January 14, 2009

"Screw Civility: Why Bush-Bashing Should Be Obama's Eeelection Strategy."

That's heading used by The New Republic in email that got me to click over to this article by Michael Schaffer.

Naturally, I was interested. Interested in eeelection, which I took to be a way of e-voting for electric eels. Also screwing civility sounded hot, though I deplore the close proximity of screwing and electric eels. And then, of course, it's provocative to advise Obama to Bush-bash — or to screw him with an e-eel.

Clicking over, I see the sober headline is "Exit, Pursued By History: How Bush treated Clinton and how Obama should handle Bush."
Obama should save the civility shtick for Republicans he'll have to work with. As for the guy retiring to Texas, the new administration should ensure he remains the useful foil he was during the 2008 campaign. That starts with letting nothing--not public amnesia, not nostalgia, and certainly not a statesmanlike gesture from the White House--lift him from the PR cellar. When the new crew opens up the books on Bush's government, they ought to let every embarrassing detail out....

There's no guarantee Bush will remain this loathed forever. After next week, bad employment figures and reports about failed initiatives land on Obama.
There was Clinton-hating before there was Bush-hating, and there will be Obama-hating too. Can we break the chain of hate? Shaffer thinks that's for losers. Keep hate alive.
Democrats ran against Herbert Hoover for decades; Republicans kicked around Jimmy Carter for a dozen years. If Bush's successors play their cards right, Democrats could use his legacy as a thumb on their side of the scale for a generation....
Because hope and change... that would be such a stupid path to take.

Meanwhile, in a more civilized location, Barack Obama is dining with the conservative opinion leaders.

58 comments:

EnigmatiCore said...

I am just shocked to see that partisan lefties are just as nasty, if not more so, than partisan righties.

I mean, when I see them on Althouse in the comments, they seem so nice!

Michael H said...

Obama should save the civility shtick for Republicans he'll have to work with.

Civility is a shtick? Foolish me; I thought it was the principal characteristic of adult behavior.

The likely result of two years of Bush bashing will be for the voters to ask the Dems: Wait, what have you done to make things better?

No answer = no re-election.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Funny typo. At first I thought it was supposed to be "re-election" strategy, as if Obama should start running for 2012 now, when Bush is still around to bash.

Some would think Eelection is a typo for Eel erection, but not me.

* * *

Seriously, how weak and impotent does Schaffer think Obama is? Latching onto a fall guy is a mindset for weaklings.

Obama should treat Bush the way FDR treat Wendell Wilkie -- as a far more reasonable and loyal person than the egomaniacal buffoons in his own caucus.

rhhardin said...

dining with conservative opinion leaders

Getting bad advice, if he's consulting Limbaugh on the economy, one of the two areas Rush is usually wrong on.

(Good advice would be zeroing out the capital gains tax permanently and standing back for a week to see what the market does, if you need to check. The next blow would be zeroing out business taxes, which are not really paid by business in any case. It's a perfect time to do it, as it counts in lefty jargon as an expenditure even if it raises revenue, and they want expenditures now.)

My suspicion from the level of Obama rhetoric, though, is that Obama sees only the trappings of being President in his visions, and is completely clueless beyond that. Meeting with everybody is one of the trappings of Obama's vision.

It's what I would do, too, but I'm not in addition clueless.

(If Obama isn't in fact clueless, what the hell is with his speeches.)

Mark O said...

Clinton and his staff of insufferable adolescents began the worst of the bashing and hating. The Close-Encounters-alien-simian, the Ragin’ Cajun, was and is so full of venom and malice that it is impossible to think of “The Politics of Personal Destruction” without seeing his smarmy visage. This is the crew that followed upon the genteel and well-mannered GHWB and made him out to be a vacuous fool. When the wonderful Clintons decamped, Bill gave hours of farewell speeches in the middle of the Inauguration while his enablers stripped the ‘w’s from every keyboard in the White House and West Wing.

Civility has not been the province of Democrats. I expect nothing better of a man who, like an eighth grader, flipped off Hillary.

author, etc. said...

For Obama to do as this article suggests would be a smart Machiavellian tactic--that is, take the sting off his administration's shortcomings by reminding the public that Hey, at least I ain't that bloodthirsty bumpkin, Bush.

But Obama's instincts seem genuinely conciliatory, and anyway, Bush's historical rehabilitation is inevitable, so for Obama to count on his predecessor's permanent purgatory (try saying that three times fast) as a way to heighten his own standing is bound to backfire sooner or later, especially if, God forbid, the US suffers another terrorist strike.

Paul Zrimsek said...

You know, he's right: if we leave Iraq victoriously, a lot of dummies will think Bush had something to do with it. Look at how FDR vultured all of Truman's credit for winning World War II.

Unfortunately I'm at work, so I'm typing this on a boring old desktop instead of my EeePC.

AllenS said...

This is nothing more than Obama wanting to have a dinner with other men. Can you imagine what it's like having dinner every night with Michelle, the mother in law and the two daughters? He'll next try to get a dinner put together with Rush Limbaugh, so Rush can serve some of those Allen Brothers steaks.

AprilApple said...

Fact already confined to the memory hole:

The stock market tanked immediately after Obama won the election.

Emotional barometer.

Tibore said...

"As for the guy retiring to Texas, the new administration should ensure he remains the useful foil he was during the 2008 campaign.

... There's no guarantee Bush will remain this loathed forever. After next week, bad employment figures and reports about failed initiatives land on Obama."


Hmmm... and they call the Iraq war and all previous military actions during Clinton and Bush I a deflection from domestic politics. At least none of those were planned ahead of time.

For those thinking that the continual hanging of a George W. effigy would be effective at deflecting criticism from Obama, I present this story:

A baseball manager once put a left fielder he didn't like out to play. The fellow muffed his first fly ball. The manager yelled at him. The fielder then screwed up a grounder and threw it to the wrong base. The manager yelled some more. The fielder then completely bungled a foul ball fly out and allowed another runner to score.

He was fed up. The manager stormed out there, blasted the fielder, then sent him to the bench, substituting himself for the fielder. "I'll show him!", he said.

First fly ball, he muffs. First grounder, he screws up. Next ball, he doesn't even get to. He then storms to the dugout, stares the fielder in the eye, and says "You idiot! You've screwed up left field so badly that no one can play it now!"

SteveR said...

I am one whose not given to elevate Obama to any higher status than is reasonable but I'm confident he's smarter than that. Its one thing to do it, quite another to plan on and depend on doing it. Is this the sixth grade or the Presidency?

Tibore said...

"author, etc. said...

But Obama's instincts seem genuinely conciliatory, and anyway, Bush's historical rehabilitation is inevitable, so for Obama to count on his predecessor's permanent purgatory (try saying that three times fast) as a way to heighten his own standing is bound to backfire sooner or later, especially if, God forbid, the US suffers another terrorist strike."


I think you're right. I may not have voted for him - and I still feel that way - I don't see Obama as being vindictive. He seems to be concentrating on the future, and away from such negativity.

Now many of his supporters... that's another story. Thankfully not all of them feel this way, but the ones that do are pretty damn vocal. And unfortunately, some of them are in government too.

Palladian said...

Obama, William Kristol, David Brooks and George Will? Why do people think that's a somehow noteworthy gathering? They're all elitist establishment figures, regardless of their political parties. Hell, they probably spent the evening making Sarah Palin jokes while clinking their Baccarat crystal glasses and murmuring to Obama "thank God our kind is safe from the crap you're going to impose on the lower sort".

garage mahal said...

Working with Republicans is a great idea, look at how well it worked out for Bill Clinton.

Henry said...

Working with Republicans is a great idea, look at how well it worked out for Bill Clinton.

I don't know about Bill Clinton, but it worked out well for the rest of us.

dbp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

It seems like a bad idea. I think at least half of Bush's unpopularity is not his decisions, but rather the demonization of them by the left. So when Obama follows essentially the same policies, what then?

I think the idea behind Bush-Bashing
is to force the Obama administration to reflexively do the opposite of whatever Bush has done.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't know about Bill Clinton, but it worked out well for the rest of us.

Well to a Clinton sycophant that’s a small consolation. Rome can burn as long as no one bothers the Emperor

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think at least half of Bush's unpopularity is not his decisions, but rather the demonization of them by the left.

Actually it was his feckless leadership over the last 8 years whether it was his inability to articulate his message for Iraq and maintaining support for the war or fiddling while the economy burned. Lets face it, 9/10th of the job is leadership and he didn't show any.

traditionalguy said...

Bush sure found out that civility and comraderie is dead-on-arrival in DC ever since the 24 hr. cable news shows elevated the 535 Congress-persons to 535 independent centers of public opinion leadership, as long as they were willing to slander the "other side" on camera. They don't call that slander machinery Hard Ball in a derogatory way. Hate is OK so long as they will also discuss relevant issues while they play their Political Paintball. But as Crack Emcee likes to remind us, good Mind Control is too prescious a thing to turn over to Amateurs. The eminent Mr. Obama seems to be a master player in the winning of hearts and minds. Let's see if his conduct of the symphony orchestra of the media has any effect on the old time haters or not.

1jpb said...

Obama, William Kristol, David Brooks and George Will? Why do people think that's a somehow noteworthy gathering? They're all elitist establishment figures...

It is sort of funny that these three were highlighted, even though, arguably, some of the other conservatives who attended could be more popular w/ a lot of conservatives.

P.S.

Mark,

You're comment was weakened by the 'W' story. You should fact check that. Then ask why the Bush folks propagated this story that was later shown to be false.

Also, you should fact check the finger thing. You'll discover 1) side cameras showed two fingers, and 2) BHO is constantly scratching his face (I'm especially aware of this because it has bothered me for a long time--well before the so-called HRC-bird situation.)

1jpb said...

your-you're. Whatever.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Also, you should fact check the finger thing.

Actually, anonymous sources within the Clinton campaign staff said that Obama had approached her earlier and asked her to pull his finger.

Rich B said...

According to the LA Times, story on keys was verified - http://articles.latimes.com/2001/jun/03/news/mn-5996.

The "W" story? You mean Oliver Stone's failed movie?

mydismalswamp said...

The fly in his ointment however is that with history truth outs. Between the fog of war and the smoke blown by the left, the real Bush hasn't been actually seen. That day will come.

Ralph said...

As I recall, the Bush team tried to downplay the keyboard rumor at the time. Of course, that wouldn't stop other Bushies from spreading it anonymously.

1jpb said...

Well, shame on me for not knowing about the the post-GAO stuff (that was based on an internal Bush review of Bush folks' recollections far removed from any signs of actual destruction--but, even so, still believable because they were willing to go on the record.)

BTW, I only knew about the Clinton defense because I was railing against the Clinton administration for this vandalism at Talkleft.com during the primary, and one of the HRC defenders pointed me to the Clinton defense. Too, bad I didn't have the later LA Times piece.

Completely unrelated to this post:

Have folks seen that South Korea arrested an unemployed blogger because they say he sank the value of their money?

Two thoughts 1) imagine the damage that employed bloggers could unleash, and 2) Palin is clearly not as critical of disliked bloggers as the South Korean government is.

Zeb Quinn said...

9/10th of the job is leadership and he didn't show any.

Actually he did. Right after 9/11 to be precise. Which demonstrated that he had in his repertoire the capacity to do it. The question is why he didn't do it at a few other key points when he should have. Just a few would've made a big difference. Such as when Abu Ghraib broke, and at the darkest depths of when Iraq was going badly, and during Katrina. Just stepping up on those three alone, and things probably would've played out very differently. Instead he ceded the spin on these stories to those who hate him and who were willing to say anything they could to hurt him. And they did. My best guess is he was relying upon advice of people around him. Maybe Rove, maybe Cheney, maybe somebody else. They probably said: "Don't respond because you only give them credence. Rise above it." Or something like that. Bad advice, which he followed.

Shanna said...

You're comment was weakened by the 'W' story. You should fact check that.

I know for a fact from people who were there that the Clinton people left a hell of a mess.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Zeb said My best guess is he was relying upon advice of people around him. Maybe Rove, maybe Cheney, maybe somebody else. They probably said: "Don't respond because you only give them credence. Rise above it." Or something like that. Bad advice, which he followed.

That pretty much makes my point Zeb. A coach has to show leadership through the whole game, not just one quarter. Also leadership is the ablity to listen to advice and determine whether it's any good. I'd say he probably failed there too. I don't blame every ill on Bush like the lefties do but as a conservative, he was a miserable failure.

garage mahal said...

I know for a fact from people who were there that the Bush people left a hell of a mess.

Fixed.

ricpic said...

The Dems are desperate not to be accountable, nevermind that they own both the executive and legislative branches. Sorry guys, to the great unwashed you are the government starting Tuesday. The misery index is gonna be all yours.

bagoh20 said...

I believe Bush showed great leadership in Iraq, since leadership is going forward especially when most want to turn back. Had he shown less than exceptional leadership (which is called stubborness by those who want to turn around), then the US / Al Qaeda /Iraq situation would be catastrophic at this point. In contrast, Iraq is looking to become a Cinderella story, Al Qaeda has lost enormous credibility and the US has proven it's threats must be taken seriously. Can Obama maintain that? I hope so, and it will take much less leadership to keep it than it took to make it. I don't expect he has that level of self confidence and certainly not the character to accept approval ratings in the 30s to do the right thing.

Joe said...

This is a very bad idea from Obama's perspective, but great from the Republican's perspective. Revolutions have a tendency to eat their own and not to good effect. Robespierre anyone?

Ann Althouse said...

Limbaugh wasn't at that dinner. He was having lunch with George Bush, and he was pretty funny on the show today, talking about how he accidentally pranked people into thinking he was there. I'll put up a link to the RL site when the transcript is available.

Paul said...

Bush did show great leadership in Iraq. I remember that idiot Michael Savage was sure Bush would concede to the Iraq Study Group's disastrous proposals. But instead he doubled down and won the war, and more importantly dealt AQ a mortal blow. Remember that AQ called Iraq the central front in the war of Jihad against the infidel.

I don't believe he refused to stand up to his detractors based on advise from Rove or Cheney, or anyone else. It's part of his taking the Christian ideal of turning the other cheek seriously. He is a man of principal to the bitter end. You may not agree with some of his principals, but there it is.

I would have preferred that his principals included both a belief in the drastic reduction of the scope of the the federal government, and screwing his domestic leftwing quisling enemies to the fucking floor.

Richard Dolan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Dolan said...

Palladian is having a bad day, and protests too much about elitism. Brooks, Will, Krauty and Billy Kristol are all very good at what they do and got where they are because lots of people enjoy reading their stuff. Whether you're one of those folks hardly matters. And, besides, being opinionated, having values and insisting on standards -- Palladian qualifies on every count -- inevitably makes you an elitist. It's a worn-out, empty epithet. So relax.

And while relaxing, could someone introduce Schwartz to the "This Conversation Is Over" officer? Schwartz's contribution certainly should be.

1:34 PM

Zeb Quinn said...

I don't blame every ill on Bush like the lefties do but as a conservative, he was a miserable failure.

I dunno. Too harsh for my tastes. Now, I was never a big Bush supporter. I never really saw him as a bona fide conservative. Way too squishy on things that matter. I always regarded him as a bit too much like his father for my tastes, and politically I never cared for him either. But I think Bush 43's treatment by the MSM was grossly wrong, right from the beginning. So I don't really care to seek out that reeking stinky pile to jump on it.

Salamandyr said...

garage mahal said...

I know for a fact from people who were there that the Bush people left a hell of a mess.

Fixed.

Gosh, Garage Mahal; I see what you did there. You took what she wrote, and changed one thing and acted all like, "I know you were just making a spelling error", thereby completely changing the meaning of what she wrote to say something self serving.

That was really cool, and I'm sure no one on the internet has ever thought of that before.

Synova said...

I don't buy the no-leadership meme.

It was all, "he didn't convince me that this was important", all the time, excuses made by children who didn't think they ought to pay attention on their own. It was all excuses, "waaa, waaa, we're gonna lose, we're evil, we should summarily attack Pakistan, we should bomb Saudi, attacking Iraq is illegal, it's all about oil, why don't we invade a sovereign nation, how dare we invade a sovereign nation, what about Bin Laden, we could invade Darfur, we could invade Iran, if *only* we weren't in Iraq, waaa, waaa, waaa."

And then the kicker...

"I wouldn't be such a moronic duffus about it all if only BUSH HAD LEADERSHIP SKILLS."

Babies.

Who *like* wearing diapers.

Who cry because the president doesn't wash the poo off their butts.

fcai said...

Triple E lection.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't buy the no-leadership meme. It was all, "he didn't convince me that this was important", all the time, excuses made by children who didn't think they ought to pay attention on their own.

Well I for one did pay attention Synova, and I still think Bush failed the leadership test. It's one thing to be the silent leader and stand by your convictions, which looks great in the movies but the President needs to be a bit more focused in getting the nation behind him. Hell, FDR knew enough about the fickleness and short memories of people that he ran a 24/7 propaganda machine to keep us focused on killing Nazis and Japs.

And it's not just on Iraq, I'll add immigration, social security reform and recognizing the sub-prime problem years ago and letting Barney Fwank and Chris Dodd tell him to bugger off when he confronted them with it.

This is not to say that Gore or Kerry would have been better but I expected a lot more from Bush.

bagoh20 said...

Blogger Synova said...

I don't buy the no-leadership meme.


Thank you!

I think many of us get the feeling Bush could have made the case stronger for his policies, but I just think his style does not allow him to. It would have taken enormous energy and viciousness from him to overcome the media and the opposition he faced. That is just not going to be accepted by the public these days. The snipping at heals from comedians, reporters, pundits, editors, movie makers, actors, musicians, etc is the modern method to effect public opinion. If a Pit Bull gets attacked by a pack of Chihuahuas the Pit Bull is still likely to be blamed for being too aggressive.

Synova said...

I can't imagine how Bush could have run a propaganda campaign about the Iraq war or larger terrorist threat. IIRC, the military couldn't even release official reports without the regular media and the entire "left" screaming that they had to assume it was all lies. Do you recall that? The media would print up "news" reports from sources linked to Al Qaeda without any seeming skepticism but didn't and wouldn't view our own military as a reliable source.

At what point could George Bush have said anything at all about anything at all and gotten his message out?

Recall that General who tore into the press in New Orleans? The next hurricane season after Katrina and he's supposed to make sure that people know The Plan. So that if the hurricane that was on it's way caused problems that everyone knows The Plan. The reporters weren't interested in The Plan. They had their own agendas. Even, supposedly, without any political reason to thwart the government's attempts to communicate with the people over something as vitally necessary as emergency preparedness and hurricane evacuation, the media reflexively rejected it.

Why?

And why do you think that, if only Bush had done something different, given more public statements, or something, that he'd have done his duty to keep us all informed and focused on the right things?

How?

Maybe he could have instituted a State-run media "propaganda" organ, hum? That would have worked like a charm, you think?

dbp said...

I am with Synova,

GWB made plenty of speeches laying-out very clearly the rationale for what he was doing.

The press would either ignore it or pick one or two risible statements out for criticism. We have a national press which was actively out to thwart the Bush administration. Which is fine as long as they also report the administration's side of things--which they mostly did not do.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I can't imagine how Bush could have run a propaganda campaign about the Iraq war or larger terrorist threat.

I wasn't saying he had to or could. My point was that people are fickle and short sighted by nature. If you're going to take a nation to war, you better be prepared to keep them focused on it.

And why do you think that, if only Bush had done something different, given more public statements, or something, that he'd have done his duty to keep us all informed and focused on the right things?

Well it worked for Reagan.

chickenlittle said...

Well it worked for Reagan.

Reagan wasn't focussed on fighting a hot war. Gone are the days of FDR when wars could be prosecuted off the pages of the NYT. Dems and the left always hated Bush because he and his party "owned" the war, just like FDR and his party owned the old war. They fought him and almost cost us the first phase. IMO it bordered on treason.

holdfast said...

"Working with Republicans is a great idea, look at how well it worked out for Bill Clinton."

Um, he got an undeserved reputation as an economic wunderkind? Seems pretty sweet to me - of course, who knew that the whole time Greenspan was pouring the foundations of the great credit bubble (to be fair, Clinton didn't appoint him).

Zeb Quinn said...

The student of history, politics, and/or public opinion learns pretty quickly about perception trumping reality. Clinton ran 8 years of a focus group tested administration to protect himself in that department. It looks like Obama will do likewise. Bush needed to be into it like that or something like that much more prominently than he was. It's not something he can be excused for with 20-20 hindsight. He should've known it going in.

Anthony said...

I find it hard to say anything regarding the leadership/no leadership issue compared to other recent presidents when you've got the news media we have. People can probably argue that Clinton showed "leadership" on bombing Iraq and Serbia because, for the most part, neither campaign was terribly unpopular; but then, the press wasn't really questioning Clinton on any of it. They just accepted that Iraq had WMD and that Serbia was some great threat to humanity. DId anyone in the press ever ask what threat Serbia posed to us? Or what vital national interest Serbia was threatening? Would they have if Serbia had turned into an ugly ground war?

Synova said...

Zeb, you mean like Obama "accidentally" letting a photographer get a picture of him shirtless?

George Bush got accused of doing whatever he did for the photo-op, too. How does having a focus group and acting in ways to manipulate public opinion work for him? How many years are we on the "plastic turkey" thing by now? (It wasn't plastic and our president *did* stand behind the cafeteria steam trays and serve the troops.) A lot of what he did he made sure he did as quietly as possible, such as meet with families of fallen soldiers... and I'm assuming it was so that the charge of him just doing it for a photo-op couldn't be made.

How could he have possibly done, for real, what he was getting attacked for, and not gotten attacked for it?

Granted, it's about as logical as most of the criticisms of him to go on for *years* about a "plastic turkey", and then whine that he should have done a better job manipulating his image, letting everyone off the hook for any responsibility for who they listen to and which reports they took seriously.

It's not *my* fault that I believe illogical or contradictory things, it's *his* fault for not making me think the right way?

Let Congress of the hook, too. Who has to do what is right because it is right, (Social Security?) if we can complain that it *would* have passed if not for the fact that Bush squandered his "good will?" Perfect excuse. No one has to find a solution to the problem, any problem, because George Bush is a bad communicator, and he hasn't made us LIKE him enough, and because we don't LIKE him enough we can blame the failure on him because he didn't make us LIKE him enough.

The Senate and Congress act like infants... and it's Bush's fault. No one has a responsibility for independent judgment?

All I can say is that it's a good thing that all the Africa aid and AIDS stuff there was done on the sly or the "loyal opposition" would have been trying to loyally oppose those efforts, too.

Der Hahn said...

Well it worked for Reagan.

That's a pretty rosy view of the Reagan presidency. You seem to be forgetting things like Iran-Contra, the Bitburg speech, Beirut bombing, 'Trickle Down' economics, budget deficits, homelessness, Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars), the appointments of Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy.

Reagan didn't get everything he wanted, and he got a number of things wrong. He warred with the press daily. Remember Sam Donaldson shouting questions at him over Marine One's prop wash? He had aides and subordinates leave to write tell-all-books. That 'Nancy Reagan séances' crack of Obama's was a bastardization of Donald Regan's revelations that Nancy Reagan consulted astrologers after the assassination attempts.

Regan gets a lot of credit for good things that occurred during of his Presidency but even his supporters (I am one) need to acknowledge that his role in them was a supporting one. The economy couldn't have been much worse when he took over for Jimmy Carter (and no, Obama doesn't have it worse as stagflation then looked to be a permanent condition). He was lucky to have a recession early and exit before the next one started. The USSR was ready to implode. He was smart enough not to listen to people suggesting we needed to keep it afloat. Much of what he 'did right' was simply staying out of the way of history.

Bush's challenges required that he take much more action than Reagan needed to during his presidency, and he had to do it in a headwind of a media and opposition significantly stronger than the one Reagan faced.

TitusRenalFailure said...

I hope he invited Kathryn Jean Lopez (K Lo). I absolutely love her. Her conservative mind not to mention her body is a blessing from God.

I just can't believe that she hasn't been snapped up yet being surrounded by all those conservative men.

She's my neighbor too. Love her.

EDH said...

"Eeelection" to me sounds like mock ebonics.

Obama has to be careful in his recriminations about Bush, especially on the GWOT. If Obama attacks Bush and something goes wrong or an attack against the US is successful, the difference will be thought the cause.

Also screwing civility sounded hot, though I deplore the close proximity of screwing and electric eels.

How about sharks? From The 7 Most Gruesome Rock 'N' Roll Legends (And Whether They're True).

Led Zeppelin's Mud Shark

The legend: While staying at the Edgewater Hotel in 1969-a hotel that allows guests to fish from their room balconies-Led Zeppelin caught a mud shark and then proceeded to use it sexually on a bound groupie. Exactly how is a matter for grim speculation only.

Why it grosses us out: Because it sounds like an even more disturbing version of the most disturbing scene in A Clockwork Orange. It also, for whatever reason, makes us acknowledge the existence of Marilyn Manson' dick again.

Why we still hope it' true: The way we heard it, the chick was totally into it, which helps undercut the "Oh, my God, that's horrific" factor. Still, a shark? And, you thought that little pussy-riding prop you brought home to spice things up was "edgy." Try introducing Jaws to your significant other's privates and see if one or both of you doesn't end up taking a trip to the emergency room.

This legend is also appealing because it takes some of the sting out of realizing your favorite rock band is singing primarily about Lord of the Rings characters. Zep aren't nerds, man! Zep boned a chick with a fucking shark!

Yeah, but is it: Sort of, but in a stripped-down, pathetic kind of way. The widely accepted "true version" of the legend is that the band's road manager Richard Cole caught a red snapper, and, as the groupie in question was a natural red-head, made the inevitable lame joke and applied the fish to her crimson honeypot. Legend also has it that John Bonham was present, but otherwise engaged in a rousing game of Dungeons and Dragons.

traditionalguy said...

Shrub did as good a job at strategery as we could have hoped for since 9/11. His failure to communicate was half his choice to avoid tipping his hand and half good old fashioned arrogance. Thank God and Karl Rove that Al Gore and John Kerry were never running the strategery part. You should never underestimate a redneck from Texas. I recall that one personally Defeated the German Empire and one personally defeated the Empire of Japan. They were Dwight Eisenhower and Chester Nimitz. Of course Shrub did suffer from a mixture of Connecticutt Yankee in Granddaddy's slot.

Zeb Quinn said...

Zeb, you mean like Obama "accidentally" letting a photographer get a picture of him shirtless?

George Bush got accused of doing whatever he did for the photo-op, too. How does having a focus group and acting in ways to manipulate public opinion work for him?


It's really not all that complicated. Nowadays a president has to know how he's being perceived and what's the best way to present himself to yield the best positive result. Clinton was the game changer there in that respect. Clinton knew how to take out Bush 41 in 1992 because Clinton knew what issues, what side of what issues, and what buzzwords about the issues worked and which ones didn't. Bush 41 didn't have clue. Likewise Bush 43.

I AM NOT saying it's an honest way to govern such as Clinton did. It is not. What I'm saying is the president has to at the very least have the information available telling him exactly how and why he's losing the perception game, if for no other reason than to aid in finding a way to state his position in a way where it is received more favorably and to even know that he needs to. And it becomes infinitely more important when the president has a MSM in the tank with his political opponents tag-teaming to destroy him.