Saturday, March 21, 2009

Our tax dollars at work

My prediction is that Republicans will extract parts of these videos and present them out of context. They will string together parts of videos to be intentionally misleading. Since they have acted this way in the past, using accusations w/o videos, it would be wishful thinking to assume they will not continue to act in their habitual ways. In fact, I have had such tactics used against me on a personal level at work by conservatives. And Republicans have put up a web site using a Democrat party-sounding name that is scurrilous.

GOP 'trackers' stalk Dems in hunt for 'macaca' moment
The National Republican Congressional Committee is sending out video "trackers" to ask provocative questions of Democratic members of Congress. The trackers, who are congressional committee staffers, were earlier reported by Congress Daily, a specialty publication distributed largely on Capitol Hill.

NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay told McClatchy that Democratic complaints were "whining," adding that "The modern-day world of campaign politics demands that we track our opponents' steps and missteps. We have nothing to hide when it comes to asking tough questions, but it appears that Democrats do when it comes to answering them."

The NRCC doesn't require its questioners to identify themselves as partisans on grounds that anyone has a right to approach a member of Congress and ask a question. It wouldn't say how many lawmakers have been questioned: A GOP statement said that, "Videos are posted on a case-by-case basis."

Republicans say they're simply trying to hold Democratic lawmakers accountable. Since the Internet became an important part of campaigns, it's not been unusual for candidates of any party to be tracked by their opponents.

"We've had trackers following us around before, but they were there to observe," said Andrew Stoddard, communications director for Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., who recently was ambushed by a GOP interviewer.
Some experts doubt that Republicans will gain much political mileage from running these crudely-made video ambushes on YouTube; some suggested that the tactic could backfire if the party picks the wrong target.

"What they're doing now," Stoddard said, "takes things to a whole new level."

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