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Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Spinning until...
. . . .

Spinning until we‘re woozy

Stephen Tuttle - June 13th, 2011
Spinning Until We’re Woozy
State Senator Howard Walker votes for catastrophic cuts to public
education and then writes an op-ed piece claiming to be a big friend of
education and explaining how he actually did us a favor.
John Edwards gets indicted for felony-level campaign law violations and
then tells us he didn’t know anything about the money being funneled to
his mistress to keep her quiet and, even if he did, he broke no laws.
Sarah Palin tells us Paul Revere made his famous ride, in her version with
bells ringing and guns blazing, to warn the British. Then she makes it
worse by claiming she’s right and everybody else is wrong.
Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York gets caught sending pictures of
himself in his underpants to at least one online lover and denies, denies,
denies.
All four of the above are variations of spin control; putting the best
possible face on something that might not be all that pretty. We used to
call this lying but we’re more sophisticated now.
Senator Walker provided us with an excellent example of the You’re Not
Smart Enough To Understand So I’ll Explain It To You spin.
His vote to cut public education funding was preposterous. Especially
since the very school districts he represents will be the hardest hit as
our education system begins to suffer death by a thousand budget cuts.
But, according to Senator Walker, he and the Michigan Legislature actually
did the schools a big favor by not hacking away even more. Proof positive
of their commitment to our schools. We’re darned lucky he’s there to
protect us.
John Edwards, a former U.S. Senator, the Democrats’ nominee for Vice
President on the John Kerry ticket and a candidate for president, gave us
the classic I Might Have the Morals of Pond Scum But I’m Not a Criminal
spin.
Edwards was famously caught with his pants down, quite literally, while
cheating on his dying wife and impregnating his mistress. Seems a couple
of his supporters coughed up nearly $1 million in an effort to keep the
other woman quiet. The entire episode is about as sleazy and smarmy as
anything can be.
Edwards has now been indicted for campaign finance violations since
federal law demands that any money given to a candidate for any purpose
should be reported as a campaign contribution. Oddly, the Edwards
campaign sort of forgot to mention the hush money payments.
The Edwards spin is that, yes, he might have done wrong but he didn’t do
anything illegal. The public opinion spin seems to be: please, Mr.
Edwards, be quiet and go away and don’t bother us anymore.
Then there is Sarah Palin. She’s trying the always popular Don’t Confuse
Me With The Facts spin after absolutely butchering a little piece of
American history.
The former Alaska governor and her family have just completed a tour of
American historical sites on the East Coast. That they did their tour in
a campaign bus with fawning media in tow is really beside the point. Her
flawed understanding of history is not.
After walking Boston’s Freedom Trail, Palin expounded on Paul Revere’s
famous ride. Here is the direct quote as reported by the Associated
Press: “He who warned the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away
our arms by ringing those bells, and makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse
through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to
be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”
Whew.
There is the tiniest little grain of reality tucked away in her ramblings.
At one point on his trip from Lexington to Concord, Revere was, in fact,
stopped and questioned by the British. And he told them he had warned
everyone from Boston to Lexington and that hundreds of Minutemen would be
arriving.
But that’s a pretty far cry from claiming the purpose of his trip was to
warn the British, and there were definitely no bells rung or shots fired.
The idea was to secretly warn the independence-seeking colonists of the
British approach, not the other way around.
Democrat Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York is our latest spin player.
He’s trying the All Right, Now That You’ve Caught Me I’m Sorry spin.
Weiner, who is married, apparently had a very active online “dating” life
that included sending lewd pictures of himself to at least one of his
internet sweeties.
Weiner first claimed his e-mail was hacked, then said the picture in
question might be him but he had no idea how it got sent to anybody, and
then, finally, he had to fess up and ask for forgiveness but he won’t
resign. Way too little way too late.
Trying to spin your way out of trouble instead of just telling the truth
seems to have been fully embraced by Democrats and Republicans alike.
Conservatives, liberals and everyone in between now spin like a top. The
good news is we’re starting to get pretty proficient at differentiating
between the fertilizer and the flowers.
We know, for example, that Howard Walker can say what he wants but he’s
been a friend to public education in the same way a chainsaw is a friend
to a forest.
We know Paul Revere did not ring any bells or fire any shots or ride for
the purpose of warning the British regardless of what Sarah Palin claims.
And we know John Edwards and Anthony Weiner are immoral weasels unworthy
of any additional attention.
The bad news is there is so much spinning we’re all starting to get a
little woozy. Eventually we’ll just assume everything is spin, nothing is
the truth and stop paying attention altogether. When that happens the
spinners will have won and the rest of us, perpetually dizzy, will have
lost.

 
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