Two sources of political nastiness
February 24, 2012 · Updated 11:35 AM
The media make a show of being even-handed by pretending that both political parties are equally at fault in negative campaigning. But nastiness has become one of the main thrusts of GOP politics, especially on the Internet.
Demagogues like Newt Gingrich have a flair for feeding the media’s appetite for bottom-feeding theatrics. Like Karl Rove, Newt is well-practiced in the uses of fear, smear and hate.
But while most candidates pretend to hew to the high road, they hire clever specialists to do their dirty work. As the undisputed master of dirty tricks, Karl Rove has received hundreds of millions of dollars from corporations bent on manipulating elections any way they can. They know nastiness works. People profess indignation at gutter politics, but believe even the most outrageous lies if the lies are repeated often enough.
When Gingrich founded his “Go-PAC,” he distributed a list of especially nasty terms and urged associates to use then at every opportunity to demonize and denigrate opponents. Even before Gingrich, politics often degenerated into mud-slinging spectacles. But Gingrich and Rove have had a big hand in making these tactics a mainstay of GOP strategy.