It seems every election season reveals dirty and dirtier campaign ads and sleazy tactics, especially in the past 20-30 years.
The Bush – Gore election of 2000 was, at the time, historic for political sleaze. Democrat Al Gore ran some of the most unethical and filthy campaign ads ever run during a presidential election. His lying, name calling and mudslinging was second to none at the time. Like so many others, he knew he didn’t have a winning platform to run on so he stooped the lowest of lows to do a character assassination of Bush, and it almost worked. It turned out to be one of the closest presidential elections on record.
However, the 2008 election made the Gore sleaze look like light reading. Barack Obama fired a salvo of shots at Hillary Clinton, some of which would almost make a sailor blush. Clinton tried to fire back, but somewhere along the line, Obama was able to silence her guns and he sailed into the Democratic nomination with his Jolly Roger flag flying proudly.
Once he had won the skirmish with Hillary, he aimed his guns at John McCain, the GOP nominee. Obama fought as dirty and as unethical as any pirate would. McCain, on the other hand, fought with the dignity of this military background and refused to lower himself to the filth and pig wallow that Obama slung every chance he got. In the end, Obama’s down and dirty politics proved to be the victor.
In 2010, Democrats became afraid of losing control of the House and Senate because American’s were not happy with the direction they were taking the country. Like their leader in the White House, a number of Democrats launched muddy ads attacking the character of their opponent more than their opponents’ platform. This time it somewhat backfired on them as the Republicans gained control of the House and picked up a couple more seats in the Senate.
Now we come to 2012 and the Democrats, from the top down, have once again launched campaign ads that attack the personal character of their GOP rivals more than their platforms. They took the political battle out of the realms of decency and drug them into the muddy and stinky bogs of sleaze and deception.
McCain’s reluctance to follow Obama down to the bog of eternal stench and his subsequent loss has shown Republicans that they have no alternative but to respond in kind. The Democrats have forced them to lower their ethical standards and wade into the pig pens of political putrefaction and now they are complaining about it.
I’ve been a registered Republican from the moment I could legally register to vote. I have no idea how I got on a Democratic mailing list, but I just received a letter from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) seeking donations for the Democratic Party. I had to chuckle when I read the first few paragraphs and thought to myself ‘pot calling the kettle black’:
“Time is running out!”
“With less than a month to go before Election Day, Republicans are mounting their final attack on our Democratic Senate candidates. Across the country the GOP – and their secretive billionaire allies – are emptying their super PAC slush funds and unleashing a torrent of sleazy attack ads. In some states, Republicans are outspending Democrats by a margin of six to one.”
“The scary thing? This despicable strategy is working – and we don’t have many days left to fight back.”
Oh dear, Republicans have started using the same tactics that they, the Democrats, have been using and it’s working and they don’t like it. I especially enjoyed the comment about the ‘secretive billionaire allies’. I guess they’ve never looked behind the curtain to see the secretive billionaires controlling Obama, such as George Soros and others.
What I did find encouraging was the next paragraph in the letter that read:
“Republicans need only FOUR seats to take the majority in the Senate – and to seize control of both chambers of Congress. And it looks like they could actually win. According to Larry Sabato, one of the country’s most respected political analysts, Republicans now stand a 50/50 chance of ruling Capitol Hill come 2013.”
That made me stand up and shout for joy.
I don’t condone dirty political campaigns, but when your opponent drags you into the mud pit, you have no choice but fight your way out. Like school yard bullies, once you turn their own tactics on them, they often run away crying and I hope and pray that’s exactly what happens comes November 6.