Monday, November 13, 2006

Hi, I'm Harold Ford, and I'm confused

In the orgy of disingenuousness that characterizes our political campaigns, a new low was reached by Tennessee congressional candidate Harold Ford. A black man purportedly running as a Democrat, Ford went into Houdini-like contortions to distance himself from his party's traditional positions. In his ads, he asserted that he was a church-going, God-fearing Christian, a gun-loving hunter and a social conservative. I mean, I half-expected him to blurt out, "And folks, I'm not even black!"

Of course, this is not to overlook the typically despicable attack ad aired by his opponent -- and eventual winner -- Bob Corker, which used a long-ago Ford visit to the Playboy mansion as a springboard to suggest that Ford was a racially motivated sexual predator. That Ford was looking to despoil white maidenhood -- albeit of the stripper variety, a trailer park version of the antebellum defense of Southern male pride.

Perhaps this ad -- and the controversy it engendered -- was a factor in Ford's narrow defeat. And maybe his anti-identity politics even won him some redneck votes. But this desperate desire among Democrats to ape the worst qualities and positions of troglodyte Republicans while foregoing their traditional constituents is a disastrous strategy, if not for them then certainly for the rest of us who live in the reality-based community.

"Hi, I'm Hillary Clinton, and I'm really a man..."

No comments: