Tuesday, October 24, 2006
With two weeks to go until the November midterm elections, it's no surprise the Republicans are racheting up the rhetoric. What happened in the Tennessee race for Senate this weekend defies common decency, but fits the not-so-subtle imprint of Karl Rove.
The GOP is bringing in the big gun to Tennessee!
In some circles the GOP has conceded losing the House of Representative and has placed it's resources to keeping the Senate. Most politicos have sharpened the point to two races: Tennessee's race between Harold Ford, Jr. and Bob Corker and the Virginia battle between George "Macaca" Allen and Jim Webb. If the Democrats maintain the leads they possess in six other races, a win in either Virginia or Tennessee would tip the Senate to the D's.
Despite Allen's problem with the N-word and the now infamous "M-word", Allen has begun to slowly solidify a small advantage over Webb, which leaves the Volunteer State up for grabs.
The use of blatant racism in the Ford ad is de riguer for the Rovian White House. If Ford were white, under the Rove guide to deceitful campaigning, he would be pegged as gay in some sort of bizarre logic. To Rove, Ford's skin color and pre-existing rumors of partying play into a more fantastic realm of race-baiting and a historical aversion to interracial couples in the South.
In this scenario, Corker plays the unwitting benefactor of these advertisments. By calling for them to be pulled from the Tennessee airwaves he covers his own campaign, while shifting the blame to mysterious higher-ups in control of the spots. When RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman appeared with Tim Russert today on MSNBC to claim the party powerless over the ads, he effectively made cancelling them the elusive company of nobody and everybody.
It won't be known until election which campaign will be among the collateral damage caused by the attention to this ad. The South is tough to predict. A Virginia governor can sound blatantly racist over the last 30 years of his life and still be poised to win a Senate race. Past the ridiculousness and poor acting of this ad in Tennessee, could even an inkling of what the ad says make people think twice about voting for Harold Ford, Jr.?
Rove is betting it does.
Posted by Steven Tavares at 10/24/2006