For all of the disagreements I have with Sen. Feingold, I still think he's a decent human being. I think he is out of step with the people of Wisconsin and that his basic philosophy is not really what we need right now. Still, I really do think that he believes he is doing the right thing for the country. I don't buy any of the stuff on the right that liberals and progressives want to destroy the country.
Now, I think that the policies Sen. Feingold and the rest of the Democrats are bad for the nation and its future. Not because they are evil or part of some sort of nefarious plot to destroy the American dream, but simply because they are wrong. Wrong about history and wrong about the role of government in our lives and in our economy.
But if you listen to the ads from Sen. Feingold and other Democrats and liberal groups Republicans don't just have different views of government. They're pure evil.
Take the NewPage "55" ad from Sen. Feingold. Basically, he's saying that Ron Johnson is so heartless and unfeeling that he would gladly send Wisconsin jobs oversees if they aren't able to compete. The Feingold campaign is trying to make you hate Ron Johnson, because Ron Johnson is rich and probably hates anyone who isn't. It's a disgraceful tactic and one that I hope fails.
But it's not just Sen. Feingold. Rep. Kagen and his allies are relentlessly negative. Every ad is an attack on Reid Ribble and his character. If you listen to just his ads Mr. Ribble hates seniors and is a greedy, evil rich guy.
Then you have the over the top attacks on Republicans everywhere for their positions of health care. Rebecca Kleefisch is being vilified for her one and only appearance in a commercial. Now, I'm not really a fan of the ad - I don't like using personal tragedy to score political points - but it is politics and the Barrett campaign has done it, too. That said, she is not saying that everyone who can't afford insurance is screwed. She is not saying that if you can't pay, tough luck.
Conservatives don't want sick people to die. We don't want families to have to choose between food and health care. What we want is to reform the system we have and make it more affordable for families. Problem is that we don't want government to do it or to tell us what we should or shouldn't buy.
But for Democrats this year, the public has already decided that they don't like their policies. So the only strategy left is to vilify and demonize the Republicans. I'm not so sure it will work this year.