Okay. I get it. Politics is a dirty business. If you want to play, you best have a thick skin and a knack for finding the jugular. But there’s dirty and then there’s dirty, and the recent ad from the Obama SuperPAC, Priorities for USA Action, has dropped to new depths, moving—dare I say it—into Glenn Beck territory.
You know the motif: use a mental chalkboard and draw a dotted line from point A to point Z, taking numerous detours along the way, all in the hopes of creating a mental connection in the minds of your listeners while still managing to retain an “I never said that,” plausible deniability. The result? A classic case of a factual ad that lacks any notion of truth.
The culprit in this case is the now infamous “Cancer” ad, the one that draws that dotted line across several years and loosely implies a connection between Mitt Romney and the death of a woman whose husband, Joe Soptic, worked in a Kansas City, MO plant shut down by Bain Capital. The tone of that ad is deliberate and obvious, suggesting that Romney’s actions killed someone.
Here’s the ad, for those who haven’t yet had the pleasure:
This is just the latest salvo in 21st-century election-cycle cruelty. In 2000 we had George W. Bush suggesting that his primary opponent, John McCain, had an African-American child out of wedlock. In fact, the child was an adopted Bangladeshi, a fact known by all but just enough ignorant South Carolinians who, it turned out, flipped the primary election Bush’s way. (And the rest, as they say, is history….) In 2004 we had the famous Swift Boat Veterans attack against John Kerry, a broadside so bizarre that the candidate was too flabbergasted to respond—and yet it clearly had an impact. And who can forget the birther controversy during the 2008 primary campaign, ostensibly started by the Clinton camp?
But saying a candidate caused a woman’s death? That’s so over the line I can’t even see the damned line from here.
More deplorable, perhaps, is the fact that Obama won’t denounce the ad. Lanny Davis, an advisor and special counsel to Bill Clinton, did, but anyone living at 1600 Penn? Nah…
Quick head’s up to President Obama: If you’re trying to make this campaign about character—and it seems that, at least in part, you are—then you just took a few giant steps backwards on that particular quality.
Do you think the “Cancer” ad is the worst of the campaign? We’re asking for your vote on the CoffeePartyUSA Facebook page, where we’ve posted a poll with four ads for you to choose from. The other three are below, so you can refresh your memories if you need to. We’ll announce the results—and discuss the topic in detail—this Tuesday night (Aug 14) at 8 PM EST on The Middle Ground.
“Right Choice” – Attack on Obama (Welfare)
“Heads or Tails” – Attack on Romney (Bain Capital)
“Operation Hot Mike” – Attack on Obama (Foreign Policy)
The poll opens at Sunday 10:30 AM EST and will run until Tuesday at 4:00 PM EST. Let us know what you think, then call in to the show to talk about it.