"B.S. Away!" Cuts Through the Political
Spin and Slime
August 18, 2004
By Bernard Weiner, The
So much campaign slime, so many lies told and retold - my head
was spinning from listening to the sludge that passes for political
discourse these days. So I headed down to Silicon Valley to get
another cannister of "B.S. Away!" from my ingenious inventor-friend.
(For earlier "B.S. Away!" reports see here
I saw Rove on TV talking about the GOP's "winning" campaign
strategy - what amounted to terror and fright. A quick spritz on
the monitor and here's what he said:
Damn, I can't see how we're going to get out of this mess.
Even with Kerry floundering around, not quite knowing how to
respond to our attacks, Bush is slowly losing support all around
the country, especially in the toss-up states. It's not that
our former supporters really want to vote for Kerry, it's that
they've given up on our boy. Like his father, one term and out.
They don't trust him, they think him reckless, they believe
he's beholden to the rich and doesn't really care about them,
they think he's wrecking the economy, they even think he's stupid.
They're right on all counts, of course, so what I am supposed
Our attack dogs are out there, using the farmer's manure-spreading
technique of flinging the lie patties this way and that - mainly
so that the war-issue will amount to a wash, given that it's
true Bush went AWOL in the early '70s - but I don't know how
many are buying our spin anymore.
Plus, the economy is back in the doldrums, we can't create
any jobs, Iraq is a near-total disaster and may not last until
November, and all the scandals we've kept under control for
so long are about to bust wide open. Even the Boy Genius might
not be able to pull this one out. Thank goodness, Kerry is taking
the 'high road,' and not coming at our most vulnerable spots
with a full-frontal attack. And thank goodness there just might
be a major terrorist attack - though I'm not really sure if
that will help or hurt us - and the computer-voting machines,
for the most part, are still unprotected, if you get my drift.
SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR BUSH
Then I spotted John O'Neill and his Swift Boat Veterans for
Bush, and did a quick spray:
I hope the senator knows deep down it's nothing personal. This
is politics. Nixon hired me to trash Kerry, and now the supporters
of Bush the Younger are paying our way. What can I say? It's
Those of us on the right have to do what we have to do to take
this guy down. He'd be a disaster for our cause if he got into
the White House. It took us decades to achieve total power in
this country and we're not giving it up without a fight. So
what if I, and my fellow vets - who also never served with Kerry
- tell a few fibs and stretch the truth?
We're not trying to get people necessarily to believe everything
we say. As Rove says, it's the Big Lie technique: smear it around
often and loudly enough and people begin to think, 'Well, maybe
there is some fire behind all that smoke.' Just punch a few
holes in the Kerry-as-war-hero myth, and push some doubt in
Then when the truth comes out about Bush in Alabama - the drunkenness,
his not taking the drug physical, where he was when he was supposed
to be on the base finishing his Air National Guard commitment
- people will say 'well, a plague on both their houses.' And
we'll have four more years to lock things down and take what
we want. Out of our way!
PIMPIN' FOR THE PREZ: JOHN McCAIN
Next, I spritzed some "B.S. Away!" on recent "re-elect-our-President"
comments by Senator John McCain, traveling with Bush on the campaign
Jeez, can't believe I'm actually doing this, shilling for this
dumbass dork. These guys shafted my presidential bid with atrocious
lies in 2002 (my wife's an addict, I fathered a black baby,
maybe I was a little bit crazy, that sort of slanderous stuff).
And now Rove's doing it to Kerry, a nice guy who, like Gore,
doesn't know what hit him and how to respond effectively.
I want to be president. I can't do it as a Democrat: I'm much
too conservative for those guys, they just like my moxie. I
suspected early that the vice-presidential discussion wasn't
to be taken too seriously; I shoulda told Kerry I'd be his veep,
just to see his face when I accepted!
I must confess that I did think seriously about the Kerry idea,
but though John and I probably could have worked together well
on foreign and military policy, I wouldn't have been able to
keep my mouth shut about all his liberal social and domestic
policies, and he knew that.
No, the only way I'm going to get into the White House is by
sticking with the GOP. They keep dangling the possibility of
Cheney having to resign 'for health reasons,' which would open
the door for me. Or maybe having Rummy take the Torture Scandal
fall, with me moving in as Secretary of Defense. And so, here
I am, pimpin' for the prez, while my insides churn. God, this
guy is one moronic puppet, and he's screaming at people, slurring
his words, bumping into things, falling off his bike a whole
lot more these days. Maybe the rumors are true about him being
on anti-depressants or back on the sauce.
COLIN POWELL ON HIS MISSING MORALITY
Colin Powell came next. I gave him a big blast of "B.S. Away!":
Those guys hung me out to dry with all that bullshit 'intelligence'
I was forced to deliver to the United Nations. I had some moral
credentials before that; after that performance, when it all
turned out to be lies sent over by Rumsfeld's boys at his Office
of Special Plans, nobody looked up to me any more. I was regarded
as the 'house negro,' getting all the goodies while yassuh-ing
I've thought about resigning and spilling the beans on Rummy
and Cheney and Wolfowitz and Feith and that whole crew, but
I'd be regarded as a snitch and a turncoat and just another
rat leaving a sinking ship. Besides, my hands aren't exactly
But also, I can be more effective in some ways by fighting
them from the inside, where at least I still have some leverage,
and by engineering occasional leaks to the press as to where
the neo-con bodies are buried. Besides, my book sales among
conservatives will be better if I resign after the election.
But I don't know if I can last until November. These guys are
so desperate, so Machiavellian, so steeped in filth and dirty
tricks that the whole enterprise may come flying apart any time
now. Do I really want to still be here when the grand implosion
happens? I'm a basket case.
NADER GETS MISTED
Heard Ralph Nader on NPR. Quickly misted the radio with the
truth-spray. Here's what he said:
Why is everyone so angry at me for accepting Republican help
in getting on the ballot? What do they expect me to do - go
quietly into the night? Yeah, sure, it's a mutual 'using' relationship.
They can't stand me, I can't stand them, but we both want to
destroy the Democratic Party.
Yeah, of course I realize that I helped send Gore onto the
unemployment roles in 2000, though I'll never admit that in
public. And yes, Bush would be a disaster for the country if
he got four more years. All of which makes inoperative my 2000
comment about there not being a dime's worth of difference between
the Democrats and Republicans.
But the only way we're going to reform the corrupt two-party
system is for the Democrats to get thoroughly crushed again
in 2004. Bush will be even more terrible in his second term
- Bush is a reverse-King Midas: everything he touches turns
to shit - and the public will clamor for a more pure party to
confront the Republican thugs. It's then that the country finally
will turn to me.
Thank God the young college kids who support me don't know
jack about history, about my role in the 2000 vote, or what
the implications are if Bush wins. Their idealism is all, and
I'll ride it, and the GOP assistance, all the way to the White
House in 2008 or 2012 or 2016 or..."
KERRY ON HIS IRAQ VOTE
Then I thought, why am I using the truth-spray only on Republicans
and Nader? I spritzed some on Senator Kerry's recent utterances
about his Iraq-war vote:
I don't know how long I can keep finessing my Iraq-war vote.
I guess I could say, like Sen. Rockefeller and others, that
I was duped into voting for the authorization bill by all the
lies and phony 'intelligence' the Administration supplied the
Congress. But I'm gambling that I can still seem to be a gung-ho
warrior against the 'terrorists' without having to join the
anti-war Democratic wing, whose rhetoric tends to alienate the
Middle-Americans whose every vote I need.
Yes, I'm pissing off parts of my own base, who see me as a
sell-out on the war - but where else are they going to go? They
don't want Bush, at virtually any price, and they certainly
aren't moving to Nader. And yes, I'm leaving myself open for
the Bush campaign to attack me as 'wishy-washy' and 'waffling'
and 'overly nuanced' on the war.
But so far, the plan is working. More and more Republicans
are peeling away from Bush - not just the elite guys, the ex-generals
and diplomats and Reagan/Bush1 officials, who see Bush and his
group endangering their financial and power interests. No, it's
the ordinary rank-and-file who are deserting in droves, even
in the red states, appalled that the Bush crowd has moved their
party so far to the extreme right, and are such incompetent
boobs in running the economy, the war, indeed anything they
So, if Edwards and I can just hang in there for another three
months in this dangerous middle-ground, sidestepping the campaign-issue
landmines such as our Iraq vote - although I admit I've got
to be more clear on what that vote to authorize really meant
for me - I think maybe we can make it to the finish line successfully.
Of course, I'm hoping and counting on some of the Bush/Cheney
scandals exploding in their faces in the next three months -
I'm guessing Plame and AWOL will burst first - but there's no
guarantee of that. It's possible to drag things out in the legal
arena until after the danger-point, which here is November 2.
Maybe we'll have to kick up our campaign's attack-mode, and
get some better quick-responder surrogates out there on my behalf.
Maybe I can convince Carville and Begala to come on board, to
kick some ass. Something's gotta happen, or Teresa's gonna kick
Bernard Weiner, Ph.D., is a poet and playwright, former college
teacher of government & international relations, ex-writer/editor
with the San Francisco Chronicle, and currently co-editor of The
Crisis Papers. He is a contributing author to Big Bush Lies,
available at bookstores.