-By Warner Todd Huston
The lengths to which the media will go to excuse the entirely negative campaign that President Obama is running seems to know no bounds. The latest is the dismissal of the interference that Obama and his minions are planning during the GOP convention. It is being excused away as if he has to engage in the negative attacks, as if some outside force is making him do it.
Not only is Barack Obama running the most all around negative campaign in many decades, he’s about to break another tradition of campaign civility.
In the past, Democrats have kept a low profile during the GOP nominating convention and when the Democrat Party held its convention, the GOP would similarly remain quiet. This was, of course, a gentlemen's agreement each civilly allowing the other to have their moment in the spotlight.
"Traditionally, there was a kind of courtesy extended to the party having the convention -- the [other] party would basically stay out of the public eye," Ross Baker, political scientist at Rutgers University told The Hill.
But not this time. This year Obama is about to embark on a tactless, mean-spirited series of visits to Florida during the GOP convention quite despite the civil comportment of past candidates on both sides. This is a break of the protocol that has existed for decades and proves that Obama is really running a gutter campaign.
Obama plans a full attack on Republicans by not only appearing in Florida himself, but by blanketing the Sunshine State with his gaffe-prone Vice President and a phalanx of surrogates. Obama’s childish me-me-me attempt to take the focus off the GOP convention is simply another example of the low mien of his campaign.
But how does The Hill explain this breach of etiquette, this example of Obama's lack of civility?
Political historians say the high stakes of this year's elections -- combined with the rise of today’s 24/7 media culture -- have forced leaders on both sides of the aisle to get more aggressive.
Right there in one short paragraph is the immoral way the press is mis-reporting this campaign as well as the way the press and the left-wing establishment is excusing away Obama's low-blow campaign.
Notice that Obama is excused for his harsh, negative, mud-slinging by the claim that "the high stakes of this year's elections" is forcing him to go negative, forcing him to jettison civility even during the GOP convention even as all past campaigns have given the other side their moment of peace.
Then notice that The Hill indulges in moral equivalence by saying that "both sides" are doing it. That is also meant to excuse Obama for his negativity.
The truth is, of course, that both side are not running their campaigns in a completely negative way. Only one side is and the blame for that rests with team Obama.
The Hill's article is filled with all sorts of left-wing consultants and university professors explaining away Obama's plans to attack Mitt Romney even during his nominating convention, all saying it is a result of "polarization" of our political scene.
But this all makes it seem as if Obama has no choice but to ignore tradition, dispense with civility, and go for the most harsh tactics. There is nothing compelling the President to go negative, though. Nothing at all. He could simply decide to let the GOP have its convention free of his gutterball politics just like every other candidate has in the past. But he won’t.
Further, even if Romney was running a negative campaign -- which he isn’t -- that doesn’t excuse Obama for doing it too. Two wrongs don’t make a right, as the saying goes.
There is no reason at all that Obama has to act in this low-down manner. His own demeanor is in his hands, not the hands of others. Obama can act as nice or as mean as he wants. He chooses to act like a mean-spirited, guttersnipe quite despite the cover that The Hill and other leftists have afforded him.