As low as you can go 

As low as you can go Hear that noise? It's The Republican Machine belching out that perennial party favorite: How low can you go?

On Tuesday, at 7:31 a.m. MST, presidential candidate John Kerry's campaign sent out an e-mail announcing his running mate is John Edwards, the U.S. senator from North Carolina who has invigorated the Democratic Party this year with his ideas and exuberance.

Less than an hour later, at 8:24 a.m. MST, the Washington D.C.-based Republican National Committee e-mailed to media outlets across the country a 16,368-word long manifesto, titled, in bold black letters: Who is John Edwards? A disingenuous, unaccomplished liberal and friend to personal injury trial lawyers. The piece went on to attack Edwards on everything from being too ambitious to his past support of the war in Iraq. Yes, 16,368 words. Yes, for his past support of Republican George W. Bush's war in Iraq.

What? Republicans are actually criticizing a candidate for believing the president of the United States, along with his vice president, secretary of state, secretary of defense, national security adviser and the CIA? Now that they have been exposed for irresponsibly sending American men and women to war in Iraq, The Republican Machine is going to lambaste Edwards for buying into their propaganda? Yes, they are.

Less than an hour later, the Republican National Committee followed up with a second manifesto -- OK, this one was only 11,625 words long.

The second offering detailed various times when Kerry -- while he was running against Edwards in the Democratic primary -- accused his opponent of everything from being a "Johnny come lately" on trade to his stance on healthcare and taxes. The awesome research team over at the RNC also found and regurgitated Kerry's past criticism of his former opponent as too ambitious and for negative campaigning and hypocrisy. Yes, negative campaigning and hypocrisy. Apparently, according to the RNC, Kerry doesn't really like, or trust, his pick for vice president.

Is this the smell of fear? Or merely -- dare we say it -- negative campaigning and hypocrisy on the part of a Republican Machine that apparently, strangely, believes there is something downright discourteous about being ambitious.

Let's consider that last point. The Republican National Committee is clearly suggesting the first-term senator is unqualified to be vice president.

Now, let's consider the president of the United States Senate. Republican Bill Frist, from Edwards' neighboring state of Tennessee, is halfway through his second term. He, like Edwards, has held no previous political office. Frist's position is one of awesome power. He is considered a top contender for the Republican presidential ticket in 2008. Is he unqualified?

Now, let's consider the qualifications of the current president of the United States. For several months now, an unauthorized "rsum" of Bush has been making the spam e-mail rounds. It's only 1,104 words long, but provides a breakdown of Bush's education, experience and accomplishments. The read the entire faux rsum but here are a few snippets:

Education and Experience:

I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.

I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a cheerleader.

Accomplishments as president:

I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over $1 billion per week.

I spent the U. S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.

I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.

I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies and foreclosures filed in any 12-month period.

I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period. After taking off the entire month of August 2001, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.

Now, let's talk about ambition a little bit more. This week, Colorado Springs resident Naomi Walsh was startled when she discovered, in her mailbox, a letter addressed to her personally, from the above-mentioned Republican National Committee. In the form letter, RNC Treasurer Mike Retzer, begged Walsh to send money to his organization. "We face intense opposition. The liberal Democrats will stop at nothing to regain control of the White House and Congress. We cannot allow them to succeed!"

Walsh, who has never voted Republican, was distressed. How on earth had the RNC gotten her name, she wondered?

"I say, Michael Moore for president!" Walsh said of her view of current events.

Now that's ambitious.

-- degette@csindy.com


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