Friday, September 22, 2006

We Preach Politics, Not Truth

Here in Connecticut, the latest Nancy Johnson (R) campaign ad is the perfect example of politics gone wrong. (You can watch the ad here.) Johnson is running for re-election in Connecticut's 5th District against Democrat Chris Murphy.

The problem here? Well, to start with, the ad is the worse sort of fear based politics. It calls to mind LBJ's anti-Goldwater ads in 1964, with the little girl in the field and the atomic bomb. "My opponent is going to get you killed" just isn't honest politics in my book.

Of course, the reasons for this ad are really Chris Murphy and the Democrats own fault. After all, the point of the add focuses on Johnson's support, and Murphy's opposition to Bush's warrantless wiretapping program. The truth of the matter is neither Johnson nor Murphy want anything different in the practical sense. Johnson as a Republican supports the Bush program, which apparently has allowed for wiretapping of calls of supposed terrorists from overseas without a warrant- which technically, probably does violate the law. Murphy as a Democrat opposes the Bush plan. I'm assuming that he wants the law followed, and a warrant obtained- of course, current law already allows for the government to apply for after-the-fact warrants in cases such as these. In other words, the whole business over warrants when it comes to "imminent terrorist attacks" is just a bunch of procedural garbage.

But of course, Democrats have to criticize the Bush administration. And Republicans respond in kind. And the political wheels keep turning, the public continues to be kept in the dark, and substantive issues are avoided. Ain't the two-party system grand?


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