Saturday, August 14, 2004

A CITIZEN RESPONDS. The Mighty Mighty Reason Man has chewed out the Kerry campaign for its lame responses to the Republican spin machine. "There's a lot of dirt gonna be thrown your way in the next few months, and the time to pattycake with this bullshit is over... what your crew needs to do," he advises, "is set up a resource, a central repository of factual bitchslaps across the jaw of all this character assasination."

Who am I to argue with Reason? But allow me to add a nuance. The GOP is not dishing out truth, it's dishing out, as MMRM correctly calls it, bullshit -- smears, deliberate misreadings, and mountainized molehills. In the feral playground that is current American politics, one looks weak even trying to counter much of it logically. Edwards can point out very reasonably that Cheney is quoting Kerry "out of context" and a thousand operatives will react as if he were the kid with asthma challenging the assertion of bullies that he caught asthma by being gay -- that is to say, with more abuse.

So if the Kerry operatives are going to get talking points, maybe they should go more like this:

On Cambodia: "Aw, hell, man, you know how it is. Guys get together at the VFW Hall, have a coupla drinks, they say all kinds of shit. It was spooky back in 'Nam, man, and Kerry was smoking a lot of the good weed, so maybe in his mind he was in Cambodia. Hey, hit me in the stomach, hard's you can."

On Kerry's "sensitive" remark: "When he said 'sensitive,' he meant sensitive like an ultra-thin Trojan condom. I mean, when you get in there, you want to feel it, know what I'm saying? We think Bush's approach is more like a ribbed condom, betraying a deep insecurity that he can produce the desired effect. Plus which it's probably loose and he only has a piss-on."

On gay marriage: "Dude, why you care so much about it? Got troubles in the bedroom? Jesus Christ."

On a varieties of other issues: "Oh, no you didn't. Oh, no you didn't. Pundit, please."

Alternately, the Kerry people can simply repeat the interrogator's questions in a high-pitched voice.

It's worth a try, and if it doesn't work everyone will have forgotten about it in a week.

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