I just listened to the WBBM podcast of the 6th District debate last Friday between Peter Roskam and Tammy Duckworth and one thing is clear -- outside liberals are at it again.
With at least one local left wing anonymous blog putting out high-pitched liberal shrieks across the blogosphere, some of the national punditry has predictably responded with mindless propaganda like this and this.
They are trying to whip up a media frenzy over Roskam's use of the term "cut-and-run." They are saying that since Duckworth lost both of her legs in Iraq, the phrase was offensive. It's a bogus argument, as the podcast undeniably shows. Roskam said in the debate that the national Democratic party leadership was running on a strategy of cut-and-run and the Sixth District is not in favor of that position. He never directed his comments at Duckworth and in fact made mention of national Democrats like Nancy Pelosi. It's a perfectly valid argument because if Duckworth and a few other Democrats are elected, Pelosi and other far left Democratic members would ascend to leadership positions in the House.
The Tribune's John Biemer, the Daily Herald's Eric Krol, and WBBM's Craig Dellimore apparently agree with my assessment because each wrote or aired stories afterwards that didn't make an issue over the reference. Only the Sun-Times' Scott Fornek, who wasn't at the debate, bit on the story a day later after the Duckworth camp tried to make it an issue.
It's too bad the Duckworth camp can't just try to debate the issues without trying to manufacture a slur. It cheapens the performance of its candidate, which was quite credible. Both Roskam and Duckworth performed well and sharply defined their differences in mostly civil tones. Roskam never will get the credit he deserves from the media because he is a social conservative. He is a graceful debater -- sharp, soothing and respectful. He'd be a star if he were a liberal.
Duckworth did a good job, too, as a political newcomer, largely holding her own. It's disturbing, however, that for the second time her campaign has tried to play the patriotism card in a false manner. The voters of the Sixth will not be fooled so easily.