Emmett Tyrrell

 WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The stupendously unedifying display of an American presidential election is now coming down to its last whoop-whoop, its last gross deceit, its last idiotic accusation.

 Naturally, once again a Black Cat News Story has, all of a sudden, leaped across the path of the Republican candidate, hexing his chances at the polls and sending him into eternal ignominy. That, at least, is the hope of the Democrats and their loyal secretarial staff in the media, both of whom gin up these Black Cat News Stories. The stories themselves are always highly exaggerated scandals heavily larded with the irrational and intended to stir up the moron vote.

 This story claims that vast amounts of explosives were left unguarded after being discovered by the Bush administration in Iraq, and they are now under the control of hostile forces that only Sen. Jean-Francois Kerry can thwart.

 Similar last-minute Black Cat News Stories hexed President George H.W. Bush at the end of Campaign '92, when Iran-Contra Counsel Lawrence Walsh, on Oct. 30, re-indicted former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. The story contained a treacherous leak that President Bush lied when he claimed to have been "out of the loop" on Iran-Contra.

 Another famous last-minute Black Cat News Story leaped across Gov. George W. Bush's path to the White House in the last days of Campaign 2000. It claimed that the Republican candidate faced a DUI charge back in his hell-raising days. That supposedly put the hex on him with the evangelical vote, and maybe it did.

 The present Black Cat News Story comes from CBS (of doctored documents fame) and The New York Times (of Jayson Blair fame). It claims that the invading American army's 101st Airborne failed to secure 380 tons of explosives that it came across at the Qaqaa munitions depot en route to laying siege to Baghdad. Supposedly the deadly stuff is now in enemy hands.

 "This is one of the great blunders, one of the great blunders of this administration," now shouts Senator Kerry at the beginning of every speech on the campaign trail. He shouts this despite the fact that other reporters embedded with the American soldiers who first arrived at the Qaqaa munitions depot did not see the "380 tons" and the Pentagon denies the materials were there.

 Nonetheless, the candidate, who promises to the American people that on "the good days and the bad days ... I will always be straight with you," continues to spread this disputed story as though it were unassailable fact.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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