Yesterday, Joe Hallett of the Columbus Dispatch wrote an intriguing column about negative campaigning. The major thrust of the story was to prepare the electorate for the mud that has been and will be thrown over the next few months of campaigning.
Highlighting the Ohio Senate race, Hallett brought up the two stalkers the Ohio Democrats have hired to follow and videotape Rob Portman everywhere he goes, as well as the two recent preposterous attacks brought against the GOP candidate by Chris Redfern and his cronies.
(DJ Note: They had something to do with Portman being a Nazi Birther, or birthing Nazis, or something else ridiculous…google it yourself if you care that much)
There is a place for legitimate opposition research, and both the Democratic and Republican parties provide a valuable service to voters when they point out discrepancies in an opponent’s background, record and stands on issues. But the modern-day default for both parties is to spew an endless flow of venom at each other’s candidates, poisoning campaigns.
Interestingly enough, while Hallett has no problem identifying the Republicans and Democrats as equally guilty of spewing “venom”, the column is noticeably absent of any examples of Portman’s campaign or the ORP going so low as to degrade his opponent’s character with comparisons to former genocidal societies or fringe groups.
Because there aren’t any.
That doesn’t mean there haven’t been attacks. Of course there have. That’s politics. But rather than sink to the level of the Democrats, Portman and the ORP have played it smart by simply focusing on Lee Fisher’s record of job loss as Ohio’s Director of Development….and ignoring the hopeless Jennifer Brunner altogether.
Props goes out to Hallett for at least recognizing the dirt coming from the ODP and Democratic campaigns, but the sense of false equivalence provided in the article simply isn’t fair to the respectful campaign the Portman team has ran so far.
The “blame Bush” strategy that Obama has employed to date is now a dead horse, unresponsive to further lashing.