What consistency! My last post yesterday noted the increasingly antagonistic comments between politicians as the election season nears. And this morning, I'm awakened by Peter Overby's story on what could be one of the roughest campaign ad seasons ever. He gives a few ominous examples, ads that freely employ the World Trade Center, Osama bin Laden and other images to paint opponents as weak on security. That's followed by commentator John Ridley's observation that political sound bites have shrunk this year to a new low: political word bites! Words such as "defeatocrats" (White House spokesman Tony Snow) and "wingnuts" (columnist Joe Klein). What next? Syllable bites? One NPR pundit suggests "Dah."
And speaking of words, there was also John Burnett's obituary for former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, who died yesterday. Richards had her own sharp political tongue. There was her famous remark at the 1988 Democratic convention that George H. Bush had been "born with a silver foot in his mouth." But Richards also had a substantive impact on Texas politics and government. Discerning voters this fall will pay attention to what their politicans do, not what they say.