WASHINGTON - In what will soon be considered one of the riskiest moves in the history of American politics, the flagging Democratic Party declared a huge shift in policy in order to gain control of the pirate voting block which could give them the support that they need.

"Arr, matey," Max Baucus (D-MT) announced this morning in a prepared statement to assembled reporters. "These scurvy Republicans have hidden behind the banner of compassionate conservatism for too long. Now is the time that tharr Democrats reach out to our allies in the pirate industry. Um... arr."

The Republican Party immediately decried the move, launching a series of negative advertisements responding the the Democrats' early media blitz.

"Were the Democrats in power, they would immediately launch their controversial plan to force pirates like you to give your peg legs to the founding of a massive welfare state." An image of George W. Bush was then overlaid above an American flag. "Arr, fellow Republican voters. Arr indeed."

Tom Brokaw, off camera, was heard to say "What is this shit?" He later apologized.

"Some pundits are claiming that the pirate demographic, constituting a remarkable one-one thousandth of a percent of the American voters, is too small to make a significant change in the election process," Tom Daschle (D-SD) said in his speech to the Senate this morning. "The Democrats respectfully disagree. Frankly, at this point, we'll do just about anything for an extra eight or nine votes."

Daschle's proposed bills on timber-shivering, sword control, and universal eye-patch insurance were later struck down in committee.

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