Skip to main content

This nation reaps what it sows.  For the last half decade, the politics of "anything goes" and "the end justifies the means" has transformed the seat of government into little more than a fraternity kegger.  And the longer the party rages on, the uglier and meaner things get--particularly when those who object to the ruckus and excess try to shut the party down and disperse the revelers.  But while such is playing out, a great many who have been forced to observe the bacchanalian display and ensuing conflict turn away in disgust.

From today's Washington Post:

The Year of Playing Dirtier

Rep. Ron Kind pays for sex!

Well, that's what the Republican challenger for his Wisconsin congressional seat, Paul R. Nelson, claims in new ads, the ones with "XXX" stamped across Kind's face.

It turns out that Kind -- along with more than 200 of his fellow hedonists in the House -- opposed an unsuccessful effort to stop the National Institutes of Health from pursuing peer-reviewed sex studies. According to Nelson's ads, the Democrat also wants to "let illegal aliens burn the American flag" and "allow convicted child molesters to enter this country."

To Nelson, that doesn't even qualify as negative campaigning.

"Negative campaigning is vicious personal attacks," he said in an interview. "This isn't personal at all."

By 2006 standards, maybe it isn't.

On the brink of what could be a power-shifting election, it is kitchen-sink time: Desperate candidates are throwing everything. While negative campaigning is a tradition in American politics, this year's version in many races has an eccentric shade, filled with allegations of moral bankruptcy and sexual perversion.

At the same time, the growth of "independent expenditures" by national parties and other groups has allowed candidates to distance themselves from distasteful attacks on their opponents, while blogs and YouTube have provided free distribution networks for eye-catching hatchet jobs.

"When the news is bad, the ads tend to be negative," said Shanto Iyengar, a Stanford professor who studies political advertising. "And the more negative the ad, the more likely it is to get free media coverage. So there's a big incentive to go to the extremes."

The result has been a carnival of ugly, especially on the GOP side, where operatives are trying to counter what polls show is a hostile political environment by casting opponents as fatally flawed characters. The National Republican Campaign Committee is spending more than 90 percent of its advertising budget on negative ads, according to GOP operatives, and the rest of the party seems to be following suit.  [full text]

Originally posted to kiersten on Fri Oct 27, 2006 at 06:41 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  If it's good for the goose, (0+ / 0-)

    take a gander at this:

    Muskrat News

    Asked to clarify how such slurs could not be personal, Nelson cited the Godfather movies, in which various bloody-handed thugs explain to each other that murder "is just business, it's not personal."  Asked if he were explictly accepting the Mafia's standards of decency for his own, Nelson shrugged, dropped the gun, picked up the cannoli, and left.

    We here at Muskrat News want to salute Paul Nelson for showing us the way.  Nelson, a necrophiliac with intense body odor problems, is the kind of man we need in Congress.  A man who routinely fondles pets for sexual purposes.  A man who has a tattoo of Satan on hs butt.  A man who used to be a woman, and who, for $10, will pretend to be one again for five minutes.  A hard worker, despite his crippling methamphetamine addiction, he managed to become "employee of the month" at the "happy hands" massage parlor where he makes his living.  Devoted to community activities, he is a one-man citizen's crime patrol, roaming the streets at night breaking into cars.  His constant public urination is as much a sign of his kidney damage from years of drinking anti-freeze as it is a by-product of the repeated beatings he has suffered from enraged loan sharks and bookies.  He can provide the kind of leadership for Wisconsin that Pol Pot provided for Cambodia, but with more vigor and enthusiasm.  

    Nothing personal.

    "We are upping our standards ... so up yours." (Pat Paulsen for President, 1988)

    by PBen on Fri Oct 27, 2006 at 09:01:58 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site