What High Ground?

Will Saletan has a great and biting piece in Slate on why Democratic claims that they have the moral high ground in campaigning are pure bunk. As he states:

I have a message for my liberal friends, relatives, and colleagues: If you think Republicans play dirty and Democrats don’t, open your other eye.

Saletan then gives a rather lengthy list of how the Democrats have consistently used over-the-top rhetoric against the Republicans.

The fact is dirty campaigning is a fact of life on either side, and the Democrats can’t say that after decades of labelling Republican Nazis, fascists, neo-Confederates, racists, bigots, traitors, fanatics, nuts, and the like that they have any claim to the moral high ground. When liberals use "neoconservative" as though it were a racial slur, it’s hard to argue that you’re on the side of nobility and enlightened discourse.

The Democrats are becoming increasingly shrill and taking political discourse to a new level for modern politics. To say that they’re the ones who are the victims of Republican dirty tricks is beyond preposterous.

10 thoughts on “What High Ground?

  1. When liberals use “neoconservative” as though it were a racial slur, it’s hard to argue that you’re on the side of nobility and enlightened discourse.

    Quit your whinning. Liberal has long been used like a racial slur by the Republican Nazis, fascists, neo-Confederates, racists, bigots, traitors, fanatics, nuts, and the like.

    Of course somehow that’s perfectly acceptable.

  2. Liberals clearly can and have been dragged into the sewers by the rats when it comes to partisan discourse, but they’ll have to get to infinitely more vicious if they are to compete with the GOP. The GOP continues to express their outrage at an admittedly inappropriate NAACP-funded ad that equated George Bush’s failure to sign hate crimes legislation as tantamount to murdering James Byrd all over again.

    It seems they have a much shorter memory when it comes to their own party’s much longer list of associating their political opponents with society’s most vicious murderers. In 1996, a GOP challenger to California House Democrat Vic Fazio morphed the picture of 12-year-old Polly Klaas’ rapist and murderer over the face of Fazio in attempt to portray Fazio as “soft on crime.”

    And even after 2000, when the GOP was so supposedly so outraged by the NAACP ad, they managed to take to the trend to a new level. In Texas, Governor Rick Perry put out a TV ad suggesting his Hispanic opponent was involved in a Mexican mafia assassination. And of course, the lowest level of GOP sleaze was comparing Democratic Senators Max Cleland and Tim Jonnson to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. I can assure you that any Democrat who sinks to that level in his or her campaign rhetoric will not get my vote. Can Jay Reding say the same about Republican candidates who employ such venomous campaign tactics?

    Even if he did make such a pledge, he would evade the issue as clumsily as he did the last time he attempted to suggest the Democrats monopolize the “big meanie” trophy when it comes to campaign propaganda….an argument I systematically destroyed by turning the clock back less than a year to when war hero Cleland was compared to a terrorist mass murderer. Jay of course responded by calling me a communist. Such infantile cowardice sure beats having to admit you’re wrong, but one would think a Gustavus grad would have enough sense to quit while he’s behind rather than set himself up for a second TKO. I guess I’ve overestimated him once again.

  3. Watergate was A: 25 years ago, and B: not connected to the GOP. Nixon was using his own cronies at CREEP (an accurate name in hindsight) to pull off the break-in at Watergate.

  4. The President is also the head of the party. Nixon was President, therefore he was head of the party. His dirty brush tared the entire party. Sorry. In addition, Watergate was 30 years ago. In regards to a post today, your blog seems very partisan to me.

  5. Again, Nixon may have been the head of his party in title, but the party was not involved in Watergate at all. You’re making a fallacy of composition here, yes, all the Watergate conspirators were Republicans (as they were members of Nixon’s cabinet and advisors), but that doesn’t mean that the Republican Party was involved.

    If three Methodists rob a liquor store, one wouldn’t say that the Methodist Church was responsible for the robbery, nor would it be accurate to say that because members of the Nixon Administration perpetrated Watergate that the GOP was behind it all.

    Again, Nixon created CREEP as a way of centralizing his control over his own re-election bid against the wishes of the party. Note also that it was several key Republican Senators that informed Nixon that he should resign or be impeached.

    Also, this whole tit-for-tat partisan argument is a waste of time. Dirty tricks can be found on both sides, and there’s no point in pretending that they don’t. Arguments of this nature are entirely unproductive, and suffice it to say that even Republicans are guilty of some dirty campaigning. However, as Saletan points out, the Democrats can’t sit around and argue that their shit doesn’t stink when they’re continually leaving piles of it everywhere they go.

  6. Alright, I ad libbed a little when saying you called me a Communist after the first of two times that I’ve put your back up against the wall in regards to the GOP’s comparisons of Cleland and Johnson to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. The point was that when you fired back, you completely avoided the original topic because you knew you had been beat. Nothing in recent partisan discourse can compare to calling your Senate race opponent an enemy agent in a time of war because you disagree with some of his policies.

    One would think one lashing of the whip would keep you from trying the same doomed argument again, but apparently you thought that myself and others who aren’t puppets of the right would have forgotten how easily we brutalized your argument mere weeks ago. Unfortunately for Republicans in this regard and others, repetition does not improve bad arguments. They don’t get better with time like a fine wine or a hunk of cheese. So by all means, keep the accusations of liberal partisan viciousness matching or exceeding conservative viciousness coming. All I have to do is point out that the GOP suggested that Max Cleland was colluding with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and your argument is instantly null and void, since nothing the Democrats have said or done in my lifetime is as egregiously appalling as that.

  7. It was a folksy remark designed to imply that you dodged the main issue after realizing you had been beaten…..kind of like you’re doing now.

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