Friday, February 5, 2016

Ted Cruz and the Art of the Dirty Trick

Following-up from yesterday, "Ted Cruz Campaign Sent Voicemails to Iowa Voters Spreading Ben Carson 'Suspension' Rumors (AUDIO)."

From Amy Davidson, at the New Yorker:
There has never been a more tainted victory in the Iowa caucuses,” a spokesman for Ben Carson’s campaign said on Tuesday. He was referring to what he called Ted Cruz’s “abject lies” and, particularly, to what appears to have been a concerted effort on the part of the Cruz campaign to persuade voters at caucuses that Carson had dropped out. Carson himself told Fox News that his wife had had to personally refute that rumor at one caucus site—and once she had, he said, he won there. “Isn’t this the exact kind of thing that the American people are tired of? Why would we want to continue that kind of, you know, shenanigans?” Donald Trump put the charge in his own terms in a tweet: “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!”

That was only part of what Trump had to say. He threatened to sue Cruz; he made himself the champion of the honor of Ben Carson, a man who Trump has suggested is “pathological.” He tweeted that “the State of Iowa should disqualify Ted Cruz from the most recent election on the basis that he cheated—a total fraud!” Cruz had also sent out a mailer marked “Voter Violation,” which purported to contain information about voters and their neighbors, and was printed on yellow paper to look like a real ticket—which, as Ryan Lizza noted, was just the beginning of its problems. It was a “disgrace,” Trump said, adding what was, for a New York real-estate developer, the ultimate insult: “It looks right out of municipal government.” Cruz tried to dismiss it all as a “Trumpertantrum.” The problem was that, in the whirlwind of Trump’s rage, there were some hard objects swirling around and banging into Cruz’s story.

Cruz has said that he won Iowa by being uncompromising and clever, with all those data-driven, micro-targeted canvassing runs—part of what his campaign reportedly called the Oorlog Project. According to Sasha Issenberg, of Bloomberg News, it was “named by a Cruz data scientist who searched online for ‘war’ translated into different languages and thought the Afrikaner word looked coolest.” (“War” is cool; “war” with a hint of an illiberal siege mentality in its orthography is, apparently, coolest.) And it was, by all accounts, a get-out-the-vote drive like none other—even better than Barack Obama’s, in 2008, which had set the standard...
Keep reading.

The "art of the dirty trick." "Artful smears."

This is getting to the mos artful election ever, lol.