Bloomberg.com has this story:
Republicans are facing an uphill battle against a fresh-faced Democrat for a third term in the White House, and they are reaching for a familiar playbook: crime.
It worked in 1988; it will be tried again in 2008.
[Republican groups] are highlighting some of Senator Obama’s positions during his eight years in the Illinois state legislature, from opposing extending the death penalty for gang members to supporting the decriminalization of marijuana and refusing to back restrictions on porn shops.
Tough on crime was cool in 1988, when crack was ripping through every major American city and cocaine-related deaths reached an all-time high. But in 2008, most [intelligent] people think there are better ways to address the nation’s crime problems. The war on drugs—the foundation of Regan’s “get tough” mantra—failed miserably. Drugs are still cheap, Meth use has skyrocketed, drug trafficking is as efficient as ever, and the prison population has exploded. A lot has changed since 1988.
And the death penalty? Really? STILL NOT a deterrent, and the costs associated with it are higher than a small country’s GDP.
“I would be amazed if crime was not used extensively to show how out of step this guy is with the mainstream of America,” said Tony Fabrizio, a Republican strategist unaffiliated with the campaign of the party’s presumptive nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain.
I would be amazed if Mr. Fabrizio, a republican strategist, knows what mainstream America wants.