Saturday, March 01, 2008

Shame On OH-02 Dems!

The Democratic primary in Ohio's Second Congressional District (where Jean Schmidt, a Republican, is the incumbent) has gotten really nasty, really quickly. Victoria Wulsin actually went so far as to launch a website to attack Steve Black for the way he characterizes his house on his tax returns. (He's claiming it as a farm, which gives him a tax break.) Black has responded by buying ad time to criticize Wulsin for her alleged ties to malariotherapy (now widely discredited, at one time a few doctors speculated that for some reason, malaria might kill the AIDS virus); this is a rehash of the rant that the Cincinnati Beacon has permitted to permeate its once-interesting blog (I hear the Dean is going to rename the Beacon "Ihatevicwulsin.com").

I'm disappointed in the direction this campaign has taken. Senators Clinton and Obama have set excellent examples for Dems in the national primary, limiting their criticisms of each other to policy positions, and avoiding the "politics of personal destruction" that has now taken over the Black-Wulsin race. At a time when most Second District voters probably still don't know a ton about Steve Black, he's chosen to spend the days prior to the election attacking his opponent's character. And Wulsin--who will likely win the nomination again--doesn't have the good sense to win graciously, but instead started the ugliness with what seems like a pretty gratuitous personal attack that isn't likely to consolidate or win any support.

If I were a Second District constituent (I'm on the eastern edge of the First District), I think I'd be writing in Paul Hackett in the primary contest.

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