The Right Coast

September 04, 2004
Political Genius Estrich squawks out
By Tom Smith

Former dean of a major American law school, and political genius who ran Michael Dukakis's extremely funny presidential bid outdoes herself in this column (to which Maimon links below).

Her nuanced view is that Kerry needs to get really dirty right now, and that his campaign is making a big mistake in not doing so. Her ideas? Maybe informants could be paid to come up with stories about former Bush girlfriends getting abortions, and Dick Cheney being an alcoholic, which is a rumor I haven't heard, but I'm not really plugged into the Democratic gutter line.

I bet their quaking in their boots in Texas that Professor Estrich and her Hollywood buddies are putting together money to hire PI's to dig up dirt on W. I thought just the Clintons thought this way, but apparently not.

I think this is why I would rather be mugged by a Republican than a Democrat. If Republican cut your throat and took your wallet, he wouldn't tell you before you died that really, the mugger was doing the right thing, and that he was forced into doing the crime to serve a Higher Moral Purpose. Don't worry, Susan, you go ahead and crawl into the gutter. We know you're not really the incompetent, scheming, dirty-minded political hack you appear to be. You rise above all that in your service to the noble cause of . . . what? Abortion, I suppose. Yes, we must seek out the dirt on Bush and Cheney and publish it in order to preserve the sacred right of abortion! Or whatever. Don't worry. You know you're right. Sometimes in order to get the party of decency in party, you have to behave indecently. Everybody knows that. No broken eggs, no omlette. And everybody loves a good omlette. We're just lucky such a decent bunch of people are willing to put out their hard earned entertainment and general hackery dollars to save us from those evil Republicans. Maybe when you're done, the President will give you one of those folded flags. After all, you are a kind of American hero. The self-appointed kind.

Imagine, the Kerry campaign not wanting to listen to Estrich's advice! Hard to credit. What with her established track record of political astuteness, her Rove-like insight.! What a phone call that must have been! "Fight dirty now! Squaaawwk!" Maybe they just couldn't stand to listen to her. "There must be some dirt out there somewhere! Squaaawwwwk! Money is no object! Squaaaaawwwwwwwk! I know lots of movie stars! Squaaawwwwawk!"

What justifies trolling for DUI and abortion tales? The Swiftvets ads, of course! The ads that will live in infamy. I thought I was following that story pretty closely, but I missed the part where it all proved to be a bunch of dirty lies. It seems to me at a minimum understandable that the sailors on the boats that stayed to rescue the ir comrades on boat 3, wondered, "where the hell is he going?," as they watched Kerry take off down river after the explosion. He came back long enough to pick up the guy who fell off his boat, and that was a good thing. Still, had I been on one the boats that stayed behind, I can see that a natural divergence of interpretation of the events, might have arisen. Put that together with Kerry's anti-war activity, and you can see their POV. I don't know that anything they said can be called lies. It seems closer to the truth, or at least, a reasonable interpretation of events, to me.

But no matter. Sometimes you have to interpret reasonable interpretations as lies, in order to justify doing indecent things, in order to get the decent party in power, to make sure abortion is safe and legal. It takes someone of real moral stature to see that.

On reflection, I think legal academia should give Susan Estrich a medal. Maybe John Kerry, flanked by various Hollywood stars who have played heroic figures in movies, could present it. We could call it the Golden Heart, or the Purple Abortion, or the Squawking Duck with cluster, for her brave moral stand on these difficult political issues. If she doesn't like them, she can always throw them away. She sets an example of decency for us all.