Wednesday, October 30, 2002

The Ultimate Negative Campaign

Is it just me, or have politicians' campaign ads become even more negative this year than ever before? It's gotten to the point where they don't even bother to tell you what they stand for. Whatever positive message they hoped to imbue has long since been abandoned for a full-scale attack strategy.

Here in Missouri, the commercials in the Senate race are the worst I've ever seen. The listener/viewer is left with nothing but an intense dislike of everyone involved, which will probably lead to even lower voter turnout. Yet the candidates and their staffs don't seem to realize that their viciousness is turning so many people off. They always have that nasty tone in the voiceover, too, provided by either that deep-voiced sarcastic guy or the harsh, accusatory woman.

I wonder how far they think they can go down this vitriolic path. I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that they'd go so far as to run commercials like the following (if you prefer, insert the name of your favorite weasel candidates):

"Jim Talent's campaign commercials contain numerous falsehoods about Jean Carnahan, and he knows it. We don't want to say Jim Talent is a liar, but we do know that his pants are on fire. Vote for Jean Carnahan."

"Mel Carnahan died in a plane crash and Jean Carnahan took his job in the US Senate. Now, Paul Wellstone has died in a plane crash and Jean Carnahan's asking you to send her to the US Senate again. Is it a coincidence? Vote for Jim Talent."

"Jim Talent once kicked a puppy. Right in its side. And he didn't even say he was sorry. Vote for Jean Carnahan."

"Jean Carnahan just bought herself a new pair of shoes. But she has plenty of shoes in her closet already. If she does that with her own money, imagine what she'd do with yours. Vote for Jim Talent."

"You know those annoying telemarketing calls you always seem to get at dinnertime? Jim Talent is the one making those calls. Vote for Jean Carnahan."

"Surveys show that half the population of Missouri never wears a dress. But Jean Carnahan does. Vote for Jim Talent."

"On Halloween last year, Jim Talent gave trick-or-treaters a handful of lint, and the year before he handed out bags of rocks. Jean Carnahan would never do that. She always gives the kids candy and a crisp new $10 bill. Vote for Jean Carnahan."

"Jim Talent's father died, and Jean Carnahan didn't even go to his funeral. She probably wouldn't go to your father's funeral, either. Is that the kind of person you want in the US Senate? Vote for Jim Talent."

"Jim Talent says he's concerned about the needs of every man and every woman in the state of Missouri. But we hear that he always leaves the toilet seat up. Ladies, is that the kind of Senator you want? Vote for someone who always leaves the seat down. Vote for Jean Carnahan."

"Leadership is tough, just like football. If you were picking a team in difficult times like this, would you pick the girl? Vote for a guy. Vote for Jim Talent."

"Jim Talent once tried to bake a cake, but it tasted like crap. Vote for Jean Carnahan."

"Jean Carnahan told me that she hates you. Are you still going to give her your vote? Vote for Jim Talent."

Ugh! Now, here's an early projection, based on the results of exclusive HarrisOnline.com exit polls -- with none of the precincts caring at all, 100% of the population wishes each and every one of these political worms would just shut up and go away.