Attack Dogs

ATTACK DOGS….Via Atrios, I see that ABC News is running a story today about right-wing attack ads. The story acknowledges that “the nastiest rhetoric right now is coming from the political right,” and Jake Tapper and Greg McCown document this with several examples. Then they end with this:

Democrats aren’t necessarily running clean campaigns, though. As the races tighten in the next couple of weeks, the left will likely unleash its garbage as well.

Needless to say, they present exactly zero evidence for this.

I’m not breaking any new ground here when I say that this is, as usual, inexplicable. Sure, neither party is simon pure, but Tapper and McCown know perfectly well that the nauseating and polarized nature of modern American politics is almost entirely a Republican invention. From Lee Atwater to Rush Limbaugh to Newt Gingrich to Ken Starr to Tom DeLay to the Rove/Bush/Cheney machine, the Republican Party has pioneered a scorched-earth approach to politics that Democrats have never come close to matching. Their destruction of congressional traditions in the service of power has gone immensely farther than anything Democrats did when they were in power. Their deliberate and single-minded fealty to K Street lobbyists makes Democrats look like pikers.

Tapper and McCown know this. But they still insist on acting as if somehow both parties are equally responsible for this state of affairs.

I know I’m a partisan observer. But no one who’s followed politics for the past decade or two can pretend not to know how we got where we are today. For some reason, though, they sure do try.