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Jewish World Review March 22, 2004 / 29 Adar, 5764

Tom Purcell

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Kerry meets his master | John Kerry's exaggerations have been getting him into trouble of late, so operatives within the Democratic party sent him away for a weekend seminar with the master: Bill Clinton.

"All I said was that I've met foreign leaders who want me to be president, and those dirty Republicans had to go and attack me with the facts," said Kerry. "Who cares if the facts show I wasn't in any cities where foreign leaders actually were!"

"I'm with you, Johnny," said Clinton. "You're running for president, not testifying before a judge."

"And so what if I said Republicans are the most crooked, lying group I've ever seen. Hey, I'm trying to win the favor of the people here. I'm trying to win an election. If I don't persuade people to think that Bush is the one telling mistruths, then they'll never elect me to the presidency!"

"You're dead on, Johnny."

"God, how I miss the primaries. I was flawless. I sat back and let Howard Dean make all the gaffes, but now I am on the firing line, Bill. They're coming at me hard now. The only way I can win is if I master the art of the mistruth! Can you teach me?"

"I'll do my best," said Clinton. "But let's just hope you're a better student than Al was."

"I'm all ears," said Kerry.

"OK, in order to master the art of mistruth, you must follow some basic rules. Let me start by posing this question: What is the nature of truth?"

"Truth? I'm a Democrat running for president. What would I know about the truth?"

"Very good, Johnny. You've already mastered our first lesson, which is this: the truth is the very first thing one must abandon to be effective in the art of exaggeration."

"Excellent, Bill. Go on."

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"Let me ask you, Johnny. If a man is convicted of a crime he did not commit, wouldn't he proclaim his innocence with great energy and passion?"

"Absolutely, and in the process he would make a convincing case for his innocence!"

"Precisely, Johnny. So for a man to be persuasive, he must have the same vigor when he speaks mistruths as an innocent man would have when he is proclaiming the truth!"

"But what if a man is NOT telling the truth?"

"That is my point," said Clinton. "A man must abandon the truth entirely, so that he doesn't know when he isn't telling it. Only then will he be able to convince himself that all things he utters are truthful."

"That's awfully clever, Bill. Can you now tell me what I need to know to distort Bush's record? The unfortunate fact is that the economy is good and growing. Many companies expect to hire in the second quarter, which will be bad for me. And even though people are divided on Bush's handling of domestic issues, the vast majority think he's an effective and trusted leader."

"Yes, the facts do not bode well for you, Johnny. That is why consistency is one of the most important principles you must master when you attempt to distort Bush's record through exaggeration and mistruth."


"Yes, Johnny. You must not be selective in choosing the mistruths you wish to dwell on. No, you must not tell the truth consistently ALL the time. Here is how consistency works: If you never tell the truth about Bush's record, then how will anyone ever be able to determine when you are lying?"

"Excellent, Bill! But I worry. Even with your sound counsel, how can I ever rise to the level where, when I tell a yarn-spinner, that I am effective and persuasive and my Republican enemies don't mock me with the facts?"

"There is only way answer to that one, Johnny. You can only become as effective as I am in the art of mistruth the same way a person makes his way to Carnegie Hall."


"Practice, practice, practice."

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03/22/04: When Americans pretend to be 'Irish'
03/12/04: Didya hear the Anti PC Irish Joke about ?
03/05/04: I Wish I Was Russian
02/27/04: Vinny the Number Cruncher takes on Greenspan
02/20/04: The birds and the bees, updated
02/13/04: Dr. Laura plays Cupid
02/06/04: The Investigation
01/23/04: Weighty adjustment
01/16/04: Bucks for betrothals
01/09/04: Decisions, decisions
01/02/04: Making New Year's resolutions for others
12/27/03: Holiday Pork
12/19/03: FOUND! The captured-Saddam transcript
12/12/03: Peace, Man
12/05/03: Who are you, Miss Manners?
12/01/03: Joyless, selfish children
11/21/03: Thanksgiving, updated for our times
11/14/03: Hang in there, tubby America, your day in the sun will come
11/07/03: Morale at Veterans' Day
10/31/03: The Big Picture
10/24/03: A sorry bunch
10/17/03: Conversation with a typical poll respondent?
10/10/03: Men and women and brains
10/03/03: Iraqi Pork
09/26/03: They would not leave
09/19/03: A radical idea
09/12/03: Food Guide Pyramid has a "stupidity factor"?
09/05/03: Flag waving and football cheering
08/29/03: People who have it all, too often don't
08/25/03: Attack of the 'virus twits'
08/08/03: Why not have a whole slew of the world's dignitaries and leaders come by to visit you?
08/01/03: Do you really want to live until 500?
07/18/03: "Ain't-my-fault" lawsuits are becoming more creative
07/18/03: The real story never makes for good summertime drama in Washington
07/11/03: Government bureaucrats, not elected officials, are really the ones determining what people and organizations can and can't do
07/03/03: Overworked Americans
06/27/03: The Metrosexual Male
06/20/03: Crime Etiquette in Washington, D.C.
06/13/03: My Father, the Thief and the MGB
06/05/03: An Open Letter to Bill and Hillary
05/30/03: We are a busy people
05/23/03: Liar, Liar
05/16/03: Laffer all the way to the bank
05/09/03: My mother's house
05/02/03: Teaching the Iraqis how to protest
04/25/03: Iraqi TV
04/21/03: Explaining Democracy to the Iraqis
04/11/03: Major increases to the beer tax? That's a cheap shot right to the beer gut
04/04/03: War humor
03/31/03: Dolphins, PETA and the USA
03/21/03: Traffic Wars
03/14/03: Ronald Reagan's St. Patrick's Day
03/03/03: My Family's Tragic Secret: We're French
02/21/03: I'm worried about my people
02/14/03: George Washington Makeover
02/07/03: Making quiet sacrifices
01/24/03: "Gimme the, goo-goo, gah-gah, remote!"
01/21/03: "Misunderestimated"
01/10/03: Republican night life
01/06/03: Exercise pills
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11/26/02: Police advertising
11/15/02: An Interview with Osama
11/01/02: How to vote in America
10/25/02: On edge in Washington, D.C
10/11/02: Giving new meaning to "selling your body"
10/04/02: Bush's Angels
09/27/02: Conservatives, Liberals, Dick Armey and Barry Manilow
09/20/02: Are SUV drivers are the new GOPers?
09/13/02: Bubba is Dubya's man
09/06/02: The Freedom to Picnic
08/16/02: Ah, the $izzle of anti-terrorist pork
08/09/02: Vacationless prez and gutless Americans
07/26/02: Study gives women permission not to hide their emotions
07/15/02: Patriot food
06/28/02: Eavesdropping on a San Fran classroom
06/21/02: The crowded skies
06/14/02: Contemporary Father's Day: A conversation for the ages
06/07/02: Legal rights for animals?
05/19/02: Advice for prom goers this year: Hold onto your money
05/10/02: Don't take her for granted
05/03/02: Letter to the parents of a tubby teen
04/26/02: Zacarias Moussaoui gets expert legal advice

© 2003, Tom Purcell