It was the slimiest, filthiest campaign I had ever heard of. But one incident especially stays with me. George Bush was running against Michael Dukakis. The candidate was the father, George H. W. Bush. George W. was still considered to be a bit of a juvenile brat by many.
The Bush campaign put out the story that Michael Dukakis was a bit unstable emotionally. In fact, they pointed out that the personal history of Dukakis included seeing a psychiatrist during a time of emotional stress. Even today, seeking psychological help connotes instability. "Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined," is the standard line. So it was a serious accusation. The charge caught the Dukakis people flatfooted. They sputteringly denied that Dukakis had been seeing a shrink.
So the Republicans presented their proof. It seems Dukakis had a favored uncle who died. Dukakis attended the funeral. Also attending was a relative who was a psychiatrist. They must have caught sight of each other sometime during the wake or the funeral.
Get it? 1. Dukakis had seen a psychiatrist (caught sight of the shrink) AND 2. It was during a time of emotional stress (the death of a favorite relative)
Later, I have heard of dirtier campaigns. The Smathers campaign in Florida against Pepper in 1948 went to ridiculous lengths. The Republican slime machine in 2004 hired former vets to swear that John Kerry's heroic combat was different than it really was. Karl Rove once conducted a campaign against an opponent who was a children's advocate. Rove spread word the guy was a child molester. Nice. But in 1988, I thought taking some obscure point, twisting it out of any resemblance to reality, and presenting it as truth was pretty low. Near a polling place, I apologized to a campaign worker for not accepting Bush/Quayle literature, having just washed my hands.
Today, the McCain campaign does not bother with such distortions. They make up stuff out of thin air. From "Obama will tax $42,000 income families" (he advocates tax reductions for 95% of Americans) to "Obama wants to teach kindergarten kids all there is to know about sexual intercouse" (from Obama's vote in favor of teaching kids to avoid "bad touching"), the charges are the polar opposite of the truth. Every so often, journalists actually point out that these must be objectively said to be lies. So the media is accused of an anti-McCain slant.
You see, truth is biased in favor of Obama.
Trackback address for this post
No feedback yet
Leave a comment
|« The Lone Ranger in Spain||Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild Endorses McCain »|