The old adage, 'You can attract more flies with honey than you can with vinegar,' would have been good advice for Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., to follow when he visited Niles last Friday. But, he didn't.
Instead, Michigan's longest-serving senator chose to throw barbs and spit venom at whatever displeased him.
Granted, he has his reasons for being upset. His party isn't in power in the U.S. Senate and, except for a brief period in 2001 and 2002, hasn't been in power since 1994 - one of the longest stretches in the last 50 years. Republicans also control the House, and in the White House sits a man who Levin truly seems to despise - President George W. Bush.
Levin's animosity was obvious. Using colorful language, Levin made his feelings well known while he was speaking at the American Legion hall, ranting about the Bush administration, U.S. involvement in Iraq and the GOP prescription drug plan. He even took pot-shots at Michigan Republican candidates.
These tactics may resonate inside the Beltway, but out here in the proverbial sticks, not so much.
Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to see our politicians - particularly one of our federal senators - show up in our humble little town. But with his ample criticism, I would have really liked to have heard just what Levin thinks should be done in the alternative - aside from simply voting Republicans out of office.
"You suck" is not a valid campaign message. It is also all the democrats have had to offer since 2000. For a clear example of that, take a look at Mike McGonegal's campaign against Chris Ward or Jim Marcinkowski's campaign against Mike Rogers. The only campaign message I've seen from those two is how bad the other guy sucks. Where's the plan?