Virginia Republicans launched a pair of attack ads Wednesday questioning whether Reps. Tom Perriello, D-5th District, and Rick Boucher, D-9th District, joined with other congressional Democrats who applauded Mexican President Felipe Calderon last week for urging an assault weapons ban.
The problem, the Los Angeles Times pointed out Thursday, was neither Perriello nor Boucher attended Calderon’s speech.
It gets worse:
Garren Shipley, RPV director of communications, said in an e-mail statement that pro-gun Democrats like Perriello should have spoken out against Calderon’s speech. He said the ads would stay online until Perriello gives his opinion on Calderon’s call to ban sporting guns.
It was lame enough that the RPV half-assedly accused the congressmen of doing something without any evidence that they did it. Then, when shown to be wrong, their response is to further entrench themselves in that lie. Just admit it, RPV: you screwed up. Just say “we’re grateful to know that these congressman are on the right side of this issue.”
Accusing somebody of believing something that there’s no evidence that they believe, and then demanding that they repudiate that imaginary position, is a tactic of the most desperate, pathetic politics. It’s practiced by Democrats and Republicans alike, but really more the style of partisan bloggers than an entire state political party. Given how well Virginia Republicans did last November, can’t we expect better from them?
Come to think of it, have you noticed how RPV Communications Director Garren Shipley has never explicitly said that he opposes cannibalism?
How much longer with the RPV continue to tolerate a communications director who condones cannibalism through his silence?
LOL@Sam. Glad you’re back Waldo. I was short of reading material. Hope the move is going smoothly.
the RPV half-assedly accused the congressmen of doing something
Ummmm, not quite. All they did was raise the question of DID THEY applaud, rather than accusing them of doing so. This is hardly a “lie,” as you claim. It’s politics, and pretty standard politics at that. There were lots of congressional Democrats who cheered. Perriello and Boucher are Congressional Democrats. It is absolutely appropriate to raise the issue — “Do you support your colleagues, or don’t you?”
If Perriello is so pro-Second Amendment, as his people claim, how hard is it to issue a statement making it clear that he is on the opposite side of Calderon as his fellow Democrats?
That’s the sort of opinion I’d expect from someone who raped a girl while he was in college, I.Publius.
It wasn’t clever or funny the first time, Sam.
Sorry, I.Publius, but it was funny. And more importantly, apt. The sort of “dialogue” the RPV espouses here is nonsensical and borders on harassment. Why don’t they demand Perriello explain whether or not he sides with BP on the oil spill? Or whether he backs Israel on flotilla killings last night? He seems to be just as connected to those events as he does to Calderon’s speech. (Which is to say, not at all.)
That’s weak. Periello is a congressional Democrat. Since many congressional Democrats were obviously supporting Calderon’s position, it is absolutely appropriate to ask if he stands with his fellow Democrats on that issue. Too bad for Tom if that puts him in an uncomfortable position.
I’ve noticed that I Publius has failed to repudiate the rape allegations. Why do you think that might be? What is he trying to hide?
To be honest, this strategy of “hey, why didn’t you repudiate X?” is lame, but what’s lamer and what it seems you’re ignoring, I Publius, is that the ad they’re running asks if they applauded at an event neither man attended. This is in fact exactly the rhetorical technique Sam used, or the old “when did you stop beating your wife?” question or whatever.
As for whether Boucher or Perriello support the ban on sporting weapons, why would their positions have changed? Do they really need to reiterate their stance on this issue every time a congressional democrat applauds someone that supports stricter gun control? It seems like a ludicrous standard to me, one designed to ask Boucher and Perriello to make a big issue out of something which is, for them, maybe not as important as other things, and to do so on command.
I think the attack on Boucher and Perriello failed (and bolstered Boucher’s and Perriello’s cred among gun rights people), but it still would have worked as a more general anti-Democrat ad.
But then the dude screwed the pooch and doubled down on the stupidity. I hate that game of “repudiate so-and-so just because you’re of the same party, etc.”
If he had just said that he thanks B&P for their support of gun rights and wishes more Democrats could do the same, it still could have worked on a broader level. But he didn’t.
And yes, I.Pub., it was kind of funny the first time. Welcome back, Waldo.
There’s a “dance, monkey, dance” aspect to all of this.
The notion that anybody should be able to level any sort of accusation—no matter how unfounded—at a politician, and that politician is obliged to spend time denying it…well, it’s just dumb. Is it true that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990? Who knows? He won’t deny it. It reminds me as the nonsense of bloggers demanding apologies from politicians.
A politician (or, really, anybody) is not obliged to deny any dumbass thing that somebody claims that he believes, with the evidence consisting of that he’s never denied it.
Has anyone ever cross-checked reported rapes near the border with the dates that I. Publius may have snuck into the US? Publius, you can put these questions to rest if you simply show us your papers.
I have to say, I’ve very glad that every reader except one apparently understood the use of mockery to satirize. I wrestled with the idea of personalizing it’s the sort of argument that really does take a special breed of evil to advance or defend seriously. You can’t say something like that honestly because even when it’s meant earnestly in spirit, it can’t help but be patently disingenuous in its content.
Ordinarily I’d like to think I’m above mockery as a rhetorical device, but I freely admit that I can be tempted to stoop so low in the case of the disingenuous speaker, the willfully ignorant or the hypocritical. And the temptation is compounded by the knowledge that you can’t win an argument with the disingenuous, the willful ignoramus or the hypocrite on the merits of logic in any case.
But the celerity with which most people grasped the thrust behind a satirical argument reaffirms my belief that with the exception of one or two participants, this blog has perhaps the smartest and most-honest readership in Virginia politics.
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