Shallow Throat to Dems:
"One Chance, Don't Blow It"
By Bernard Weiner, Co-Editor,
The Crisis Papers
February 10, 2004
I'd been trying to reach "Shallow Throat" for several
months, but had never received a response. "I apologize, Bernie, for not
answering your coded messages," said ST, as we sat opposite each other in a
dimly-lit Virginia tavern, "but you wouldn't believe how scary it is to be
inside the Bush Administration these days.
"For the first time in three years, they really are aware that their whole
deck of cards could come tumbling down around their ears -- and not just in
November at the ballot box -- and so they're getting even more desperate and
The high-ranking GOP mole -- formerly inside the White House and now in
another government agency -- had talked with me numerous times over the past
year and a half.* To be sure, there was apprehension expressed on
those occasions, about the possibility of Bush operatives seeing us in
conversation, but nothing like this fright.
"So why are you taking chances now by meeting me?" I asked.
"Because the seeds of self-destruction finally are sprouting in the Bush
Administration," ST said, "and I don't want you and your liberal friends to
blow it and give these guys the opportunity to hang on to power.
"If that happens, we're all in deep, deep trouble -- continued imperialism
abroad, more militarist police-state actions at home, further shredding of
the Constitution, larger federal deficits and their debilitating effects on
the economy, millions out of work despairing of finding decent jobs, fatal
weakening of Medicare and Social Security, the whole ball of wax.
"But if you and your friends play it right -- and you're finally starting to
do so -- you can take these guys down via united activism on key issues like
pre-9/11 knowledge, Cheney's secret energy policy, the lies that got us into
Iraq, Rumsfeld's Office of Special Plans, Bush's AWOL period, the outing of
CIA agent Valerie Plame, and so on -- and through the election in November.
"Get Mr. Halliburton first -- Cheney's even more vulnerable than the Bush
Boy -- and then keep going. You can get these guys. Even with the dirty
tricks that are being readied as we speak."
"What tricks?" I asked, as I took in ST's impressive new wig and dark
"Anything you can conceive of, the Rove boys are working on. Not just the
smears and lies regarding Dem candidates -- the electorate has come to
expect that, to a certain extent, although the Bushistas carry that stuff to
new levels of dirty politics -- but the bigger manipulations. Like the way
computer-voting programs can be tampered with to change election results
with nobody being the wiser. (Take another look at Georgia and Max Cleland's
"defeat" in the 2002 election.) Like in key states removing thousands of
folks from the voting rolls deliberately and 'by accident.' (For the worst
example, see how the Bush campaign, under Gov. Jeb Bush, arranged it in
Florida in 2000.)
"Like almost inviting another huge al-Qaida attack inside the U.S. sometime
before the election. Like being able to pull the rabbit Osama bin Laden out
of a magic hat to demonstrate how 'successful' our war on terror is going.
Didn't do much good when Saddam was taken in Iraq, and Osama's death or
capture won't change much on the terrorism ground either -- but Bush will be
able to brag about his anti-terorrist 'leadership,' hoping we'll forget that
his policies have created more terrorists than the U.S. has eliminated."
WHO'S MORE FRIGHTENED OF WHOM?
"But," I countered, "the U.S. populace (along with the world in general) has
become much more cynical these days about anything Bush and his cohorts say,
especially after all the WMD lies that got us into the Iraq war to begin
with. Why would the Bush Administration risk getting caught out in more lies
and deceptions and manipulations?"
"I told you," said Shallow Throat, looking around nervously. "Though some of
the key players like Rumsfeld, Cheney and Perle think their in-your-face
arrogance and the compliant mass-media will see them through, the more
political operatives like Rove and Gillespie see the electoral handwriting
on the wall -- Bush is defeated in poll after poll by any unnamed Democrat,
and in head-to-head polls now against Kerry -- and they'll risk anything to
stay in power. And I mean anything. (They may be dumb but they ain't stupid:
many top Bush officials are fully cognizant of the possibility of being
brought before criminal courts when they leave office.)
"The Bushistas know how to play the ongoing 9/11 and WMD 'investigations,'
by appointing a number of puffballs to the commissions, circumscribing what
they can look for, and then delaying and withholding information, trying to
postpone the final reports until after election day. If your Democrat
friends had any smarts, and balls, they would establish their own truly
independent, blue-ribbon commission on the WMD lies, for example.)
"Bush's first three years involved laying the foundations for full
implementation of their agenda in a second term; they don't want to lose the
chance to execute the rest of the plan, because they know they might not get
back into the White House for quite awhile. Their whole momentum will be
shot to hell."
"You mean," I asked, "that they're that frightened of John Kerry, or whoever
might emerge if he falters or gets taken down?"
"You bet your patooties they're scared. Their arrogance and bullying and
brazen lying -- and the thoroughgoing incompetency with which they've
operated, domestically and abroad -- have made innumerable enemies in the
GOP and re-energized the Democrat party. Rank-and-file Dems are even willing
to vote for someone they don't particularly care for, just to break the back
of the Bush neo-con juggernaut and return the country to a more sane,
"But while the Bush folks are afraid of the Dem candidate, whoever it turns
out to be -- and, since they're especially vulnerable on AWOL and Iraq
policies, they're most worried about Kerry and Clark -- they're almost more
concerned about the defections popping up in conservative and moderate
Republican ranks. These good, traditional Republicans might not be able to
vote for a Democrat in November, but they might well choose to stay home on
LEAKAGE IN THE RED STATES
"You really see major weakness in Bush's usual base of support, especially
in the Red states, that he carried last time?" I asked.
"It's not what I see that matters," ST replied. "It's what the Bush folks
are hearing from all around the country. Sure, they can count on their
fundamentalist base -- and they'll throw occasional hunks of red meat their
way on abortion, gay marriage, gun-control and rightwing judges -- but the
usual Republican coalition is no longer solid and impregnable.
"The black-helicopter crowd is terrified with the precedents being set by
the Patriot Act as interpreted by John Ashcroft. The small-government and
Libertarian types are appalled at the massive intrusion into citizens'
private lives, and the huge bureaucracy that accompanies such police-state
tactics. The balanced-budgeters can't believe how Bush is endangering the
entire economy with his reckless spending and the enormous deficits being
racked up that our kids and grandkids will have to pay for somehow. The
isolationist wing of the GOP is horrified by the eagerness with which Bush
and his neo-con buddies are willing to send out the military to invade and
bomb one country after another, with more to come.
"In short, there are enough dissatisfied, frustrated Republicans out there
who, even at this early date, are vowing not to vote for Bush in November.
Even with the dirty tricks and Roveian 'surprises' that are sure to come,
Bush could lose. That's why they were desperate enough to send Bush onto
'Meet the Press' last Sunday, to try to tamp down a lot of the hot spots.
Unfortunately, Bush's awkward, stay-on-message spinning just revealed how
defensive and vulnerable he is on key issues, and how unprepared he is for
the election debates that will be coming up in the Fall."
"Debates against whom?" I asked.
"Any of the Dems still in the race could verbally wrestle Bush to the mat.
Dean could whupp him up one side and down the other, but probably won't get
the chance. Edwards and Clark may be a bit green when it comes to
no-holds-barred political debating, but they could tie Bush in knots as
well. Kerry could take him easily, but let's hope he develops a more lively,
passionate persona -- which he probably could do with gusto if he confronts
Bush on his war-lies and his AWOL status, with facts to back up the attack."
THE IDEAL TICKETS
"As long as you brought up the candidates, are you willing to suggest the
strongest ticket the Dems could put up?"
"Sure," said Shallow Throat, "for whatever it's worth, I'll have a go.
"Assuming that Kerry is the top dog -- and that the Massachusetts senator
can finesse his way around the gay-marriage decision of the Massachusetts
Supreme Court -- I think there are any number of combinations that could
work. Kerry/Clark or Kerry/Edwards would be mighty strong; so would
Kerry/Graham -- all three of those guys are Southerners -- or maybe even
Kerry/Dean or Kerry/Gephardt. I just wish our party had a strong group
running for the nomination, instead of just the Bush Boy. But, if he's
smart, Rove will dump Cheney as a tainted liability -- excused for 'health
reasons' -- and go to Rudi Giuliani or Condi Rice."
"And if the GOP goes into the election campaign with either of those combos,
do you still think the Democrat could win?"
"I do indeed. Mainly because they have a secret weapon within the GOP
itself...George W. Bush. The Democrat party can count on Bush -- and his
mean-spirited, greedy, power-hungry, incompetent courtiers -- to provide all
the ammunition the Dems need. Go get him."
*For earlier conversations with Shallow Throat, see
Weiner's Web Publications.
Copyright 2004, by Bernard Weiner