Modus Operandi, 2008 Edition

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Memo to John McCain: I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.

Two and a half years ago, I described the standard modus operandi of the Bush administration. Summarized, this modus operandi was to first do something wrong, then avoid being caught doing it for as long as you can, then avoid admitting you were doing it as long as you can, and then admit you were doing it, but call it "old news" because you'd stalled so long.

But there's a new game in town, a much simpler and more brazen tactic in play. Dubya's been using it for a while now, and if Campaign 2008 is any indication, Gramps McGrumps has not only embraced it wholeheartedly - he's ramping it up in exciting new ways. More of the same, plus more of the more.

The first step is the same, and it comes as naturally to your Bushes, your Mierses, your Roves, your McCains, et al as swimming comes naturally to an eel: do something wrong. Maybe you can ignore a Congressional subpoena. Maybe you can make tens of thousands of legally required e-mails disappear. Maybe you can obstruct an investigation into a completely different time you did something wrong. Doesn't really matter what, the important thing is that you do something wrong.

Step two is to get caught. This seems counterintuitive, but it is vitally important to the process that everyone knows exactly what you did. Obfuscation is unnecessary. Oh, sure, to save face, you can come up with a paper-thin excuse for what you're doing, like "executive privilege", but it's not important. What's important is step three.

Step three is simple. DO IT AGAIN. If they send you another subpoena, ignore that one too. If they demand you comply, ignore that. Keep doing it. Dare them to stop you. Dare them to even try. Because they won't. They'll ask again, and you can ignore them again. McCain has learned this technique well.

On four separate occasions now, Gramps used a song at a campaign event or in an advertisement. Each time, the artists he used - Van Halen, Jackson Browne, John Mellencamp, and Heart - told him to stop. YouTube videos were pulled. Lawsuits were filed. News stories were written. And McCain just did it again. And now? Every time Sarah Palin comes out on stage, it's to Heart's "Barracuda". McCain says they've licensed it, but that's just more "executive privilege", isn't it? He keeps doing it, dares people to make him stop, and nobody does.

Or the bullshit claim that Sarah Palin rejected the "Bridge to Nowhere". There's VIDEO of her holding upa a T-Shirt that says "Nowhere, Alaska" on it and talking about how great the bridge is. It's such a lie that even the Wall Street Journal doesn't believe it. So she keeps saying it, daring people to make her stop, and nobody does.

That's what we're voting on here, when it comes right down to it. It's not about issues, it's not about policy, it's whether the President of the United States is, or should be, someone who recognizes the power of any external authority whatsoever. Or is he someone who defies all attempts to keep him in check, giving the finger to anyone who dares keep him from whatever the fuck he wants.

Well, that, or it's about who said "lipstick on a pig" the most times. But either way, I'm sure we'll pick a fine leader when November rolls around.