Thursday, July 14, 2005

SLIME EVERYBODY The Republican propaganda machine has pumped out a staggering amount of slime in the last four days.

They're cursing the messenger, blaming the victim and generally attempting to bury the truth in anyway possible. In an odd way, the strategy harkens back--at least in my free-associating brain--to a prank call from the first album from the Jerky Boys. (Remember them?)

In the call, the Boys are satirizing a certain kind of American litigiousness: The caller has (supposedly) been in a motorcycle accident. He's injured several people. He doesn't have a license and, worse yet, his only insurance is "through a friend." So, in the bit, he's nervously calling a lawyer for advice.

But, when the lawyer says he can't help the caller, things quickly devolve:

CALLER: Is it possible in any way, then, to sue you people?

LAWYER: Sue who?

CALLER: You. I'm asking you for help.

LAWYER: Sue who, me?


LAWYER: Why do you wanna sue me?

CALLER: Well I'm trying to explain, I had a terrible accident.

LAWYER: What's that gotta do with me?

CALLER: I'm asking you for help. And maybe I could sue for punitive damages that you're giving me.

LAWYER: I'm giving you?




LAWYER: What did I do to you?

CALLER: Punitive damages here.

LAWYER: I'm...you...I'm a lawyer. What did I do to you?

CALLER: The side car smashed into a pole and everything. I'm trying to explain this to you.

LAWYER: Okay. And you wanna sue me?

CALLER: Why not?


CALLER: Sue everybody.

LAWYER: Sir. I can't help you.


CALLER: Hello?


CALLER: The people that you work with and handle--I probably will sue them too because I'm not getting--

LAWYER: Who do I handle? Who do I...? I dunno what you're talking about.

CALLER: I had a terrible accident, sir!
Slime everybody. That, in a nutshell, is the GOP approach.

This may not be the first White House to go on the attack when it gets itself in trouble. But this group is the best at it. And they've had the most help.

Of course, savvy CONTRAPOSITIVE readers don't need me to debunk the White House's talking points. (That said, The Left Coaster has taken a worthy stab at it.)

Still, watching the vapid TV coverage over the last couple days, I've been struck by one GOP talking point I didn't expect to hear: The idea that the controversy is a product of the "summer scandal season" and thus, I guess, to be ignored.

John Fund of The Wall Street Journal (a man so slimy it's a wonder he doesn't ooze right out of his chair) put forward this idea today on MSBNC. And he's not the only one to push it.

The thinking is, if I understand it correctly, that the coverage of the Rove story isn't so much a product of noteworthy information having come to light, or genuine interest from the public. Instead, it's been spawned by some kind of ethereal, media-fixating, El Nino-type force. This is just the kind of thing that goes on in the summertime, they are telling viewers. Pay it no mind.

What's next? Blaming our failures in Iraq on sunspots?

NOTE: You can listen to the entire Jerky Boys clip here.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.