Monday, January 7, 2008

Be Afraid

Once again, fear is the message the GOP has for the voters.

Scaring people isn’t a new campaign tactic, exactly, nor has it ever been limited to Republicans. Think of Lyndon Johnson’s famous 1964 ad, “Daisy,” which showed a little girl happily counting petals on a daisy until she got nuked, presumably because Barry Goldwater started a war with the Soviets. President Bush certainly used fear in his 2004 reelection bid. Bush’s “Wolves” commercial, by the same ad team now working for McCain, strongly implied that a President Kerry would allow your children to be eaten alive.

But contrast the current Republican menu of ads with the commercials their Democratic counterparts are running — which focus more on healthcare costs or outsourcing (or, simply, corporate greed, in John Edwards’ case) as the dominant threats to our way of life — and the terrifying tenor of the GOP messages stand out. And the themes running through the Republican campaign now signal what any GOP nominee is likely to use against a Democrat in the fall.

It’s like the writer’s strike has afflicted the GOP campaigns and they can’t come up with anything new. Actually, the reason for this is very simple: this is all they’ve got.

Well, that, and reminding you that Barack Obama’s middle name is “Hussein.”