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Hullabaloo


Friday, December 19, 2003

 
Disavowal Movement

From my E-mail bag:

Digby,

You must have heard about the ad attacking Howard Dean’s foreign policy experience. If you haven’t here is the link.

Are you prepared to publicly disavow this smear campaign as you asked Howard Dean to disavow Ted Rall? If you are not prepared to do this you might as well sign on to the Bush campaign.

You have been very critical of Al Gore’s endorsement with your rant that his message of unity was undemocratic. This ad is the result of your position. The circular firing squad is in place and you are holding the gun.

Xxx


Just a small point, but if we Democrats are forming a circular firing squad then, by definition, Mr. X is also holding a gun on me. I’m just saying…

Now, about this disavowal business. I was away for a few days and didn’t quite know what to make of this demand.

Regarding my alleged request that Howard Dean disavow Rall, I thought it was possible that Mr. X was confusing me with Instapundit because of our similar traffic stats, influence and public profile. (It happens all the time.) He was the one who demanded a disavowal of Ted Rall way back when:

The antiwar left -- if it wants to be taken seriously, which is at best an open question -- should disavow the likes of Rall. But it won't, because too many of its supporters agree with him.


If I recall, that statement set off quite a brouhaha. I swear on my autographed copy of “Profiles In Courage” that I had nothing to do with it .

Then I thought maybe he really believed I was a Republican in sheep’s clothing. After all Senator Bill Frist recently issued a disavowal demand:

Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) called on the author of the memo -- which laid out a possible Democratic strategy to extend the investigation to include the White House and executive branch -- to "identify himself or herself . . . disavow this partisan attack in its entirety" and deliver "a personal apology" to Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence.


(Just in case anyone is worried, I completely and totally disavow that demand for Democratic disavowal but I refuse to disavow the Democratic disavowel of … what was I disavowing again?)

I still couldn’t quite figure out what was really going on so I looked at the ad and then realized that all Democrats were asked to disavow it, as this angry blogger wrote:

And every Democrat who fails to disavow this ad and that man- you can go fuck yourself too.


Ooops. Never mind. That’s John Cole demanding that Democrats disavow a Kucinich ad. I ‘m pretty sure that I’m not supposed to disavow it, but I can’t be sure. I’ll disavow it later if necessary.

I looked around and realized what was going on. Some top bloggers sent an open letter to John Kerry asking him to disavow the ad because one of Kerry’s former professional political operatives was involved in it.

I was prepared to completely disavow any affiliation with the Kerry campaign or anyone who has ever been a member of the Kerry campaign until I read this:


Joe Trippi, in a letter to Gephardt on Wednesday, demanded that the Missouri congressman disclose whether he is associated with Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values…"It's just a little too much of a coincidence here," Trippi said in a conference call with reporters. "That the campaign was totally in the dark is laughable."


At that point I was going to drop this whole disavowal thing because I couldn’t keep straight who or what I was disavowing --- until Dr Dean himself weighed in:

DEAN: They've got these Washington Democrats who think that's going to win elections. It's not going to win elections. It doesn't help Democrats. And I think the people behind it ought to be not only be ashamed of themselves, I think they ought to remove themselves from the party.


Yow. I knew then what Mr X was getting at. I had better disavow what I was supposed to disavow or risk having to “remove myself from the party.”

To that end I have taken an all around oath that I’m hoping will cover all contingencies:

I swear by God and Holy Mary and by the sign of the cross and the words of the holy gospels, that I will favor and defend and assist the holy Catholic faith and the Holy Inquisition, its officers and ministers, and that I will declare and discover all heretics whatsoever, abettors, defenders, and concealers of them, disturbers and obstructers of the said Holy Office, and that I will not give them favor, nor help, nor concealment; but that immediately that I know them I will reveal and denounce them to the senors inquisitors; and should I act differently may God so punish me as those deserve who willfully perjure themselves."


Oh wait. That’s not the one I was looking for. Here it is:

I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of “Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values,” nor do I know or have I ever known anyone who is.


I must regretfully confess, however, that I laughed at the ad in question when I saw it because I thought it was a Saturday Night Live parody. I assumed that everyone would find it equally absurd. But, I now disavow my laughter. I realize that bad, ineffective advertising is a serious threat to the Party.

I hope that Mr. X and all those who have had occasion to question my commitment to the Party, blogging and the American Way will be satisfied with this statement. But do keep me posted on further disavowalments. You can count on me. I’ll name names.

Update: I should know by now to always read The Poorman.




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