Friday, August 27, 2004

He's poisoning pregnant women!

In another one from Josh, he tries to follow up on what nasty things the Democratic-flavored 527s have been saying about Bush. The thing that keeps popping up is the "poisoning pregnant women" thing. Josh finds that the ad in question is one from MoveOn that connects the following dots:

.Coal-fired power companies are major contributors to the 2000 Bush campaign.
.These power plants are also major mercury contributors to the local water supplies.
.Bush is seeking a relaxation of mercury-contamination standards.
.Mercury can cause birth defects and learning disabilities.

In a discussion about the ad on CNN, Karenna Gore Schiff makes the comment "I think that this policy does put babies at risk, because mercury is a very potent neurotoxin."

All these are true statements and are proper points to consider in the debate about mercury standards and regulation to remediate the problem. But when this goes through the Bush spin machine it comes out as "poisoning pregnant women".
...Republicans are having difficulty -- willful or otherwise -- in distinguishing between negative and/or hard-hitting ads and ones that peddle demonstrable falsehoods -- i.e., smears. (You know, it's that old, hard distinction between 'mean' and 'untrue'.) And, frankly, everything I've seen thus far lends credence to my assumption.
and later ...
"But it seems pretty clear to me that the Bush camp is lying almost as much about the Democratic independent expenditure ads as they're lying in the smears they're running about John Kerry's military service."
Let's be very clear. I've heard no one grossly exaggerate and mischaracterize the SBVT claims as the Republicans have had to do to the MoveOn claims to come up with something to be upset about. I guess "keeping us from relaxing mercury standards" just doesn't have the bite that "poisoning pregnant women" has. One should begin to wonder whether the Republican side has any real case to object at all when they have to go to such lengths to trump one up.

As I've said before it's Rinse and Repeat.

Democrats! This is their achilles heel! They can't get any traction on real issues so they have to gin up their outrage. We don't need to argue our side of the case. We just need to keep exposing the frivilousness of theirs.

No comments: