The coming smear storm

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The coming smear storm

Postby carsonfire on Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:50 pm

Important advice for all insurgent candidates this year: completely bereft of argument or defensible policy, and especially disarmed to even lie about it, the Democrat machine will have to try to gin up smears like we've never seen before. Every candidate is now Sarah Palin: nothing is off-limits, nothing is too dirty. ... brown.html

Martha Coakley's many gaffes were of her own creation. From the comment about shaking hands outside Fenway Park, to the claim that Kurt Curt Schilling was a Yankees fan, to the slap at devoutly religious emergency room workers, Coakley created her own problems. Even the incident with the reporter being pushed to the ground outside Coakley's DC fundraiser was of Coakley's own creation as her handler attempted to prevent a reporter from asking perfectly sensible questions.

Coakley's image problem was not the result of smears, but a result of the blogosphere and mainstream media publicizing Coakley's own words in context.

There were, however, three key smears directed at Scott Brown, none of which took off because of the overall momentum in the race. Nonetheless, these smears are a road map as to how the next Scott Brown will be attacked.

The prof goes on to identify three smears mounted against Brown: first, the traditional policy smear, which is to wildly misconstrue and outright lie about what your opponent supports (the rape flier); second, identifying Brown with nutjob organizations or racists; and third, seizing on comments by third parties (the "curling iron" shout).

There are surely many other ways to mount smear campaigns, so it might not be a good idea to center on just the things Dems tried on Brown. There's always sifting through the family garbage (like Dems did with Michael Steele), for example. The fact that Brown was not considered a serious threat until the last few days was probably the one thing that saved him from a much bigger and more effective smear attack.

The prof's #3 needs to be watched carefully. It may be that there actually are idiots who like to show up and shout out dumb things at Republican rallies, but it's not inconsistent with known Dem activism to spoof Republicans in order to make them look crazy. All it would take is for a Dem operative to go into a Sarah Palin crowd and yell the N word, and the Dem-friendly press would headline forever the "proof" that Sarah Palin and her crowd her incorrigible racists. As long as they get away with it, you'll be seeing more and more of this on the campaign trail. As the prof says, the candidate who hears something like this in the crowd needs to smack it down fast, but all a Dem has to do is videotape it from a distance, to make sure that the video captures the shout, but that the candidate cannot fully hear it -- that provides deeply dishonest folks like MediaMatters and Keith Olbermann with faked proof that the candidate clearly condones things the candidate didn't even hear.

I don't know why -- maybe because of the juxtaposition of the deep trouble Dems are in and the popularity of YouTube -- I think we're going to see a LOT of that this year, videos staged in a way to create fake smears.
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