Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

McGavick deplores and then uses meaningless rhetoric

I got a Mike McGavick mailer yesterday. Nice photos, glossy, real primo stuff.

When you open it up, on what would be page 3 if it was numbered, at the top you get the following statement (transcribed from the actual mailer:)
There is too much meaningless rhetoric coming out of Washington, D.C. The people deserve to know what the candidates stand for.
Directly below that is a chart full of,um, meaningless rhetoric. You can't make this stuff up.

You know how the Republicans like to do it. They make a list of pet Republican issues, slant them in Republican-speak language, and then "compare" the candidates.

For example, in a mythical race for Comptroller of the Laundry Room, the issue might be "refuses to sort laundry by color." And Ralph Republican will be listed as "no" and Debbie Democrat will be listed as "yes." You get the idea. It's an old, cheap trick, but when your party has absolutely nothing going for it, I guess the GOP really has no choice.

Here is McGavick's laundry list of meaningless rhetoric. For simplicity I'll only list McGavick's alleged stance. (There are only two possible answers on this chart, one being "yes" and the other being "no.")
Drug testing for parents on welfare (YES)
Define marriage as between a man and a woman (YES)
Eliminate the death tax and the marriage penalty (YES)
Give Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants (NO)
Expand our domestic oil supply in Alaska (YES)
OK to burn the American flag (NO)
Notify parents if minor child seeks an abortion (YES)
Make English our national language (YES)
Hmmm. Where have I heard that claim about Social Security before? Oh yeah. Seattle Times reporter Alicia Mundy did a thorough job on Oct. 12 examining the claims and counter claims resulting from McGavick tee-vee ads in this vein.

Mundy reported there had been a vote on an amendment that would have taken away Social Security benefits from people who had earned them while here illegally, but later became legal. (Whew! Always with the amendments and the amendments to amendments. You don't think the GOP does that on purpose, do you?)

And to try to keep this this simple, the McGavick attacks are part of a larger GOP effort, according to Mundy's article.
The issue is driven partly by the National Republican Senatorial Committee in Washington, D.C., which has encouraged GOP candidates to press it around the country., a nonpartisan campaign-ad watchdog group, said 29 GOP candidates are now tagging Democrats with wanting to give benefits to illegal immigrants.
In plain English, what McGavick is claiming is at best a half-truth. Again from Mundy's Oct. 12 article:
McGavick is right that Cantwell's position would allow immigrants to collect Social Security based on taxes they paid while working illegally.

"It's like letting someone keep money they stole from a bank, as long as they pay the taxes on it," McGavick said.

However, Cantwell also is right in saying she doesn't advocate paying benefits to illegal immigrants. Under law, only legal immigrants can receive Social Security.
McGavick's claim in the mailer doesn't offer any information, just a flat claim that Cantwell wants to "give Social Security benefits to illegal aliens." So whether it's a full lie or a half lie, it's very deceptive.

In other words, it's meaningless rhetoric.

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