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A Carnival Of Ugly?


When all you have is crap to sell, you shovel it out by the bucketful, according to the WaPo:

On the brink of what could be a power-shifting election, it is kitchen-sink time: Desperate candidates are throwing everything. While negative campaigning is a tradition in American politics, this year's version in many races has an eccentric shade, filled with allegations of moral bankruptcy and sexual perversion.

At the same time, the growth of "independent expenditures" by national parties and other groups has allowed candidates to distance themselves from distasteful attacks on their opponents, while blogs and YouTube have provided free distribution networks for eye-catching hatchet jobs….

The result has been a carnival of ugly, especially on the GOP side, where operatives are trying to counter what polls show is a hostile political environment by casting opponents as fatally flawed characters. The National Republican Campaign Committee is spending more than 90 percent of its advertising budget on negative ads, according to GOP operatives, and the rest of the party seems to be following suit….

The goal on both sides seems to be to depress the voter turnout of the other side — and while Democrats are able to raise issues such as corruption, bribery, multiple felony pleas and convictions, war profiteering, rubber stamping and failure to defend the Constitution…the GOP is reduced to showing scantily clad white women asking a black Senatorial candidate to call them in a Southern wink and nod to the "good ole boy" voting block.

What a mess.

Which is why I am so proud that we have been able to send a little joy in the form of a great song and a funny YouTube ad around the internet — and, in some cases, to districts via our Blue America PAC. The brilliant "Have You Had Enough?" campaign got some good press, and I wanted to share it with everyone this morning (via Howie).

 The local paper in Chris Carney's district did a story on our Blue America efforts, and the effects that You Tube and other internet efforts have had on the Carney campaign, and others around Pennsylvania. I thought this bit, from the Scranton Times-Tribune, was especially good:

Mr. Klein, the former president of Reprise Records, the famed record label founded by Frank Sinatra, organized an online video featuring the swing-rock band and the jazz-pop singer and titled it “Have You Had Enough?” — as in “Have you had enough of Don Sherwood?”

They put it on YouTube, once the popular Internet home of amateur recordings and clips of sitcoms, but increasingly the host of political commercials, gaffes and clips for the computer-savvy.

The video would hold its own against highly polished commercials beaming from local television screens these days as the election approaches, but it will never reach local living rooms unless televisions are hooked up to the Web.

An online blog community, of which Mr. Klein is a part, created it….

You guys did this. This awesome song is going to be hummed and whistled all the way to the ballot box by a whole lot of voters all over this nation of ours — and we were able to get it on the radio and on YouTube because we have all pitched in together to make it happen. Fromt he initial call between Howie and TommyYum, all the way to today, this has been a tidal wave of effort from folks here at FDL and at DownWithTyranny and Crooks & Liars, and I cannot thank everyone enough.

If we had done nothing this election cycle but this one project, I'd be as happy as I could be. This is truly the best of grassroots activism — seeing a need, figuring out a way to fill it, and doing the work necessary to get the job done instead of sitting around and waiting for someone else to do it.  Amazing work, gang.  Absolutely amazing work.  Standing O for everyone involved on this — you've all earned a big round of applause.

And the best part of the whole thing?  How can you not smile and enjoy the thought of voting for a progressive candidate after you hear and see something like this:

It's Friday.  What are you doing this weekend to help to get out our vote?  Eleven days and counting…no time to stop until we cross the finish line.  And yes, I have had more than enough.  It is time for change, for accountability, and for an avalanche of votes for Democratic candidates across the country.  But we don't get any of that if we don't get our voters to the polls and voting in droves.

Now let's get to work…

UPDATE:  I meant to add this in — today is the last day on Chris Bowers' push for the Use It Or Lose It campaign.  Do you know where your elected representatives stand on this?  If not, please take a peek and make some phone calls!  And as Jane said last night, we're trying to get the "Had Enough?" ad in one more district, so if you have a fiver to spare, we'd sure appreciate any donations.  And if you don't have a fiver to spare — please consider making some GOTV calls or canvassing this weekend instead.  Every little bit helps!

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com