Thursday, February 2, 2012

Political Cannibalism

Eating or defeating your own is a form of sophisticated cannibalism.

Former Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) famously said that in his farewell speech to Congress, originally referring to the surge of the Tea Party and the corresponding rise in partisanship and disparaging rhetoric directed towards traditional Republicans. Unfortunately for the candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination, Specter’s words have not resonated throughout his former party as he intended.

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the two leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, are on the verge of cannibalism.

The two Super PAC-backed foes are slamming each other with political attacks and negative campaign ads. Both candidates are pouring millions of dollars into TV commercials like this anti-Gingrich ad, which attempts to link Gingrich’s employment with Freddie Mac to the collapse of the housing market.

The Gingrich campaign has been actively attacking Romney for everything from his business ventures to his time as a governor. It even launched a series of robocalls accusing Romney of forcing Holocaust survivors to eat non-kosher food.

The two heavyweight campaigns are effectively cannibalizing each other with these vitriolic attacks. President Obama will be able to weave a familiar narrative with the thread of these attacks to use against whoever wins the primary. My advice to the republican candidates: play nice or get you’ll get booted out of the sandbox.

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