Thursday, August 16, 2012

Swiftboating Obama, Giving Romney Cancer

It’s official. Like pork factories that use every part of a pig but the squeal, Romney and Obama supporters are scraping the bottom of the political trough.

A smear group headed by a former Bushie and Tea Party compatriots is running “educational” ads denouncing the President for “recklessly leaking information” about the raids that killed Osama bin Laden.

Swiftboat, anyone? The tactic that torpedoed John Kerry in 2004 now has Barack Obama in its crosshairs. If you have an opponent who served his country honorably, do what Karl Rove did then: trot out veterans to discredit him while your own man’s shortcomings go unnoticed.

Ironically, the commercials come right after an HBO “Newsroom” episode highlighting how tightly news of the bin Laden raid was controlled until the White House announced it that Sunday night. But in this kind of campaign warfare, facts don’t matter.

Respected Washington Post columnist Dan Balz observes that “all restraints are gone, the guardrails have disappeared and there is no incentive for anyone to hold back. The other guy does it, so we’re going to do it, too...

“Neither side has had to look far for an excuse to attack or cry foul. Obama’s allies took the campaign over the edge last week and his team did nothing to stop it. The most egregious example of a campaign out of bounds was an ad prepared by Priorities USA, a super PAC supporting the president.

“The ad linked Romney to the cancer death of the wife of Joe Soptic, who lost his job and health insurance when a steel company that Bain Capital took over while Romney was at the firm later went bankrupt, after Romney left Bain...

“Obama campaign advisers at first tried to distance themselves from it by saying they didn’t know the details of Soptic’s situation. In fact, they had used him in an ad earlier this year and put him on a conference call with reporters at the time.”

Cancer, bin Laden, whatever. Pick a subject and start improvising a narrative from it. Facts don’t matter. After Citizens United, anyone can get away with saying anything.

Meanwhile in the media slaughterhouse the pigs are squealing louder than ever.

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