July 11, 2009

The Politics of Personal Destruction

Last fall I attended a lecture at the University of Iowa by former Democratic House Whip and Iowa alum David Bonier of Michigan. One statement that stuck with me during his talk was, and I am paraphrasing here, "I knew when we lost the Congress to the Republicans in 1994 the only way I could have any affect was to go after them personally." He filed 75 ethics charges against House Speaker Newt Gingrich reminiscent of the recent attacks on Sarah Palin, He then went on to lament how relationships between the two parties deteriorated after the Republicans gained power.

In response the republicans proceeded to gerrymander poor Mr. Bonier right out of a job, but the point is that thanks to the work of men like Bonier and a cadre of leftist organizations such as People for the American Way silencing the opposition by personal attack is now normal operating procedure.

Whats troubling here is that these tactics go beyond Sarah Palin who by virtue of her political aspirations became fair game for fair debate. The accusations her family had to endure were certainly unprecedented but the political apparatus that the Democrats have developed to silence opposition now knows no bounds. We witnessed it with Joe the Plumber and now they intend to decimate firefighter Frank Ricci. From McClatchy:

On the eve of Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearing, her advocates have been urging journalists to scrutinize what one called the "troubled and litigious work history" of firefighter Frank Ricci.
This is opposition research: a constant shadow on Capitol Hill.
"The whole business of getting Supreme Court nominees through the process has become bloodsport," said Gary Rose, a government and politics professor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

This is not as the writer implies opposition research this is another example of Sturmabteilung Democrat style.

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