Obama Campaign Breaking an Honored Gentlemen's Agreement

The lengths to which the media will go to excuse the negative campaign that President Obama is running seem to know no bounds. The latest example is its dismissal of the interference that Obama and his minions are planning during the GOP convention, as if he has to engage in the negative attacks, as if some outside force is making him do it.

Not only is Barack Obama running the most negative campaign in many decades; he’s about to break another covenant of campaign civility.

In the past, Democrats have kept a low profile during the GOP nominating convention, and when the Democrat Party held its convention, the GOP would similarly remain respectfully at a distance. This was, of course, a gentlemen's agreement, each civilly allowing the other to have their moment in the spotlight.

"Traditionally, there was a kind of courtesy extended to the party having the convention -- the [other] party would basically stay out of the public eye," Ross Baker, political scientist at Rutgers University told The Hill.

But not this time. This year Obama is about to embark on a series of visits to Florida during the GOP convention despite the civil comportment of past candidates on both sides. This is a break from protocol that has existed for decades and proves that Obama is really running a gutter campaign.

Obama plans a full attack on Republicans by not only appearing in Florida himself, but by blanketing the Sunshine State with his gaffe-prone Vice President and a phalanx of surrogates. Obama's childish me-me-me attempt to take the focus off the GOP convention is simply another example of the low mien of his campaign.

But how does The Hill explain this breach of etiquette?

Political historians say the high stakes of this year's elections -- combined with the rise of today’s 24/7 media culture -- have forced leaders on both sides of the aisle to get more aggressive.

There, in one short paragraph, is how the press and left wing establishment are mis-reporting this campaign and excusing Obama's tactics. The Hill invokes moral equivalence by saying that "both sides" are doing it, which is also meant to excuse Obama for his negativity.

The truth is, of course, that both side are not running their campaigns in a negative way. Only one side is: team Obama.

The Hill's article quotes left-wing consultants and university professors excusing Obama's plans to attack Mitt Romney – even during his nominating convention – as a result of the "polarization" of our political scene.

But this makes it seem as if Obama has no choice but to ignore tradition, dispense with civility, and go for the jugular. There is nothing compelling the President to go negative. He could simply decide to let the GOP have its convention free of oppo-politics, just like every other candidate has in the past. 

Further, even if Romney was running a negative campaign -- which he isn’t -- that doesn’t excuse Obama for doing it. Two wrongs don’t make a right, as the saying goes.

Obama's demeanor is in his hands, not the hands of others. Let's hold him responsible.


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