Judicial Fight Prompts Duelling, Distorted Ads
Millions are being spent on rival ads supporting and opposing two of President Bush’s most controversial judicial selections. Neither ad is completely accurate. … A rival ad by the liberal People for the American Way quotes Texas judge Janice Rogers Brown as saying seniors “are cannibalizing their grandchildren,” without making clear she was speaking metaphorically of debt being passed on to future generations by entitlement programs. … Brown was speaking about the debt being passed on to future generations, not suggesting that Medicare or Social Security causes old people to eat human flesh. Here’s the full quote from a speech she gave in 2000 before the Institute for Justice: … “My grandparents’ generation thought being on the government dole was disgraceful, a blight on the family’s honor. Today’s senior citizens blithely cannibalize their grandchildren because they have a right to get as much “free” stuff as the political system will permit them to extract.”
That’s certainly a colorful metaphor. Readers can decide for themselves whether the idea being expressed is “radical” or not.
Thanks for clearing that up! I now know that Janice Rogers Brown was not, in fact, claiming that Social Security causes seniors to literally eat the flesh of their grandchildren.
Yet it seems that Factcheck.org is not abiding by their own high standards. I think they need to issue a Factcheck on themselves, for erroneously (and perhaps maliciously and with partisan intent?) implying that the Progress for America foundation and the People for the American Way were engaged in a duel using their Ads. Analysis: (1) These organizations are merely legal entities, and strictly speaking cannot in fact have a duel between themselves or with real human beings. (2) Even if they could do so in principle, political Ads are not suitable weapons for dueling. According to an authoritative history of the practice, there has never been a case where the disputing parties agreed that their weapons of choice would be “30-second Spots at Dawn.” This is because major U.S. networks do not air political ads this early in the morning. (3) Perhaps most decisively, dueling was outlawed in all American states in the years after the civil war, and in Washington DC as early as 1839. The continued neglect of basic facts like this in the public square is slowly poisoning our body politic. Oh shit. I mean, not literally poisoning … Look, I’ll fix that later, OK? I need to get back to writing the release about how the “Nuclear Option” in the Senate is not actually a threat to bomb the opposing parties using silo-launched thermonuclear devices.