Friday, August 13, 2004

The Republican ads on African American Media Are Not All That Bad
Staunch Bush supporter, and one of the bloggers who has influenced me most, Jon Henke, does not feel it was appropriate for a Republican 527 group to run an ad on Black radio stations blaming Kerry for the failure of an unemployment benefit vote, when all the Republicans voted against it. Jon also takes issue with the group running an ad criticizing Teressa Heinz for calling herself an African American.

For once I am going to disagree with Jon. When African Americans vote for Democrats over Republicans by a nine to ten margin, it is appropriate for any group to ask them if they are getting value out of their vote. For if a key Democrat wasn't responsive to an issue of deep concern to african americans, why should that group continue to turn out? Additionally, if they feel that Democrats are as clueless to their values as Republicans by posing as black, why should they be so quick to come to the polls?

Now I don't agree with either of these views. But this is going to be an election with the gloves off - and in any contentious struggle, demoralizing the other side often leads to victory (provided it doesn't backfire). And if the Republicans think that this tactic will work, I don't necessarily see a problem with them trying it.

As such, I view the ad as at least a well thought out attack - it won't win Republicans any more votes, but if it hits the spot it may lower the turnout for a group that the Democrats must have come heavily to the poles to win.

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