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POLITICS: Campaign tactics changed – and not for the better

Letter by G. Owen Ray, Allyn on July 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm with 20 Comments »
July 2, 2012 12:37 pm

A former classmate who runs an insurance agency told me something interesting the other day. He said because of our age, we’re now older than 90 percent of the country’s population. Which means we’ve had to suffer through more political campaigns than a great many more of you. It also means we’ve observed the change in tactics that politics has taken.

Now, I don’t know who came up with the theory that attack the opponent’s character without regard to my own qualification and expected results became the order of the day, but it’s a troubling tactic. It almost makes it sound like being a bus bully is preferred to being the bus driver.

So when did we become so insensitive to each other? And what makes candidates think that kind of tactic makes them qualified to be the purse strings for my tax dollars?

Think about it. I did.

Leave a comment Comments → 20
  1. Theefrinker says:

    I would certainly agree. It’s not about how good I am, but how bad he is. Imagine if we used that tactic in a job interview. “Why should I hire you for this job?” “I don’t know, but here’s why you shouldn’t hire the other applicants.”

  2. Owen,
    It started in the 1990’s when the Moral Majority proclaimed they and the GOP were doing God’s work and it was a sin to compromise on God’s work.

  3. aislander says:

    Attacking an opponent’s character is valid if the assertion is true and there is something troubling about the candidate that relates directly to his ability serve in the desired position. Think John Edwards.

    It is perfectly valid and ethical to tell the truth about an opponent’s record in previous positions.

    Lying about an opponent is never acceptable, and should redound to the detriment of the lying campaign…

  4. Fibonacci says:

    How about a politician telling us why they SHOULD vote for him/her instead of why they SHOULDN’T vote for the opponent?

  5. Fibonacci says:

    OH wait, I just figured out why the Repubikans don’t do that, they never have any ideas of their own, all they can do is shoot down ideas that the Democrats come up with. The party of NO is alive and well.

  6. aislander says:

    Conservatives have plenty of ideas that have been put forward, but you happen not to agree with them.

    I happen not to agree with the failed ideas of the left, such as doubling down on spending more money we don’t have to “stimulate” the economy…

    To use a reference that lefties can relate to, continued economic stimulus is like seeing too much porn: you need more and more extreme examples to achieve the desired result, but after a while, well, nothing happens and you wake up hating yourself, with your credit cards maxed out…

    So I’ve heard…

  7. Aislander – not only MUST the assertion be true, the character FLAW must be such as to render the candidate unable or unfit to perform the duties of the office.

    Most conservative ideas have been put forward and have been found lacking – such as continuing to cut taxes on the rich while giving tax breaks to corporations who send US jobs and factories overseas in order to boost and stimulate our economy.

  8. Fibonacci says:

    aislander—-For the Cons,we need more economic stimulus—tax cuts for the rich, afar all they are the job creators. Oh wait, they aren’t creating jobs imnspite of the Bush tax cuts, so let’s cut them more more more. THAT is the Republican porn, the more taxes get cut for the rich the more they want, just to use your analogy.

  9. Fib – they’re not creating jobs in this country because they are creating low paying jobs in other countries.

  10. aislander says:

    Tax cuts aren’t “stimulus”: they’re allowing people to make their own decisions about what to do with their own money, rather than leaving that to government. But we haven’t HAD a real tax cut in a decade (“targeted” cuts don’t count, since government is still making the decisions).

    After all, decisions are better made by the people involved than by some functionary in a bureaucratic hive…

  11. As-lander – it is one thing to cut taxes it quite another to cut taxes and turn a surplus into a deficit and then try to blame everyone else for it. It is also irresponsible to cut taxes when you KNOW you will have to borrow to pay for it.

  12. SwordofPerseus says:

    slander, for one who turns out a decent phrase now and then you seem sadly deficient in your math and reading comprehension skills.

    You haven’t lost your sense of humor though “But we haven’t HAD a real tax cut in a decade…” that is obviously some kind of dark humor to people such as yourself, sick sarcasm at its best.

  13. Lowered tax rates on everyone have been changed to “tax cuts for the rich”? Come on kids, you know every bracket was lowered. BHO wants to make our taxes system even more progressive, even though it is already the most progressive in the modern world.

  14. aislander – tax cuts only work when the money is spent, thus stimulating the economy.

    CT7 – ‘taxcut for the rich’ Oh that is so rich. The idea is to retain the lower Bush rates for those earning less than $250k and return to the Clinton rates for those earning more than $250k.

    Obama continued the Bush rates for the overs, in order to retain the rates for those under $250k.

  15. aislander says:

    So…afret…HOW much did revenues fall due to the tax cuts? And HOW much has the deficit and debt increased?

    If yuh just do the math, you’ll see it has been (and still is) the spending, not that Americans are not taxed highly enough…

    And…xring…HOW is the estimated $70 billion per year that MAY be realized by taxing those making over $250K at the old rates going to make even a dent in a trillion dollar plus deficit?

    It’s the spending…er…Stuart

  16. No ….. Xring. Thanks for the recap. But since a small number of rich are paying for the bulk of federal services already, is it FAIR to ask for more? Nevermind the economic arguments, apply your fair/OWS hat. How in the world can we expect a tiny group to pay for the benefits we all enjoy? I am no where near the $250k, but my pride, honor and duty are challenged when you ask me to support a policy where a handful of rich benefactors support the masses.

    When everyone pays at least one dollar for national defense, then ask the few at the top for more.

  17. Aislander – as I’ve explained to you several times, the only way to balance the budget is through a system of spending cuts and revenue increases.

    Increased income taxes on the wealthy is only a small part of the overall plan. Additional parts include revising tax codes to close most of the loopholes, increasing other taxes such as capital gains, and adding new taxes such as a transaction tax for short-term stock transaction.

    The stumbling blocks on taxes is the Republicans refuse to consider any tax increase and insist any savings from closing loopholes have to be passed back to those who benifited form the loophole to their is now net gain in their tax burden.

    The stumbling blocks on spending cuts is the Republicans want to protect spending that benefits corporations, big business, and the rich, while increasing defense and other spending.

    CT7 –yes it is fair to ask those who have more to give more.
    Using you own analogy if people making under $40,000 a year are expected to pay one dollar to national defense, then those making $400,000 a year should pay $10 to national defense, and those making $4,000,000 should pay $100.

  18. aislander says:

    So, WHAT is the correct multiplier for zero, x?

  19. aislander says:

    And as long as Democrats control the Senate, xring, there will never, ever be spending cuts. They have promised cuts in return for tax increases before, but the cuts never happened. The tax increases sure as hell did, though…

    Fool us once…

  20. Aislander,
    How many times do you need to be head smacked before you learn that THE HOUSE holds the purse strings?

    What ‘promised tax increases’ have occurred? The GOP / TP rejected any and all tax cuts as part of the last budget deal. And have stated they will do the same on all future deals.

    You must be one of the ones the Rpots can fool all the time.

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