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WASHINGTON (CAP) - It's become a campaign staple of McCain/Palin rallies. Amidst the hoarse cries of Terrorist!, Money spreaderer! and Kill him! arise the chants, starting low and building to an intoxicating frenzy: "Drill baby, drill. Drill baby, drill!"
It's been one of the few aspects of the campaign that has consistently not exploded in McCain and Palin's faces, but a lawsuit filed this week in DC Superior Court could well stifle the rallying cry and rob the campaign of one of its most potent, non-negative tools.
"We regret that it has to come to this, but the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee have ignored repeated cease and desist orders, so here we are," Edward Silvers, lead counsel for the American Dental Association, said yesterday from the steps of the courthouse. "My clients have owned the term Drill baby, drill since the mid-1970's, and they're not about to allow anyone, even someone running for president, to violate their intellectual property."
While Silvers admits that the ADA has never actually used the term Drill baby, drill in any promotional way (2002 ads utilizing the phrase to encourage dental visits proved disastrous when tested in Oregon), it still owns all rights to the phrase and is not eager to see a sinking presidential campaign drag it down with them.
"The ADA spoke up when Sen. McCain accused Sen. Obama of not flossing. We're certainly not going to remain silent when Drill baby, drill is hijacked," the ADA said this week on their official Website.
The McCain camp was quick to fire back yesterday, with Gov. Palin accusing the American Dental Association of unpatriotically hoarding an energy-related catch phrase.
"Well geez, we just want cheap gas and stuff, and these Obama-loving dentists want to keep us from doing that. How un-American is that?" Palin asked a cheering crowd in Raleigh. "What do they expect us to chant? Sink an exploratory well baby, sink an exploratory well? All righty, let's try that then."
The crowd mumbled over a few attempts before shifting en-masse to the easier, "Kill the ADA! Kill the ADA!"
This is the first lawsuit brought by the ADA since their successful 1998 attempt to get Courtney Love to drop plans to use the copyrighted phrase "gaping cavity" without the ADA's express permission.
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