Well, at least we now know for sure where Nevada’s top political reporter, who wanted also to be a debate moderator, stands on the Harry Reid-Sharron Angle race. Not that you would have had any doubt if you had been reading this blog.
Jon Ralston says Sharron Angle is the candidate of the haters, The blind hate that is financing Sharron Angle’s run:
I’ve read plenty of such missives over the years that have vicious language and stinging adjectives. Indeed, the Reid campaign has called Angle “crazy” and said she has “lost her mind.” But “hatred” is such an awful word — a word I forbid my daughter to use — and yet it sums up exactly why the Senate majority leader may lose to a woman who just last week talked of Sharia law existing in cities in Michigan and Texas.
It’s hatred that has brought this Senate race, with three days until voting begins, to a place where Angle can win. It is hatred that brought her that $14 million haul. And it is hatred that courses through the American electorate, bringing venomous and vitriolic assaults upon anyone who dares to suggest Obama-Reid-Pelosi is not a three-headed monster….
Team Reid has understood this mental state for a while, which is why it has adopted a scorched-earth policy of its own, determined that if their guy is all but in ashes they have to take the blowtorch to Angle. And have they ever, executing one of the most relentless, laserlike assaults in campaign history, turning Angle from the darling of the Tea Party on June 8 to the butt of national jokes as the election nears.
And so we go to the finish line, with the pair matching each other gaffe for gaffe — Reid answered a question recently about who he thought was the greatest living American by naming two dead senators, Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy.
But Reid’s serpentine rhetorical peregrinations seem addled; Angle’s seem dangerous. So do we want the dotty guy or the crazy woman?
Or, to use that word I don’t let my daughter say: Who do you hate least?
Very interesting how Ralston excuses the vicious nature of Harry Reid’s campaign by portraying Reid as victim. But the reality is that Reid was on the attack long before Angle was the Republican nominee.
Reid brought in Kelly Steele, the Vaporizer, during primary season to destroy the person Reid viewed as the most competitive opponent, Sue Lowden. The Reid campaign took credit for bringing Lowden down.
If Reid’s abject nastiness was a reaction to Angle’s hater supporters, how is it that the Reid campaign team settled on attack mode when Angle was barely a blip on the radar screen?
I have documented here how the Reid campaign spent almost two months, when Angle had almost no campaign staff or money, battering Angle with the help of the mainstream media and left-wing blogosphere. As a result of Reid’s all out assault, Ralston declared the Angle campaign dead in late July.
The attacks on Angle from high profile bloggers like Greg Sargent at WaPo and others at TPM and elsewhere, have been relentless and brutal.
Raltson himself repeatedly mischaracterizes Angle statements, such as writing in the column linked above about “her sympathy for ‘Second Amendment remedies’.” That characterization is false and I defy Ralston to quote the sentence where Angle expressed “her sympathy” with any form of political violence.
The campaign tactics by Harry Reid — financed by tens of millions of dollars from political PACs seeking favors — have evoked a backlash, much like Reid’s tactics and policies in Congress have provoked a backlash.
Standing up to Harry Reid and seeking to put him out of office because of his policies is not blind hate, except to people who are blind to their own biases.
Update: Adam Nagourney at The New York Times has a much more balanced account of the history of the race, For Reid, No Shaking Tea Party Challenger.
Jon Ralston: Angle Ad “Offensive, Disgusting and Lowbrow”
“You Are A Disgrace To My Alma Mater”