Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Unintentional forthrightness and the GOP

TalkingPointsMemo's TPMMuckracker and Paul Kiel find one of the GOP's stalwarts up to the usual, but curiously honest about it this time. Starts out innocently:
A couple of days ago, a group called Citizens United Not Timid filed papers with the IRS as a "527" organization. Then we saw that Roger Stone had signed on as the group's "assistant treasurer." Uh oh.

Stone, regular TPM readers know, is a Republican operative who prides himself as something of an elder statesman of GOP dirty tricks. He went to work for Richard Nixon at age nineteen, making him the "youngest Watergate dirty trickster." He continues to idolize the man, even sporting a tattoo of Nixon's face between his shoulder blades. On his website, the StoneZone, he proudly touts Nixon's endorsement of him as "one of the very few excellent political professionals."
So what's Stone's new 527 up to? The Weekly Standard is kind enough to fill us in:
Stone calls the meeting to order, as he taps the ash of a thick cigar into a Club Habana ashtray. "Dominican," he says, by way of identification. West, a Deadhead to the last, smokes something that's not a cigar and that smells sweeter. "Hawaiian," he tells me. Stone opens with an old groaner about why the woman he calls "Miss Queeny of Bossy-land" can't wear miniskirts. Scotty and Noodles like it. Miss Moneypenny, not as enthusiastic, tells him he'd benefit from a rimshot. "After half his life," adds West.

Stone wants everyone to understand the mission of the organization, simply and elegantly captured in its artwork, which Stone shows us. It features a red inverted triangle at the bottom of which, is a blue triangle with a white star in the middle. At first glance, it kind of looks like the Puerto Rican flag, or Captain America's martini glass. Stone designed it himself, and on second glance, it's meant to whisper, not scream, "special flower."

The text underneath it reads "Citizens United Not Timid, a 527 Organization To Educate The American Public About What Hillary Clinton Really Is." The artwork and text are, it turns out, the entirety of the "education." Stone says the website will feature an attractive model in the organization's T-shirt, which can be yours for a "donation" of $25 or more. And it will also feature a rolling tally of people who agree with the statement that's not quite stated, something like "the population billboard in Times Square that's constantly increasing because some baby is born in Botswana."

In addition to this website being blast-emailed to hundreds of thousands of addresses that Stone and West have accumulated over the years (working off over 170 different email lists of everyone from opinion-makers to political activists to industry associations), Stone is counting on T-shirt sales to further serve as "billboard education." He figures the whole thing will end up taking on a viral nature, thanks to the yuks factor.

"The more people go to the site, the more people buy the T-shirts," Stone explains to the troops. "The more people buy the T-shirts, the more people wear the T-shirts. The more people wear the T-shirts, the more people are educated. Consequently, our mission has been achieved." Though neither the word itself nor even the acronym is ever mentioned, "it's one-word education. That's our mission. No issues. No policy groups. No position papers. This is a simple committee with an unfortunate acronym."
[emphasis added]

The acronym? Here's the group's web site; you figger it out:

Stone also came up with the 'cute' graphic so loosely described above [translated from Republican into English: "cute": (adj) tasteless, replete with sixth-grade humour], which I won't reprint or link, those fascinated by automobile wrecks can go look for themselves.

But some help for "Mr." (and I use the word loosely) Stone: That's spelled "deliberate", not "unfortunate".

But I'm quite sure that Stone's "viral message" will capture new converts to the Republican party in droves, particularly from the distaff side.

(h/t to the inestimable Digby for this story)


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