Friday, December 02, 2005

The Music of Politics: Does the House need a Hall?

From my daily newspaper, the News-Times of Danbury, local of musician of previous fame to run for Congress.

This is worth reading through -- chock full of bumbling on both sides of the aisle. But the upshot is this.

Singer-songwriting John Hall, formerly of the band Orleans, discovered last year that the Bush Campaign was using the hit "Still The One" at campaign events. Hall, a long-time liberal (he was one of the artists behind the "No Nukes" concerts in early 80s) immediately protested to the media.

Now he's running for Congress in a district so Republican he has a better chance of being struck by a bolt of lightning than actually winning.

Some object lessons for all here.

First, political campaigns really ought to do a better job of vetting the politics of the musical artists whose songs they use on the road, or risk looking stupid. You didn't see John Kerry cranking up Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever," now didja? (Not to say the Kerry campaign didn't do plenty of stupid things.)

Second, instead of immediately making a spectacle of this by complaining to the media, Hall could have simply called the Bush campaign and asked them to knock it off. Unless he was bent on making a political spectacle of the whole thing.

Perhaps he did -- it's not clear from the article. But basically nobody likes a tattle-tale or a whiner.

It would seem to be a huge mistake for Hall to run in this race though -- he has absolutely not shot at all. It would probably be better if they Democrats conserved their resources for races where they can win, and don't think the GOP hasn't noticed.

"We encourage Democrats to spend as much money there as possible," said Ed Patru, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "It's probably the second fastest way for them to waste money. Flushing it down the toilet would be faster."

Let's hope Hall doesn't make the second mistake Democrats seem to make regularly anymore -- talking about what they're against instead of what they are for. "Bush sucks" is not a political platform.

I used to hear John play with some regularity when he and I both lived in the Hudson Valley (where I grew up). I've always enjoyed his music, and while I don't always agree with his political views, I think he's pretty sincere. Seems like a nice guy, too.

No comments: