We here at Irregular Times have been known for our refusal to make predictions. Given the near impossibility of making predictions that are consistently accurate, we have chosen honest uncertainty over false prophecy. For example, even though we often stated that we thought Bush's plans for war in Iraq were unwise, we restrained ourselves from predicting specific negative outcomes. We never said that we knew that Iraq would turn into a quagmire, because, well, we never knew that until Iraq did turn into a quagmire. No one knows for sure what will happen in the future, and if someone tells you that they do, it's usually a sign that that they're too heavily invested in a particular future event to be trusted.
We generally prefer on-target observations to predictions of the future course of current events, but we know a sure thing when we hear about it, and so we are making the following prediction:
Around the time of the Democratic Convention, Republican Kingpin Karl Rove will begin a dirty whisper campaign using private innuendo and commercially-funded fake "push polls" designed to impugn the character of the Democratic nominee.
A push poll is a smear campaign disguised in the form of a public opinion poll. Think about what would happen if someone in your community posed as a pollster and called up everyone in your town asking questions such as "If you knew that Mr. Smith was a drug dealing child molester, how would that change your opinion about Mr. Smith?" Of course, the town's rumor mill would soon be busy spreading the word that Mr. Smith is a drug dealing child molester. Even though the rumors would be completely groundless, Mr. Smith's reputation would be ruined for good, and he might even be forced to move out of town, hoping that the ugly false rumors would not follow him. The "pollster" hired by someone who just didn't like Mr. Smith could never be charged with the crime of slander, because the lies about Mr. Smith would only be phrased in the form of a question. Nonetheless, the intent and effect of the push poll campaign would be the same as slander.
Together, Karl Rove and George W. Bush have conducted such smear campaigns too often during elections in the past to doubt that they will do it again. In political science circles, Bush and Rove have become infamous for their use of push polls and whisper campaign techniques in the year 2000 to spread false rumors of a deeply insulting nature about Senator John McCain, their opponent for the Republican presidential nomination. For insight into Bush and Rove's below-the-board campaign of slurs against John McCain, we suggest that you pick up a copy of "Boy Genius", a recent book that describes the political rise of Karl Rove and George W. Bush.
Watch for the Rove-Bush rumor mongers to be at it again starting in April, May or June of 2004, when you'll start to read comments about unsubstantiated concerns about the Democratic nominee. Remember, you heard about it first here on Irregular Times.
We also predict that, although the better parts of the mainstream press will report on the role of Karl Rove and George W. Bush in this smear campaign, the story about Bush and Rove's connection to dirty political techniques will not be given top billing, but will be buried beyond page 11 in most newspapers. Most of the American public will only learn of the Republicans' dirty and fundamentally false techniques months or years after the election is over, if they ever learn of them of all.
Will you be among those Americans? As for ourselves, we here at Irregular Times intend to pay attention, and as soon as Karl Rove gets up to the dirty tricks he used in the 2000 Bush campaign, we'll let you know what we find.
Irregular Times was online before Bush knew what online was, and we'll be here long after he fades to fiddling on his dude ranch in Crawford, Texas. We're no fortune tellers, but we can tell a deep bucket of slime when we see one. We'll be around as long as the times are irregular, and that should prove to be a very long time indeed.
Irregular Times are the times for speaking up.
Give us your Irregular Retorts!
We also eagerly await original submissions of quality irregularity.