The NRSC has started trying to hook up with Democratic primary voters in Pennsylvania to go after Senator Arlen Specter for his switch to the Democratic party because….brace yourself…George Bush supported Specter.
So should the subtext for ALL Democrats now from the NRSC be that if ANY Republican was endorsed or even tolerated by Bush, Democrats should automatically vote against them?
And this also could be taken by independent voters as a signal: if you didn’t like Bush make SURE to vote against a Republican because even the Republicans now consider Bush’s support or praise on any issues a negative worthy of political banishment.
This ad “introduces” Democrats to their “new” Senator and more than anything underscores the 20th century partisan mind-set of the Republican party and why it is losing — and could likely continue to lose — voters who might not consider a party label and partisan endorsement, partisan demonization or party membership itself as their TOP voting priority:
Whoever thought we would have seen the day when Senate Republicans used George Bush as an official outright negative…no matter what the context?
The NDSC might want to just copy this ad, change a few names and run it against Republicans in races. Why not? It sounds like a Democratic ad.
Here’s how MSNBC’s Domenico Montanaro describes it:
How’s this for a late-in-the-day story for you to wrap your head around… It’s a doozy: The National Republican Senatorial Committee playing the part of liberal interest group by “introducing” the newest Democrat to Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, as tied to Bush and anti-labor… cue crazy cartoon character’s loose-lipped shaking of head.
The blog Pennsylvania Avenue says this:
So by now most of Pennsylvania has heard that Sen. Arlen Specter is becoming a Democrat. Well, at least the part that pays attention to close attention to politics, whatever that is.
Well, just in case you hadn’t heard, and especially if you are a Democrat, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is calling around to let you know, just out of the goodness of their hearts of course….
So nice of the NRSC to help Democrats out. Politics fans may remember that NRSC chairman Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texaswent out on a limb not too long ago, urging Pennsylvania’s Republicans to vote for Specter over Pat Toomey, who had the support of many in the party base in Pennsylvania, saying Specter was the party’s only chance to win the state in the general election. Looks like that limb has broken.
This ad really shows the bankruptcy of the current GOP leadership. As talk radio hosts and many GOPers continue to defend what they genuinely feel are George Bush’s positives — and argue that Americans of both or no party need to better understand these, take a deep breath and acknowledge them — and also point out what they perceive as organized labor’s negative influence in the Democratic party, here you get the NRSC sending Democrats this message filled with assumptions that being close to Bush should be like having political cooties and that Specter isn’t close enough to labor.
It’s the ultimate display about how defending values and oft-stated beliefs that are supposed to be dear to you is in the end not as important as finessing them when you have to do what you have to do to get and cling to power.
WAIT! Isn’t this exactly what Republicans are accusing Specter of doing?
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Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.