COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., September 30, 2014 — For the next six weeks, it’s probably best to ignore the massive propaganda campaigns assaulting us wherever we turn. As candidates vie for advantage, the ads and claims get more and more outrageous.
Negative campaigning has taken a front seat for two main reasons: First, Democrats have nothing else to run on after six years of economic and foreign policy disaster, not to mention the wildly unpopular roll out of the unpopular and expensive Obamacare law; second, both sides seem to think that negative campaigning works. Smear the opponent enough and people will either not vote for him or not vote at all in disgust.
Take Colorado. With a new poll showing Cory Gardner pulling ahead of Mark Udall by 8 points, the Udall campaign is doubling down on the “war on women” theme, blatantly lying about Gardner’s positions. But no matter: Courts have ruled that political ads don’t have to tell the truth. Buyer beware.
The same theme is being played against Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado’s CD-6. Democrats gerrymandered his district in 2012 to make it more favorable to him, and they’re trying to pound him with the alleged “war on women.” This even though Coffman, a former Marine, has been an outspoken advocate for rape victims in the Armed Forces.
His opponent, former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, has enlisted Nancy Pelosi to stump for him. Romanoff is not only a supporter of Obamacare, he’s been an outspoken advocate for single-payer government-controlled healthcare. Shh! Ignore me, look at how bad my opponent is!
It’s not just the over-the-top ads showing the opponent in black-and-white, looking angry or confused while the “good guy” comes out in color against a Rocky Mountain backdrop. It’s the crazy fund-raising emails as well.
Note to candidates: We’re not particularly interested in hearing from your wife or kids. We know they think you’re the greatest thing since bread. Nor are we very much tempted to send money for a “birthday surprise money bomb.” As if.
And for the candidates who bypassed the grassroots and the entire caucus process: you dissed us then and now you want our money? Maybe you should ask your rich friends who encouraged you to run in the first place.
Nancy Pelosi warns darkly that civilization as we know it will end if the Republicans take the Senate. Maybe civilization as we know it is exactly what should end.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Does anyone really think that if Mitch McConnell manages to become the next Senate majority leader that he’ll rock the establishment boat very much? Then again, even if he bests his radical Democrat opponent, is it certain that he will become the majority leader?
We’ll know all the answers on or after November 5. In the meantime, keep your heads down and do your best to avoid all the last-minute mudslinging.