May 19th, 2006

Rainville’s First Black-Op

by Philip Baruth

So it’s official: the Rainville campaign has had what might be called a troubled first phase. Why is it official? Because Martha done said so.

rummySpeaking to The Hill — on the questions of accepting tainted GOP PAC money, about-facing on firing Donald Henry Rumsfeld, and just refusing to state positions on the key issues of the day — Rainville put it politely:

“I think all of those are examples of learning how to state what you think very clearly and succinctly, even when you feel that the issue is really a little more complex than might be easily reflected in a brief statement. I am learning that.”

Now, what typically happens in a high-profile race when the locals screw the pooch, as my friends down South like to say? The national leadership sends in some get-tough guys, and the tactics change. And they change quickly. They go negative.

So if Phase One was the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight, we might expect Phase Two to be the Gang Who Shoot Everyone in Sight.

Case in point: anyone seen Bill Noyes lately?

After fine-tuning the disastrous “no-fingerpointing” strategy, Noyes seems to have been disappeared — disappeared with what would be alarming rapidity, if Bill Noyes hadn’t so clearly needed to be disappeared.

Yes, Phase Two is definitely under way.

Case in point the second: the Rainville camp ran its first black-op today. Only it turned out to be a sort of charcoal-gray-op. Or really more like a dark-sort-of-tan-op.

VDB has never been good with colors.

But the facts of the incident are these.

Earlier today Democrat Peter Welch was holding a press conference with a group of Vermont women, to discuss the various policy implications of a Republican majority in Congress.

peter welch

When it came time to distribute the press releases to the media, a young guy steps up, sort of a pugnacious look on his face, won’t say who he’s with press-wise, and then — when Welch begins to speak — hauls out a hand-held tape recorder.

Doesn’t take rocket science, my friends. Especially not when you catch a photo of the get-away car. Or the get-away SUV, rather.

the get-away car

For the longest time, tinfoil-hat Republicans muttered darkly about black helicopters, swooping down on their ranches and branding all of their cattle with Bill Clinton’s name, that sort of thing.

VDB is beginning to develop a particularly left-wing paranoia: that out there on the roads, 24/7, a fleet of environmentally unfriendly vehicles are plotting to keep Republicans in power, by any means necessary.

Vehicles like this Tarrant 4 Senate dirigible we brought you last month:

Tarrant Hummer

The difference with this Black SUV paranoia is that it accurately reflects reality. The Republicans are in a battle to save their majorities, and their monopoly on subpeona power, and not incidentally their extremely large vehicles.

Phase Two has begun. God help us all.