Quickie: Using the Record vs. Throwing Muck

If I read this New York Times article correctly, they are comparing the Democratic use of negative Republican records to the Republican use of Democratic personal issues.

At the national level, the two parties are battling over issues like national security and the war in Iraq. But Congressional races play out on local airwaves, and the flood of commercials amounts to a parallel campaign, one that is often about the characters of individual challengers and obscure votes cast by incumbents. Frequently lost in the back-and-forth are the protests of candidates who say the negative advertisements are full of deliberate distortions and exaggerations.

While Democrats have largely concentrated their efforts on the political records of Republicans, the Republicans have zeroed in more on candidates’ personal backgrounds.

Let me get this straight. The Democrats are using what the Republicans have done. The Republicans have spent a year digging into the candidates backgrounds to find mud to throw. Excuse me?

Oh. I get it. If it works, use it.

While some public officials have criticized negative advertisements as destructive and blamed them for discouraging voter turnout, other analysts say they have come, if only by default, to play an important role. At a time of diminishing local news coverage of House and Senate races, they are one of the few ways in which voters learn about the candidates and their positions.

So what someone wrote in a student editorial say 20 years ago has a major impact on their current stand on various issues? If my behaviour from 20 years ago were any accurate evaluation of my current standpoint, I’d probably be dead by now.

And people wonder why voters don’t vote.

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