On Friday, I received an e-mail from a leftie She’s Right reader asking me to give my opinion of the “attack ads” that Republican US Senate candidate Rich Tarrant has been airing against Congressman Bernie Sanders.
I know you’re supporting Parke, but wondering what you think of the latest series of Tarrant’s Bernie-bashing ads?
I have been able to miss most of the Tarrant ads, so I had to watch them online.
Bernie has responded with his own ad, which I have seen on TV. In it, Bernie directs people to his website “The Truth,” where he defends his record.
According to this BFP article, “Noting that Tarrant has tapped his personal fortune to finance his bid for a Senate seat, Sanders said he couldn’t answer each Tarrant ad with one of his own.”
BS doesn’t just stand for Bernie Sanders. According to the last filing with the FEC, Sanders actually had more money than Tarrant. Tarrant’s self-financed campaign was the best thing that ever happened to Sanders. It has made it easier for him to milk as many donations as he can out of his left-wing supporters.
Back to the ads, I think that when facing a politician who has been in office for such a long time, whose record has been largely unchallenged and has been given a free-pass by the media, it is perfectly acceptable to call his record into question. Bernie should have to answer for these votes, especially when he is one of 15 or so representatives who voted no on most of them.
In some cases, he has responded and he certainly has the venues to do so through the media and his own campaign.
I can’t help but notice that Bernie’s truth website does not address some of the areas raised by the Tarrant campaign, most notably the charge that he repeatedly voted to cut intelligence funding.
The question being raised, by Bernie himself even, is whether or not this type of campaign is acceptable in Vermont. To that I propose a counter-question: if there was a Republican candidate in this election, who held a federal office and supported President Bush, would it be okay to criticize his record? Would the holier-than-thou left-wing refrain from such “dirty tactics”?
No. They would jump on that quicker than you can say “Jim=George”!
Two wrongs indeed do not make a right, but I felt the need to highlight the blatant hypocrisy at work here.
Now for my opinion of the ads themselves. I think they only serve to make Tarrant look bad. I doubt that many people will want to believe that what they say about Bernie is true, even if it is. Bernie has a persona built in the minds of Vermonters as someone who cares about them and these ads portray the opposite of what they have come to know about Bernie.
I think a better strategy would be to represent Bernie as he is known to people and explain why Tarrant is a better choice.
Bernie is a Democratic Socialist and admittedly so. Bernie cares about the poor and the working class. Bernie believes that the best way to help them is by taxing the rich and the greedy corporations and putting that money into government programs.
That is who he is. People know and believe this.
But, is that what people really want?
When I was growing up (in Vermont, BTW), there was a saying, “you can’t trust the government to fix anything; they’ll only make it worse.” The stubborn, hard-working native Vermonter does not trust the government to get it right.
Bernie Sanders represents the opposite of Vermont’s independent roots. Bernie encourages dependence and Vermonters don’t want that.
There is no shortage of hard-working Vermonters, who would never rely on a government program due to their rock-solid work ethic, who continue to vote for Bernie because they believe that he cares, even though his brand of caring goes against their own beliefs. Someone should point that out to them.
If I was running, I would represent Bernie exactly as he represents himself and tell you why, although he means well, in the long run his ideas will end up hurting our state and our country.
Socialism does not work. It goes against the very nature of human beings to strive to be their best. A socialist system that is based on the government redistributing wealth punishes success and rewards complacency.
I could fill pages with the reasons why socialism will ruin America, but my point is that Tarrant doesn’t need to paint a picture of Bernie that goes against the image people have come to know. He could simply show Bernie for who he is and present himself as a better alternative.