Political Mudslinging: The equivalent of playground fights.

I am Canadian. I have always been Canadian . I have nothing to do with the American elections. But as we tend to get a lot of U.S. TV stations, we get a lot of exposure as to what’s going on with the elections.

One channel I get comes in from Buffalo, and often with the commercials they run they include little commercials made by (or should I say “approved by”) local politicians. Two such politicans I have seen constant commercials for are Brian Higgins and Nancy Naples, their names forever drilled into my brain. They are apparantely rivals competing for office and their mudslinging is almost comical. I (severely) paraphrase their commercials here, but under all the smooth talk this is what they are really saying:

“Brian Higgins is a darn good guy. He wants to lower taxes. Nancy Naples wants to raise taxes. She is a conniving snake whose goal is to tax families until they can only afford cardboard houses. Vote Brian Higgins.”

“Nancy Naples is a respected and nice lady. She wants to lower taxes, especially for seniors. Brian Higgins wants to tax seniors till they have to pawn their false teeth so they can buy cat food for dinner. Vote Nancy Naples.”

Oh, come on. This is no different than bickering between 5-year olds on the playground. It’s no different than:

Sally: “Billy is a stupid dirty poo butt and he eats worms! Come play with me instead!”

Billy: “Sally is a lying booger brain and she smells dog farts! Don’t play with her, play with ME!”

It’s embarrassing and childish. If they really want to call each other names, at least do it to one another in person. Broadcasting their back-and-forth slandering makes them both look immature, and if I was in a position where I had to vote, I wouldn’t choose EITHER. I can’t believe people who are supposed to be smart, socially adept adults are behaving like babies on television.

They need a mom to say, “I don’t care who started it, you’re both going to your rooms!”

Welcome to the joy that is American politics. Unfortunately, the children (politicians) have managed to convince the moms (the voting citizens) that it’s the children that are in charge, not the other way around. And the moms keep letting it happen.

I got a charge out of my local House race this year. It started off with both sides running nicey-nice ads, including one from the incumbent with a nice little old lady saying (I shit thee not) “We see Mark Kennedy in church every Sunday”.

Next thing you know Kennedy runs an ad stating that while Patty Wetterling may be all about Minnesota families, she accepted campaign donations from…gasp! TRIAL LAWYERS! And she’s EVIL!

Two days later that guy from America’s Most Wanted is standing in front of a cop car with flashing lights stating that while he’s a Republican Patty’s a nice girl and doesn’t deserve all these attack ads from the Evil Republicans, those bastards!

Unfortunately that’s where the ad war stopped. I was hoping to see an ad from Mark’s mom saying that Patty was picking on her boy and getting the block bully to help.

This sounds an awful lot like some of the local ads I’m seeing/hearing here in Northern Virginia. My congressman, Frank Wolf, has been unopposed the last few years. Some guy named James Socus is running against him this year, and the mud is being slung around so much that I’m glad I hardly ever wear white, lest my clothes be ruined.

This is why I want to move to a remote tropical island and swear off the rest of humanity forever. Well…one of the reasons.

Hoo yah, that campaign between Higgins and Naples is nasty. I cringe every time I see the commercials coming on, then flip the channel.

To be honest, Floozy, the Higgins-Naples congressional fight could probably be the nastiest in the whole country. Higgins and Naples earlier fought each other for political office in Erie County (Naples won). The two really don’t like each other, personally or professionally. They’re fighting for an empty seat (incumbent Jack Quinn, a genuinely-liked guy around here, retired this year), so the Reps and Dems threw millions of dollars into the race, hoping to pick it up. The economy in Erie County is not good at all, and in recent years, there’s been tremendous political in-fighting over how to fix the gaping holes in Western New York’s finances. All of this is leading to a really nasty race, one in which there were no holds barred from the beginning.

In short, while I deplore what the Higgins-Naples race became, in some ways I can understand it, and I don’t think it’s representative of every Congressional race here. In stark contrast, the 28th district race (the race for which I voted today) has been genteel. I even saw a “debate” in which the challenger had all kinds of good things to say about his opponent.

Well, this is what can happen when you let the election process draaaaaag on. After the positive points get stated in their first week or so, you still have nine or ten months to kill so you may as well take the path of least resistance and find increasingly nasty ways to slam your opponent.

I’d like to see the Republic of Canada in my lifetime, but I’m concerned that if we started electing our Governor-General (or whatever head-of-state position replaces it) we’ll get the same crap our southern cousins now suffer through.

Amid all the anguished debate on the Presidential election, I thought I’d do the Doperly thing and update the Higgins-Naples spat.

There were 435 races for the House of Representatives. Only one is still undecided–yep, it’s the Higgins-Naples tilt. Right now polls suggest that Higgins (D) shaded it by 2%. But Naples has fought back–last night around midnight she promised to file a lawsuit over undefined “irregularities” in the voting. This one might not be over for a while.