Thursday, August 28, 2008

If Republicans Were Half As Good At Governing As They Are At Making Vicious Ads...

...then they'd be a force to be reckoned with.

Sadly, of course, they aren't even close. But they sure can make a mean-ass ad...though, in this case, several dopey Democratic candidates (including, alas, Chris Dodd) help them out, as we all knew they would. There's no going back from "I have a lifetime of experience...McCain has a lifetime of experience...Obama has a speech he gave in 2002." Once that's out there, it's poisonous enough to be there pretty much for good.

Now, of course, if the things in question had been said honestly and for good reason, that would be one thing--but as we know, they were said for political effect, in order to win an election. Such charges need not be true, nor even well-supported...they need only be vaguely plausible.

It's hard for me to be objective about this, but this ad, like several of McCain's other recent attack ads, seem brutally effective to me--not, of course, effective because true, but, rather, effective because almost artistically brutal.

This is campaigning as marketing--no regard for the truth whatsoever, it's just about the sale. It's hard to pick out what angers me most about the Republicans over the last decade+, but this sort of thing would have to be high on the list.

But, ignoring the moral dimensions and just focusing on the tactical ones, I fear that these ads might really work. And, even if the Dems were to get half as vicious in response, I doubt that they could get away with it.

So I guess you could say that I'm a bit concerned.

The thing is, rational people can, of course, be concerned about the experience issue with Obama. Hell, I'd certainly like it if he had another ten years under his belt...though that would always be good, for anybody. But when it comes down to a mean-ass, dumb-ass, pretty-much-always-wrong-about-everything, bad-judgment, hot-headed, can't-tell-Sunnis-from-Shia George W. Bush clone vs. an intelligent, knowledgeable guy with extremely good judgment...well, I'll take the latter any day, even if I wish he had a tad more experience. Hell, I wish the other guy were less mean, less of a dumbass, wrong less often, had better judgment, were less hot-headed, could tell Sunnis from Shia, and were less like George W. Bush...

But you can't have everything--so you've got to take the better of the available options.

And in this case, the choice seems pretty damn clear.


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