Monday, June 25, 2012

PD's Senate race headlines leave us guessing

IF YOU  HAPPENED to see the Sunday Plain Dealer's letters page you might have  noticed the big headline that needed translation:
 Mandel may sling some mud,  but some of it deserves to stick
Oh? Stick to whom?  Josh Mandel? Or his  opponent, a "deserving" Sen. Sherrod Brown?  Brown  would be a  good guess.  Even the sole italicized  quotation under the heading was drawn from an anti-Brown letter.    (The  eight published letters were evenly balanced pro and con, if you got that far.)

The brouhaha was prompted by an earlier PD editorial  taking issue with Mandel's revival of a generation-old issue that Brown assaulted his former wife - now friendly and raising money for his campaign - during a rancorous divorce proceeding.  The story is hardly new, and even was circulated during the liberal Democrat's  successful 2006 challenge of then-Sen. Mike DeWine, who declined to inject it into the narrative of his own campaign. But you should remember that the same Josh Mandel  raised questions about his African-American opponent in 2010 during the race for Ohio Treasurer, suggesting that the guy was a Muslim.  He wasn't, but why should that be a criterion? Mandel won.

Back to the PD:  The critical editorial lost its edge when the writer  concluded that Mandel was "capable of better".   There's no evidence that he can be - or will be - in his catch-as-catch-can rush to Capitol Hill at age 34.   But the ambiguous headline and the italicized quote  weighed against Brown.

The letters rested above another headline over two other letters  near the bottom of the page that read:
Wisdom of Sen. Brown's pollution vote debated
Once again, it certainly appeared to be a Brown negative.

All of this should be put into the context of the state's corporate media (read: Republican) being  less than thrilled by Brown's friendship with organized labor and opposition to exporting America's jobs.   He's been running uphill against the state's editorial writers for years , the last time in his successful challenge to DeWine, which Brown won in a landslide.

The PD seems a tad frustrated that a young right-wing Republican prospect  like Mandel may be forfeiting any claim to credibility by his nastiness, deceptions and callow game plan toward his current opponent when he is "capable of  better."  Hint, Josh. Hint. There are still more than four months to shape up  for editorial endorsements.  Sunday's fuzzy headlines on the PD's  letters page are  another start.



Anonymous said...

Further on Mandel - I remember seeing a TV ad for Mandel that called his 2010 opponent a "terrorist." It was widely condemned, but I guess if you throw enough mud, some of it does stick. Liar, liar, pants on fire but it didn't matter -- people believed it and now we are stuck with Mandel. I wonder who the puppeteer is on Mandel? Back there, a few years, someone picked him out and knew he'd do what he was told -- who is that? They have deep pockets, and no mud is too muddy for them to sling. Abe, can you find out?

Grumpy Abe said...

For starters, the American Petroleum Institute has paid for some of the anti-Brown TV ads; so has the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. I understand that Karl Rove is into it , too, using Mandel as he surrogate to take over the Senate for the R's. God knows who else at this point. That should support any doubts that Mandel is deeply concerned about serving the 99 percenters.

David Hess said...

I, too, would appreciate an explanation from the PD's editorial writer as to what "mud" should stick. Is it rehashed mud of a personal nature, or it is "mud" in disagreement with the newspaper's anti-labor bias and support for shipping American jobs abroad? Perhaps the newspaper should be asked by the Senator: "When did you stop beating your workers?"

Ed said...

Great reply to PD--Too bad it won't deter or stop Mandel. He has no ethics.