Monday, April 12, 2010

Q the Eye/04.12.10

Dear LakeCountyEye,

I want to discredit my political opponents, but I'm having a devil of a time. Nothing I throw ever sticks. What do I need to paint them with to smear my enemies?

Rabbit Punch

Dear Maroon on an Island,

Your LakeCountyEye is no stranger to the craft of demonizing one's political enemies. The SOP would be to OPPO your opponent and anonymously leak the embarrassing revelation to the press. Never, as a rule, personally attack anyone -- let some willing intermediary in on the fun.

But your LakeCountyEye suspects that the concept of opposition research may be a level or two above your pay-grade. And whether out of inclination or necessity (your LakeCountyEye isn't sure) you may prefer to do your own dirty-work. In which case, the plan of last resort is to start calling names.

The finely crafted political insult is a lost art. Rarely is someone accused anymore of being a poltroon who would exact payments of rent from the lice moored in his beard. These days, the political smear has been reduced to a few reoccurring pernicious signifiers -- the goal is to come up with the right code-word that frames your opponent. And your LakeCountyEye knows firsthand how hard it is, these days, to ferret out a good symbol of ultimate contempt.

Once upon a time you called your opponent the Devil. Full stop. Nowadays if you unfavorably compare your enemy with Mephistopheles, you're greeted with snickering. Another tried & true standby was the Red Menace. Back in the day, you accused your enemy of Communist sympathies, and they were trotskied off to jail. But just try and mention Leninism or Stalinism -- all you're likely to elicit these days will be blank stares.

But don't despair. For your LakeCountyEye's money, the symbolic sine qua non, the gold standard of Evil, will forever be the Nazis. No puzzled looks, no snickers, ever follow a well-timed insinuation with the National Socialists. Hitler still has the mojo to strike fear in the hearts of the young and to give pause to those who otherwise would know better.

Your LakeCountyEye would recommend playing the Hitler card. Just be sure not to overplay your hand. As reported in the Daily Herald,
Island Lake trustee in blog likens mayor to Hitler
one local pol posted a rant on a blog, lumping her foes in with the Nazis. Well, faster than the Wehrmacht was crossing the Paris city limits, this pol was forced to do a one-eighty. The pol, according to the Herald,
Island Lake trustee issues mea culpa for Hitler blog
scrubbed clean the blog, saying oops, my bad I didn't really mean it. A LakeCountyEye word to the wise: Nazis are your nuclear option, crude but effective mutually assured destruction. Forewarned is forearmed!

If you are an elected official, or a previously elected official, or just a private citizen under indictment, send your political questions to Q the Eye c/o ...

1 comment:

IllinoisJim said...

I don’t live there. It’s just too easy to compare somebody with a horrible person everybody thinks they know well. Having read the Herald article and the letters, I believe there is reasonable hearsay evidence to describe Mayor Herrmann’s behavior as unreasonable, sneaky, condescending. What we don’t know is how this behavior affects her constituents. Maybe the Mayor is up against other even more entrenched, repellent interests? We don’t know the purpose of such behavior. Like maybe proving the voters blew it? Trustee Rabattini’s behavior also comes into question. For example, when I hear a trusted voice like Senator Durbin comparing Bush/Cheney strategy to the Nazi’s, I feel there is something wrong there, much like smoke coming out of a restaurant vent. But when I hear Ms. Rabattini comparing her mayor to Hitler, I feel there is something crazy there. Of course, when I hear myself comparing Fox Fixed News to Nazi propaganda, I feel there is something real there.