The nuance-free, thinly-sourced ads are so common in tightly contested congressional races that it’s easier to list the notable exceptions than it is to list those taking the low road.
Alabama’s 3rd congressional district was witness to this hardball style in 2008. The campaign of U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, produced an ad claiming his opponent’s “pro-abortion” campaign was propped up by “cash from Hollywood and New York City.” All of which, the ad’s narrators surmised, “don’t fly down here.”
Charming, eh, yet almost innocent-sounding compared to the violent campaign rhetoric we saw elsewhere in 2010.
Of course, neither political party has a monopoly on attack ads.
As it stands now, Rogers’ vote Wednesday to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act does a number of things any future opponent could use to pin on the congressman.
Repealing health-care reform would leave 32 million or more Americans without health insurance.
A vote to repeal allows health-insurance companies to return to the position where they rid themselves of sick patients whose medical bills damage the insurers’ bottom lines.
A vote to repeal removes the mandate that allows parents the option to keep their early 20-something dependents on their family plans.
A vote to repeal means senior citizens would lose assistance in paying for their prescription medicines.
A vote to repeal increases the deficit by an estimated $145 billion over the rest of this decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Rogers is not alone. He was joined by 244 of his House colleagues in repealing the Affordable Care Act. Most of these lawmakers got where there are with help from rough-and-tumble campaign ads that painted their opponents as the sort that would deny children, families and/or senior citizens something — comfort, freedom, protection from runaway liberals and so forth.
We’re curious if any of these 245 yea votes will have the tables turned on them based on their vote to take away a reasonable-though-imperfect law to provide more Americans with health insurance.