August 1, 2005

2nd Congressional District (OH) Special Election: Anatomy of the Campaign’s Greatest Deception (Hackett-Bush-Iraq)

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 12:24 pm

The origins of Paul Hackett’s great deception go back to late May at a Democratic forum. OH02 attended and said this about Paul Hackett (bolds are mine):

When it comes to young, up and coming politicians Paul Hackett is straight out of central casting. And as much as it pains me to say it, I liked what I saw.

…… Mr. Hackett had just returned from Iraq several months ago. Surprisingly enough he didn’t bite at the chance to slam the President over Iraq, instead talking about the importance of completing our mission and of the Iraqi soldiers that he served besides, including in the battle of Fallujah.

It looked promising. A soldier who was developing into the clear favorite to win the Democrat nomination who wasn’t going to play the “Bush lied, people died” mantra (by the way, folks, the tune is really “Bush leads, millions freed”), and even appeared willing to take on his party’s antiwar extremists. As a result of this and other research, I suggested that Paul Hackett was going to be a serious and competitive candidate, regardless of The Second District’s GOP history: “Don’t even try to tell me August 2 is a lock if Paul Hackett is the other candidate on the ballot.”

I was much more concerned about what was happening in the GOP primary at the time, and didn’t give Hackett too much thought until the day after the primary, when he and Republican nominee Jean Schmidt were interviewed by Bill Cunningham on WLW. Thankfully, I took detailed notes, as I am aware of no transcript or other record of the interviews.

In his Hackett interview, Cunningham noted a Cincinnati Post report quoting Hackett as saying that biggest danger facing America is George Bush (in truth it was in response to a question, but the effect is the same). My notes on this portion of the Cunningham-Hackett exchange were as follows:

(Hackett) - “George Bush being the greatest danger to America” comment was tongue in cheek–was really talking in terms of how unhappy he is with how Bush has led the way of the government getting into the private lives of Americans. It’s dangerous.
(Hackett) – Says AlQ is biggest security threat, and Cunningham should have known that.
- Cunningham countered by saying that Hackett’s fellow Dems talk like that all the time.
- Hackett emphasizes that as a soldier he will lay his life on the line and obey President’s orders.

(the Post quote referred to above is not available online without a libary Proquest database subscription; it has been archived on BizzyBlog’s web site for education and discussion purposes only, and may not display in all browsers).

I figured I would take a soldier at his word that his concerns were only about domestic policy regarding internal security, though a little voice told me that the explanation wasn’t very convincing.

The little voice was right: Paul Hackett’s attempt to minimize the impact of his remark as was rank deception of the highest order, and would be proven as such during the remainder of the campaign.

Since that time, Hackett has joined the ranks of the battiest of Bush bashers of the war in and occupation of Iraq, even to the point of personally calling him a “son of a b______” and a “chicken hawk” (link requires registration)–the latter term especially being the province of the diehards who, after a decade of failing to show otherwise, still think The President somehow dodged or evaded his military duties thirty-some years ago.

Hackett’s revelation of what I must assume are his true beliefs might be tolerable if the campaign weren’t running TV ads that make it appear as if he unconditionally supports the President, the decision to go to war, and the current occupation strategy. But that’s exactly what is happening. What else could he possibly mean by these words from the first ad:

These young men and women, they get it! We’re going to help these people. We’re all over there because we think America is worth fighting for…

Any reasonable person would conclude that “it” Hackett refers to is the effort of the war and the subsequent occupation. What else could “it” be?

Last week, before the “SOB” and “chicken hawk” vitriol spewed forth, I said in my post on the first TV ad that the differences between the TV Hackett and the in-person Hackett show that:

Either Hackett is afraid that we can’t handle the truth as he sees it, or he is afraid that we won’t vote for him if we know what he truly believes. Either position should automatically disqualify him from consideration for public office.

… with all due respect for your service (Mr. Hackett), we could use as a congressman the “type of leader” that will at least have the integrity to (consistently) tell the voters what he really believes….. That’s obviously NOT you.

Hackett’s over-the-top statements during the past week in person, while releasing a second TV ad that still implies support for the decision to go to war in Iraq and the current conduct of the occupation there, only serve to reinforce my opinions of a week ago, and my belief that he is not fit to serve in public office.
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UPDATE: Just heard latest Hackett radio ad. They have glommed old ad verbiage with new items. It starts with the Bush quote followed by criticism of Schmidt for involvement in state scandals and votes for tax increases. It’s an obvious attempt to again appear to be Republican (at some point after the election, I really want to hear from a lifetime Democrat about how proud they are of Hackett’s avoidance of the D-word). As to “substance”: Knowing somebody, not knowing somebody, remembering knowing somebody, or not remembering knowing somebody is not evidence of scandal involvement (except maybe in Howard DeanLand). And Paul Hackett’s support of a raising the Social Security earnings limit to $150,000 would raise taxes by up to $7,440 per affected person ($60,000 x 12.4%), and in total by at least $40 billion (the link discusses what increasing the limit to $160,000 would do, and I reduced the result indicate there a bit). That’s more than Jean Schmidt has ever voted in tax increases, probably by a factor of 5. And that would be just ONE Hackett vote; he would just be warming up.
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NOTE: This post will not accept direct comments, only trackback “comments” (moderated for taste and civility), due to name-calling and intemperate comments received at related posts.

ALSO: Outside the Beltway Jammer.

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