Sunday, September 10, 2017

391. Schemes

“Hey Big Dope, have a seat.”

“Thanks.” I sat. C.W. was typing on my laptop and didn’t look up. He was in a familiar form. I have this friend who writes and teaches journalism. C.W. likes to “channel” him from time to time, hoping the Muse will settle within him. It usually doesn’t work. But he seemed to be giving it a try. He looks so real that I almost called him by my friend’s name. “What’s doing, Son… , uh, C.W.” I said.

“Thought I would catch up on some old consulting projects while we’re locked indoors by the hurricane,” he said.

“The hurricane won’t hit us,” I said. “It’s hundreds of miles away.”

He looked at me and shook his head. “There’s a real denial syndrome affecting you people.” And he started typing again.

“So, what are these old consulting projects you’re working on?”

“Some that I had filed away and forgotten about. Requests for research and political guidance, that sort of thing. I’m sure the clients are wondering where they are.”

I’m not sure if I have mentioned it before, but C.W. doesn’t operate within same space-time continuum as we. He tends to lose track of time completely when he gets focused on other things. I nodded. “What kind of research and guidance?”

He tapped the computer keys. “Here’s one,” he said, “It seeks guidance on anticipated policy directives for the first female president of the United States.”

“It what?”

He ignored me. “I’m looking at specific gender-related opposition to such things as passing an expansion of the Affordable Care Act, whatever that is. I’ll recommend that they go after the most timid members of the opposing party, and win them over. Sort of 'grab them by the pusillanimous,' don’t you see?”

“And you received this assignment when?”

“Oh, some time ago,” he said, tapping the keys again. “Here’s another. They want some ideas on hitherto unimagined methods of political campaigning.”

“Oh really?”

“I started with two ideas, but the client said they were unrealistic. I went ‘back to the drawing board,’ as you say, and forgot all about it.”

“After the two ideas?”

“Yeah, I first thought they might ask around and see if some foreign country might want to offer some help with their campaigns.”


“Most of their people said that would be illegal.”

“I see. And the other idea?”

“Oh, it was really too far out for them.”

“Oh? There is a concept now that things might be too far out for political campaigning?”

“This apparently was.”

“And it involved?”

“Oh,” he said, “It was a crazy scheme involving inducing someone who wasn’t a member of a political party to infiltrate that party’s election process and run a campaign designed to tear the party apart. Crazy idea. Would never work.” He punched more keys. “And delete,” he said punching the laptop with one finger. “Here’s a better one. This client was running for some office and was terrified of being elected.”

“Oh really? Why?”

“It was just a publicity stunt. He thought it might help him financially. The last thing on earth he wanted was to be stuck in a public job.”

“You haven’t started working on it yet?”

“Quite the opposite,” he said. “It’s an ongoing project. We just haven’t found the right answer.”

“What’s the oldest one you haven’t started?”

“Let’s see,’ he said. He typed for a moment. “Here’s a good one. I think I’ll start on it immediately. Should be able to complete it in a few days.”

“Can you share with me what it involves?”

“What but not who.”
This is no country for
old libertarians. - C.W.

“Why not who?”

“I’m sworn to secrecy. I don’t know much myself. I don’t deal directly with the client. The assignment came from a think tank somewhere.”

“But you can tell me what it involves?”

“They want me to start leaking some juicy little tidbits involving broad public support and justification for their scheme. Generate ‘pub’ as we call it in the business. The first dispatches should hit the presses next week. I’ve already sent them. After the initial bombardment, I’ll recommend a full-blown strategy.”

“And the scheme is what, exactly?”

“It’s really quite simple,” he said. “A governor somewhere wants his state to succeed from the United States.”                                                                                                                                                          
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