Dave Spence spent what probably amounts to a pretty big pot of money to run an ad that is likely to be more notable for the fact that it misspells “governor” as “Spenceforgoverner.com” than for its content. Rep. Todd Akin has also run into problems with spelling and grammar when assembling his campaign
adds Website. They’re minor errors, and, God knows, with my propensity for typos, I should tread carefully. But wouldn’t you think that folks who are paying beaucoup bucks to run ads could take the time to proof them? Especially since there are relatively few words to check and most of them are common everyday words.
When I was in college, I remember a professor who declared that casual, sloppy errors in term papers amounted to an expression of contempt for the educational process and for educators. By the same measure, aren’t such casual, easily corrected slips on the part of politicians likely to be an expression of contempt for voters? It’s sort of like they think we’re so easy we don’t require much effort. And isn’t it just as likely that this contempt will express itself in other ways as well? Through blatant, in-your-face dishonesty, perhaps, or excuses that beggar belief? And sure enough, both Akin and Spence are guilty.
Remember Spence’s effort to present his home economics degree as a business degree in economics? Or consider his crude deflection of accusations that he voted to default on a TARP bailout loan while on the board of Reliance Bank. He can’t refute that fact, so he pretends that the issue is whether or not he was on the Board when it decided to request the funds. Do you maybe think Spence thinks we’re stupid?
Akin, for his part, quickly flip-flopped on earmarks when it meant a few bucks in his campaign coffers, but tried to save face by claiming that his new-found enthusiasm for earmark bans was consistent with what he’d really meant all along when he said that banning earmarks was unconstitutional. Once again, don’t you get the idea that this guy thinks we’re stupid?
If Spence and Akin demonstrate a lazy contempt for voters, the Romney/Ryan campaign has taken the same approach to new heights (or, perhaps, depths?). Take, for example, Romney’s tax and deficit proposals. When challenged with the fact that there’s no math there, he refuses to actually discuss the issue in terms of specifics; he just insists that the criticisms aren’t true and, if we’ll just trust him, it’ll all turn out okay. However, in the words of the non-partisan study that actually did the math:
Our conclusion was not a prediction about [what] Governor Romney would do as President, it was an arithmetic calculation: all of the promises couldn’t be met simultaneously without resorting to tax increases on households with income below $200,000.
Now, are you telling me that Governor Romney, a former financier, doesn’t know that? Want another example? Consider Romney’s statement in last Wednesday’s debate that the health care “plan” that he put on his Website provides for coverage of preexisting conditions. It’s just flat-out not true, and it’s highly unlikely that the Governor didn’t know that. He’s responsible for what it says after all. Do you think that maybe he figures we’re just too lazy or stupid to check it out?
Of course, in the aftermath of an obstreperous presidential debate performance, Romney is enjoying a bump in the polls. While Akin is running behind McCaskill in the polls, at least 40% of Missourians don’t care how he disses them – in fact, he’s just announced that he pulled in a $1 million dollars in online campaign donations. True, Spence has an uphill battle, but he’s still collecting endorsements from organizations that ought to know better. Maybe the GOP is on to something with that stupid shtick. If any of these bozos make it into elected office this November, it won’t be because the electorate is all that.