Thursday, October 23, 2008

The importance of negative campaigning

People decry negative campaigning, they deplore negative campaigning, but when it works, it works.


Protest the McCain/Palin appearance in Media, PA (Organizing)

Anti-McCain Protest: Media, PA Stop The Lies! Hosted by: Greater Media Nether Providence PA Team Where: Delaware County Courthouse When: Monday, Sept 22nd, 3:00 pm

Time: Monday, September 22 from 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Host: Mark Ungemach

Media, PA: Delaware County Courthouse (Media, PA)
201 West Front Street
Media, PA 19063...

Associated Groups: Brandywine Valley for Obama, Chadds Ford For Obama, Lancaster County for Obama, Landenberg for Obama, Philadelphia Gays and Lesbians for Obama, Southern Chester County Obama Supporters, Southern Chester County Supporting Obama PA GRASSROOT TEAM, Unionville Democrats for Barack Obama

The conservative blogosphere is in an uproar because of how the event was conducted.

Perhaps it's time for Obama to recycle an old statement. Here are some new fill-in-the-blanks:

Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the actions that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any action that disparages our great country or serves to divide us. I also believe that actions that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue. In sum, I reject outright the actions by Mr. Ungemach that are at issue.

Because these particular actions by Mr. Ungemach are so contrary to my own life and beliefs, a number of people have legitimately raised questions about the nature of my relationship with Mr. Ungemach.

The actions that Mr. Ungemach made that are the cause of this controversy were not actions I personally saw.

Let me repeat what I've said earlier. All of the actions that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.

And while Mr. Ungemach's actions have pained and angered me, I believe that Americans will judge me not on the basis of what someone else said, but on the basis of who I am and what I believe in; on my values, judgment and experience to be President of the United States.

But before the right-wingers get too high and mighty about the gutter tactics in Pennsylvania, let's let the left-wingers get too high and mighty about the gutter tactics in Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Telemarketers in Wisconsin and West Virginia asked to make calls bashing Barack Obama and linking him to 1960s radical William Ayers quit their jobs rather than read the required script.

The calls were paid for by the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee and are being placed in several states across the country....

The McCain campaign defended the Ayers call.

“At no point has anyone disputed any point in this phone call,” said campaign spokeswoman Sarah Lenti. “Barack Obama has yet to answer the many questions the American people have about his connections to an unrepentant domestic terrorist. If the script is troubling, it is because many find Obama’s associations and judgment very troubling.”...

The call claims that “Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge’s home and killed Americans. And Democrats will enact an extreme leftist agenda if they take control of Washington. Barack Obama and his Democratic allies lack the judgment to lead our country.”...

Ted Zoromski...said that he quit his job rather than read the required script that attacked Obama and the Democratic Party.

Zoromski, 26, said when he was hired he was told the call he’d be making was more like a survey seeking people’s opinions rather than a partisan attack, so he quit. Zoromski said he is a Democrat.

Even if you believe that the Ayers' hosted party for Obama was the super-secret plan of the New World Order to raze Washington and move the seat of government to Brussels or Moscow (take your pick), you have to admit that some of these so-called "surveys" are rather sleazy. Here's another one:

Debbie Minden, who lives in a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood, Squirrel Hill, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, told the Guardian that the pollster had begun by asking her the usual questions about her background and who she would vote for.

But the pollster went on to ask Minden, who is Jewish, how she would vote if she knew that Obama was supported by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that runs Gaza and was responsible for most of the suicide bombings against Israel. "It is scare tactics. It is terribly underhand," she said.

Where did McCain learn the tactic? From Mike Huckabee, who used it on McCain:

Tonight, just before 6:00 pm, I received what started out as a political opinion poll. Evidently, I kept having the wrong opinions. Not matter what I said — my pro-choice, pro-open marriage, pro-campaign finance reform — views elicited a stern rebuke from the automated caller. “He” want me to know that John McCain, among other things, is responsible for the rise of dangerous organizations such as

Only Mike Huckabee is ready to fight for pro-life rights, protect the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, and would open the campaign finance laws to allow corporations and PACs to have “free speech” and influence the political process.

It is not hard to guess who was behind this insulting phone call.

Oh, and before the rest of the world gets all haughty about the ugly Americans, here's one from north of the border in Guelph:

I am absolutely furious that a call came into my home with a pre-recorded message from Ed Broadbent that when I attempted to disconnect the call, continued in spite of my effort. His message continued and I was unable to use my phone until its completion.

This is absolutely unacceptable, and even if Broadbent may have had my ear at some point, his compadres have absolutely lost any chance of my vote.

This is a method used by hard-core telemarketers, and no member of his, or anyone's, constituency should be subjected to such measures of 'getting his message out.'

Should I have required my phone at that moment for an emergency, then what? I could not disengage. Shameful!

I don't know if Ed Broadbent's message was positive or negative, but it's definitely offensive. But for negative campaigning, let's visit France in April 2007:

While negative campaigning is frowned on in the highly regulated world of French TV and radio, passions and prejudices are given free rein in the blogosphere - Europe's biggest - with the two main rightwing candidates coming in for particular punishment.

The ageing far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen's Second Life site has already been thrashed by net "terrorists" while many anti-Bush videos from the last US presidential campaign have been adapted to lampoon the frontrunner, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Oh, the blogs:

Think of this image when you think of John McCain. Old, Grandpa-like, out of touch, compadres with failures like Bush 41 and Bush 43, not allowed to drive the golf cart.

And other blogs:

No more pussyfooting around the issue now; I'm just going to come right out with it. I firmly believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim Manchurian Candidate, and that what we are witnessing is the attempted takeover of America by Islam. Is Obama portraying himself as the Muslim candidate? No. Is he portraying himself as the answer to the white Judeo/Christian oppression of the colored peoples of this world. Yes, and they are buying it. Make no mistake about it. He has become their Martin Luther King and their OJ Simpson all rolled into one.

It's times like this when I really appreciate Ron Howard.

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