Once upon a time, Republicans tumbled on to a workable strategy to win elections: the politics of personal destruction. The idea was to accuse their enemies of such horrible deeds and conduct that, even if they couldn’t be proven, it would stain the victim’s reputation for decades. This, it turned out, is a vital strategy for the GOP because their policies had become impossible to sell to the public at face value. Better to focus the public’s attention on the (made up) rumored pedophilia of a Democrat than to have to defend more tax cuts for the rich.
This morally bankrupt approach to politics really came into its own when Bill Clinton took office. The right began circulating vicious rumors that would presage the absolute depths they would sink to with the election of the first African-American president in 2008. Of course, that he’s black probably hasnothing to do with the loathing they feel for him. Really. But Clinton’s harrowing came first: rumors of secret black helicopters swooping down on unsuspecting patriotic militias, a string of murders and, of course, rape.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment