Back during the 2000 primary season, then Texas governor George W. Bush ran one of the sleaziest political campaigns ever against his GOP opponent, Senator John McCain.
Bush, employing venomous scum like Karl Rove, Tucker Eschew and Dan Bartlett, threw everything but child molestation charges at McCain after the Arizona senator won the New Hampshire primary by a whopping 19 points and put George W's GOP nomination/coronation in jeopardy.
During the lead-up to the next primary in South Carolina, Bush surrogates spread rumors that McCain, a Vietnam War POW who had spent 5 and 1/2 years in a prison camp, was a "Manchurian Candidate" who had been brainwashed by the North Vietnamese Communists and would betray the country once elected. They spread other rumors through push-pollers that McCain's adopted Bangladeshi born daughter was his "illegitimate black child." They called McCain the "fag candidate." When McCain fought back and accused George W. Bush of smearing and "twisting the truth like Clinton," the Bush people retaliated by saying that McCain had "gone negative" and couldn't be trusted to be president.
The smears and rumors worked - McCain lost, Bush went on to win the GOP nomination, steal the White House away from Al Gore and run the country into two (unfinished and unpaid for) wars and near bankruptcy all the while ignoring warnings about domestic terrorist attacks upon the nation (see August 6th Presidential Daily Briefing) and environmental crises like Hurricane Katrina.
After McCain lost the bitter 2000 race to Bush, he declared there was a "special place in hell" for the Bush people who ran smear campaign. When he began running for president in 2008, he said he would run a "respectful campaign" and wouldn't engage in negative campaigning or smears against his opponents.
But then he fell behind in the polls and he decided to hire many of the very same Bush/Cheney 2000 people who ran the smear campaign against him to run one against his opponent, Senator Barack Obama.
Since then all we have gotten out of the McCain campaign is smears, distortions, and out and out lies about Senator Obama.
McCain has declared that Senator Obama would rather "lose a war than lose a campaign," has run ads comparing Obama to empty-headed celebrities like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, has claimed Obama called McCain's VP running mate Sarah Palin "a pig," and started running another ad claiming Senator Obama wants to teach 5 years old about sex before they can read.
Heckuva way to run a "respectful campaign," eh?
Senator Obama has so far tried to take the high road and continue to campaign on issues. Unfortunately the smears and negative attacks by the McCain campaign and its various surrogates and evil minions has worked - Obama, once leading by as much as 5 points in the national polls, now trails by as much as 5 points in those same polls.
That's as much as a 10 point turnaround - no wonder Senator McCain and his Bushies are smirking so much these days. In a year when unemployment stands at 6.1%, the federal government is bailing out Bear Sterns, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and perhaps Lehman Brothers all the while hundreds of thousands of Americans lose their homes to foreclosure, inflation has driven oil and gas to all-time highs, food and other commodities continue to soar, and personal bankruptcies climb, the incumbent Grand Old Party is ahead in the race for the White House.
That's a heckuva job by these guys in the Republican Party. They can't govern, they can't win wars, they can't handle hurricane relief or figure out how to regulate the financial markets so that taxpayers don't have to bail out crony capitalists to the tune of a trillion dollars, but they sure can lie, cheat, smear and steal elections.
I fear Senator Obama, an honorable man as much as John McCain is a dishonorable one, will not fight back properly and fight fire with fire.
So let me start for him:
I just read over at %^&*#@.blogspot.com that Senator McCain blanks pigs.
You heard that right - McCain's a pigblanker, he likes to take those pigs into the mud and get down and dirty with 'em.
In fact, there's nothing like the sight of a naked pig to get the 72 year old's ancient motor revving. He may be decrepit, he may have one foot in the grave, but he sure still likes blanking pigs. Sometimes twice a night.
You don't believe me? Just look at the company he keeps.
I know, I know - calling McCain a pigblanker is silly right?
Yet, it's smears as silly and as stupid as the one I just wrote above that the McCain people have been spreading about Obama and the news media have been helping to disperse.
Somehow the Jim Lehrers and Gwen Ifills of the world just don't think it's their job to tell you when a campaign is engaging in a coordinating campaign of lies and smears.
So they report the lies like they're "news" and people start believing them.
And the liars win.
The rest of us, those who want to see a campaign of substantive issues and intelligent discourse, lose.
Given the ease with which these pigblankers sleaze things up every four years and win, I am starting to think that maybe democracy as a viable form of government has run its course.
Maybe it's time to time to let the pigs run everything.
As we know from Orwell, all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.
But when it comes to out and out sleaze, dirt and venom, nobody is equal to the Bush/Rove/McCain people.