Saturday, August 12, 2006

Nussle & Culver: can you hear them; they talk about us...

Over the last week or so some blogs have started the dumpster diving, and not with any particular cleverness. They’re expanding the edge of political whisper campaigns by introducing junk, the irrelevant things voters hear and then gossip about that may, for some very small minded people, define a candidates qualifications for office.

Rambling on about Chet Culver’s interest in food and intellectual acumen are the favorite gossip topics for bloggers on the right, while Nussle’s purported habit of thinking with multiple anatomical systems is the favorite gossip for bloggers on the left.

In both instances, the observations have some basis in fact, Culver has a checkered academic career and has gained weight over the last year, Nussle experienced a difficult divorce and went on to remarry. But this stuff is only incidentally, if at all, relevant to someone’s ability to run Iowa’s executive branch.

Let’s face it, Chet Culver and Jim Nussle are not perfect and they have never been perfect. However, to insinuate, as some blogs do, that evaluating character based on eating habits and personal rumors is a rational method for discerning a ballot choice is silly. We should demand good behavior while accepting that a governor might not, on some occasions, live up to our expectations.

We have put up with Vilsack’s lawyerly equivocating for years, and I forgive him.

I’m looking forward to talking about issues. I can’t help it; it’s infinitely more interesting than thinking about weight, ACT scores or any other kind of scores. I suppose the debate schedule currently being sorted out between the Nussle and Culver camps is the best indication that these guys are going to be serious. I can only hope that the right bloggers and left bloggers step back from the spitballs.

One more thing: as one of the few female political bloggers in Iowa, I’m using this topic to post a quote I am attributing to the essential anti-feminist feminist libertarian Camille Paglia, which takes on the cultural underpinnings of the current whisper campaigns.

Men acquire money and power for better meat or better sex.

If you accept the premise of this observation, we could categorize our two gubernatorial candidates, but I’m not going to do that for you, really.

I utterly agree!

Chet's fat-big deal. So are most men his age.

Jim's divorced-so are about 50% of all people who have been married in Iowa. Big deal.

The real issues are Chet's lack of performance in a far easier office; his personally extreme liberal views; and, his financial reliance on extreme left wing east coast donors-just like his father. We Republicans would be far better served to focus on the "majors" and forget about the "minors".
Also, being dumb is a detriment to being an effective governor. Chet's dumb.
Nasty gossip acts as an undertow in campaigns; it can be strong and take everyone off course or almost nonexistent. I prefer nonexistent, as the critical qualities of a candidate become self-evident over time.
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