Doomed missionary Marcus Whitman often has this quote attributed to him: “My plans require time and distance”.
It’s an expression that’s doubly lost on the Oregon Republican Party and its erstwhile digital mouthpieces, Oregon Catalyst and NW Republican, in a botched attack on a Democratic candidate.
First, the OR GOP fumbled a rudimentary understanding of geography and distance. In a press release issued earlier this month, Vance Day and his minority party wrongly criticize U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Merkley for failing to take his campaign ‘east of the Cascade Mountains’ during its inaugural phase. In fact, Merkley and his staff had visited Deschutes County before the break of the GOP’s press release. Twice.
But apparently we were all supposed to know what they meant–not ‘east of the Cascades’, as they originally stated, but ‘Eastern Oregon’. Talk about literally moving the goal posts a hundred miles or so just to make a stupid press release seem consistent. Maybe the OR GOP can’t afford a proofreader in these tough times for the ultra-right wing?
Not content to call ‘Mulligans’ on the first foul-up, the OR GOP had to come out all wrong on time, too. Today the Catalyst and NW Republican blogs chastise Merkley again for failing to come to Eastern Oregon, instead of just ‘east of the Cascades’. Problem is, both articles came the very day after Jeff Merkley announced his extensive tour of Eastern Oregon! Perhaps before issuing an attack article, the OR GOP and its blog spots would do well to make sure that there are in fact grounds, or at least facts, for such an attack.
It’s obvious that the OR GOP directed the Catalyst and NW Republican to post this–NW Republican even has a graphic that says “Authorized and Paid for by the Oregon Republican Party” on its post. It’s a coordinated effort, and since it’s so badly botched, it has the fingerprints of party leaders Shawn Cleave and Vance Day all over it. Such incompetence is standard from both blogs, but the synchronization of this attack’s execution clearly points to the blundering leadership of the Oregon Republican Party.
With the OR GOP seriously screwing up an early attack, as it has with both attempts of this geography gaffe, it suggests that there are some serious gaps in the Party’s research abilities. Is the OR GOP so worried about Gordon Smith’s weakness in Eastern Oregon that they need to stoke the base with such flimsy material? Smith’s re-elect numbers are surely swirling in the toilet, but that definitely isn’t helped by Cleave’s butchering of an attack that was lame to begin with.
Take a look at Jeff Merkley’s Eastern Oregon kickoff agenda over at new blog Lefty Lane. It’s an extensive tour that undoubtedly went into planning well before the GOP’s first press release.
We’ll have to wait for Shawn Cleave’s next gaffe, but probably not for too long. Unlike Marcus Whitman, he’s too impatient for time and too ignorant to understand distance.