What’s good for the goose…

What’s good for the goose…

An Associated Press story covers new ads attacking Democrat congressmen by linking them to liberal House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The article chides Republicans for playing dirty politics.

Subtlety often is the first casualty of campaign rhetoric. A Republican effort to link some liberal statements by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to eight Democratic lawmakers in competitive districts offers the latest example.

Funny, but there’s not one mention in the whole article about the fact that over the past decade Democrats have done the same thing to Republicans by using Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, Jesse Helms, and others as bogeymen, trying to paint GOP candidates as extremists by association. If I didn’t remember that myself as I read the article, I might be tempted to think that Republicans are the part of dirty politics and “politics of personal destruction.”

Recall the infamous “Willy Horton” ads of the 1988 presidential campaign. They attacked Michael Dukakis because his Massachusetts gubernatorial administration let out the convicted killer on a weekend pass (or whatever it’s called; the term escapes me at the moment) and the guy then killed again. The popular media template is that Republicans were so nasty for pulling such a dirty trick. The truth is that Willy Horton was first unveiled by a rival Democrat (I can’t remember if it was Dick Gephardt or Al Gore).

Democrats originate many of the political so-called “dirty tricks,” but scream foul when they are used on them.

1 comment
  • GOR,

    I think the dirty tricks parade began long before Watergate. I think what Nixon’s case did was allow the electronic media to join the bandwagon and present it in a way unlike any before.