We’re now entering that window of time just before an election when blatantly dishonest stuff starts flying around. In no particular order, then, some of the stories I’ve been amused by in the last few days:
The RNC’s al Qaeda Recruiting Video
Impatient with waiting for Osama bin Laden to do his part for Bush by releasing a pre-election terrorist recruitment video, the Republican National Committee went ahead and did it themselves. I’m going to link to Mark Kleiman’s item on it, not because it has much content (it mostly just links to other people’s take on the story), but because it makes snarky mention of Ken Mehlman being waterboarded.
PA Republicans Blame Fighting Dem for Bogus Iraq Intel
This one’s amazing. A mailer sent out by the Republican Federal Committee of PA points out that Democratic congressional candidate Chris Carney, who worked on a Defense Department team that assembled intelligence linking Saddam Hussein with terrorists in the run-up to the Iraq war, but who now opposes the war, is guilty of flip-flopping. Check out the chutzpah:
Now Chris Carney Attacks the Same War He Helped Start… Don’t Give Chris Carney the Chance to Fail Us AGAIN!
Yeah. It’s those damn Democrats at the Pentagon who got us into this mess in Iraq with all their misleading intelligence. Let’s not let them do that to us ever again.
Tan Nguyen’s Voter-Intimidation Effort
Then there’s California Republican congressional candidate Tan Nguyen. He’s in trouble because of a letter his campaign sent to intimidate Latinos into not voting: O.C. candidate defends letter scaring immigrants. After first claiming he wasn’t involved in sending the mailer, and firing the staffer who allegedly sent it, Nguyen now says there was nothing wrong with it, and has invited the fired staffer to rejoin the campaign.
Swift-boat Veterans for Ethical Carpinteria Government
Finally, a little local color. One reason I’ve been light in my posting activity lately is that I’ve been volunteering for one of the candidates in the local City Council election (go Al Clark, woo!). As part of that, I’ve had an up-close-and-personal look at the nuts and bolts of politics: canvassing, candidate debates, etc. One thing that surprised me is that even in a little teency town, people are willing to pull transparently dishonest political stunts. Like Carpinterians for Ethical Government, which alleges to be a “grass-roots” organization seeking openness and ethical behavior on the part of the city government, but which actually turns out, on closer inspection, to consist of a handful of well-off soccer dads, most of them living outside the city, who are in a year-and-a-half-old pissing contest with one of the councilmembers up for re-election, over an argument about which youth sport should have first dibs on the city’s parks: soccer or Little League.
So, bring on the election. I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much; 2004 taught me the risks of that, and I have no desire to go through another morning after like that one. But however the election turns out, I’m looking forward to some of this silliness going away for a while.