A quick heads-up for those (like Steve Clemons and Josh Marshall) who are tracking with the distribution of a flyer in Tennessee, blamed on Democratic candidate Craig Fitzhugh, saying "Voting for Bush is like running in the special olympics; even if you win you're still retarded".
The flyer is a simple photoshop modification of another one that says "arguing on the internet is....", adding the new text and placing Bush's head on the original special olympian (you can tell the font difference for the former.) The original was almost certainly created by someone on somethingawful.com a long number of years back. It is not original.
This doesn't necessarily mean anything, of course, but I think it implies pretty heavily that it was a rush job that has nothing to do with the organized campaigns. Both the Dems and Repubs have much more (and better) talent on board than this hack job would indicate. It does NOT indicate any connection with Something Awful, as that image has been floating around for years. It is possible that it may have been made deliberately poorly in order to insulate the creators from criticism, but that seems very unlikely, at least for Craig Fitzhugh's office- they would know that they would get blamed no matter how bad the job. I also don't buy that the local campaign would be as tech savvy as even this relatively poor job would indicate, or would want to waste their time.
So, my take is that this was the work of a small, somewhat knowledgable Bush-sympathetic group trying to stir up trouble for the other side. Young Republicans, most likely, as they fit the profile of someone who knows a little bit about things like photoshop, but not enough to match the font and carefully blend Bush's head into the photo--as a professional or skilled hobbyist would-- as they'd be more focused on, well, politics.
In other words, Ratfucker trainees.
(Of course, I'm not a freeper, so I doubt this will get picked up by the SCLM.)
Edit: All over the wingnut blogs there are breathless accounts from people who have supposedly picked these flyers up at Fitzhugh HQ. I don't buy it; you can find people willing to back ANYTHING that will hurt a candidate they don't like, and Fitzhugh's involvement still doesn't make much sense. It could have happened, of course, and it would have been in extremely poor taste and deserve condemnation (much like, say, the RNC "democrats hate christianity" flyer did). I just can't see how it'd be useful, especially having them distributed at Fitzhugh HQ. That's just not how this sort of thing works.
Let's be honest, though- compared to what gets said about Kerry, Democrats, and liberals in general, this would be lightweight. Do "vote for Kerry and die screaming" Republicans really want to get into a shouting match over poor taste in advertising?