Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Rocky Takes Up The Defense Of Schaffer . . .

Since nobody else seems to want to.

And I'm glad the Rocky noticed, but the underlying issue is still troubling.

I wrote a while ago about the full-scale ad campaign being run at the evening news hour, attacking Bob Schaffer and his ties to oil companies. I concluded this:

Schaffer is being hammered right now about his ties to the oil industry; I'd like to see him hit back and hit back hard at the people who have made it impossible to maintain a household budget any more.

The Rocky writes this today:

Perhaps what Colorado really deserves is a Senate campaign that involves a serious discussion of energy issues rather than sleazy scapegoating. In pursuit of that goal, however, voters apparently won't get any help from the League of Conservation Voters.

To date, both of us have been rather disappointed.

Of course, the Schaffer campaign has not attempted to answer the attack ads, which has left the room entirely void of the serious debate the Rocky is hoping for. And now that speculation has gas approaching $6 in the near future, the absence of that debate is bordering on criminal.

On one level, we suppose, Atkinson's take on the Senate race amounts to conventional wisdom: Unrebutted negative ads take their toll on candidates. Yet in this case the ad is so crude and lurid, and the message so remarkable, that its possible success is a depressing commentary on swing voters in this state. [emphasis mine]

Actually, I disagree--as much as I would like to agree. Given the state of the recent polls in the Presidential race, I find it increasingly easy to believe that the entire country is a "depressing commentary on swing voters." But, more directly, the Rocky has it right: unrebutted negative ads take their toll.

If the ratio of LCV/Udall ads were about 1 to 1, then, given a tough year, one could expect a small margin for Udall; given that the ratio is currently about 10,000 to . . . um, let's see . . . ZERO, that the margin is ONLY 10 points is rather remarkable.

It's early, and I don't want anybody to get too worked up just yet. I just hope that our side doesn't recognize too late that this is a gunfight, and we should pull out something more than our pocket knives.

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

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