Archive for the ‘Whisper Campaign’ Category

So the stats are in – the Mormon Factor is Big. Fresh from Florida For Romney.

Vanderbilt poll explains why Romney’s flip-flopper label sticks; Political scientist says anti-Mormon bias finds cover.

“There is no question that Romney has changed his positions on some issues, but so have some of the other candidates,” Geer said. “Why does the label stick to Romney but not his opponents? At least some of the answer lies in Romney’s Mormon beliefs.”

–John Greer

“We find that of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping, many admit it is Romney’s Mormonism and not his flip-flopping that is the real issue,”…………“Our survey shows that 26 percent of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping also indicate that Mormonism, not flip-flopping, is their problem with Romney.”

–Brett Benson

“Benson noted that the pattern is especially strong for conservative Evangelicals. According to the poll, 57 percent of them have a bias against Mormons.”

“The study’s findings suggest that criticizing Romney for flip-flopping is an effective campaign strategy because it sticks with two different groups: those who are genuinely concerned about Romney’s shifts on certain issues and those who use the label as cover for the fact that they do not want to vote for a Mormon for president.”

–News from Vanderbilt University

Now, we already knew that this was the case, but now there’s significant statistics and findings to go along with our assumption.


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Some amazing comments and posts out there today. I’d like to highlight a comment by “John Doe” over at Marc Ambinder’s post listing some pretty good Huckabee facts that were sent out in an Catholics beware of Huckabee emailer. The religious intolerance is pretty much alienating him from the rest of the country. Huckabee is in big poo because of his playing the Evangelical stuff to the hilt. He and his following are making a lot more enemies than friends. If Evangelicals think they are going to get anywhere, there have been more than a few people saying they would vote for Hillary before they would vote for him. This is also coming down to how people are looking at their Evangelical neighbors now that they know how they “really feel”. I know quite a few Utah Mormons are for Ron Paul, and while I understand their points, it’s just a wasted vote at this time. I’d be hard pressed to say that when it came down to it, Mormons, including the Ron Paul Mormons, are not going to vote a Mormon-hater into the White House. So, Huck’s low IQ didn’t seem to factor in the Mormon factor either.

Here’s the comment:


Let us assume for a moment that Mike Huckabee gets nominated by the Republican Party for the presidency. I know it is a bold assumption.. Let us examine his chances of his winning the general election without Mormon votes. Given current American voting trends and demographics, he would have no chance. If the Huckster is nominated, the swing states of Nevada (about 10% Mormon), Oregon (4%) and New Mexico (4%) will swing to the Democrats. Remember that President Bush lost Oregon by a couple thousand votes in 2000; New Mexico by a few hundred and picked it up in 2004 by an equally slim margin. Besides losing swing states in 2008, Republicans could also lose solidly red states if they embrace the bigot for president. What would losing a large voting block in, if not the states of, Utah (1.8 million Mormons), Idaho (15%), Wyoming (14%), and Arizona (6%) (you don’t hear McCain bashing Mormons, do you? in fact he’s done just the opposite) do for Republican hopes in 2008? Defections of Mormons in Colorado (131,000) and California (750,000) might cost a few Republican congressional seats. Losing the most-solidly Republican block in the country, the Mormons, or even putting it in play, would turn red states blue and eliminate any hopes of Republicans holding Colorado in the Senate or retaining the White House.

Mormons are tolerant folks, but they don’t tolerate anti-Mormon hostility, especially the bigotry that has been demonstrated by Huckabee’s supporters and, by extension Huckabee, for Huckabee’s failure to call them on it. So, when all of these Mormons decide that they are not going to tolerate an anti-Mormon bigot in the White House, will Mormons in those states vote for a third party or just stay home? Both options are being openly discussed in Mormon circles. If it is a third party, Mormons trend Libertarian; but that is beside the point. How could you vote for someone who is completely intolerant of your faith? Mormons have marched along supporting the candidates of the evangelical right for decades (who voted more reliably for Bush than Mormons? Not evangelicals.) and this Mormon and many others he happens to be talking to are ready to leave the party if Huckabee is nominated or his anti-Mormon campaign continues to be tolerated by the party.

Think of Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Arizona turning blue? Impossible? Not if an anti-Mormon is on the Republican ticket. People say Romney can’t win without evangelicals, well, Huckabee or any other Republican can’t win without Mormons in 2008. It’s a two-way street. No Republican will win the presidency in 2008 without us.

Before anyone discounts the idea of blue Mormons, consider that Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate is, a Mormon, who, despite being a Democrat, has enjoyed splitting the typically Republican Mormon vote in Nevada. More telling is that Utah County, the home of BYU and the most densely Mormon and Republican area in Utah had a Democrat representing it in Congress for most of the 1990s.

If anyone has any questions about how strongly many of us feel about this, let me say that I am as likely to support Mike Huckabee as Jesse Jackson would support David Duke. Is that clear enough?

Here’s the anti-Huckabee email going around:

Michigan Catholic Voter Alert:
What Michigan Catholics MUST Know About Mike Huckabee

FACT: Mike Huckabee has exhibited a willful blindness in associating with anti-Catholicism when it has benefited him politically.

FACT: Instead of supporting a healthy expression of religion in the public square, Mike Huckabee has used his evangelical protestant faith as a wedge to divide the Republican Party and gain support from fellow evangelicals.

FACT: While claiming to believe Catholics are fellow Christians, Mike Huckabee has kept close acquitance with evangelical leaders who have:

  • Compared Catholicism to a disease requiring ‘recovery’ and rehabilitation;
  • Said the Catholic Church collaborated with the Nazis to exterminate Jews;
  • Accused the Catholic Church of pulling mankind into the ‘dark ages’.

FACT: Mike Huckabee has been endorsed by anti-Catholic author Tim Lahaye , who called Catholicism a “false religion” Lahaye’s Church also funded “Mission to Catholics”, a virulently anti-Catholic ministry.

Read More: Catholic.org: False Profit: Money, Prejudice, and Bad Theology in Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind Series and at The Catholic League: The Best-Selling Bigotry of Left Behind

FACT: Mike Huckabee has also played up anti-Mormon sentiment against Governor Mitt Romney by asking a reporter if it was the Mormon Church that taught that Jesus and the devil were half-brothers. For more information, click here .

FACT: Mike Huckabee turned a blind eye to an anti-Catholic whisper campaign waged against Catholic Senator Sam Brownback in the run up to the Iowa Straw Poll in July 2007. For more information, click here .

FACT: While Mike Huckabee has declared himself to be the authentic pro-life candidate in the 2008 Republican primary, in 2006 alone he accepted $35,000 in cash from Novo Nordisk, a company dedicated to promoting research on human life through destructive embryonic stem cell research.

Case in Point: Mike Huckabee was the guest speaker at the notoriously anti-Catholic Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX on December 23, 2007.

Huckabee was hosted by the Rev. John Hagee, who has written that the Catholic Church collaborated with Hitler in staying completely silent during the Holocaust. This would be a surprise to millions of Catholics who struggled against Nazism, most especially St. Maximillan Kolbe.

Here is a sampling of Pastor Hagee’s writings:

John Hagee: “Most readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews.”
John Hagee: “The Catholic Church plunged the world into the dark ages.”
John Hagee: ” When Hitler became a global demonic monster, the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII never, ever slightly criticized him.”
What does Mike Huckabee think about John Hagee?

Huckabee said John Hagee is, “one of the greatest Christian leaders of our nation.”

But the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has a different opinion of John Hagee:

READ MORE: “John Hagee: Veteran Bigot.”

What did Mike Huckabee do when presented with these vicious statements made by John Hagee about Catholics and the Catholic Church?

Nothing, but Huckabee did make this very equivocal statement: “I can’t speak for (Hagee) anymore than he could speak for me. I’m sure that there’re things I’ll say that he disagrees with… I would certainly never characterize the Catholic Church as being pro-Nazi, never.”
Just imagine if a politician:

Spoke at a church/organization which denied the Holocaust ever existed;
Said he did not agree with this statement of the church/organization;
But then went on to call the leader of this church/organization (who made the statement denying the Holocaust) one of the finest leaders in our nation.

Imagine this scenario no longer: Mike Huckabee has put forward this ridiculous line of reasoning.

And to top it off, Huckabee accepted $10,000 from Hagee for speaking at the church!
Why did the self-anointed authentic pro-life candidate in this election—Mike Huckabee—accept $35,000 in 2006 from Novo Nordisk, a company that conducts life-destructive embryonic stem cell research?

While this story line sounds too salacious to be true, Mike Huckabee did in fact accept $35,000 from Novo Nordisk in 2006, a company that is one of the largest embryonic stem cell research firms in the world.

What was the reason for these payments? Huckabee accepted the money for ‘consulting services/speaking fees’. Huckabee accepted this money nonetheless while he was the sitting Governor of Arkansas.

How can pro-lifers trust this man when he has taken so much money—for so little actual work– from a company that profits from the destruction of human life? Simply, put, they can’t. At minimum, why won’t Mike Huckabee return this money?

Sadly, Mike Huckabee would seek to divide conservatives and Republicans along religious lines for political gain. While America needs a more robust expression of faith in the public square, it does not need a preacher politician who has shown a repeated pattern of dividing people along religious lines. The shared values of Protestants and Catholics are too important to risk endangering this important coalition by nominating Mike Huckabee, a candidate who has demonstrated a blind eye to anti-Catholicism.

Michigan Catholic Voters:
Do you want a president who rubs shoulders with Anti-Catholic Bigots?
On Tuesday, January 15th , you have a chance to be heard.

Vote Against Anti-Catholic Bigotry.
Vote Against Mike Huckabee .

Also, I must not forget Mark Levin’s post who says it wonderfully – and I have to say that I am so thankful for the work Mark does – especially the terrific impact he has on Sean who get this message out there for some of us, the only way we can get our right-wing fix on some day is the car. This is tireless work so here’s

Deplorable Campaigning   [Mark R. Levin]


Mike Huckabee: “Many of us who have been Republicans out of conviction . . . the social conservatives,” he told reporters, “were welcomed in the party as long as we sort of kept our place, but Lord help us if we ever stood forward and said we would actually like to lead the party.”  More here.

Huckabee continues to use his faith as a weapon against those who question not his faith, but his political populism — much of which he shares with secular progressives.  And he is clearly hoping to stir up resentment among Evangelical Christians against the other elements of the conservative movement and Republican Party as a way of encouraging them to vote in the caucuses and primaries.

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Mostly transcribed from Politico’s Post – see actual pdf here.

This you just have to see for yourself. This is a correspondence to all the “Jim Jones” folks promoting Huckabee from everything from the pulpit to the parking lot. I think Michigan needs to send out the IRS Swat Team to every evangelical church in Michigan and see a whole bunch of churches lose their tax-exempt status.
(My comments are like this.)

From “Gary Glenn” To: Undisclosed-Recipient
1/06/2008 11:49:13 PM

How to Win Michigan for Huckabee!
Our highest priorities for the next ten days.

We were stunned when we saw the poll numbers in Michigan in which we were first or second. …Michigan is turning out to be a very key state for us.” Gov. Mike Huckabee, Detroit News, Jan 3, 2007

“In the past, Christian conservatives have made up anywhere from a quarter to a third fo the Republican electorate in Michigan. In a Detroit News-WXYZ Action News poll last month, 40 percent of likely Republican primary voters in Michiga described themselves as evangelical or fundamentalist Christians.” Detroit News, Jan 4, 2007

Dear Huckabee supporter,

The e-mail I sent earlier is the single most effective way to turn out only identified Huckabee supporters on primary election day, Jan 15th.

For those who do not have the time or manpower to make all those voter I.D. phone calls, here is the second most important campaign objective in the eight days remaining, and it focuses particularly on this coming Sunday, Jan 13th.

What portion of the voting public is most strongly in favor of Gov. Huckabee?

The answer: Evangelical Churches

Members of evangelical churches vote for Huckabee by a 6-to-1 margin over Mitt Romney, meaning that if we turned out every evangelical Christian on election day, Gov. Huckabee would get six times as many votes as Romney!

So how do we target evangelical churches and effectively turn out members of those churches?

Read below, and please do as much as you possibly can between now and Jan 15th.



Which churches should we mobilize for turnout on Jan 15th?

Assembly of God, Baptist, Church of God, Nazarenes, Lutheran, non-denomination, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Reformed, Word of Faith

Which churches should we leave alone?

According to a Detroit News poll, Romney leads by a wide margin among Catholics and, obviously, Mormons. Also, any church you know to be liberal on issues such as abortion and protecting traditional marriage.

HOW do we mobilize evangelical churches to vote Jan 15th?

1. Recruit other Huckabee supporters to help you call every evangelical pastor in your community with a two-pronged message:

  • Ask every pastor to be sure this Sunday, Jan 13th, to simply remind his congregation to vote on Tuesday, Jan 15th. Not vote for Huckabee — a pastor legally cannot do that from the pulpit — just remember to vote, period. If every evangelical church member votes, Gov. Huckabee wins 6 votes for every one vote that goes to Romney.
  • Ask each pastor if he’d be willing to personally — as an individual — endorse Gov. Huckabee. This is perfectly legal. For those who will, schedule a news conference this Friday, Jan 11th, at the public library or a local restaurant or hotel conference room (not a church), and invite all pro-Huckabee pastors to attend. Then contact your area newspapers and tell them who, what, when, and where so they can attend and give the Huckabee campaign endorsements free media coverage. (Any pastor who’s undecided, refer him to http://www.MikeHuckabee.com for more information) (No LDS church is allowed to promote any candidate from the pulpit, the only thing we hear – and then that is only rarely – are reminders to vote and to help with specific issues – never a candidate – If one of my Bishops got up and promoted a candidate, I would be really offended and insulted. I don’t like people trying to impose their stuff on me.)

2. Recruit Huckabee supporters to call all the members of their church and urge their fellow members to vote for Gov. Huckabee. They in turn should recruit other Huckabee supporters in their church to help them. Nothing is more powerful than the personal testimony of one church member to another.

If a Huckabee supporter is unable to make the calls himself, ask him to share the membership directory of his church so that other Hucakbaee supporters who don’t go to that particular church can help call church members with a respectful polite reminder to vote on Jan 15th (and hopefully for Huckabee). (All Mormon church member directories have a “this information is to be used for church purposes only – so where do they even think they can do this??? Oh that’s right, you can do anything as long as you don’t get caught.)

3. Recruit volunteers to stand this Sunday on public sidewalks across the street from parking lots of the biggest evangelical churches you can find, as people are departing church services, and wave Huckabee campaign signs and home-made signs that say:

HUCKABEE for President
Vote Tuesday, Jan 15th!

order campaign signs – blah blah blah

4. Call all local Christian radio stations.

Strongly urge them to run Public Service Announcements reminding listeners to vote on Jan 15th.

Call in to Christian radio talk shows in your area live and remind listeners to vote Jan 15th.

5. Distribute pro-Huckabee literature on the cars of church parking lots during each worship service between now and Jan 15th.

Be advised that if you ask permission in advance, you will likely be refused. (OMgoodness, these people are crazy!!!!)

Here are suggested flyers that address his views on faith, protecting prenatal life, and preserving marriage:

blah, blah, blah

Here is legal advice received from Priests for Life regarding leafleting church parking lots:

Elections and the Church Parking Lot

With primaries taking place in various parts of the nation and the general election fast approaching, many pastors are approached by people who wish to distribute campaign literature in the Church parking lot or who simply do it on their own.

There is no reason to throw such people off the property simply for putting literature on cars. (You’ve got to be kidding.) Among the attorneys who advise us at Priests for Life are James Bopp, Jr. and Barry Bostrom, who are among the nation’s leading experts on tax law and on what Chruches are allowed to do regarding elections. In a recent letter, they advised us as follows:

The distribution of campaign material by others in the church parking lot will not jeopardize the church’s tax exempt status. (You’ve got to be really kidding! Oh let’s just find every single crack in the law and squeeze our big, fat, polyester-wearing, evangelical rear-ends right on through why don’t you!) The mere permission of distribution of campaign materials by others in the church parking lot is not regulated by the Internal Revenue Code. (That’s because they didn’t think for one minute you people would find every possible way to break the law without actually getting caught! Have you ever heard of “avoiding even the ‘appearance of evil’ – apparently not.) The Code and its regulations are designed to limit only the activities and expenditures of non-profit organizations. Distribution of campaign materials by others out doors, in a public parking lot, is not an activity or expenditure of the church. (Okay, so how “public” are these parking lots? Aren’t they owned by the churches thereby making them church property? Like Duh!)

In most states there are state court decisions holding that such activity is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and/or the State Constitution, and therefore, the church will suffer no adverse consequences as a result of this activity. Tehre are many cases recognizing the free speech rights of individuals and protecting speech and petitioning, reasonably exercised, in public areas, even when the property is privately owned.

In other words, churches not only may permit campaign statements to be distributed in their public parking lots, they cannot prohibit such distributions because the parking lots are open to the public. (Oh ya? You wanna bet? This is full of poo – and you know it is if it has to be done without permission and those holding signs have to be across the street off the property. The kool-aid they are trying to cult you into believing is that this is all okay and you can’t stop it – yet everything else in this memo tells you to be “extra careful” or those IRS guys will be out to get you.)

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Here we are a couple days out of the Iowa fiasco. Mitt Romney came in a distant second to Mike Huckabee. News on the ground explains that Evangelicals were aflame because the big news Huckabee’s subliminal floating cross raised their ire. So, in defense, they came out in droves. They came out to make sure the Latter-day Saint faith was “illegitimized” and the defense of their “faith” succeeded. What I see is a legacy of mobs burning Mormons at the stake continued into this century. I saw a mob come out to “crucify” Mitt Romney.

I am Christian. I am Mormon. I was offended by Mike Huckabee’s ad. This comes after some of the ugliest weeks of attempted destruction and “illegitimizing” of my faith. Had Evangelicals, in particular Mike Huckabee and his garbage bag of worshippers actually done “what Jesus would have done”, this race could be oh so different. And let’s not leave out John McCain and both candidates disgusting, bottom-feeding shadow campaigns. No change in policy that Mitt Romney has ever made justifies or qualifies the virtual “burning at the stake” these professed “Christians” have attempted at the Latter-day Saint faith (Mormons) or to the candidate Mitt Romney.

I am full aware of Mitt Romney’s changes in stance on some issues. I am not naive in this regard at all. If Harry Reid – also a Mormon – were running for this election, I would do everything in my power to keep him from office. I say this to qualify that I would not vote for a member of my faith simply because we attend the same world-wide church.

What I find shocking is that our nation would be hard pressed to find any Evangelical who has accomplished the same level of success in all areas of life the way Mitt Romney has. He has been blessed with the phenomenal combination of “hard work” meeting “opportunity” in just about every area of his life. I would like to see any candidate or “Evangelical” who can make these kinds of claims.

Mitt Romney and his family have accomplished success in business, family and poltics that in all regards, populist Evangelicals and non-conservatives can only greedily hope to ever attain. What I suspect is that the Evangelicals are mainly a poor to middle-class religion. The ones who make it to the top are the ones who have exploited the collection plate as keepers of “ministries” or “congregations”. It’s just a suspicion of mine, but I’d venture to say that any religion willing to pay $25,000 for a guest speaker let alone $100 is just out of their minds. The premise that you get “paid” to prosper doing any of the Lord’s work is absurd – just saying. It’s really all about what’s in it for themselves.

So in order to justify their many ethical, political, social, and familial failures, they (these Mormon-hating Evangelicals) must do everything they can to degrade and defame the one candidate who has accomplished so many of the goals these other groups “claim” to want for our country. They profess to want stronger families, success in employment, less dependence on government, clean political stances – in other words, the rugged individual’s American dream. But their candidate, Mike Huckabee is anything but that. His success only comes from the mastery of manipulation of people and their pocketbooks.

Mitt Romney exemplifies the honor and privilege of achieving and accomplishing most, if not all, of those dreams. Yes he is a convert to “life”. Isn’t that we all want? Everyone has made this case ad nauseum. I, too, am a convert. There was a time when I wanted young women to choose life of their own volition, through “long suffering and persuasion”. Times have changed. Our culture is not what it used to be. The moral fiber of our country is disintegrating by the second. There are no fences or guardrails to keep the self-destruction of our nation anymore. Just look to Britany Spears and family to see the model of this. And so the time has come for organized matter dissolve into its unorganized state, the time has also come to put the brakes in place for protecting life.

In the last few weeks, more hangings at traffic lights and cranes took place in Iran . See for yourself if you have the guts. Warning: one is a video of living people dying by hanging at a main intersection by traffic lights. The other are the photos.

Do these populist voters have any idea of the “fences and guardrails” that would be imposed upon us if we continue to take our freedom for granted and hand the GOP over to people that make us “feel good”. Can anyone see what is at stake? Want another shocker? Watch how the Chinese feed live animals to crowds of lions for fun at their local zoos to desensitize their children to the sport and leisure of voracious killing. And by the way, they hang people for adultery. How many people in this country, including Britany Spears, would even be left – let alone a couple of presidential candidates, if Sharia law were to be in effect in this country?

This is not anything about bass guitar playing, Jay Leno schmoozing. This is about voting a candidate who has the experience of sometimes tough, heart wrenching life decisions. This is NOT a game. This is not about fun. This is about voting an executive leader into the greatest office of the greatest nation on this planet. Our voting is about issues.

Mitt Romney is the man with the experience and ethics to carry this nation forward. It is time to set aside jealousy for success, class envy, and liberal antics. Mitt Romney is the best candidate for President of the United States.

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Mark Hemmingway at NRO has made an excellent case as to why we NEED “voter education ads” otherwise known as “negative ads” or “contrast ads”. I can’t even begin to capture the essence of this the way Mark does, so let me highlight the best of this article. But it’s one that needs to be read in it’s entirety when you have a chance.

It’s hard to determine what kind of stunt Mike Huckabee was trying to pull when he unveiled his proposed negative ad against Mitt Romney for the assembled media on Monday. He did so not, of course, before he oh-so-magnanimously explained to the assembled press that he was above negative campaign tactics and had pulled the proposed ad from Iowa TV stations.

Was this dissembling a disingenuous tactic proposed by Huckabee’s occasionally shifty campaign manager Ed Rollins? Or was it the Baptist preacher evincing a sincere desire to not be pushed into running a dirty campaign? The media was certainly credulous about the stunt, though I think Mike Huckabee’s motivations are almost beside the point…

…As far as I can tell, there is nothing wrong with them. And yet, the stigma is so bad that the Romney campaign has insisted on referring to their Huckabee attacks as “contrast ads.” That’s a fairly cowardly description. Make no mistake, the impetus of the ads that Romney has been running recently in Iowa is to tear Huckabee down rather than build Romney up. The better euphemism would be that they are “voter education ads.” However off-putting the aesthetics of such ads are — with their unflattering black and white photos and dissonant piano chords — negative campaign ads are just about the only occasion voters are offered any real facts or substantive information about a candidate…

…However, somewhere along the line, the media and the electorate at large have become comfortable with the idea that people interviewing for the toughest job in the world should not be judged in relative terms. Instead, elections have become rather like pageants — candidates are allowed to make their case individually, but are not permitted by the rules of etiquette to go after one another. It’s as if they think they can sashay down the catwalk, hoping that guest judge Erik Estrada is impressed enough by the interview segment in which they rattled off their five-point plan to partition Iraq and share oil revenues, to overcome the lackluster score from their trumpet rendition of the theme from Star Wars in the talent competition. That last bit may seem like a joke, but Huckabee showed up on Leno the night before the Iowa caucuses playing his bass with The Tonight Show band. Bootsy he is not, but it was still a shrewd move. Remember when Bill Clinton went on Arsenio and played saxophone and George W. Bush started speaking Spanish on the campaign trail? The media astonishment was comparable to coming home and discovering the family dog was in the middle of weatherproofing the deck…

The coarseness of American culture, manifested by even its cable news programs, is a topic of substantial commentary. Yet somehow the media has also accepted as axiomatic, the idea that negative ads somehow are offensive to the electorate at large, and especially the genteel Midwestern dispositions of Iowa voters.

Emphasis added:

If Huckabee won because Iowans are easily off-put by Romney’s negativity, we really need to do something about the primary schedule such that we aren’t stuck with Hawkeyes’ delicate sensibilities determining the leader of the free world in every election. Perhaps the national parties could be convinced with the right ad campaign: “Iowa … wrong on corn subsidies… wrong on winter weather… wrong on the Byzantine electoral selection process… WRONG FOR AMERICA!”

But obviously, Iowans — and others — can handle the truth that comes with negative ads. Otherwise they wouldn’t be so darn effective and politicians wouldn’t use them. That’s why, like clockwork, we turn on the TV every November and find ourselves staring at grainy photos of some schmuck in a suit angrily pointing his finger at us while randomly selected pejorative adjectives from local newspapers dissolve slowly on and off the screen.

More than anything, we say we want politicians to be honest. And yet, we make them smile through their teeth and pretend to like the other guy every election. Let them be honest about why they don’t like the other guy and we might get better leaders. But before we can demand honest politicians, perhaps we need to be honest with ourselves — about the fact we like and need negative campaign ads.

And let’s not forget, there is a hideous encouragement that somehow it is even remotely acceptable to declare open season by unethical or unconstitutional push-polling or other below-the-belt shadow campaigning. The sick attacks on Mitt Romney’s religion reveal a bottom-feeding baseness of the other candidates and their advisers, namely Mike Huckabee, Dick Morris, Ed Rollins, and John McCain that reveal the most disgusting enterprise of this country. This sadly has existed since the first religionists landed on the shore of this country. You would think this country has stopped burning people at the stake, but there is no doubt the practice continues virtually.

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