View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, August 12, 2004

Republicans Campaign - Kerry Shocked 

BOSTON - (AP) - Sen. John Kerry today accused President Bush of needlessly and dangerously dividing the country by campaigning. "I think it's terrible that they would choose to divide this country, to behave in a divisive and hurtful manner, by choosing to draw distinctions between the two of us. If there's anything my time in Cambo-, er, Vietnam taught me, it's the danger to the body politic that results from more than one party campaigning at a time...

Not exactly. But close:

A group financed by a major Republican contributor has begun running radio ads in about a dozen cities, many in battleground states, attacking Sen. John F. Kerry as "rich, white and wishy-washy" and mocking his wife for boasting of her African roots....

One of the radio ads addresses Kerry's failure to vote on a bill to extend unemployment benefits for 13 weeks: "It needed 60 votes to pass. Ninety-nine out of 100 senators voted -- Kerry did not! It lost by one vote! Maybe Kerry thought the more of us who are unemployed and hurting, the more likely we would vote Democrat."

Another ad attacks Teresa Heinz Kerry, who, at the Democratic convention last month cited her birth and upbringing in Mozambique and who has described herself as African American. In the radio commercial, the announcer says: "His wife says she's an African American. While technically true, I don't believe a white woman, raised in Africa, surrounded by servants, qualifies."

The Kerry campaign denounced the ads, all of which are being aired on radio stations with largely black audiences. "It's disgusting that the president's political allies are now using race as a political weapon," said Bill Lynch, deputy manager of the Kerry campaign. "First a group of right-wing Swift boat veterans began smearing John Kerry's military service, and now another group has resorted to playing racial politics."

Accusing the other side of playing "racial politics" after this is beyond words. Nobody belives this, least of all the Democrats.

It does, however, point out the only winning strategy that Kerry has - stop the Republicans from talking altogether. Refer to 9/11? Why, you're politicizing the most tragic event of our era. Vietnam? He's a war hero, and who are you to question that? His Senate record? Um, what Senate record? No, that's the past, and we want to talk about the future. Break the monopoly on black radio advertising? You're playing "racial politics." All of this is part of shaping the debate, of course, and you can't blame them for trying. But when you're only answer to any issue you don't like, or thought you had sewn up, is to accuse the other side of playing politics, it's possible you're in the wrong game.

There's another, more specific aspect to this, too. The Democrats probably wouldn't have 170 House seats or 45 Senate seats with the 90%+ black support they've had over the years. It's why John Kerry gave that abomination of a human being a prime-time speaking slot, and then praised him so fulsomely afterwards for "making sense" during the debates. It's why George Bush's speech to the Urban League and stiffing of the NAACP infuriated them so, and led directly to that speech. It's why that radio advertising, where Democrats had had the field themselves, has them squealing like stuck pigs.

It's also why black conservatives like Ward Connerly find themselves the targets of character assassination, for being "Uncle Toms" or "not black enough." It's why Dylan Glenn deserves your support. It's why these people matter. Because the Democratic party needs these votes. It can't hope to win any national election, or most statewide elections, without them.

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