WASHINGTON – In a surprise move, the Republican National Committee voted today to adopt the ostrich as the official symbol of the Republican Party. Beginning July 1, the ostrich will supplant the elephant, which has represented the party since a pachyderm labeled "The Republican Vote" appeared in an 1874 Thomas Nast cartoon in the magazine Harper's Weekly.
"The elephant is a socialistic animal," GOP Chairman Michael Steele told a press conference following the RNC meeting. "Herds have been observed protecting their young and assisting older members. There was a strong feeling among Committee members that this does not represent the values of the Republican Party."
There was some early sentiment to adopt the elephant bird as a compromise symbol, but after a several hours of debate, committee members learned the elephant bird has been extinct since the 1600's. The change in party symbol comes as part of a "rebranding" effort by a party seeking to recover from its overwhelming rejection in the 2008 election.
Asked what qualities of the ostrich attracted Republican committee members, Steele said, "The ostrich is a terrific runner, and we run for office. With this change, we will run faster."
In other action, the Republican National Committee voted to:
- Ignore the judgment of nearly all scientists that man-made greenhouse gases are contributing to global warming, because "carbon dioxide is in Coca-Cola."
- Blame Barack Obama for the banking crisis, the fall in property values, the recession, and federal failure to respond appropriately to Hurricane Katrina.
- Call for further deregulation of the banking industry.
- Call for further deregulation of securities markets.
- Call for deregulation of the meat packing industry.
- Denounce traffic lights as "unwarranted government intrusion" into citizens' lives.
- Elect Newt Gingrich and his third wife, Callista, as the meeting's "Cutest Couple."
- Denounce torture whenever and wherever it is done to American troops.
- Endorse enhanced interrogation techniques by American intelligence agencies.
- Amend the meetings' minutes to read "The Honorable Rush Limbaugh" wherever a member had used the word "godfather".
- Allow visitors to carry concealed, loaded weapons in national parks. A motion to allow visitors to carry concealed, loaded weapons in Congress was defeated.
- Ignore Presidential daily briefings with the title Osama bin Laden determined to strike in U.S. "It's always just some CIA agent trying to cover his ass," one committee member said.
- Call for an investigation of Nancy Pelosi for criticizing the CIA.