Latest Swiftboat attack goes down with Duhtanic

by Ogi Overman

Back in August of ’01 when I launched my one-man impeachment crusade called GROWTH! (Get Rid Of W Today, Hurry!), I also dreamed up a sister organization called GROTTO (Gore Rightly Ought To Take Over). Then 9-11 happened, and the still-brewing controversy over the Supreme Court’s awarding the wrong guy the office seemed to pale in comparison. I, like most Americans, made the worst mistake of my life by giving Duh a temporary pass on the outside chance that he would actually become a leader. We see how well that worked out, eh?

In the ensuing six years Bush has proven with every sneer that his ideologically-driven policies do not correspond with reality, and the result is the most colossal failure of leadership this nation has ever been forced to endure. Meanwhile, Gore has made the most of his private-citizen status by doing the due diligence on global warming and becoming one of the most articulate and esteemed spokesmen on the subject. In fitting irony, he has earned the respect of the world, while the guy who assumed the office has become a pariah, existing in a delusional bubble all his own.

And don’t think for a moment the far right-wing ideologues are not aware of this. Whether they’ve decided to go down with the Duhtanic or not, they are looking ahead to ’08 and see Gore as a formidable force. So it should come as no surprise that they timed their initial Swiftboat attack on him the day after he won an Academy Award for An Inconvenient Truth. But, unlike their unconscionable assault on John Kerry’s war record, this smear campaign is destined to backfire. This time we’ll not allow them to spread their vermin unchallenged. We’re not ready to make nice, and if they insist on playing dirty we’re ready for a gutter brawl.

In case you missed it, the first salvo was fired by a right-wing propaganda organization called the Tennessee Center for Policy Research that masquerades as being non-partisan and independent. Actually “masquerades” is too kind a word; “lies” would be more appropriate. The guy who started it, a 27-year-old punk named Drew Johnson, learned the ropes of liberal-bashing at the American Enterprise Institute, which has long been funded by ExxonMobil and is one of the chief water carriers for Rove, big business and the military-industrial complex. One need only peruse the links on Johnson’s website (Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, etc.), to figure out that his political slant lists hard to starboard. And a little digging reveals that his outfit is one cog in a 37-state machine that advocates for right-wing causes at the state and local level.

Rather than let Al be portrayed favorably by the media in the wake of his Academy Award, this guy Johnson times his release for the next news cycle. He’d gotten hold of the Gore residence power bill and discovered that they’re paying an average of $1,300 a month for electricity, ostensibly making him a hypocrite for using so much power while telling everyone else to cut back. Naturally online mudslinger the Drudge Report picked it up and outsourced it to Fox Noise, which hyped it as much, I’m sure, as Rove wanted them to. But in passing it off as legitimate news, Fox neglected to mention one tiny fact.

Yes, the Gores do pay a big chunk o’ change to run what I suspect is some pretty nice digs (I do seem to remember that he was a US senator and vice-president of the United States) but what Fox, um, forgot to report was that the reason their bill is so high is that they signed up for a program offered by the TVA called the Green Power Switch. It is 100 percent “green” electricity, produced by solar, wind and other renewable resources, and because the technology is still in its infancy, demand has not caught up with supply, making it more costly than traditional electricity. Once the public buys into the idea, the cost will come down drastically. Plus, Al and Tipper have installed solar panels in their home and use compact florescent bulbs, further trying to reduce their carbon footprint. In other words, Big Al believes strongly enough in the importance of energy conservation that he’s willing to pay more for it than he would have to otherwise. He’s putting his money where his mouth is.

So, turns out the real hypocrite is this Johnson kid who claims to head up an objective think tank but is nothing more than a shill for big oil. His “gotcha” moment turned on him, as will all subsequent smear tactics.

Granted, I’m not above a little slinging of the shinola myself, but at least you know where I stand. I don’t hide behind some “policy institute.” GROWTH! is pretty cut and dried, n’est pas? And now, six years later, GROTTO is again apropos.

Ogi may be reached at, heard Tuesdays 9:30 to 10 a.m. on “The Dusty Dunn Show” on WGOS 1070 AM, and seen Fridays 6:30 to 7 a.m. on ABC45 and Sundays 10 to 10:30 p.m. on MVY48 on “Triad Today” hosted by Jim Longworth.