CONCORD, N.H.—While calling for “a return to civility” and campaigns that focus “on the issues,” New Hampshire Democrats are engaging in a type of politics that could incite violence and a type of campaigning that sacrifices true policy debate for character assassination, according to 4RG Chairman Andrew Hemingway.
“New Hampshire Democrats have assumed an attitude that candidates for elected office should do what they say, but not what they do, and this type of hypocrisy is now quite transparent coming out of Democratic headquarters,” Hemingway said. “It’s almost like Democrats expect the media and the voters of New Hampshire to pay attention to their misplaced righteous indignation and completely ignore the fact that they’re doing all of the things they are trying to pin on Republicans. At the same time, Republicans are actually executing civility as they focus on the issues that will make New Hampshire a better place to live and work.”
Amazingly, N.H. Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley has boasted that “returning civility to government” will be the message of the Democratic Party in 2012. This commentary came just weeks after Buckley’s own assertion that House Speaker Bill O’Brien is a “baboon.” When asked about the comment, Buckley didn’t apologize for his own lack of “civility.” Instead, he followed up his pointless comment with this: “I called him a buffoon. I wouldn’t want to insult baboons.”
“If Ray Buckley wants to return civility in government, he should first get his own house in order and perhaps consider using logic and reason to explain why his ideas for government are better than Speaker O’Brien’s ideas,” Hemingway said. “We all know Buckley cannot discredit the House Speaker’s ideas and success, so he must resort to hypocritical name calling, instead.”
Unfortunately, the Democratic hypocrisy doesn’t rest only at the top of the party structure. Democratic Rep. Kevin Hodges said, “Voters are sick of the daily headlines created in Concord and want a return to civility.” Then, he showed voters exactly what he meant by “civility” when he answered a question about how Democrats can beat Republicans: “You can beat ‘em with a bat, you can beat ‘em with your hands, you can beat ’em with your feet,” Hodges said.
Perhaps more telling about Democratic hypocrisy was gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan’s response to Rep. Hodges incendiary remarks. She said his comment was “a good answer” (and here’s video proof: http://youtu.be/V8zjC8NHlgI).
At times, Democrats seem to talk out of both sides of their mouth within the same statement. Former Senator and Maggie Hassan supporter Bette Lasky added this gem to the ongoing political debate: “We need to return common sense to Concord. We need to return compromise to Concord. We need to return civility. We can’t afford another two years of a Legislature full of Bill O’Briens.”
“I’m not sure how common sense, compromise and civility involves blindly attacking the Speaker of the House without adding even a bit of substance to the political debate,” Hemingway said. “While we disagree with the majority of Jackie Cilley’s views, we have to admit she is running a campaign based on the issues—something her opponent Maggie Hassan and Hassan’s supporters could learn a lot from.”
With hypocrisy rampant in the Democratic Party, it’s pretty clear that the problem rests at the top of the ticket, Hemingway said.
“Clearly, Maggie Hassan’s staff is incompetent if they can’t prevent their candidate or her supporters from advancing the very type of messaging they’re criticizing,” Hemingway said. “If Hassan won’t drop out of her campaign for the governor’s position, it is time for her to fire her staff and start from scratch. The people of New Hampshire deserve an honest debate about the issues that will set the future direction of the state, and the candidates for governor should be leading this debate, not trampling it.”