He flits about the room looking for tidbits. Perhaps some fine poop. As the fly dines, he gathers and records the scene in his surround.
The group consisted of approximately 20 people. Most attendees had already arrived. A few probably wouldn’t show.
A sideboard held refreshments. Doughnuts and bagels were provided along with coffee, bottled water and cola. The attendees didn’t know each other and so were mostly polite in that manner of strangers. As each attendee prepared their individual refreshment they all stopped and shooed off the fly that insisted on indulging in doughnuts as well.
“All the money they get from Soros you’d think they could get some insecticide to get rid of the flies,” one attendee commented to another. As they introduced themselves at their mutual giggle, the Senator from New York entered the room.
All conversation stopped as the attendees all regarded the object of their affection with great pride. One of the perks of serving on Committee on Current Term President Media Relations, also smirkingly known as the “Bash Bush Committee” was the chance to meet the Senator from New York.
Two other people came into the room. None of the attendees knew who they were.
“I’d like to welcome you all here tonight,” the Senator from New York said with a beaming smile. About eighteen smiles beamed back.
“My Aides here are going to set up your schedule and give you some pointers. You’ve all been selected from your entries into our web site. We were looking for the ability to be critical while maintaining some semblance of common sense,” the Senator from New York said then paused.
“The Committee on Current Term President Media Relations is just what it sounds like,” the Senator from New York continued after a pause to shoo off a pesky fly that had landed on her hand. “It’s a committee that will help guide the Democratic party’s media presentation on issues concerning the current term president. Whoever that may be.”
“Hi, I’m Allen and I’ll be giving you folks some pointers,” the Aide of the Senator from New York piped in as arranged. “As our esteemed New York Senator has indicated, we’ve had a Committee on Current Term President Media Relations for President Reagan, Ford, the first Bush, and now Dubya.”
The attendees laughed heartily at the reference of the current President’s nickname. They all knew they would adore this job.
“I’m going to leave you with my Aides. I should have introduced them first I do apologize. This is Allen. Allen works closely with Howard Dean and the DNC’s national media plan. And this is Justin. Justin works closely with the California Senators and the Black Caucus in the House. You all,” the Senator from New York said before leaving the room, “are the brains behind the media relations that will compile our critique of the Republican President for public consumption. I understand,” the Senator from New York said with a wink, “that there’s plenty of critiquing to be done of our current President.”
The laughter had barely died down before Justin spoke.
“Okay,” the affable Justin said after clapping his hands loudly to command silence. A fly flew through those clapping hands and almost lost its life.
“It doesn’t matter what the President does,” Justin said, pulling up his shirt sleeves to get down to business. “Your job is to find a way to criticize it.”
“It doesn’t matter if you agree, or, horrors, that the man might be right about something. We are the opposing party and it’s our job to batter the President when we’re not in power. If we don’t, the public will think he, or she,” Justin paused and gave a wink, “is perfect and will elect he, or she, again.”
“We want to win elections,” Allen picked up the cue. “We don’t win elections unless we make the President look bad.”
A young man with a full-face beard, two earrings and a lip ring, raised his hand. Allen indicated he should speak.
“You do know that this is really hard with this President. Not that he’s anything to write home about,” the young stopped as the rest of the room giggled, “but it’s that war thing. And 9-11 probably. But Americans are particularly patriotic these past few years.”
Allen snorted. “Patriotism is fine,” he said. “But only when WE’RE in power. For now, it’s our job to poke fun at patriotism, to create an image that patriotic people are blind to their own faults. But remember,” Allen wagged his finger as physical chastisement, “you’ve got to make it believable.”
“Which means,” Justin said, “that every time Bush goes jogging and it gets media play, your job is to come up with some criticism. Every time Bush gives a speech it’s your job to figure out how to tear it apart. And yes, it’s your job to bash the Iraq war every chance you get. We can’t let the President gain traction with the war. Else we’ll never win that election again. And as you know,” this time Justin stopped and gave another wink, “the Senator from New York wants very much for Democrats to win back the White House.”
“And don’t go buying any notion that by criticizing the war effort it’s hurting the war effort,” Allen said. “When it comes time to make an actual vote the Senator from New York, along with 98% of all other elected officials, voted for the war and vote to keep financing the war. It’s a PR thing, for the stupid public only.”
The attendees giggled. They were all smart and hip people from various backgrounds. And yes, they knew the American public were a bunch of silly morons.
“The last group came up with Bush not financing public physical education programs when the press fawned over his excellent physical and exercise. That was a great piece of work. That same group also did a bang-up job with Bush in Crawford. We can’t have the American public seeing Bush as a guy who just wants to go home and work on his ranch. We don’t want the public to see this President as a guy with a homestead just like them. We save that kind of imagery for Democrats. And it’s no mind that Bush takes less time off in August than every other person in congress. So the group came up with all the whining about Bush’s so-called vacation. Hey, it’s better than nothing.
And the group before them came up with the “no weapons of mass destruction”, a talking point that has really stuck. We expect great things from you. Don’t forget the Roberts nomination is coming up. We want to see some criticism of that choice. The man’s not perfect even though and his pretty little family look like it. Come up with something.”
Materials were distributed, locations firmed and schedules agreed upon. The members of the Committee on Current Term President Media Relations left the meeting room, all eager for their next meeting and raring to go.
Allen and Justin began clearing the room.
“I think this is a good group,” Justin said, swiping in the air at a pesky fly.
“They’re all good. Until they burn out.”
Justin stopped his cleaning activities and turned to look at Allen.
“Why is it, Al, why is it that we can’t keep them at it? We specifically choose people that hate Bush. We try to get disaffected people. You’d think spending a couple of hours every week conjuring how to bash Bush would be their dream job. Why can’t we keep them?”
Allen considered his colleague’s question. He then turned and continued the cleaning chores.
“As I understand it,” Allen said, “it’s not the kind of thing people can do all the time. I’ve been told that after a while criticizing someone constantly tends to hinder the spirit.”
“Hah,” Justin laughed. “Sounds like something Lieberman would say.”
“Well it must be true, Justin. Else why do all they keep quitting after only a few weeks on the job?”
Both men finished the cleaning in silence.
“I don’t have all the answers, Allen,” Justin said as they prepared to leave the room. “But sometimes I worry.”
Allen flicked the switch to the room and regarded his colleague quizzically.
“What happens when the American public gets just as tired of it as our committees do?”
Allen had no answer so they both left the building silently. A fly left in the room flew out a tiny crack in the window. After indulging in some donut crumbs, of course.
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