Sunday, December 24, 2006

Do Republicans run nastier campaigns?-The recent 2000 and 2004 elections suggest they do not

Unfortunately, a myth has been perpetuated that somehow Republicans run meaner and nastier campaigns than Democrats. This is just blatantly false. This has taken on new heights with recent claims that Ford lost because of those idiotic but not racist "playboy" advertisement. In fact, Ford actually closed the gap between the airing of those ads and the election. Jonathan Martin partially debunks those in measured terms. However, I would go father in my criticism of this ridiculous revisionist history and note that the ad actually backfired. They were denounced immediately, by his opponent Bob Corker, who realized this. Furthermore, while stupid, the ad was not racist. As one commentator pointed out if the woman in the video had been black as opposed to a white blond woman, Democrats would have charged that Republicans were perpetuating a negative stereo-type on black women. Basically, you couldn't win either way.

Tom Friedman who claims not to do "domestic politics" despite all evidence to the contrary. He really should state given his limited knowledge he shouldn’t speak on domestic politics but does so repeatedly anyway. Last week on Meet The Press he talked about this Rovian plot to divide our country, as his supposedly Conservative colleague at the New York Times, David Brooks who was on the show with him, just looked on and let it slide.

Just look at the recent Bush/Kerry or Bush/Gore campaigns at how the Democrats campaigned against Bush. In 2000, Democrats stated that Bush was unqualified and the only reason that he was able to run because of his family name (and usually accompanied by pejorative and demeaning speak about his “daddy”. Don’t believe me, just google the following term, “Bush, daddy’s boy” and see how many entries come up. Furthermore, without any kind of proof they have consistently spread the fact that he did cocaine. The NAACP ran one of the nastiest ads in history basically stating that Bush was a racist because he opposed hate-crime legislation. This was the despite that his family (if you want to get into families) had a long tradition of supporting civil rights and his opponent’s father (Senator Al Gore Sr.) was an ardent segregation who voted against the Civil Rights Act. Yet, no one associated with the Gore/Lieberman campaign came forward to denounce the NAACP’s ad. Despite being called a coke addict, a racist, and a moron, the typical Bush retort against Al Gore was that he was a flip-flopper, inauthentic, and part of the morally corrupt Clinton White House. It is safe to say that one set of insults is considerably worse than the other.

In 2004, Kerry consistently accused Bush of lying to get us into Iraq, despite his vote in favor of the Iraq War resolution and his running mate’s co-sponsorship of the resolution based on nearly the same evidence. They also continually stated that Bush somehow was responsible for the failure to capture Bin Laden at Tora Bora, when it is in fact disputed that Bin Laden could have been captured there or was even there. Additionally, it seems odd that a commander-in-chief who defers these decisions to experts (military commanders) should be held responsible for this. Kerry continually referred to it being the worst economy since Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression. As we all now know, that was blatantly false and the economy was growing at a very fast rate when he made those comments.

In response, Bush called Kerry a liberal, which all independent analysis including the National Journal found he was (and despite his moderate campaign rhetoric, his post-election voting record has confirmed) and a flip-flopper. There is constant talk about Kerry being “swift-boated” but once again the leader of that group John O’Neill claims to have not been a Bush supporter in 2000 and much of the allegations remain disputed. Hardly, equivalent. For God’s sake, the Democrats have turned Karl Rove’s name into a four-letter expletive. I cannot recall the Republicans doing that with Paul Begala, even though he is as nasty as they come. Don’t believe me see these comments on a 2002 edition of Crossfire: "They had this murderous animal cornered in the caves of Tora Bora and Bush wimped out. Like his daddy let Saddam Hussein off the hook, Bush didn't send the troops in to get him. Is there something genetic with the Bushes that they can't finish a fight?"

Now of course, all these Democrats praise Bush 41 for not going after Saddam but of course in 2002, he was a wimp according to Begala and other Democrats.


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