO DEMOCRATIC GENERAL ELECTION HEADQUARTERS," Bill Clinton tells me.
And I think my reply to him also should be in telegraphic form. It is an old joke:
A young man away at college sends a telegram home:
"NO MON. NO FUN. YOUR SON."
And the next day, he gets a telegram in return:
"TOO BAD. SO SAD. YOUR DAD."