Thursday, May 31, 2007

Self-inflicted Dirty Tricks?

Reactionaries4Sayre are whining this morning about someone messing with their campaign signs (not to mention the news spread yesterday about Scott Sayre's wife). I didn't realize the defacing of signs was as widespread as it apparently is. I saw one yesterday as I drove up North Augusta Street in Staunton.

The Sayre folks are blaming the Hanger campaign, of course. This seems unlikely, to me. Getting caught doing something like that would be devastating. Possibly there are some folks who are just tired of hearing the poison the Sayre campaign workers keep spewing about Hanger and are seeking a little payback. (As noted last night, what goes around comes around and if that's what's happening you're getting what you deserve.)

But there's another possibility that I think shouldn't be discounted. Faced with a flagging campaign and a one-note candidate, isn't it possible that the Sayre people defaced their signs themselves? Think about it. They know they've been underhanded up to now and the electorate is sick of it. If they can turn the tables and point fingers at Hanger, they can win the voters back to their side and claim the moral highground. (Not that they don't already do that, but this might give that argument some credibility, false as it is.) I wonder if they also planted the news about Mrs. Sayre, in order to gain sympathy for their man? Wouldn't surprise me. Interesting tactic, if that's what happened. Will it work?


Deona Landes Houff said...

Hi Cliff,

1. Campaign sign vandalism is near universal, and my bet is often the vandals are just apolitical, immature people who get a kick out of damaging things.

2. I seriously doubt Sayre's people are behind efforts to expose his wife's DWI troubles, as it generates no votes for him. Folks can be sorry if she continues to have a drinking problem but that doesn't inspire them to vote for him. Nor do I believe in a million years that Hanger or his campaign had anything to do with the revelations.

3. In a socially conservative district like the 24th, a spouse's alcohol abuse and driving record are relevant to many voters. I don't necessarily think they should be, but we live where we live. (Sigh ...)

4. You're right, what goes around comes around.

5. Hanger's gonna win, because in the end, more voters believe he's done a good job and that's what's gonna come around.

Unknown said...

And if Hanger does win, what becomes of the local GOP committees who have almost to a person endorsed (and campaigned, and blogged) for Sayre? Any chance they'll crawl under a rock? Will they support Sime? Or swallow their (over-weaning) pride and back Hanger? Or, wait, I know, they'll jump to the Democrats and vote for Cox! What a pickle.

Deona Landes Houff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deona Landes Houff said...

(this is a spell-checked version of what I deleted above)


I have no idea what happens to the local GOP committees, in the case of a Hanger victory, but I'm not expecting a total implosion. There are many well-intended active Republicans around here who barely know what a blog is and wouldn't dream of posting anything rude on one -- what SWAC shows us is not the full picture.

Unknown said...

Deona, just saw your column in eightyone covering some of this ground. Interesting. No, I wouldn't expect implosion of the local GOP. But I do think a Hanger victory should serve to put a sock in the mouths of "In-politically Correct" (Ann Taetzch) and "JohnathanMaxfield" (Alex Davis), both officers of the Staunton Republican Committee, and "SWAC Girl" (Lynn Mitchell), "SpankthatDonkey" (Chris Green), "RightsideVa" (Steve Kijak), and "General Grievous' Dog" (presumably Kurt Michael), all officers of the Augusta County Republican Committee. A Hanger victory would prove that these so-called grassroots leaders do not speak for and cannot deliver the votes of the Republican rank and file, which I personally would find revealing (and a pleasant discovery, since it would mean that perhaps there is room for reasonable Republicans and Democrats to work together in this are; with current crop of Republican committee officers that just isn't possible).

The question of who the Democrats want to win the Republican primary is an interesting and complicated one and I'm guessing that on balance, and for very different reasons, about half of us would rather see Hanger win and about half would like to see Sayre win. I don't think many Democrats will actually vote in the primary but for those who do I expect their impact to be basically a wash.

The real test will come in the Fall in a three-way race that will be about as much of a toss up as we've seen around here lately.

kestrel9000 said...

I have been chided.
The word used was, "prurient."
How can you sensationalize something that does that to itself?
That's like responding to a review of a Jim Carrey movie by chiding the reviewer for playing it for laughs.
Anyway, nobody's pointed out the best piece of circumstantial evidence I see that points to the vandalism of campaign signs being done by rabid partisan Republicans: the "eats babies" thing.
I associate that with right wingers talking about Hillary Clinton. As far as I know, that's where that originates.

Waldo Jaquith said...

The only thing more annoying than sign vandalism are the political newbies who complain about it.