Friday, October 13, 2006

Deliver us from Eva (and MN Publius and . . . )

Posted by Craig Westover | 6:33 PM |  

Eva Young sent me a link to MN Publius and an NRCC ad attacking Patty Wetterling. I've made it pretty clear on my blog and in the PiPress that I don't like the negative advertising that the state GOP is doing. Ditto the NRCC. However, looking at the NRCC ad posted at MN Publius, while I'd rather see a pro Bachmann ad than this negativity, this ad uses an effective if exaggerated metaphor, but it doesn't misrepresent Wetterling's stated position.

Patty Wetterling is against a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. Unless I’ve missed something, that is 100 percent true.

The line in the ad about her “’hometown values’ aren’t ours” is speculative and not necessarily true; Wetterling could have the same values and be opposed to the amendment for legalistic reasons (What does that say about Wetterling?), but that bit of political exaggeration pales in degree to just about everything on sites like MN Publius and Dump Bachmann not to mention the misleading nature of Wetterling’s (not the DCCC‘s) “Bachmann is for raising taxes ad.”

I’m not going to get into a whose-ad-is-worse mode. A pox on both your houses. Just a couple of relevant points.

First, Bachmann can officially do nothing about NRCC ads even if she wants to. As King Baniaian pointed out, a candidate cannot coordinate with party or PAC advertising. Yeah, there are ways around that I suppose, but it’s still the law and somebody would jump on Bachmann if they found out she tried it.

Second, if the folks so upset by Bachmann’s same-sex marriage stance would think for more than two seconds before opening their mouths or their browsers, they might realize that Bachmann’s given the status of same-sex couples a visibility it has never had before. Instead of using that to their advantage, DFLer’s, who claim the GLBT community as their own, are screaming and whining and reinforcing the perception Bachammn is playing to. They’re making it difficult for people that rationally try to support same-sex marriage to do so with any credibility or enthusiasm.

With same-sex marriage, society is in a period of rising expectations. There’s no turning back now. Either the country is going to push for and pass amendments banning same-sex marriage or society is going to perceive a social value to same-sex marriage and move toward it. The MN Publius types aren’t making the latter any easier.

I have faith that society will move toward same-sex marriage, and I am willing to hope so and say so publically, which doesn’t score a lot of points for me with my conservative readership. The people Bachmann-haters should be pissed at are people like Patty Wetterling that will criticize Bachmann but refuse to take a positive stance on same-sex marriage for fear of offending voters.

Can anyone tell me how, short of opposition to a constitutional amendment and an unwillingness to speak up for what she believes, Patty Wetterling’s stance on gays and same-sex marriage differs from Michele Bachmann’s?

Okay, if you want to say Bachmann is anti-gay, go ahead, but at least you know where she stands. You’re not going to change her mind, and you’re not going to change voters’ minds until people like Patty Wetterling and other so-called supporters of the GLBT community find the courage to take an honest stand in support of whatever it is they believe.