George Bush has left the door wide open for the Democrats, but they’re clogging it up with their mudslinging.
At a debate in Denver Saturday, the five candidates bickered among themselves, ganged up on Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas and traded insults.
It was a shame. Need some examples?
Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton accused Tsongas of wanting to build nuclear plants across the country but was interrupted by an outraged Tsongas: “That is a lie! That is a lie! That is a lie!”
The barbs between Clinton and Tsongas continued to fly. At one point, Clinton seemed to give up. “No one can argue with you, Paul. You’re always perfect,” he snapped.
Later, Tsongas tried to coax Clinton into taking a pledge to stop running negative commercials. “Put up your hand! Put up your hand,” he demanded. But this just erupted into another argument about who started the nasty ads in the first place.
Tsongas claimed he was the only candidate focusing on the issues while the rest were just looking for votes. “I am not Santa Claus,” he said.
“Paul, I appreciate that you’re not Santa Claus, but you’re beginning to sound like the Grinch that stole Christmas,” Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey said.
Obviously, these men are in the race of their lives, but if this kind of mudslinging doesn’t stop, they’ll be fading their own chances.
For these Democrats to continue campaigns that only attack themselves when not addressing the issues or criticizing the Republicans is a futile exercise in politics. There are so many things to attack, mostly the failing economy.
Don’t the Democrats even realize that while George Bush ran unopposed in South Dakota, he still only received 66 percent of the vote? They’d better get a clue that they will fare much better attacking him than their opponents. With such a dismal showing, it’s surprising Bush is being attacked more by his Republican challenger, right wing extremist Patrick Buchanan, than by the opposition.
Here in Illinois, the mudslinging is even better. Television screens are filled with ads between Democratic Sen. Alan Dixon and his rival, personal injury lawyer Al Hofeld. Hofeld’s been spending his millions to attack Dixon left and right, although he’s paid quite a pretty penny to promote himself in the process.
At the same time, Dixon is responding with his own mud. Hofeld doesn’t vote. Hofeld makes millions. Hofeld won’t release his taxes. Still, Dixon’s raking in the endorsements of his party, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun Times.
Both men are ignoring Carol Moseley Braun, the third candidate in this election. She has no real advertising money and can’t afford to sling mud, but she is wielding the silent candidates’ mighty sword—splitting the ticket and taking the vote away.
Locally and nationally, the Democrats stand an enormous chance to take control of Washington. But if they continue to have Animal House food fights with each other, a disgusted public might continue to vote GOP. Are they ready for another four years of George Bush?