This flyer — including a well-known photo of an actual lynching — purports to say what will happen to President Obama in the Senate if Kay Hagan isn’t reelected to that oh-so-august body.
A big fat lie? Certainly.
Will it drive Democrats to the polls? Very possibly.
Of those three points, only the last one counts. It’s vile and despicable, but these things work.
Republicans must remember this.
I’ve said for years that there’s only one safe way to drive in Colorado, home to some of the most poorly-trained drivers and some of the work conditions. What you’re about to read is far from failsafe, and it requires a high degree of concentration, but my method does work.
Constantly scan the traffic to keep your situational awareness elevated — even a momentary lapse could cost you a bent fender or a totaled car or worse. Quickly imagine the most bone-headedly stupid thing each car, motorcycle, pedestrian, or Subaru Outback* could possibly do. Form a contingency maneuver for each stupid thing they might do, sorted in a probability/danger matrix. Now just watch as some dumbass does exactly one of the dumbass things on your matrix. Adjust your driving accordingly.
In politics, Republicans face a very similar situation when dealing with Democrats. Scan every single Democrat around you, and in an election year you’d better check in on those “independent” groups with the nice-sounding names. If he or she is your opponent, hire someone, or several someones, to check on them 24/7. Actually, make that 25/8 — you can’t be too sure.
Now imagine the meanest, biggest, boldest, stupidest, most disgusting lie they might tell. Keep in mind that the lie doesn’t have to make sense. It just has to serve to elevate their voter turnout, suppress yours, or just muddy the waters. You must develop a preemptive plan for dealing with it, ready to go at a moment’s notice. Better yet, develop a preemptive plan which actually preempts their lies.
There’s just one problem.
Whatever you imagined, I’m sure you didn’t think up that lynching flyer — and that’s where Republicans, as adept and as able liars as any reputable politician, fall short. There are places most Republicans fear to tread, where Democrats rush in.
They play hardball. But as one wise man once said, punch them back twice as hard.