[UPDATE: Angry Bear has nothing on Mad Magazine (via Atrios)]
Angry Bear — one of my favorite online economists — sets out his vision of what the Democratic ad campaign would be like if it fought fire with fire:
“what would total political war against Bush look like?
Here's a start:”
- A commercial juxtaposing the President reading from My Pet Goat with the towers burning. Voiceover: “While America was under attack, here's what your president was doing.” End with headlines describing the President spending 9/11 hiding out in air bases and locations other than DC. For good measure, add that “Osama bin Laden remains at large.”
- A commercial about Bush's failure to serve. Start with this quote from The Dallas Morning News, Feb. 25, 1990:
“I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes.”
Then cut to Lt. Colonel Bill Burkett alleging that he witnessed Bush's National Guard records being scrubbed, and point out that Bush has never accounted for his whereabouts during 1972 and 1973, nor why he stopped flying. Then end with Linda Allison:
Before there was Karl Rove, Lee Atwater or even James Baker, the Bush family's political guru was a gregarious newspaper owner and campaign consultant from Midland, Texas, named Jimmy Allison. In the spring of 1972, George H.W. Bush phoned his friend and asked a favor: Could Allison find a place on the Senate campaign he was managing in Alabama for his troublesome eldest son, the 25-year-old George W. Bush?
“The impression I had was that Georgie was raising a lot of hell in Houston, getting in trouble and embarrassing the family, and they just really wanted to get him out of Houston and under Jimmy's wing,” Allison's widow, Linda, told me. “And Jimmy said, 'Sure.' He was so loyal.”
… Asked if she'd ever seen Bush in a uniform, Allison said: “Good lord, no. I had no idea that the National Guard was involved in his life in any way.”
- And as long as unfounded and unsupported attacks are fair game, don't forget the Bush Abortion story. There's no evidence, but hey, the Swift Boat Veterans not only lack evidence, their story contradicts all available documentary evidence! And don't forget Clinton's love-child!
- And don't forget that Bush won't say when he stopped using cocaine. Sure, this is nearly on the level of “When did you stop beating your wife?”, but that's where this campaign is heading. Perhaps more accurately, that's where the Bush side of this campaign already is. This would surely be less egregious than Falwell and Robertson pushing the Clinton Chronicles video, complete with tales of Clinton running a drug ring out of the Mena, Arkansas airport.
- I'm not sure whether it would resonate, but there's also fodder in the fairly well-documented story of Bush's string of business failures, complete with bailouts by friends of his father, throughout the 1980s.
- Bring back Henry and Louise to talk about eating dog food after their Medicare premiums increase 17%. (Since this is true, documented, and contemporary, it may not even count as negative.)