Saturday, September 23, 2006

Steele and the Scarlet Letter

It looks like Maryland's Republican candidate for Senate, Michael Steele, really does believe that having an R next to your name is a scarlet letter, likely to be shunned by voters in this state. So to that end, Steele is muddying things up well with his latest move. A campaign by putative "Democratic supporters" of Steele carry signs made to look like they're calling Steele a Democrat. Would anyone look at such a sign and understand that Steele is not a Democrat?

Oh no, say Steele supporters. This is the same sloganeering as "Reagan Democrat," they say. And, indeed, the sloganeering is identical, but not the intent. That much is obvious.

During campaign season, we've been witness to the amusing sight of Republicans distancing themselves from their party affiliation. Rick Santorum's campaign website is a typical example, whereon not one mention of the word "Republican" appears, comes complete with a non-GOP colour scheme of blue and gold. Tom Reynolds, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, displays a similar inability to mention the "R" word on his website.

Michael Steele, on the other hand, has expanded "political distance" to quite an extreme: he is going to pretend to be a Democrat and hope that more than a few don't notice.

[via Phillybits]


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