The Campaign Spot

Ad Critics Continue To Ignore Sponsor’s Later Amendment to Switch Law Back to Grade 6

A few more readers continue to howl with outrage about McCain’s education ad – it’s unfair, it’s a smear, it’s swill, the subtext is offensive and makes people think Obama wanted to take away children’s innocence. (I wonder how many would argue that there’s no subtext to Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” comment, but there’s subtext to this ad.)
One reader accuses me “backing up a rather dishonorable ad—come on, is this really what we need to be talking about?”
Oh, for heaven’s sake, do we need to be talking about Cindy McCain’s battle with an addiction to prescription drugs, as on the front page of the Washington Post today? Bristol Palin’s pregnancy? Take it up with the McCain campaign if you wish, but my argument is with those who are screaming that the ad is inaccurate, when in fact it gets the facts right. Obama’s defenders are insisting that he didn’t really mean to vote for what the bill text actually said. (I guess the bill’s emanating penumbras laid out the limits for the kindergarten curriculum.)
One of the specific changes in the law was to change existing standards for sex education from starting in grade six to starting in kindergarten. Even those who put together lengthy analysis of the ad and the bill never address why one of the bill’s original sponsors changed her mind and introduced an amendment to change it back to the sixth grade after it was approved by the committee.
Did any of the ad’s critics go back and quote the legislation? Did anybody else go back and find the later amendment to change it back to the sixth grade? Few if any. Instead of hearing specifics, you hear a lot of adjectives – it’s unfair, it’s dirty, it’s offensive , etc. Much of the argument has been in the vein of, “don’t bother me with the facts, this ad feels like it’s wrong.” Even a commentator I respect has given the ad a thumbs down because it “feels [badword]y and gross” [emphasis in original].
You’ve probably heard that old lawyer’s saying, “When the law is on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. And when neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table a lot. Ask yourself which side is pounding the table the most in this argument.

Most Popular

PC Culture

‘White Women’ Becomes a Disparaging Term

Using “white men” as a putdown is no longer extreme enough for the Left. Now it is moving on to doing the same for “white women.” How rapidly this transpired. It was less than two years ago that the approximately 98.7 percent of white women working in media who were openly rooting for Hillary Clinton ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The World Keeps Not Ending

We were not supposed to have made it this far. George Orwell saw night descending on us in 1984. Orwell was, on paper, a radical, but in his heart he was an old-fashioned English liberal. He dreamed of socialism but feared socialists. He feared them because he knew them. I was in the sixth grade in 1984, but I ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Beatification of Beto

The media’s treatment of Texas Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke wasn’t the most egregiously unfair coverage of the past year -- that would be the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh -- but it ranks among 2018’s most annoying. The endless glowing profiles of O’Rourke in every publication from Vanity Fair to ... Read More
Culture

A Free People Must Be Virtuous

Dear Reader (Even those of you who didn’t seem to notice or care that I failed to file this “news”letter on Friday), So I’m sitting here at Gate C6 at O’Hare waiting for my flight home. I am weary, pressed for time, in desperate need of a shower, and filled with a great sense of dread for the work ... Read More