Thursday, June 10, 2010

Your Moment of Despair

In her latest column, Gail Collins mentions as an aside:

(A recent ad in Alabama attacking a gubernatorial candidate for supporting the teaching of evolution was financed by the True Republican PAC, whose big donor was actually the state teachers’ union.)

This seems to be true, sadly. See TPM, via Carl Zimmer, for confirmation.

And, unsurprisingly, but still discouragingly, the attacked candidate, Bradley Byrne, immediately rushed to "defend" himself from this horrific thought, saying, in part:

"As a member of the Alabama Board of Education, the record clearly shows that I fought to ensure the teaching of creationism in our school text books."

It may not be quite that straightforward. Thomas Spencer of The Birmingham News has a longish inside baseball piece that while not addressing this particular issue, does make clear how this is likely due to the swirling of money from one PAC to another, plus the teachers' union, like every other special interest group, looking to hedge its bets.

But still. That anyone, regardless of political affiliation, would think that this would be a good thing to use as an attack, that the candidate would respond as he did, and worst, that it evidently is an effective tactic here in the twenty-first century, is just discouraging as hell.

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