Charge and counter-charge. Over a million dollars vaporized as two opponents, equally motivated, hacked away at each other.
But even now, who can articulate what the plan is? What their vision might be?
Except for the combat... who can remember much of anything about this?
It was brutal. For the first time since I've known him, Don Benton was outspent by a great deal of money.
It wasn't enough as it turned out, and clearly, opportunities were missed on both sides.
Had the focus remained on issues, Benton would have won with relative ease, likely achieving Madore-like numbers, scaled down to a leg district as opposed to an entire county... 31 percent of Clark County... or around 4600 votes or so.
But the filth of the campaign forced Benton off message. Benton's message of year's-long opposition to the CRC rip off; smaller, more efficient government with lower taxes and lower pay/benefits to the PSE thugs holding us hostage? It easily would have blown Probst's record of waste, bigger government and support of the fringe-left leadership of the legislature to pieces.
And forcing your opponent off message is the key. Varying levels of success as examples abound at most every level. In the governor's race, sometimes a moron is running like RINO Rob, who sticks his nose into issues and areas that are none of his business (Can you say Boy Scouts?) and Obama's various lies about Romney and Baghdad... all of which were designed to keep the focus off the utterly miserable failure of his Administration; arguably the worst this Nation has ever seen.
Probst's biggest problem, though, was he not only kicked a dead horse, he bet on one.
The charges against Benton ran the spectrum from utterly absurd to time worn and failed. There was nothing new... there was just more of it. And there wasn't really anything new in Probst's pitch: his fundamental weakness was in spite of the nonsensical idea that he was some sort of "conservative democrat," his election helped get taxes raised in the House and would have caused them to be increased in the senate by virtue of who he would have voted for as Senate leadership.
The critical element?
The axiom that
"If the law is on your side, argue the law. If the facts are on your side, argue the facts. If neither are on your side, attack the other side's lawyer."Was at play here. And it shouldn't have been.
But if you're a loser... and that's all you've got... then what else is there?