The Right Coast

September 10, 2004
And the metaphor is . . .
By Tom Smith

Scores of hunters swarm over the mammoth and hack it to pieces.

Hundreds of Davids pummle Goliath into submission.

Network of amateurs proves superior to pros.

Whatever. It is an historical day for the blogospheroidal entity. Belmont Club provides a nice analysis of 60 minutes and Dino Dan getting pulled apart by the ants.

Dino Dan's line apparently now is, he's sure the story on W is true because he has other sources in addition to the documents. Can you see why this is not a good argument?, the law professor asks. If somebody tells you a story S, and gives you some documents D to substantiate it, and D turns out be a bunch of crude forgeries, well, I'm afraid the credibility of your story S has also just been shot to hell. Give it up Dan. It time to head out to Jurrasic Park and chase children around, eat lawyers and play in other dino games.

There are some important lessons to be learned from all this. First, don't listen to law professors advocating dirty tricks. Or perhaps this wasn't the sort of dirty trick Susan Estrich had in mind, the actually illegal kind. I should think it's a rather awkward time for Democratic dirty trick advocates. On the bright side, I guess she can be famous now for something besides the tank photo.

Probably the Kerry campaign ginned up the fake memos on their own. Could they really be that stupid? Well, apparently. Hard to credit, I know. (It was Karl Rove! It was ETs!) If they had only spent as much money getting these documents forged as Kerry spends getting his hair cut, let alone buying a mountain bike, Bush would be in a lot of trouble today, instead of trying not to laugh in public. So there's a lesson for you: when it comes to faking evidence against people, go with quality product. Second, a party that cannot even conduct a competent smear campaign based on fraudulent evidence is not fit to run this great country. I mean, seriously. We're going to let the reform of the CIA, the tracking down of nuclear terrorists, and fighting Al Quaeda and various other sneaky bad guys be run by fools who can't recall that they didn't have PCs back in 1972? I don't think so. Third, if you are a Democrat, stick to intimidating witnesses of sexual improprieties into silence. The Clinton people know how to do that. Any Arkansas thug will pretty much do. It's a simple formula: scare poor woman to death and deny everything. (Remember: this is necessary to keep abortion safe and legal.) But forging documents requires a whole other level of sophistication. In dirty tricks, remember, simple is better. And bimbo eruption squad superstar does not a skilled forger make.

It may be too early to tell, but it may be the addition of Clinton hardball players to the Kerry campaign is not working out that well. Any other bright ideas?