Monday, September 15, 2008

The Art of Negative Campaigning

John McCain basically lost the Republican primary to George W. Bush because he was the subject of a torrent of half-truths and smears, masterminded by Karl Rove. So it's somewhat natural that McCain would realize he has to wade into the sewers and really learn how to sling shit in order to win the biggest office there is.

But now even Karl Rove is saying McCain has gone too far. Yeah? What ad could be so despicable that even Karl Rove would say, "Hmm...wait a minute.."?

This one:

Here are the facts:

  • The bill allowed for parents to opt their children out of such classes, no questions asked
  • He didn't sponsor the bill
  • He did vote for the bill, but it didn't pass
  • The bill included education for kindergartners to learn how to identify avoid unwanted sexual contact from sexual predators

Yes, now I can see why even Rove would wince at such a distortion. I'm not sure it's a moral issue, though. With Rove it's still probably a matter of strategy. The ad was so overt in its distortions that it will potentially backfire.

After being on the receiving end of such a brutal negative campaign in 2000, I expected McCain to ramp up the mudslinging. However, he seems to have taken sleaze to an entirely new level.

1 comment:

Kenny Wyland said...

I would imagine that Karl Rove's disagreement with this ad is just for show. He, and all of Fox News, know the power of putting the message out there and then almost invisibly retracting it or disagreeing with it.

For example, the "terrorist fist jab" bullshit. They repeated that crap every 30 minutes for a full WEEK and then in a 15 second spot they retracted it saying they were just quoting a blog. The damage has already been done, then they can claim neutrality or the moral high ground because they "undid" the statement. They didn't though.. the damage is done and they know it.

Thank you for taking a moment, though, to debunk the false assertions in this ad. It's amazing to me that they take an attempt to help protect kids from sexual predators and turn it into some vulgar attempt to ruin kindergarten children.