Debate Tactics: Character Assasination

William Kristol talks about The Character Assassination of John Bolton in the Daily Standard (05ap14).

THE ASSAULT ON JOHN BOLTON–a collaborative effort of Senate Democrats, the liberal media, and some quasi-Republicans resentful of his success–has now degenerated from an earnest (if misguided) critique of his views to a pathetic attempt at character assassination.

I worked with John Bolton in the first Bush administration. I know many people who have worked with him and for him in this administration. Carl Ford’s characterization of Bolton as a “kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy” is disingenuous. No, let’s call a spade a spade–it’s dishonest.

This is the same kind of tactic being used against many other nominees, especially judicial nominees. It is the politics of personal destruction. It is especially pernicious when it is created from whole cloth or from gross exageration and hyperbole. The question is whether the users of such tactics will be held to account.

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