Thursday, November 13, 2008

You Can't Beat This for Hypocrisy

During his 2002 Georgia Senate race, current US Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) ran the following political ad about his opponent, disabled, decorated Viet Nam war veteran former Senator Max Cleland.


Due in part to this ad Saxby Chambliss won that election in what most media outlets reported as a "surprise upset".

Here's how PBS' NewsHour reported the Chambliss win:

" The victory follows a heated campaign characterized by ugly campaign ads during the race's final weeks. One Chambliss ad, according to the Journal-Constitution, attempted to portray Cleland's procedural votes on setting up the proposed Department of Homeland Security as opposition to the president's efforts to defend the homeland.

Sen. Zell Miller, a fellow Georgia Democrat, appeared in a Cleland spot to defend his Senate colleague.

'It's disgraceful for anybody to question Max Cleland's commitment to our national security,' Miller said. Pointing to Cleland's record in the Vietnam War, during which he lost both legs and an arm, Miller said 'Max Cleland is my hero,' and his 'opponent should be ashamed.'

Chambliss backed a version of the homeland security legislation that would set aside employee union rules to allow President Bush to hire and fire federal workers in the new department. Cleland supported a version more favorable to those unions, which contributed heavily to his campaign, the Journal-Constitution reported.

Cleland consultant Karl Struble told Cox News Service the Chambliss ads used 'some of the ugliest stuff I've ever seen,' including 'using pictures of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein ... They're taking lying to a new art form in that race.' Chambliss media consultant, meanwhile, said Cleland's ads are 'so over the top negative' that they seemed designed to disgust uncommitted voters and keep them from the polls, Cox News Service reported.

On the issues, Chambliss and Cleland also sparred over a potential move to allow workers to direct some Social Security payments into private investment. Cleland was against such a move; Chambliss supported it. They also differed on health care and the president's economic plan."

Of course by 2002 the Republicans were honing their craft and knew that a smear campaign could be effective even if the target was a decorated war veteran. After all, in the 2000 Republican presidential primary, a highly effective smear campaign was waged against former Viet Nam POW and war hero Arizona Senator John McCain.

So in 2002 CNN quoted Senator John McCain as saying the following when heard about the ad that the Chambliss campaign had run against a fellow war veteran:

"I'd never seen anything like that ad. Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield -- it's worse than disgraceful. It's reprehensible."

And who did Georgians send to the Senate in 2002? It seems that it was a man who never met a corporate lobbyists that he didn't like.


Now it's 2008 and Senator John McCain, who during the course of this year's presidential campaign reminded us time and time and time again of his war record, is traveling to Georgia to help his "friend" Saxby Chambliss win a run-off election against his Democratic opponent Jim Martin.

You Simply Can't Beat This for Hypocrisy

Sen. Chambliss one young voter ( and millions like him) are determined to shine a light on this hypocrisy and encourage Georgia voters to go to the polls on December 2nd and elect Democrat Jim Martin.


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