A new ad attacking Howard Dean, produced by supporters of other democratic presidential candidates, has provoked an interesting and clever response from influential bloggers. I reprint their letter in its entirety:
Open Letter to Kerry
Dear Senator Kerry,
We write this open letter as a group of bloggers whose audience you respect enough that you advertise on our web sites.
We are deeply disturbed that former staff members of your campaign and other Dean rivals now working at the so-called ÅgAmericans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive ValuesÅh have resorted to the Willie Horton campaign tactic of linking Howard Dean to Osama Bin Laden. Vigorous competition among Democrats is expected and welcome, but all
Democratic leaders should denounce these kinds of tactics.
Given your staff link to this attack through your former press secretary, Robert GibbsÅ\the new groupÅfs spokesmanÅ\ we feel it is incumbent on you and your campaign to make it clear that this kind of attack is unacceptable. Otherwise, there will be the appearance of covert cooperation by your campaign in supporting this effort.
If your campaign does not make clear that you have no link to this scurrilous attack, all of us will have to reevaluate our willingness to allow advertising by your campaign on our web sites.
We donÅft expect to have to make that decision, since we have faith in your integrity and expect you to quickly make clear your denunciation of this destructive and anti-democratic operation.
Atrios- Eschaton http://atrios.blogspot.com/
Jeralyn Merritt- Talk Left http://www.talkleft.com/
Nathan Newman- NathanNewman.org http://www.nathannewman.org/log/
Oliver Willis- Oliver Willis http://www.oliverwillis.com/
Jesse Taylor and Ezra Klein- Pandagon http://www.pandagon.net
I would dump my links to candidates whose former staffers are involved with this, but I removed links to all candidates except Dean a couple of days ago after the debate. Come on, Kerry, you were wrong about Iraq and it's probably cost you the nomination. Get on with your life and try to redeem yourself on the strength of your ideas. Don't go all Nader on us.