The Fearmongers, Definers, Swiftboaters, and Borkers square off

It's the mother of all political battles. Anything can happen, and it probably will.
Crosscut archive image.
It's the mother of all political battles. Anything can happen, and it probably will.

Welcome to the Final Four Pre-game Show with Bore Blather and Windy Blowhard.

Bore Blather: The Final Four! The Political Tactics Final Four! It all comes down to this--one of these four will emerge as the winning political tactic for 2008.

To preview the action, we turn to our political analyst, Windy Blowhard.

Windy Blowhard: This will be an epic test of political tactics. It simply doesn't get any better than this.

Bore: I couldn't have said it better. Look at the field — the Fearmongers, Definers, Swiftboaters, and Borkers. Is this the strongest Final Four ever?

Windy: Absolutely, Bore. The Fearmongers are the favorite, but the Definers are always tough. You can't rule out the Swiftboaters who are hoping to repeat their 2004 triumph. And can you believe the Cinderella team, the Borkers?

Bore: Once again, none of the policy contenders made the final four. Is policy finished as a political tactic?

Windy: Policy is deader than disco. Policy bores voters. The last time a policy entrant made the final four was 1964. That was when Johnson promised, "We are not about to send American boys 9,000 or 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves."

Bore: So with no policy issues to worry about, can we expect a no-holds-barred test pure political tactics?

Windy: You bet. It begins tonight when the formidable Fearmongers take on the always-dangerous Definers. This should be one for the ages.

Bore: The Fearmongers look stronger than in 2006 when they lost in the finals.

Windy: They certainly are. In 2006 all they had was Nine-One-One, who was tired after 2002 and 2004. This year they have added race and immigration to give them a more balanced attack. And don't count out Nine-One-One. This could be the game changer. It could be the comeback story of the year.

Bore: What will decide this contest?

Windy: The big question is can the Definers open quickly. They believe the best defense is a good offense. They try to define an opponent before the public forms an opinion.

In the opening rounds, the Definers bagged Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper and Michele Obama as a racist.

If the Definers can establish their labeling game early, it could be Katie-Bar-The-Door.

Bore: If that happens could the Fearmongers introduce policy issues?

Windy: Not a chance. The American public just doesn't like policy. Policy is deader than Elvis. The last two times policy won were in 1932 when Roosevelt ran on a balanced budget platform, and 1916 when Wilson used the slogan, "He kept us out of war."

The Fearmongers simply need to stick to their game plan and execute. They need to go out there and just monger. This contest will be won in the trenches.

Bore: I couldn't have said it better. Now in Saturday's contest the Swiftboaters take on the surprising Borkers. This could be a classic since both of these teams use the smear so well.

Windy: You said it, Bore. Both have great smear offenses. The Swiftboaters smear using lies while the Borkers smear using truth.

Bore: Does that give the Swiftboaters an advantage?

Windy: It has to. Anytime you incorporate truth into your political tactics you are playing one man down.

Bore: But thus far the Borkers have surprised everyone.

Windy: That's right, Jim. No one gave the Borkers much of a chance in the early rounds. They were actually the underdog against two policy entrants, Health Care and Energy.

Bore: Can you even imagine Energy or Health Care favored against the Fearmongers, Definers, or Swiftboaters? If the Swiftboaters can make military service an issue when their candidate was a coke-addled draft dodger and their opponent a genuine war hero, do the Borkers have a prayer?

Windy: They will have to play their game. And they are ready to. They came to bork.

Bore: What is the Borkers' game plan?

Windy: The Borkers will try to bork the Swiftboaters before the Swiftboaters swiftboat the Borkers.

Bore: And the Swiftboaters?

Windy: Their game plan is to swiftboat the Borkers before the Borkers bork the Swiftboaters. The Swiftboaters are ready. They came to swiftboat

Bore: I couldn't have said it better, Windy.

Windy: You couldn't have, Bore. You couldn't have.


Please support independent local news for all.

We rely on donations from readers like you to sustain Crosscut's in-depth reporting on issues critical to the PNW.


About the Authors & Contributors