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Truth and consequences

As we have noted, the Swiftvet controversy has allowed the Democrats and the MSM to whine once more about past instances of highly effective pro-Republican ads — not just the 1988 Horton ad, but also the classic Jesse Helms ad in which a white worker is shown receiving a rejection letter due to preferential race-based affirmative action. Although these ads were truthful — Dukakis did maintain a policy of letting first degree felons including Horton out of jail for weekends and Helms’ opponent did favor granting racial preferences — these ads are said to have been improper because of their negativity and the way they played to people’s “fears.”
But it turns out that positive ads by Republicans are also problematic. Thus, the Bush campaign was urged to pull ads pointing to the participation of Iraq and Afghanistan in the Olympics. Again, no one disputed that, but for Bush’s policies, these countries would not have participated. And it is pretty clear that Iraq, at least, wouldn’t have participated if Gore had been elected president instead of Bush. But the ads were still unfair because they violated the Olympic spirit, or something.
The real “unfairness” of the ads cited above is that each focuses on consequences. Horton’s murder/sex spree was the foreseeable consequence of Dukakis’ decision on weekend passes. Whites being rejected for jobs they otherwise would receive is the inevitable consequence of race-based hiring preferences. The liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan and their re-entry into the community of nations was the near certain consequence of Bush’s decision to act militarily.
Liberals like to talk about intentions rather than consequences. If the intent of giving weekend passes to felons or preferences to racial minorities is noble, then it is unfair to talk about the real-world human consequences of these actions. And if Bush has bad intentions (a given for liberals and most of the MSM), then it is unfair for him to talk about the human consequences of his military actions.
The original Swiftvet ad was about integrity not consequences. But now the Swiftvets are talking about consequences too — the consequences in North Vietnam of Kerry’s anti-American statements after he returned to the U.S. No wonder the Democrats are getting that old sinking feeling.
UPDATE: I forgot to note the outcry when President Bush dared to run an ad that had pictures of ground zero. Apparently, it’s unfair and in bad taste to remind people of the consequences of an insufficient response to terrorism or of the events that prompted most of the president’s most controversial decisions.

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