Monday, November 01, 2004

Counting on Stupidity

A couple of weeks ago, I received an emal pointing to this site asking (ostensibly) for the help of all conservative bloggers in debunking some anti-bush documents:

You exposed RatherGate by proving the CBS documents were fake -- nice work! But now the liberals have found a bunch more documents so our work is not done. Let's get to work proving that these are fake, too!


Are there any other fake documents we are missing? Please send them to us so we can post them on this site for conservative bloggers to debunk.

Don't lose faith! Some conservatives don't think it is possible to debunk these documents. But real Bush supporters know that anything is possible with a president as great as ours.
I didn't think much about this, but it sounded a bit suspicious. But, mainly because I am usually more critical of the inappropriate tactics of my own side, my first reaction was irritation at my fellow conservatives. It only vaguely occured to me that this might be a ploy by the left to discredit both Bush and the blogosphere in general. Maybe I should turn in my pajamas for not following up on the matter as BlogCritics evidently did.

But now these operatives have gone one step further by sending out the following email, less than a week before the election (my email was dated Thursday, 10/28):
A week ago, we sent you an email asking for help debunking anti-Bush documents. After receiving hundreds of responses, it become clear that all the documents were actually real: the Bush/Cheney DUIs, the Ken Lay letters, and even the bin Laden memo.


We also received hundreds of emails from concerned bloggers that
eloquently expressed the problems with the Bush administration. And as we traveled across America campaigning for Bush, we learned more than we wanted to know about Bush's policies. We came to see that this administration is a catastrophe for most people.

As a result, we are abandoning our support of Bush and officially
endorsing John Kerry for President.


We deeply regret our misguided support and apologize for our previous email. This will be the last email we will send directly to bloggers.
Now, I have nothing against satire, but this seems to pretty clearly cross the line into outright lying. I have plenty of faith that most of my fellow conservatives will not be taken in by this tactic, but it strikes me that the left probably does think we are stupid enough to fall for it. And the blandishments in the first email, praising the blogosphere for exposing the Rathergate memos, is even more insulting.

Democracy can only work if the people have a general sense of confidence that the system works. It doesn't seem to have occured to these people that, if their tactics had worked, they would essentially be destroying the only point in winning the election: the improvement of our government and the betterment of our country.

This whole thing leaves a rather sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. If this is really what we have come to, the God help us. But I'm not quite ready to entertain such a low opinion of my fellow Americans.

NOTE: A commentor at BlogCritics points out that the Republicans are equally guilty of this sort of thing at Communists For Kerry, which was aparently taken seriously by Fox News. I don't think this is quite the same, since the satire is much more obvious and I haven't heard of any similar deceptive email campaigns. But then, I wouldn't have gotten those emails anyway, so you be the judge.

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