Turn the handle the way it's supposed to go, only further.
— Eric Frank Russell, Still Life
I got a rather odd spam message the other day:
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. For more information visit the documents page: http://www.yesbushcan.com/falsedocs.shtml
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. You can read more at the Yes Bush Can web site: http://www.yesbushcan.com/ We deeply regret our misguided support and apologize for our previous email. This will be the last email we will send directly to bloggers. If you want to join us in supporting Kerry, you can find out more here: http://www.yesbushcan.com/act.shtml
Thank you for your understanding,
Yes Bush Can
Now, I don't remember getting anything from these people before. Might not be surprising; my spam filters are rather aggressive. Their Web page doesn't give me a feeling that these are Bush partisans who have changed sides; rather, they seem to be people who try to point out the effects of Bush's policies by talking glowingly about their more extreme effects. Why they'd send this to me is a bit strange; I don't think anybody would mistake me for a Bush supporter.
The first time I remember seeing this tactic was in George Wallace's Presidential campaign in 1968. He had a fine old time with hecklers — anything they'd yell, he'd throw back at them with his extreme right-wing slant. Until a bunch got the idea of throwing his own talking points back at him. Vietnam? "Kill 'em all!" Draft resistance? "Send the commies back to Russia!" Civil rights? "Bring back slavery!" Now Wallace couldn't say anything, because a lot of his supporters agreed with this stuff — trying to distance himself from these attitudes would offend his strongest supporters. But he couldn't not respond without looking like a wacko. (For the record, he chose to ignore the hecklers and ended up looking exactly like the wacko that he was.)
I'm surprised that nobody's used this tactic. Go to a Bush rally and yell "kill the faggots" when he talks about gay marriage, for example. I've seen no evidence that Bush & Co have attempted to put a throttle on their more, uh, enthusiastic supporters. Could get interesting.