13 April 2004

It's a gas

I'm a little behind in my news commentaries, I realize.  I'm not going to comment on the 9/11 hearings anymore because it's the same as everything else.  No one dares admit to any fault or remorse, because it's not good for one's political bearings.  All I will say is that any rational person knows where the heap of blame lies for 9/11, squarely on the shoulders and psyches of the terrorists.  It wouldn't kill any of these people who go before this commission to express remorse that such an incident occurred.  I'd be stunned and more appreciative of any person that did, regardless of party affiliation.

So much for not talking about it.  I did see the President's latest salvo across the proverbial bow of John Kerry with his latest negative campaign ad, and I think it is brilliant in the scope of addressing an issue that GW promised to handle during his 2000 campaign, the price of gasoline.  Personally, I don't see how any president can be held directly responsible for gasoline prices, but then I also am at the point where I don't think ads such as these are directed at thinkers like me. 

The ad uses images from a Keystone Kops-like movie showing several people having difficulty with their cars, while the voice over tells us that if John Kerry were president, gasoline prices would be higher because he would push through higher taxes.  Note the required use of the words "higher" and "taxes" in the ad, as all GOP attack ads must (I believe it is in the RNC's charter).  So I see this ad and I think that GW is telling us that sure, gas prices are high, but if you think things are bad now, just wait for what you'll get if y'all elect Kerry.  Essentially, he's telling us that he's not done what he said he would, control gas prices, but that we shouldn't be so upset about it because his opponent will only make it worse.

And this is why I think it's brilliant, Bush puts it out there that he has screwed up.  He's spending money essentially to promote his failures on national television, but he also knows that the public has an attention span of 1/100th of a second, and he hopes that all people get from this is John Kerry grouped with higher taxes.

I equate this strategy with two people talking about their individual plans to rob a liquor store.  The first one actually does it, and in the process shoots the store owner in the foot.  When the police come, he tells them to go arrest the second guy instead, because if he had done it, he'd have shot the owner in the head.   

And I implore Senators McCain and Feingold to reconvene committee and amend their campaign finance reform laws to close the loophole that is ruining the negative campaign season for me.  Bush has circumvented the rule that states all candidates must claim in the ad that they have approved its message by doing so at the beginning.  I want the rule changed to specify that this claim must come at the end.  Better yet, let's make it this: any candidate who runs an attack ad must stand before the camera at the end of the ad holding a bucket of mud.  Then they must state their name, toss the mud on the camera, and say that they approved the ad as the wipe the lens clean.

When Kerry starts running ads like these I will be just as critical.  In fact, I can't believe he hasn't started doing so yet.  He must be waiting for scotch guarded boots or something.

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