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Feeney Plays the 9/11 Card

Florida Republican Rep. Tom Feeney, already in deep electoral trouble this fall, has a new ad up in which he seeks to tie his Democratic opponent to the ringleader of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks -- a huge gamble that speaks to the desperation of his circumstances.

Here's the ad:

As the ad's narrator says that "Feeney is fighting to protect our borders" and that former state Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D) "wanted drivers' licenses for illegals and terrorists," an image of the license of Mohamed Atta, the head of the 9/11 attacks, is shown on screen.

Using any imagery that subtly or, in this case, not so subtly conjures the attacks of 9/11 is dangerous ground for politicians. Former Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine (R) used an image of the Twin Towers burning during his 2006 campaign against Democrat Sherrod Brown, a tactic for which he was heavily criticized because of the inflammatory nature of the ad and the fact that the picture he used was not an actual photo from that day.

For Feeney, the decision to all but accuse Kosmas of aiding and abetting Atta is evidence of how much trouble he is in electorally. While Republican strategists have been worried about the seat for the better part of a year, Feeney himself looks to have been caught off guard.

A recent Democratic poll showed Kosmas up more than 20 points and it's hard not to see this ad as a last-ditch attempt to fundamentally alter the race.

Will it work? Our strong sense is it won't.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 20, 2008; 8:16 PM ET
Categories:  Ad Wars , House  
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Comments

The Neo-Fascists rear their ugly heads at every opportunity. They want patriotic litmus tests for Congress and for President.
Some areas of the country are the "real America" while others are "communists".
What next? Will they want poll goers to sign a patriotism pledge before voting?

Because Bush was not vigilant, terrorists destroyed the world trade center but, if we are not vigilant, fascism will destroy our country.

Posted by: seemstome | October 22, 2008 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Heehee.

I would vote for Charlie Brown before I would vote Republican.

:-)

Not this time. Not this year.

Posted by: toritto | October 21, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm so tired of politicians using scare tactics to push me to vote for them.

Posted by: wolfi101 | October 21, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I thought Tom Feeney would be railroaded out of Florida by now---he's still in office????

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEzY2tnwExs

Also see youtube videos on Uncounted:The Movie, Black Box Voting, and the the LinkTV special "Murder, Spies and Voting Lies"

Posted by: Enigma2008 | October 21, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Is this all the Republican fringe (i.e. "the base") have left in their arsenal? Just the threat of "9-11" (TM) ? That's sooooo 2001 already! Judy Ruiliani (his drag name) failed to secure his own party's nomination with that fear crap, but now the rest of his party is apparently going to keep harping on this forever until they bore the rest of us to death. They keep forgetting how often "9-11" (TM) has been their bogeyman tool over the last 8 miserable years to force their theocratic paranoia upon the rest of America. It doesn't work any more.

Posted by: Loonesta | October 21, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh, the ReUGLYcans attack you when you don't even say anything. Here in NY there's one race where the repug attacks his opponent for something like "when people suffered he didn't say anything".

Posted by: VMR1 | October 21, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes, there is a terrorist behind every tree. There should be we have open borders seven years after 9/11.

If there is another attack you can thank your dipwad congress and the glorious Bush administration. Yeah, the same ones that brought you the fema response to hurricane Katrina.

It just keeps getting more and more bizarre. I going to go make some more popcorn.

Posted by: outfoxmorgan | October 21, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Feeney, unfortunately, is my rep and I want him gone. He is despicable, unethical and unscrupulous. I can't believe the trash the Republicans are throwing out there this year. It is the worst I've ever seen and I am 64 years old. I want my country back.

Posted by: kenhawbaker | October 21, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this just a new iteration of the Bush-Cheney campaign slogan for the '04 election - "Vote for us, or the terrorists will kill you"?

Posted by: Iconoblaster | October 21, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

This act tracks perfectly with McCain's active use of "Islamophobia" to propel his campaign, i.e. not allowing a Muslim campaign chair from Maryland to speak on CNN about an incident where he ran off an anti-Islamic protester at a McCain rally. Standing up and saying that his campaign doesn't tolerate bigotry would drive away a good chunk of the folks who support him.

Posted by: ehperkins1971 | October 21, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Feeney rhymes, not without reason, with Weenie.

Posted by: queenskid | October 21, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

That ad is rather tame in comparison to the Mohammed Atta ad that the National Republican Trust PAC released in Ohio the other week. See here: http://www.thenewargument.com/?p=396

Posted by: aperez89 | October 21, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The irony of this ad? The 9/11 hijackers came here legally, under a special 'Fast Track' visa program we offer to our 'good friends' in Saudi Arabia. As a way to keep the oil flowing, it is really easy for any Saudi to get a visa to come here.

Posted by: cowboyguru | October 21, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: 37thandOSt | October 21, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Ok, here is something to think about. After 911, if Bush has done anything, he has kept us with out another terrorist attack on american soil. Here is what Biden is telling Americans?
Joe Biden warned that America's enemies would test Barack Obama with an international crisis within six months if he's elected president - a shocking comment John McCain eagerly pounced on yesterday to claim Obama isn't ready to be commander-in-chief.

"Mark my words," Biden told donors at a Seattle fund-raiser Sunday night.

"It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America.

"Watch. We're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.

"And he's going to need help . . . to stand with him. Because it's not going to be apparent initially; it's not going to be apparent that we're right."

McCain treated Biden's comments as a gift while stumping across Missouri yesterday.

No thanks! McCain/Palin 08

Posted by: blevins20061 | October 21, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Watch the movie "UNCOUNTED" (uncountedthemovie.com) to see the real Feeney. He is criminal in his quest for office and has no moral compass. As we near election day, this is a short documentary we should all watch.

Posted by: Madsilver | October 21, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

So this too must be "the last refuge of a scoundrel." The 911 card. For the most part today I have seen on TV and heard on the radio when I was driving how the republicans played the other last refuge card: racism. I would have thought that McCain would have refuted all the people that called Powell's endorsement "nothing but race." His campaign must have known what Limbaugh for one was doing but McCain never did. Too bad. History will not be kind of John McCain. He once said that he would rather lose an election than lose a war. How far will he go to win that election though. I guess today we found out!

Posted by: Opa2 | October 21, 2008 1:47 AM | Report abuse

[sarcasm on] obviously just another ploy by right-winger Cillizza to get out the Republican vote [sarcasm off]

Posted by: officermancuso | October 20, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

This isn't just Feeney going down in flames, it is the Republican party going down in flames. The right wing neo-con and holier than thou Evangelicals have taken over the party and it won't recover until they hit the ultimate rock bottom.

This escapade shows they still haven't reached that point.

Posted by: PeixeGato | October 20, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Feeney has proved he's gutless slime, like most of the higher-ups in the Gone Overboard Party.

Posted by: FlownOver | October 20, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

This is a very important election - and it is personal for the politicians. The justification of campaign tactics is a study in psychology as much as political science. .............


http://thefiresidepost.com/2008/10/20/justifying-political-tactics/

Posted by: glclark4750 | October 20, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious whether The Fix has a comment on Rep Bachmann's (R, MN-6) curious comments on Americanism last Friday. Whatever you think of the comments, she's certainly changed the dynamic in that race - causing an enormous inflow of donations to Tinklenberg. They say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but I think Rep Bachmann may be the exception that proves the rule.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 20, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

This just shows how fall the Republican Party has fallen. This race has been almost completely lopsided when it comes to dirt - with 95% of it coming from Republicans and McCain-Palin. No wonder they're losing - they have nothing else to offer.

Posted by: freedom41 | October 20, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

And there is a new 2008 Presidential Election forum at http://www.votenic.com . You Won't Believe These Results!

Posted by: votenic | October 20, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

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