Memo Follies

MEMO FOLLIES….Here’s an honest, nonpartisan question for y’all. Radley Balko wrote this a couple of days ago:

So we’ve now learned that the Schiavo memo wasn’t a fake, and did indeed originate from the legal counsel to a Republican staffer.

Whatever. To be honest, neither scenario would have surprised me. A fake memo passed off by the Democrats would be standing operating procedure in Washington. As would shameless exploitation of a family tragedy by the Republicans.

Now, shameless exploitation of a family tragedy is indeed Republican SOP. In fact, in order to stay nonpartisan here, let’s concede that it’s not exactly unknown to Democrats either.

But forging memos and pretending they came from the other party? With the exception of Rathergate, whose memos were passed off by Dan Rather, not Democrats, has this ever happened in recent history? Have either Democrats or Republicans ever done this?

By “recent history” I mean, say, the past 20 years or so. While I can certainly dredge up from my memory banks the occasional campaign dirty trick where one party or another denies being responsible for some inflammatory poster they’ve been eagerly nailing up on telephone poles, I don’t recall any proven case of either party deliberately faking a memo and trying to pass it off as the work of the opposition. It’s an insanely risky thing to do, which is one of the reasons I found the whole accusation in the Schiavo memo case so absurd.

So help me out. Has this ever happened? An example on the national level would be preferred, but I’ll accept state level stuff too, especially if it’s outstandingly entertaining.

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