Democrats are taking their class warfare to a new level this year. As revealed in a Politico storyyesterday, paid campaign trackers are being sent to film the homes ofGOP candidates and, in an unprecedented step, the footage is beingupload to You Tube. Politico’s report identified four examples of the disturbing newnew practice (plus one by an outside group). A Breitbart News review ofYouTube channels created by Democratic trackers has identified fouradditional instances in which the homes or businesses of GOP candidateswere filmed and uploaded for use in attack ads by outside groups.
Campaign trackers are usually college age staff who are paid bypolitical campaigns to follow opposing candidates. Both sides do thisroutinely. However, Democrats have recently introduced two new wrinklesto an old practice. First, in an attempt to sidestep federal electionlaws, Democrats have been uploading raw footage captured by their paidtrackers to You Tube. Once the footage is made public, it can bedownloaded and used in attack ads produced by third party groups withoutrunning afoul of laws against outside coordination.
The second practice which is novel is the inclusion of video ofcandidates homes and places of business in the footage being dumped inthe public sphere. Both tactics are being done with the full knowledgeand blessing of the Democratic party:
Democrats…insist the videos are fair game — and are unapologeticabout the hardball tactics. They say showcasing the homes — most ofwhich are spacious and neatlymaintained — underscores what will be a key avenue of attack for theparty this fall: communicating that Republicans just can’t relate toeconomically struggling voters.
Have we reached the pointat which having a “neatly maintained” middle-class home is enough to make you anenemy of the party? Politico’s report identified four instances oftrackers uploading video of homes belonging to GOP candidates, includingthis one of Jim Renacci’s home in Ohio:
However, a review of dozens of YouTube channels created by Democratictrackers reveals four additional instances in California, Colorado,Michigan, and New York where the home, apartment, or business of a GOPcandidate is filmed. In one case the streetaddress of a candidate’s business is given. In one other case, the town in which the home islocated is stated.
The Politico story notes that Republican trackers have also been found filming at the homes of Democrats. The story specifically mentions an incident in which a tracker was found outside the home of Democrat Tim Bishop. What the story did not mention is that a Democratic operative (who is apparently unaware of the new policy about uploading video of Republican candidates homes to the web) confronted the GOP tracker saying “This is an inappropriate place for you to be.” Significantly, none of the video shot by the GOP tracker has been uploaded to the web.
It’s not clear who told Democratic trackers to upload video of GOPcandidates homes to YouTube, but the attempt to personalize political differences has aclear antecedent in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Rule 12 says:
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cutoff the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go afterpeople and not institutions; people hurt faster thaninstitutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalizedcriticism and ridicule works.)
Democrats had a lot to say about the tone of our politics after theshooting in Tucson last January. They were especially upset about the use of targets to identify the location of campaign districts on a U.S. map. Do Democrats believe placing video ofcandidates actual homes on the internet is less troubling? Does the White House have anything to say about this practice or will this just be one more instance in which spokesman Jay Carney refuses to see any disconnect between the the President’s lofty words and his party’s bottom-of-the-barrel behavior?