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Campaign Ads: Sources & Incoherence

It's never too late to beat up on the other side's campaign ads. Angie Paccione has been running ads claiming that Marilyn Musgrave is the "13th most corrupt member of Congress." The source for this startling-if-true claim is flashed up on the screen for fewer frames than "RATS," the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW. This is roughly equivalent to Keith Ellison sourcing the UN for his campaign information on Israel.

The second ad isn't dishonest so much as desperate. Ed Perlmutter claims that "Rick O'Donnell wanted to send 75,000 more troops to Iraq," thus making him, as Imus would say, George Bush's butt-boy on the issue. Given that both Bush and Rumsfeld have been arguing for years (incorrectly, I increasingly think) that we don't need any more troops in Iraq, that the military doesn't want any more troops in Iraq, and that we don't really have any more to put there even if we did want more there, this hardly makes O'Donnell simpatico with the administration on the question.

More than that, it shows the Dems' strategy in broad bold colors: nationalize the election by making it about Iraq, then pick whichever local strategy is likely to be more popular. In the 7th, argue for cut-and-run. Elsewhere, argue that we don't have enough troops there. The problem with this cognitive dissonance is that while it may be a recipe for nominal electoral success, it's hardly a recipe for a coherent policy, much less a successful one. When the both-feeters find themselves in caucus with the cut-and-runners, either one side or another or neither will have to win. I suppose they'll try to continue to ride the issue, crying to Charlie Rose that their majority isn't enough to overcome Republican intransigence on the issue.

One hopes the administration calls the Dems' bluff by quoting all those lefties who've said we need more troops, planting another 500,000 over there, and pointing them eastwards.


Here's the full report on Musgrave's corruption if you're interested:
It mostly relates to her fake campaign office in 2004 and misuse of campaign solicitations and franking privileges. She's not Bob Ney, but if you add back in the corrupting influence of the massive amounts of money she gets from oil and gas industry, Musgrave obviously deserves to be on the list.


So where do we get "another 500,000 troops?"

This kind of "strategy" is divorced from reality, and it's the reason The Stars and Stripes and other military journals called for Rumsfeld's resignation today. The Iraq occupation is counterproductive, and "stay the course" is not working.


Power, Faith, and Fantasy

Six Days of War

An Army of Davids

Learning to Read Midrash

Size Matters

Deals From Hell

A War Like No Other


A Civil War

Supreme Command

The (Mis)Behavior of Markets

The Wisdom of Crowds

Inventing Money

When Genius Failed

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Back in Action : An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith and Fortitude

How Would You Move Mt. Fuji?

Good to Great

Built to Last

Financial Fine Print

The Day the Universe Changed


The Multiple Identities of the Middle-East

The Case for Democracy

A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam

The Italians

Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory

Beyond the Verse: Talmudic Readings and Lectures

Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud