The Democrats’ midterm strategy has been clear for a long, long time: Go negative as early and often as you can. The plan took shape back in May when the Democrats conducted a “major internal research project” showing they should “portray Republicans as uncaring toward working-class Americans.” Is that claim true? Hardly. Does that matter? Not one bit apparently.
In fact, you’ll find very little truth in many of the ads being paid for by Democrats this year. For instance, an ad attacking GOP Senate candidate Tom Cotton said that he was “paid handsomely working for an insurance company,” using that claim to allege he would dismantle Medicare. PolitiFact dubbed the ad “false,” pointing out that the closest Cotton ever got to being employed by an insurer was working with the Federal Housing Authority to “improve insurance offered to lenders who finance apartment buildings in the government’s multifamily housing programs.”
Sadly, truth is a secondary concern for Sen. Reid, who strives to be inflammatory.
“The Democratic playbook, starting with Harry Reid’s Senate Majority PAC, is clear,” Cotton told National Review’s John Fund. “Run negative ads that turn off voters enough so they don’t go to the polls, and that scare their own base voters into coming out. It’s the height of cynicism.”
Cotton is far from the only target of Democrats’ falsehoods. An ad alleging that Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is challenging Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, fought to “let flood insurance premiums soar” and “cut off hurricane relief for Louisiana families.” The ad is completely bogus. Rather than let flood insurance rates soar, he ran amendment, that later formed the core of a legislative solution, to create long-term relief from draconian rate increases. The ad was so egregious that the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” said “[t]elevision stations in Louisiana should be ashamed of falling for such an obvious gambit.”
Or, perhaps worst of all, Sen. Mark Begich, the incumbent Democrat from Alaska, ran an ad implying that GOP challenger Dan Sullivan’s actions as the state attorney general was the root cause of one of the most grisly murders in Alaskan history. The ad, which was decried by nearly everyone in Alaska, including the victim’s family, forced Begich to take the ad down, and led PolitifFact to dub the ad “not only inaccurate” but “inflammatory,” which led them to give it a “Pants on Fire” rating.
Negative ads are only part of the desperate measures being taken by Sen. Harry Reid and Democratic operatives in a last-ditch attempt to retain the Senate.
In Kansas, Democrats pressured their own candidate to drop out of the race to give independent Greg Orman a better shot at beating the Republican. Democratic lawyers then went to court to ensure the candidate’s name wouldn’t appear on the ballot after a registered Democratic voter filed a petition with the Kansas Supreme Court asking it to force the party to name a new nominee.
In Montana, Democrats convinced Sen. Max Baucus to retire early, so they could handpick their candidate and prevent an easy open-seat pickup for the GOP. Reid’s meddling ran so deep, that when he called Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to discuss who he should choose as a replacement, Bullock told him “it was none of your damn business.”
And the Senate has ground to a halt in an effort by Reid to ensure that none of his members have to take difficult votes that they would have to explain to voters. As Erica Werner writes for Associated Press:
With his stooped shoulders, monotone delivery and occasionally impolitic remarks, Reid, 74, does not shine on the campaign trail. He appears at virtually no public events. Instead his maneuvering takes place behind the scenes and on the Senate floor, where he’s gone to extraordinary lengths this year to protect his Democrats from taking tough votes and deny legislative victories to Republicans.
This is a subversion of democracy and the legislative process. But things won’t get better so long as Harry Reid remains the Majority Leader. It’s time to bring change to Washington.