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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Michael J. Fox ad, and reactions

I acually had the Fox ad for Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill bookmarked, and I was going to post it, and ask if Fox might make one for Doyle. Well, he did--and before I got to my post.

You can't watch it without being moved. And it's not, contra Mark Green and Republican apologist Fred, dishonest. The ad declares that Green has voted to oppose embryonic stem-cell research. Which he has. Which he will do as governor--not vote against, of course, but not support in the way that Jim Doyle will, and has. Breakthroughs may not come in time to save Fox--adult stem cells are curing diseases now with a 20-plus year head start--but stifling the potential guarantees no cures will come.

Elsewhere in the Right Cheddarsphere, Michael James Caughill recognizes that the issue is legitimate, and, while lamenting the ad's effectiveness, doesn't think it hits below the belt. Jessica McBride, on the other hand, calls the ad "exploitive". Michael J. Fox, of his own free will and because he believes in a cause, makes an ad (several, actually, in key races--McBride throws out "copycat"), and he's being "exploited."

What's funny, then, is that McBride then launches into a tirade about "double standards":
The subtext is: That mean Mark Green/Jim Talent don't want Michael J. Fox to be cured! Mark Green could go get some Parkinson's afflicted guy who can hardly talk and who disagrees with embryonic stem cell research, I suppose. But then the media would say they were being exploitative.

The media never call the Democrats on it. If George Bush so much as runs a snippet of footage from 9/11, and they are all over him for that (not to mention if they air an ad about a law enforcement officer slain after a crime lab delay). Democrats are allowed to be as exploitative as they want. [. . .] Just check out the spokespeople adopted by the Democrats for various causes:

Cindy Sheehan = Iraq war.
Jersey Girls = Pre 9/11 intelligence failures.
Max Cleland = Iraq war.
Chris Reeve = stem cells.
Patty Wetterling (famous mother of a missing child who is running for Senate in Minnesota) = Foley.
They even have a Democratic candidate for Congress in Illinois who lost both legs in Iraq.
Yep, that's us Democrats . . . if only we'd had an orphaned quadriplegic deaf-mute gay leper, we would have run him instead of Tammy Duckworth, what with the exponentially higher exploitation factor. Seriously, if McBride is holding on to evidence that any of the people she's listed were employed in the cause against their will, then she should come forward.

Also, I wonder where McBride was when Michael J. Fox was cutting ads for Republican Arlen Specter in 2004. My searching says . . . nowhere.

But my favorite response to these ads comes from Missouri expatriate Barbara O'Brien:
Actually, I’d say the Fox ad is less an argument for morality than a test of morality. If you see the ad and feel compassion for Fox, you pass. If you whine about how tasteless, unfair, exploitative, or illogical it is, you flunk.
McBride (and Fred, and some of the Game's commenters) all flunk, too. And to explain why, I recommend this other good Barbara O'Brien post--read it, and follow the links, too.

In the meantime, consider compassion. Remember it on November 7.

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