Jonah Goldberg

The Bush campaign has come out with a bad ad. It's on the Web. It's called "Kerry's Coalition of the Wild-Eyed." It runs a montage of various Democrats (plus Michael Moore) in full-blown rants, veins popping out of their necks, about George W. Bush. It also runs clips from an ad submitted to a contest at Web "movement" dedicated to helping the Democrats whenever and wherever possible.

The contest asked members and other sympathetic parties for anti-Bush ads. One of them featured comparisons of Bush to Hitler. The Bushies took clips of Hitler from that ad and spliced them in to the montage of Gephardt, Gore et al. Now, the Bush ad makes it clear where they got these images and states explicitly that they are objecting to the vile rhetoric from the left that often invokes Hitler analogies.

Still, the ad is bad because the subliminal message is that all the ranters are similar: Gephardt, Kerry, Gore, Hitler, Dean, Moore, and so on. In other words, the Bush campaign wants it both ways. They want to take the high road by condemning the hateful politics of their opponents, while at the same time they take the low road with a wink and a nod. I don't think the ad is evil or outrageous in the way that the folks at, the DNC and various liberal journalistic outlets do, but, yeah, they have a point. Using your enemies' transgressions as a Trojan Horse to do the same thing isn't worth the cost to your own credibility.

That said, it would be very nice indeed if all the liberals banging their spoons on their high chairs about the ad took a moment to reflect on what they've let slip by without much comment.

In 2000, while stumping for Al Gore, Bill Clinton declared that the Texas GOP platform "was so bad that you could get rid of every fascist tract in your library if you just had a copy."

During the Florida recount, Michael Moore wrote "There are tens of thousands of people who lived through [the Holocaust], escaped the ovens and are now living out their final years in South Florida. . I will not allow those who survived to . be abused again."

In the most recent Maryland Governor's race, a Democratic strategist told the Washington Post: "Bobby Ehrlich is a Nazi. . He should be running in Germany in 1942, not Maryland in 2002 . we'll define him as the Nazi that he is. Once we do that, I think people will vote for Kathleen Kennedy Townsend."

Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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