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Democrats' strategy is to get up and dirty

July 07, 2010

Going into the mid-term elections, the Democrats have their campaign strategy all planned out, and it can be summed up in one word: "Dirt." I like it.

According to the Washington Post, Democrats know that for them, this year will be much like 2008 was for the Detroit Lions, since they --Democrats, not the Detroit Lions -- are being blamed by the public for the moribund housing market, high unemployment, the BP oil spill and our loss to Ghana in the World Cup.

But despite all the bad news, the Post reports that the Democrats have an ace up their sleeve, a secret weapon that will give them a fighting chance: Republicans.

"The Democratic Party is moving faster and more aggressively than in previous election years to dig up unflattering details about Republican challengers," writes Philip Rucker. "In House races from New Jersey to Ohio to California, Democratic operatives are seizing on evidence of GOP candidates' unpaid income taxes, property tax breaks and ties to financial firms that received taxpayer bailout money."

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Yeah, yeah, three words come to mind: Shooting. Fish. Barrel.

I mean, what exactly is there to "dig up?" Ducking taxes and accepting federal handouts in private while decrying them in public are kind of GOP tickets for entry, as far as I know.

That's the great thing about being a Republican. Everyone kind of assumes you have some sort of shady money deal going, so no one's surprised when you get caught.

In fact, the difference between Republican money scams and Democrat money scams is that the Republicans are smart enough to actually understand what they're doing. When a Democrat like Charles Rangel tells us he didn't know what was going on with his own finances, we, sadly, have to conclude that he's probably telling the truth.

So whether this grown-up, Democratic plan to go full National Enquirer on Republicans will work is difficult to say. So far they've turned up, for example, one candidate who tried to get out of paying $1.4 million in taxes, and another who got an agricultural exemption on his land holdings by purchasing four donkeys.

Big deal. I think if I owed $1.4 million in taxes, I'd try to get out of it, too. And speaking from experience, I can guarantee that those donkeys are now causing that poor Republican more headaches than any tax credit could possibly be worth.

Still, Democrats, says the Post, "are advising campaigns to hire trackers to follow their Republican opponents to public events with video cameras, ready to catch any gaffe or misstatement. And the Democratic National Committee last week issued a call to the public to submit any embarrassing audio or video of Republicans."

Love it. It's straight out of the playbook of that little camera-toting shrew who showed up at ACORN offices and later tried to bug a senator's phone line. Maybe Democrats are hoping to land their own reality show. Someone better tell them that "Big Brother" is already taken.

So the Democrats are taking the hired goon approach, while the Republicans are taking the Nancy Pelosi approach. Really, that's all you ever hear them say any more.

Reporter: "Sir, how do you answer for the fact that Wall Street banks funneled federal bailout money into your own campaign fund?"

GOP candidate: "Um -- Nancy Pelosi!"

I don't know much about the woman, but she must really be a witch. Nice to see that both sides are thinking such deep thoughts about the fall elections.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant video under opinion@herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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