July 12, 2008
Too Cute by Half
It is always a risky proposition in a campaign to excessively exaggerate an opponent's flaws or too fawningly promote one's own candidate. Yes, the benefit of getting away with it can be high. But, the risk of getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar is not small.
Within the last week the Gregoire campaign has been caught stretching the truth, in excess even for a political campaign.
1) David Postman dissected a recent Gregoire radio ad and found it wanting on two assertions. In the case of both Roe. v. Wade and global warming, the accusations in Gregoire's ad were flawed, or even flat false.
2) The Rossi campaign caught the Gregoire campaign in doublespeak in a July 9th campaign blog post on the environment (yes, you have to scroll down to find it because the Gregoire campaign doesn't appear to believe in permalinks):
The blog post says, "Republican Dino Rossi would reverse our progress in fighting climate change. His grand idea to cut greenhouse gas emissions? Build more roads. That's right. According to Republican Dino Rossi, more roads and more cars equal less greenhouse gas emissions."
Yet the road projects that Christine Gregoire refers to are the same road projects that she has claimed to support.
Now, neither of these "catches" are nothing more than political chatter at the present time, given the state of the race and the time left until November. Yet, these are the sort of fumbles that can have much more troublesome consequences in September and October. Then is not the time to have a major TV ad or other such campaign effort torn apart by critics for blatant factual errors.
Indeed, this blogger has a tale to tell about just such a late in the campaign blunder by Team Gregoire in 2004, in which I played a modest role, that will be told later this month. Suffice it to say, it's something campaigns ought to be careful about, and Gregoire's campaign is already running risks.
Cross-posted at the Examiner.
Posted by Eric Earling at July 12, 2008
10:22 AM | Email This
1. She's either for those roads projects or against. But no governor with any kind of character can come out on BOTH SIDES. You are busted, Gregoire! I submit that Dino Rossi has more character in his right pinky than this woman possesses in total. I really look forward to a new governor!
These "catches" actually involve rather thin parsing of campaign positions! I'm really waiting for your take as to why Rossi's positions on global warming and abortion here are "flawed" or "false" or "stretching the truth".
Similarly, Gregoire's position on climate change and air quality involves more than just roads, while Rossi's transportation and environment plans seem to be middling and backward thinking at best. I'm not enthusiastic about Gregoire, don't get me wrong, but I'm not really seeing the meat in Rossi's positions at all.
3. D Kid, read the Postman.
Then go read, really read, Rossi's plan, and then explain middling and backward thinking.
I thought Rossi's plan to be pragmatic, at least.
"Stretching the truth" equals "lying." And no one lies like the leftists.
Given her abysmal, "Carteresque" record of wreaking economic destruction on this state, lying is all Queen "bought and sold by the tribes" Chrissy has got.
@3: I thought Rossi's plan to be pragmatic, at least.
Hardly. He's outlined basic road improvements, described how he'd upgrade the state motor pool to hybrids, and talked about salmon. He's also suggesting that transit funding be allocated to HOV lanes. How exactly is this pragmatic or forward-thinking? To turn a Republican phrase to my own use, he's a $50 a barrel guy living in a $150 a barrel world.
@4: Given her abysmal, "Carteresque" record of wreaking economic destruction on this state, lying is all Queen "bought and sold by the tribes" Chrissy has got.
Provide me with the statistics to back up this "economic destruction".
From Postman - "But, as with abortion, Rossi won�t say where he comes down in the debate. That leaves his position open to interpretation and creates an opening the Gregoire campaign tried to fill with a few seconds of its one minute ad."
If Dino just answered the question he could put all of this to rest.
Actually, Gregoire is similar to Bush 43 in that:
1) she trashed the budget surplus of $1.4 billion, when she took office and it become a deficit of $2.4 billion this year and
2) She won the office in a controversial election, where the losing side cried fraud.
Bush 43 was more of a fiscal liberal than Carter. True - #6.
These are hardly "catches."
It looks like there plenty of political speech that relies on technicalities to make points coming from both candidates.
On these two topic the truth seems to be:
Abortion: Rossi is pro-life but doesn't want to campaign on the topic. Gregoire is pro-choice and makes no bones about it. The Rossi campaign is right: the Governor has no real role in the basics of this issue. But voters like to know. And its reasonable to expect candor from candidates on the topic.
Global Warming: Rossi appears to be something of a doubter while trying to thread a needle. Gregoire has obviously been action oriented - rejecting extreme measures while working with other Western state governors (most all of whom are Republicans) on actions.
This is another instance where voters can reasonably expect candor on a growing list of real policy choices.
When a candidate can't, or won't, answer questions, they expose themselves to all sorts of potential spinning by opponents.
That appears to be what happened in the two "catches" noted above.
6. From Postman - "But, as with abortion, Rossi won't say where he comes down in the debate. That leaves his position open to interpretation and creates an opening the Gregoire campaign tried to fill with a few seconds of its one minute ad."
If Dino just answered the question he could put all of this to rest.
Posted by Special Sauce at July 12, 2008 07:56 PM
Perhaps Gregoire will 1st answer the more relevant question about what she is specifically going to do about the upcoming $2.7 BILLION Budget Deficit she created.
That is actually something a Governor must address.
What precisely is Gregoire going to DO about her view??
This is merely a sideshow to deflect away from the Budget Trainwreck Gregoire created with excessive, reckless spending.
10. 1, Democrats love never answering the tough questions. What is her plan to fix the deficit. WHat programs have to be cut? What Special INterests can she not pay off and still be reelected. One thing you say about her is she is the Queen of Special INterest Payoffs.
I remember when that weasel of officialdom, Geoff Simpson, challenged SP to name which programs should he push to cut. It wasn't where we could reduce the budget, but what complete programs should be cut.
He had several takers, but cut-and-run Simpson never responded. After that, he and his cronies kept passing regulations, expensive rules (greenhouse gas) and increasing the size of government.
Now, Mr. Simpson, how are you and your cronies going to balance the budget and which programs, if any are you going to cut? Or, since this is a phony emergency, are you going to tax us to the max?
12. She's either for those roads projects or against. But no governor with any kind of character can come out on BOTH SIDES.
First, if having character was a crime, the Queen wouldn't be arrested, much less suspected of lawbreaking.
Second, she and the King, Greg Nickels, have mastered the art of being both for and against road projects. Take the cluster#$@k known as the Viaduct...the poster child for immediate and substantial gas tax increases to stave off imminent collapse, in an election campaign long ago and far, far away...
Greg Nickels proposes spending $4B to replace the Viaduct with a tunnel. This meets all of his (and the Queen's)objectives...
---This will suck up $4B of road tax that could have gone to actually increase road capacity. But...
---Wait, there's more! This tunnel will actually decrease road capacity to two lanes, each direction. But...
---Wait, there's more! These road tax $$$s will also go to replacing the sea wall along the Seattle waterfront, thereby saving Seattle hundreds of millions of dollars. But...
---Wait, there's more! This will open up the waterfront and end the 'needless' separation of the city from its waterfront. It will create new parkspace and waterfront condos for Seattle's benefit, at our expense. Never mind that if Seattle was so concerned about 'separation' why then would it have closed off every through street between Alaskan and First, from Wall on the north to Spring on the south?
We'll have what will be (at the time) the most expensive road project in state history, whose only tangible benefit will be...wait for this...increasing Seattle's quality of life! But...
---Wait, there's more! Nickels is holding the 520 project hostage. We'll have a project that will cost, in the end, $4B+ whose main accomplishment will be...wait for this...increasing the quality of life for those waterfront communities along 520. A secondary benefit, to be sure, will be those bike lanes gas tax payers will pay for...along with a possible HOV lane, unless those who assert that "We can't pave our way out of this problem," manage to have the lane used for rail.
I supppose in a sense they're right...if we spend $10B for no net increase in lane capacity, then realistically there's no way we can pave our way out of our congestion.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say, "The region can't pave its way out of this congestion mess...because we won't let you."
So you see, it is possible to be for road construction, and against roads.
So, we're looking at spending an amount I would estimate at between $8B-$10B in road tax dollars, which dwarfs our ongoing construction budget...to improve the quality of life in Seattle, and in the waterfront communities bordering 520.
I suppose in a sense it's predictable the process would be held for ransom...after all, Mercer Island showed everyone how it could be done. At the time, thoughtful observers said the I-90 project probably doomed a 520 rebuild, because it would be too expensive.
If they can sell this, I salute their skills.
So any solutions have advantages and tradeoffs. Having weighed the payoffs and tradeoffs of possible alternatives, I've come up with my own preferred solution for each of these. Seattle should dynamite the viaduct and plant pea patches, or whatever they choose. I'd be willing for WSDOT to pay for the dynamite...but no more.
As for 520? I've come up with a solution that will cost a fraction of the proposals, lessen traffic headed for I-5, and create park space on each shore. Make a volume buy on dynamite and put the 520 bridge at the bottom of Lake Washington. An added benefit, of course, is that we won't have to listen to the whining anymore.
I'm sure there will be those who say that's too radical a solution. What they undoubtedly mean, of course, is that I should shut my mouth...and open my wallet.