Monday, May 19, 2008

Tennessee GOP: Remember Andrew Jackson

The Tennessee GOP has started its Fall campaign on Obama by attacking his wife Michelle for her “proud of America” remarks. They must figure that it’s easier to attack a candidate’s spouse rather than go for the main contender. It’s discourteous and one that is reminiscent of the 1828 attacks against Andy Jackson’s wife Rachel. The Republicans were soundly defeated in that campaign, partly due to Jackson’s immense popularity and the distasteful attacks against his wife.

It remains to be seen if history will repeat itself, but throughout the nomination process, trying to beat Obama with personal attacks instead of policy arguments has all but failed. GOP Tennesseans may feel they were being patriotic in singling out Michelle Obama for their initial attack ads, but this will only increase Obama’s popularity and make Tennessean Republicans look paltry.

If McCain has any spine, he will condemn these spurious attacks and call to make political spousal abuse off limits for both parties. Politics is an ugly business, but drive-by slurs only makes the perpetrators look even uglier in the eyes of voting citizens.


Chris C said...

Yah but how much of the results of the election of 1828 was due to backlash from mudslinging, and how much from voters pissed off Jackson won the popular vote in 1824 but lost the election? Jackson did just as much slinging and he won. So the dirty politics might have cancelled each other out.

If a spouse is going to be campaigning for their husband they deserve to come under scrutiny if they say what she said.

Trying to be the next President is a vicious game and millions of dollars, a nice pension, and a free library await the winner. When there is that much on the line, anything is fair game.

Stushie said...

The trouble is this election is very different from what we have experieinced in modern times, Chris. The GOP is playing a dangerous game of Russian roulette here whihc could result in a Dem landslide by picking on Michelle. Most of Obama's voters are new to the game and they don't like mudslinging politics. If Hillary Clinton can't beat Obama at her own game, why do the Tennessee GOP think that they can?

I saw all this happen in britain in 96 when Tony Blair beat out the Tories in Britain. It was a popular movement that won the election, not a political one. If the GOP honestly want to keep power, they have to attack Obama on his shaky political experience and issues. Sniping at his family will only make them look persecuted and cause a backlash which will wipe out Republican seats all across the country.

Chris C said...

How is it different from when Bill was President? The right slammed Hillary all through the 90's. That is modern times right?

Or what about Dukakis' wife getting slammed for burning the flag?

It really is no different. Sure, each political season may have it's unique moments and issues, but in the end it's all part of trying to win votes. Nothing is off limits.

The trick with mudslinging is picking the right type of mud. Use the wrong kind and it will not be flung far.

I agree on what you said about Britain and Blair. The question is now this: is the movement to the right in that country just popular or political?

As for control by the left or right, it goes through swings, usually because one side had control and people got sick or tired of it and wanted a change. It's human nature.

Nobody will root for a winner forever. Eventually they want to root for an underdog.

Dynasties don't last because people won't let them.

As for playing dangerous games, Congress does that on a daily basis but we don't call any of them out on it. And hey we have three Senators running for President!

On a side note, have you read my political humor columns at You will like them I think.