Sunday, August 26, 2012

One is worse than the other

This is from ten days ago so it is out of the news cycle, but I still want to talk about it. Dan Balz, a Washington Post writer, wrote an article titled "A Most Poisonous Campaign" in which he discusses how mean the campaign has become. His examples: From the Obama side we have the ad that " 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." Ouch, accusing a man of being accessory to a death. That is mean!

To show that the Romney campaign is just as cruel, Balz writes: "Mention the Soptic ad to Obama campaign officials and instead of showing remorse or regret, they point to the spot Romney aired that accuses Obama of gutting the work requirement in the welfare reform act that was passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996." Yeah, claiming that your opponent is making an unpopular policy change through executive fiat is so...wait, what? Isn't this the kind of thing that politicians should be whacking each other on? Balz's comparison reminds of Lisa's line from a Simpsons about the Springfield-Shelbyville rivalry: "They built a mini-mall, so we built a bigger mini-mall. They made the world's largest pizza, so we burnt down their city hall."

The major problem with Romney's ad is that the work requirements have been basically gutted through the caseload reduction credit, supplantation of state funds, and other shenanigans. The rhetoric may be on target (which it is), the legality may be dubious (the Administration is claiming they can grant states waivers on work requirements, when the law states the waiver can be granted on whether a state has to submit a plan describing work requirements to HHS; the administration has equated the two; other people disagree), but the actual impact is nothing.

More cruel is Mitt's hatred of PBS from whom (whence? what?) he wants to pull all public funding. Dear Mitt: $444 million is a pittance. Everyone loves PBS (especially independents). The only people who hate PBS are Southern right wingers who hate the Civil War being shown over and over again and rubbing in their face that they lost and that the Cause was nefarious, etc. They are going to vote for you anyway (for good or for ill). Fire the staffer who came up with this brilliant idea to mobilize the base.

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