May 15, 2008

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if we elected pros instead of cons? Sure we have elected a few convicts over the years, but Iím speaking more along the lines of how the political experts sell elections to we voters.

All we here about is the liberal media, so here is a little something for all you folks that wish to turn the tableÖ I can only aspire to be lumped into complaints about Fox News and the OíRielly Factor.

Iím sure Democrats feel the same way about all the negative information disseminated by my party, so I wonít begin to try and argue that this sort of questionable behavior is only being performed by the ďDark SideĒ. Iím not naive enough to believe that my party isnít undertaking similar tactics. I just apparently donít receive that information for some reason?

So all I have to complain about is that which I have hard evidence on, and it this case it is the electronic correspondence I regularly receive from Missouri Democratic Party spokesman Jack Cardetti.

Iím biased, so I understand you may be a little skeptical when I refer to the regular emails I get from Jack as garbage. This rubbish, not so cleverly disguised as press releases, has drawn my ire not only for its shear mass quantity. I can deal with junk mail. What I dislike is hate mail.

Okay, so hate is too strong a word here, but who has ever heard of dislike mail?

Jack doesnít know me from Adam, so his animosity isnít directly targeted at me (until he reads this piece). Instead his correspondence shows an obvious pattern of aversion for his opposition, Missouri Republican candidates.

We live in the age of negative campaigns, so no one will be surprised when I point out that the Missouri Democratic Partyís spokesperson is engaging in such tactics.

Heck, it wouldnít bother me so much if the guy ever did any positive campaigning for his own candidates.

Maybe Iím not on the good news address list, because all Iím getting from the Missouri Democratic Party spokesperson is email about Republicans.

In the most recent correspondence I have received from Jack, no fewer than 28 emails had Governor Matt Blunt, gubernatorial candidates Sarah Steelman and Kenny Hulshof or presidential candidates like John McCain or Rudy Giuliani listed in the subject line. In case you donít know, all these folks are Republicans, and letís just say the news releases werenít singing their praises.

That compares to just two e-mails regarding Democratic candidate for governor Jay Nixon, two notes regarding the state Democratic convention and a pair of emails on Democrats on Super Tuesday.

Lets do the math here, I got two press releases regarding Jackís candidate (and both of those simply were comments made by Nixon about health care cuts made by Republican governor Matt Blunt) compared to 25 e-mails about Republican gubernatorial candidates Blunt, Hulshof and Steelman.

The bulk of the initial correspondence was targeted at Blunt, but once he announced he was not seeking re-election, the bullís eye transitioned to Hulshof and Steelman. Apparently Jack and his party are more threatened by Congressman Kenny Hulshof, as 9 of the 10 e-mails, and all nine of the most recent correspondences have been aimed at him.

So use the reverse logic here and Jack is campaigning for Steelman, because he doesnít write anything about her, nor his candidate Jay Nixon. Thatís just the thoughts of a very amateur political strategist/editorial writer.

Like I said before, I believe there is room in campaigns to point out your opponentsí weaknesses, but when you take this approach it makes me curious why you arenít giving me any of your guysí strengths? Maybe Iím just paranoid, and the campaign machine hasnít yet swung into motion to teach me why Jay Nixon is the best candidate?

I hope so, because I do not wish to believe we have come to this - donít tell me why I should place my trust in a candidate. Instead, try to scare me into disliking another, or prey upon some prejudice or special interest hoping that will be enough for me to forget that I know nothing good about the alternative and will simply be willing to vote against one instead of for another.

Some may read this as a campaign ad for Kenny Hulshof (maybe because we are so used to the techniques I am bemoaning above). Thatís not the case. Right now I support Kenny, but I suppose that could change if Jack ever sends me anything about Jay Nixon telling me what he is planning to do to fix all the problems he has pointed out with the opposition.



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