Thursday, October 14, 2004
Verdict: Not Funny, and definitely Not OK.
An annonymous commentor on my last post wondered about my take on this, a condemnation by the Traditional Values Coalition of Craig Fitzhugh, a Democratic Tennessee state representative, whose office has distributed a flier with the caption, "Voting for Bush is Like Running in the Special Olympics: Even if you Win, You're Still Retarded". I think that TVC is absolutely right to condemn Rep. Fitzhugh, and I sincerely hope that he gets condemnation from much more mainstream bodies as well. I'm not even sure how to start listing the problems I have with this ad. For one thing, it is offensive, in a particularly viscious way. A retarded-kids jab is, to me, quite a bit worse than a racist or homophobic one. Black people and gay people at least know how to stand up for themselves. So I think the flier is in very bad taste. If I saw someone using a slogan like that on the streets, I'd probably quietly disapprove. If I were feeling confrontational, I might say something about it. But from an elected official, this is nothing short of disgusting. (How 'bout that, I just agreed with a group called the "Traditional Values Coalition" on something.) MAJOR UPDATE: Joe informs me that all may not be as it seems. Here is discussion that, if true, suggests that it's just a plain lie that these fliers were distributed by Craig Fitzhugh, but rather that he was 'framed'. Fitzhugh's office is certainly denying responsibility. If he was framed, then this is an even more disgusting story than it used to be, and the bad guys are actually the ones on the Right. Thanks, Joe.