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Name-calling Less Acceptable To Democrats? Really?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Check out this very interesting piece by Kevin McArdle. A Fairleigh-Dickinson University-Public Mind Poll was released today concerning people’s view of political name-calling. Think Gov. Christie’s “numbnuts” as a most recent example, or the even more recent “idiot” at a disruptive Navy Seal at a town hall meeting. In the many stats this poll has to offer it comes out how generally speaking name-calling is less acceptable to Democrats than it is to Republicans. Really? I offer the following observation. In the Corzine-Christie battle for the governor’s seat, it was Corzine and the Democrats who had no problem putting out their famous Chris Christie “throws his weight around” ad.

As the New York Times described the ad back in ’09,

It is about as subtle as a playground taunt: a television ad for Gov. Jon S. Corzine shows his challenger, Christopher J. Christie, stepping out of an SUV in extreme slow motion, his extra girth moving, just as slowly, in several different directions at once.

It was almost universally accepted that it was a clear slam against Christie’s weight. Name-calling without actually insulting him. Which is worse? A governor who talks straight like the rest of us and has the cojones to admit it? Or some sniveling little p-word (hey there’s some name calling!) who does it but tries to pretend he’s not really doing it?  Maybe most Democratic voters don’t like the name-calling, but Corzine was one Democratic politician who not only liked it but wanted to have his cake and eat it too.

You think political name-calling is a new thing? In the race for president between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, Jackson’s mother was called a prostitute. A prostitute who birthed Jackson by a mulatto father. Jackson’s wife was tagged a bigamist and he himself was called a murderer. And that was 1828.

Numbnuts not sounding so bad now, is it?

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