It's the exact message you want for an audience with a short attention span.
- Danny David
Get ready, y'all; it's only February, but the nastiness and the name-calling and the character assassination is about to begin. It's an age-old tactic that of late has been refined by Conservative Republicans (see "Atwater, Lee"), but I suspect that both sides will be getting their licks in before November. No doubt Election Day will be accompanied by a massive sigh of relief...either that or world-class ennui.
WASHINGTON -- Voters may not have to look far for weapons of mass destruction in this year's presidential campaign. Already, the race is littered with dirty bombs.
The Democratic Party doesn't have a nominee yet, but the anticipated presidential contest has belched forth doctored photos, salacious rumors and scandalous allegations.
A closely divided electorate plus historic sums of money, this year's shortened primary calendar and its flipside, the elongated general election campaign, all portend a long, nasty battle for the presidency using the latest weapons....
In a saga played out almost entirely over the Internet, Democratic front-runner Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was hit recently with allegations of an adulterous affair.
Before the principals stepped forward to deny the claims and largely end the controversy, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh devoted hours to talking about it on the radio and posted satirical photos of Kerry on his Web site.
In the end, this story had no traction (or truth), but that wasn't enough to stop Matt Drudge, for whom "rumor and innuendo" is often close enough to "truth" to be virtually interchangeable. This is only one of what will likely be many similar sorry examples of truth and fair play taking and beating. With Republican attack dogs like Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter more than willing to do the dirty work for the Bush Administration, we can look for the tenor and tone of national political debate to steadily decline as we pass through the next 8+ months. It's only going to get worse.
Of course, I'm not silly enough to think that Conservative Republicans are the only ones who will be engaging in what Hillary Clinton called the "politics of personal destruction". They are simply the best and the most experienced. There are Liberal Democrats out there who will stoop to the same depths, but they tend to lack the mass audience appeal of Drudge, Limbaugh, or Coulter. Without a media outlet like Fox News Channel to broadcast their side, Liberal Democrats are at something of a disadvantage in the smear wars. Still, by no means will those who support John Kerry be sitting on the sidelines in this conflict.
Gentleman, start your slander....