10/5/10

Public Discourse: I am not a witch commercial Christine O'Donnell

Somethins is wrong with your campaign communication when you start a political commercial having to assure your constituency that "you are not a witch" and you finish it saying "I am you". Christine O'Donnell, candidate to the governorship of Delaware and one of the main representatives of the Tea Party.

O'Donnell is denying remarks she made in a Bill Maher show saying that she practiced witchcraft, did not believe in evolution and thought that masturbation was a sin, equated with adultery. The fact that she leaves the other remarks out of her commercial, to focus on the magical is illustrative.

Politics and campaigns have a high component of emotional appeals, but this is out of the ordinary. As a comment in the Huffington Post, O'Donnell denies the witchhood rumors with a seriousness deserved by other more mundane denials, such as Bill Clinton: "I did not have sex with that woman' or Donald Rumsfeld assuring the American Public that he knows that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

The level of political discourse with the entry of the Tea Party to this election is going more than just emotional, but bordering in absurd and magical thinking. Dwelling in this kind of discourse should serve to diminish her credibility as a politician. Unfortunately it may no be the case and some people may find this as a legitimate political denial. Sounds as something from the dark ages.


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