Why I Hate Politics
Posted by Mary
One reason I dislike Bush and his right wing cohorts is because they are so willing to use underhanded and frankly despicable methods to win at all costs. During the last election, this was manifested as lies and innunendos that turned Al Gore into a liar and Bush into a "reformer with results". Even during the primary season, Bush supporters backed push polls in South Carolina designed to destroy John McCain's candidancy. And I thought this was really slimy.
So what am I to think about those Democrats who donated almost two-thirds of a million dollars to destroy the candidancy of Howard Dean using equally underhanded methods? As NPR reported, a coalition of influential Democrats, including Robert Torricelli (a backer of Kerry) and a college classmate of Gephardt (who was fundraising for Gephardt), pooled their money as a group called Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values with the explicit intent to bring down Howard Dean. One of their ads displayed in Iowa before the caucuses accused Howard Dean of being soft on terrorism and incapable of standing up to Osama bin Laden. Wait until the Republicans take this piece of work and give it a spin to take out any Democratic candidate. I guess this group of influential Democrats believe that their millions justify their having a bigger voice in saying who is a legitimate candidate and just like the Republicans they think that one dollar equals one vote. If they had a serious argument, then they should have been honest and upfront about it. Instead they produced slimy ads and hid who was backing this campaign behind the anonymous name "Americans for Jobs...." No wonder so many people are disillusioned and angry about money in politics.
Update: Steve Perry, a political columnist in Minnesota, reflects some of my mood in a very interesting 3-part series on Dean, Kerry and Bush. He doesn't think that the Bush campaign's idea of smearing Kerry as a liberal will come to much fruition:
If they do, they will likely learn that the old labels liberal and conservative don't have the same hot-button appeal anymore. The public has begun to see that left versus right is not the name of the game. "Left" and "right," after all, have not had a consequential public disagreement in many years. The split that is inflaming the public mood is the one between insiders and outsiders.
He does think that the biggest impediment to a Democratic victory is by suppressing the vote by sheer disgust.
The eventual Republican endgame will be to stifle public interest in the whole mess and depress the number of voters that turns out in November. Between the lines the Bush campaign will be saying: You may or may not like us. Okay. But John Kerry--you think John Kerry is something new under the sun? Come on. He's business as usual and this whole process is business as usual. We hope you're on board with us, but don't kid yourself. You can have us or someone else like us. Just remember that a vote for John Kerry means your son will grow up to marry the boy next door.
Can the Democratic party be one that changes the debate? Can it restore our faith in politics or will it be just another round of business as usual? I'd like to challenge them to at least try.