Re: Attack ads

1

I saw some centrists being moral-condeming about it on Twitter, which I thought overblown. I hadn't actually known Abbott was disabled, and didn't learn that from watching the ad either. To those who already know, it seems like it would be a very passing reference. All the rancor is to Abbott's hypocrisy on the subject, which is pretty glaring.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 11:32 AM
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I actually hadn't known Abbott was in a wheelchair until this controversy, which sort of brings home how Roosevelt might have hid his own disability. Not that Abbott hides it whatsoever - just that I can understand better how you might see so few images of a public figure, and have it never cross your mind one way or another.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 11:43 AM
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Oof, it doesn't even matter because she's obviously going to lose, but it seems like a stupid limb to have gone out on. I am so sad about this race.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 12:14 PM
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Somehow she was so defeated before ever signing up, that I haven't felt particularly sad about watching it pan out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 12:22 PM
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Then she should really go out in a blaze of glory and just made dozens of ads directly calling Abbott a backwards opportunistic misogynist fuckwad. Sort of a Howard Beale approach.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 12:30 PM
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I assume his own ads are calling him a backwards opportunistic misogynist, but not in so many words.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 12:37 PM
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This is pure conjecture, but I wonder if the ad wasn't as much intended to shake the money tree as to influence voters (plaintiff's attorneys being one of the most important sources of campaign contributions for Democrats in Texas).


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 12:38 PM
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This ad is far from the offensive blow people have made it out to be. Abbott already brought his accident and his disability into the conversation by creating the parking garage ad, so mention of his disability is fair game.

This sort of "fair game" reasoning is often opaque to me. What does it matter if Abbott brought it up himself? He's got a public record and that record is automatically fair game for criticism.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 12:57 PM
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Also from the link in the OP:

Mother Jones writer Ben Dreyfuss exemplifies this mentality perfectly in his critique: "It's offensive and nasty and it shouldn't exist. She's basically calling Abbott a cripple."

I am reminded of Kerry talking during a debate about Cheney's daughter:

"If you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as."

And Lynne Cheney's response:

Lynne Cheney issued her post-debate rebuke to a cheering crowd outside Pittsburgh. "The only thing I can conclude is he is not a good man. I'm speaking as a mom," she said. "What a cheap and tawdry political trick."

The thing is, both the Mother Jones writer and Lynne Cheney are kind of right. One effect of remarks like those of Kerry and Davis is to wave a red flag in front of bigots, and I think it's likely that Kerry and Davis know this.

Of course, bigots aren't quite as mindless as they're made out to be, and they know damn well that any hostility they have toward gays and the disabled is going to be best served by electing Republicans. All this does is give them a chance to be even more sanctimonious about it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 1:07 PM
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One effect of remarks like those of Kerry and Davis is to wave a red flag in front of bigots

Really? Putting aside the Kerry example for a moment, you think there's an anti-wheelchair voting bloc out there that Davis is somehow appealing to?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 1:36 PM
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Does Rule 34 apply?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 1:39 PM
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All the people who hate them for taking the good parking spots.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 1:40 PM
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you think there's an anti-wheelchair voting bloc out there that Davis is somehow appealing to?

Are there people who have unconscious bias that people in a wheelchair are more childlike and less adult than able-bodied people? Yes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 1:43 PM
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Surely someone out there has advanced the theory that Davis's very campaign slogan is an unsubtly coded appeal to the anti-wheelchair bloc. Ah yes, Fox News never lets you down.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 2:05 PM
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Thank you for linking to my piece. I've noticed politics clouding the issue far too much, and wanted to avoid having political views play into the "wheelchair issue."

Also, I found this to be a very interesting point made by another commenter: "This sort of "fair game" reasoning is often opaque to me. What does it matter if Abbott brought it up himself? He's got a public record and that record is automatically fair game for criticism."


Posted by: Emily @ Words I Wheel By | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 2:07 PM
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And now we have a campaign ad by the CA GOP gubernatorial candidate where he pulls a drowning boy out of a swimming pool. It's a metaphor!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 2:18 PM
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And some would call him "Pig"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 2:22 PM
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15.1: All her links are golden.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 2:33 PM
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15. Hypocrisy is the only remaining unforgiveable sin.

You can be against squashing kittens as long as you never squashed one yourself.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 3:05 PM
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I thought the last point was the strongest - "they've crossed the line of the public's comfort zone surrounding disability." People in general (although of course no one HERE, I'm sure) get extremely weirded out and defensive about disability in ways that don't make much sense. And for people who don't have experience/aren't comfortable around disability, one of those ways is to think the polite thing to do is pretend you didn't notice the disability. And never, ever talk about it because it is shameful and bizarre. And if you must talk about it use euphemisms to soften the blow.

Anyway I think Abbott's own ad was exploitative in a very inspiration-pron way, and that Davis's ad just treats disability as one of many characteristics that a person may have.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 3:48 PM
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Also, Hi Emily. I apologize in advance for whatever is going to happen in this thread.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 3:50 PM
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I should probably apologize in advance also, but I don't want to have a precedent on that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 4:08 PM
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do it presidentially.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 4:11 PM
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I nominate Jimmy Carter as our most apologetic President. I don't watch enough Fox News to know what Obama has apologized for.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 4:59 PM
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21: I have no idea what you are worried about, E. Messily.

BTW, no more masturbating to sheep fucking in Denmark


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 5:32 PM
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I got a robocall from the president of my union telling me that "Charlie Baker is not your friend." I guess there's been some sort of rumor that Baker has an early retirement plan for state employees up his sleeve. The union wants us to know that it's not true.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 6:37 PM
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Charlie Baker Able? Negative.

(Nothing to do with the disability topics. Just couldn't resist.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-13-14 7:55 PM
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you think there's an anti-wheelchair voting bloc out there that Davis is somehow appealing to?

I would imagine that there is definitely an anti-wheelchair bloc in the sense that there is a bloc that is opposed to giving people in wheelchairs special considerations like, eg, access ramps. I doubt Davis is appealling to them consciously or otherwise, though.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 8:56 AM
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Semi-OT, but good god am I so very tired of listening to the two KY Senate candidates argue about who loves coal the most, and who hates the EPA the most, and who opposes immigration most fanatically. (Those are not exaggerations, those are the literal contents of the political ads that both sides are running constantly.) I get it, but Jesus am I not looking forward to pulling that lever. I'm sure Grimes must have some issues on which she is better than McConnell (not hard since he is one of the worst senators in the senate), but I honestly don't even know what they are because instead of telling me about them she has spent the entire campaign trying to convince me that she'll somehow be even worse than he is. I don't actually believe her, of course, and I don't think anyone else does either.

When those are the terms of the debate, the republicans have already won.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:38 AM
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28: Libertarians tend to be opposed to the government mandating things like wheelchair ramps. Because assholes.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 9:49 AM
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28. That bloc includes the residents of Beacon Hill in Boston.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 10:03 AM
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29 is entirely right except I've managed to avoid most of the ads, thank goodness. But I still know they're out there and they're awful.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 10:20 AM
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33

Sometimes it's worth it just not to have to see Mitch McConnell's ugly fucking face anymore.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 10:45 AM
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34

I don't actually believe her, of course, and I don't think anyone else does either. When those are the terms of the debate, the republicans have already won.

Not really. It's the same story, mutatis mutandis, with Republican candidates in blue states. Moreover, it's increasingly true in purple states as well: Scott Brown wants healthcare for all! Cory Gardner will protect your right to birth control!


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 10:47 AM
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35

Maybe this is true of Republicans in MA, but it does kind of rub in how depressing it is to live here. (And I know I stand up for it every time this conversation happens here and it's not that I want everyone with a brain and heart to evacuate BUT!) 33 above all else, but the other stuff sort of hurts. I guess this is what I get for not particularly loving my state, that I'm explicitly not loved back.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 10:52 AM
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Maybe loving one's state is overrated. I would inch toward liking mine if I could stop hearing its name, any time I read it, in my mind's ear, pronounced by Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 10:56 AM
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34 is right. No one cares (nor should they) about individual candidate's positions in general elections in the current US political context. By virtue of merely being a prominent national Republican McConnell is more dangerous to the interests of humanity than an antichrist made of Ebola joining ISIL; and anyone with a snowball's chance in hell of diminishing his chances of wielding any actual power should be supported unconditionally.

In conclusion, all nice* white people in the United States should be preemptively killed.

*Not that McConnell himself is nice but "nice" white people tend to vote for him and his ilk.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 10:59 AM
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On the OP, here's the indispensable Charles Pierce using the brouhaha over the ad to launch into a righteous screed ("Pulling Up The Ladder") on how it gets at the very soul of modern Republicanism.

This is not "hypocrisy." That is too mild a word. This is the regulatory capture of the government for personal benefit. That it makes a lie, again and again, of the basic principles of modern conservatism -- indeed, that it shows those principles to be a sham -- is certainly worthy of notice and debate. It is certainly worthy of notice and debate that the conservative idea of the benefits of a political commonwealth means those benefits run only one way. Modern conservatism is not about making the government smaller. It's about making the government exclusive. It's not about streamlining the benefits of the political commonwealth. It's about making sure those benefits flow only to those people who have proven through their ability to work all the other levers of power that they deserve those benefits.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:14 AM
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Oh, and we should do away with OSHA as soon as that happens. Greg Abbott deserved that $10 million, but all the people taking advantage of the Americans With Disabilities Act don't deserve wheelchair ramps or curb cuts. It's monstrous.

Pierce glossing the implicit position of Abbot and Republican pigfuckers writ large.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-14 11:16 AM
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