October 27, 2006

Patty Wetterlying - Again

While we've established that the Strib's Eric Black is loathe to use the word "lying" lightly (at all?), he does come pretty close in appraising Patty Wetterlying's latest ad; (emphasis added):

A highly deceptive ad by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee takes one vote out of context to distort congressional candidate Michele Bachmann's record on crime.
And by "taking out of context", we mean "logical mugging in service of Wetterling's most cynical lie in a campaign where her lying cynicism would have made her at home in the Nixon CIA".
The 30-second ad, which has been airing for about a week, invites voters to infer that Bachmann opposed longer sentences for repeat sex offenders when Bachmann actually voted for tougher sentences..."Who would vote against a bill that puts repeat sex offenders behind bars for life?" The ad asks, then answers: "Michele Bachmann."

The ad also suggests that Bachmann voted against "making operating meth labs close to children a crime" and against "letting police alert parents when sex offenders move to neighborhoods."

The real context?
All three statements rely on a single vote, taken April 12, 2004, when an omnibus bill passed the Senate 35-31 with Bachmann voting no.

The bill did include provisions that would have created a potential life sentence for repeat sex offenders, criminalize the operation of meth labs close to children and strengthen provisions for notification of neighborhoods when out-of-state sex offenders moved in.

But there is no fair or rational basis for asserting that Bachmann's reasons for voting against the bill were that she opposed tougher sentences or more neighborhood notification.

The vote

Earlier in the legislative session, the Republican-controlled House had passed a crime bill that, in many instances, included tougher anti-crime provisions than the version favored by the DFL-controlled Senate...As the crime provisions made their way through the Senate, Bachmann voted in favor of an amendment that would have [drastically tightened penalties for sex crimes]...By the time the bill came up for final passage, the DFL majority had attached substantial spending provisions for health care, education and other functions unrelated to crime. Bachmann and all other Senate Republicans voted no. All Senate DFLers voted yes and the bill passed the Senate.

The DFL, naturally, as a defense all ready - in this case, a bit by DCCC apparatchik Bill Burton that may qualify as the stupidest spin I've ever seen:
"Look, the bottom line is, she voted against the bill," Burton said. "The bill specifically would have stiffened penalties against sex offenders and done a series of things that made penalties tougher. ... If she was for these things, then she would have voted for the bill. ...
Translated: "We Democrats sure hope you Minnesotans are too stupid to think".

No, really. Her last three ads have been, for lack of a more accurate term, cynical lies:

  • One ad claimed that the Fair Tax - which Michele Bachmann supports - would raise taxes 23%. It didn't deign to mention that it would also eliminate income and payroll taxes; most working families would see a net drop in taxes.
  • Another ad claimed that House GOP leadership had admitted to covering up for Tom Foley
  • Finally, this ad.
Patty Wetterling; sorry about your son and all, but that doesn't excuse your turning into a lying scumbag (or letting your people do it for you).

Posted by Mitch at October 27, 2006 07:02 AM | TrackBack

As if Republicans haven't done precisely the same thing regarding omnibus votes.

I guess that makes every Republican a lying scumbag - I notice you use the word lightly - or have allowed their people to make them into one.

Posted by: ted at October 27, 2006 08:02 AM

Mitch said,

"...but that doesn't excuse your turning into a lying scumbag"

We've been listening for years how Democrats voted gainst sending armour to troops, how Al Gore claimed he invented the internet, Democrats want to cut and run.

Why all the whining when we start playing by the rules you guys have been playing by since Lee Atwater was wearing 5 inch lapels?

Posted by: Doug at October 27, 2006 08:02 AM

“Patty Wetterling; sorry about your son and all,”

Mitch, no need to defer to Wetterling any more. Once she turned into just another bottom feeding politician by standing on the body of her dead kid in an attempt to give an empty skirt some credibility, she became fair game. We should be able to kick her in the teeth and stomp on her neck without paying homage to her victim status.

Posted by: Robert Brown at October 27, 2006 09:37 AM

Hey, at least Lee Atwater's machinations usually had some trace of humor about them. No ad at the time was funnier than the one where Dukakis was riding around in a tank, looking perfectly ridiculous and utterly out of his element.

Posted by: PaulC at October 27, 2006 09:38 AM

You thought it was fine when it was going around, so why don't you quit the whining now that it's coming around. As obnoxious as you right-wing kooks are when you're winning, you're twice as bad when you're crying about taking a little of what you've been dishing out.

Posted by: angryclown at October 27, 2006 10:20 AM

Wetterling holds the body of her dead child out to shield herself from criticism, that is what makes her such an especially vile politician.

Posted by: Robert Brown at October 27, 2006 12:09 PM

"You thought it was fine when it was going around"


I just had no voice at the time.

Posted by: mitch at October 27, 2006 01:09 PM

"Translated: 'We Democrats sure hope you Minnesotans are too stupid to think.'"

The latest polls shows reasonable people aren't buying the DFL's lies in CD-6:

SurveyUSA: Bachmann 49, Wetterling 43

Posted by: Lassie at October 27, 2006 02:26 PM

Just another illustration of one of several reasons why I think that unrelated issues should not be able to be lumped together into a single vote.

Obviously not possible with budget bills but the answer "I did not agree with the budget as a whole" followed by the whys should be the standard response and put the matter to rest (other than debate over the whys given)

It isn't OK when the Democrats do this kind of shit and it isn't OK when the Republicans do it.

Posted by: phaedrus at October 27, 2006 03:52 PM


Your site is a unending source of entertainment. In your oening post today you decry the incivility of others in their response to a fellow bloggers tragedy. In this post you tell Wetterling "too bad about your son and all but that doesn't excuse your turning into a lying scumbag". Your gentle soul is overflowing these days. Keep the chuckles coming.

Posted by: phipho at October 28, 2006 01:14 PM


Responding to specific offenses is one thing; Wetterling IS a liar. Calling her "scumbag" may have been excessive, but the fact is she lied.

Reflexively hating someone for what they *are* - in this case, Bachmann for being a Christian, which is most definitely what is going on - is quite another.

Posted by: mitch at October 28, 2006 04:43 PM

One more point,Phipho,
Patty Wetterling is being presented to Minnesota as a saint who is unasailable in standing on a moral high ground. The realtive dissonence of a lying saint is hard to defend, even for partisan hacks like Angryclown and Doug.

Posted by: Kermit at October 29, 2006 10:27 PM

You're right about one thing. I hate the fact that Patty has had to resort to the same tactics the Rebublicans have used for years.

Take the 2000 Presidential elections. Bush's primary campaign was quite possibly the dirtiest in U.S. history and when he gets the nomination he runs on a platform of bringing civility back to Washington.

While he's blathering about civility, his surrogates in the media are happily repeating the lies and distortions about Gore - and that was from the alleged "left wing media".

The same thing happened in '04 against Kerry.

Obviously, negative ads work otherwise we wouldn't be sitting in the mess we're in in Iraq but we're used to it from you guys. Maybe it's time you get used to it to.

Posted by: Doug at October 30, 2006 07:44 AM
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