TALKING POINT BLUES

The latest catch phrase in political spin seems to be “negative advertising”, this year’s “political hate speech”, next week’s “activist judges”, all totally meaningless. Both Ed Gillespie and Terry Holt have lamented the “millions” of dollars spent on negative ads in explaining polls that have any democrat beating Bush by over 10 percent in November. Gillespie predicts the “the dirtiest campaign in modern presidential politics” from the left-wingers.

Of course, the Bush campaign was responsible for one of the ugliest campaigns in recent history against John McCain in South Carolina during the 2000 primaries. Though in retrospect, maybe push polling McCain as a “liar, cheat, fraud” and a “pro-abortion… fag candidate” was not so much negative as it was spiritually disapproving. Now, John Kerry and John Edwards are getting in on the intra-party shit slinging. With the field narrowed to two, Edwards has begun to point out the difference between himself and northern senator, which prompted Kerry’s manager to quickly declare “it’s funny how fast he turned negative”.

The irony is that a lot of recent “negative advertising” is just “true advertising” and the only way some see to defend it is to marginalize and discredit it with disingenuous language. “Negative” and “bad” may be synonyms, but negative campaigning is not necessarily a bad thing, not as long as it’s accurate. If I can’t have that, then at least give me something I like to call “push positive” commercials:

“If I’m elected I promise not to start unnecessary wars, bleed the environment dry, and leave children behind in our educational system while confusing the elderly voting block with doublespeak”.

You see how it only accentuates the positive of the contender speaking? Plus, just about anything is perfectly legitimate:

“As president, I would never cover up anything in my past, up to and including going AWOL from guard duty in ‘Bama because I killed someone while I was drunk driving in Nantucket.”

All of this would most certainly be true (and positive) for any Democratic candidate.


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