Fighting Back

FIGHTING BACK….Commenting on the continuing Democratic obsession with the attack ads that cost Max Cleland his Senate seat in the 2002 election, Matt Yglesias comments:

Democrats over and over again seem to think that biographical qualities either are or [ought] to somehow immunize nominees from political attacks based on national security issues and they keep getting burned. They need to get over it ? the world doesn’t work that way and the world shouldn’t work that way. This is on a par with whining that Republicans are politicizing national security. Well, guess what, national security is a political issue. The Democratic Party is full of politicians. They need to learn to do politics ? the whining just looks weak and pathetic.

I agree, and I note that the same thing is happening over the latest Republican ad, “These Are the Stakes,” a standard-issue bit of fear-mongering with roots in both LBJ’s infamous “Daisy” ad from 1964 and Reagan’s “Bear in the Woods” ad from 1984.

Don’t like it? Then fight back instead of complaining. Run an ad showing a mushroom cloud over the Korean peninsula and asking how George Bush let things get to this point. Why not?

In any case, Marc Lynch makes the right criticism of the Republican ad. He thinks that al-Qaeda’s media arm, al-Sahab, must be pretty jazzed that the GOP is helping the cause:

This is not just a video which suggests that Republicans will be better at fighting terror. It actually very closely resembles real al-Qaeda videos….This video would not look out of place on a jihadi forum, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it actually gets posted on them and admired (although the production values are a bit low for an actual al-Sahab product).

Anyone involved in analyzing or combating al-Qaeda’s media strategies has to be astounded that the Republican National Committee has financed, produced, distributed on the internet, and aired on US television what is for all intents and purposes an al-Qaeda recruitment video. The video, if it works as intended, will frighten the American people and influence American politics… just like al-Qaeda’s own videos. Bin Laden couldn’t be prouder, or more grateful, especially since it didn’t cost him a thing.

Read the whole thing for more on this theme. Marc notes that the Arab media has caught on to this “bizarre turn of events” even if the American media hasn’t.

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