Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Most Despicable Political Ad. Ever.

The nonpartisan reports that Florida Rep. Alan Grayson's new ad "manipulates video to make his opponent seem to urge wives to 'submit to' their husbands. He didn't":

In a new ad, Grayson accuses his Republican opponent Daniel Webster of being a religious fanatic and dubs him "Taliban Dan." But to make his case, Grayson manipulates a video clip to make it appear Webster was commanding wives to submit to their husbands, quoting a passage in the Bible. Four times, the ad shows Webster saying wives should submit to their husbands.

Yet explains that "[i]n fact, Webster was cautioning husbands to avoid taking that passage as their own. The unedited quote is: "Don’t pick the ones [Bible verses] that say, ‘She should submit to me:"

Webster: So, write a journal. Second, find a verse. I have a verse for my wife, I have verses for my wife. Don’t pick the ones that say, ‘She should submit to me.’ That’s in the Bible, but pick the ones that you’re supposed to do. So instead, ‘love your wife, even as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it’ as opposed to ‘wives submit to your own husbands.’ She can pray that, if she wants to, but don’t you pray it.

Remarkably, the Grayson campaign is standing behind the ad.

(Hat Tip: William Jacobson (Cornell).)

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They told me if I voted for John McCain that the party in power would falsely attack and demonize people based upon their practiced religion ... and they were right!

Posted by: wikiwiki | Sep 29, 2010 4:49:45 PM

Mr. Grayson is likely to get a well-deserved pink slip from the voters next month.

Many on the Left have the same elitist, condescending view of ordinary citizens, the same irrational hatred of orthodox Christianity and Judaism, the same unconditional love of grandiose schemes to remake humanity in their idealized image, the same oikophobic dislike of this country, and the same impulse to live by one set of rules while imposing another on the peasantry, as Grayson does. I do have to give him credit for one thing, though, and that is that he is at least man enough to express these opinions openly and honestly.

Posted by: MPM (UC Law '89) | Sep 29, 2010 8:49:57 AM

Okay, Mithras, it's not like LBJ didn't use an ad with a daisy-picking little girl and an atom bomb to scare everyone into believing that Goldwater was going to kill everyone with a nuclear war.

And, I think it was in very poor and inaccurate taste to show the black man dragged behind a pickup truck in Texas and say that this is what black people will experience if Bush was re-elected.

And, I can tell you this as a Georgia voter, Max Cleland's injuries have nothing to do with elections. What did have to do with his election is his decision to represent the left of the Democratic Party rather than the citizens of Georgia.

You can act all offended about ads that you don't like, but the Democrats and the Left aren't exactly lily white.

What I don't understand from this year's ads by Democrats is why they don't brag about their role in pushing socialized medicine down our throats, why they don't brag about supporting carbon cap and tax, why they don't brag about their budget breaking stimulus vote for over $1 million per job. Maybe you can explain.

Posted by: Woody | Sep 29, 2010 8:23:35 AM

You'd think someone names Webster would be better with words (yes, I know, Noah did the dictionary and Daniel was the politician, couldn't resist . . .)

Posted by: mike livingston | Sep 28, 2010 2:01:06 PM

Fuller context:

While the Grayson campaign can be taken to task for taking Webster's comment out of context, in the larger context, they're correct. Grayson's campaign argued that Webster seemed to be supporting submission in his comments to an audience of conservative men, whom he directed to pray that they would better fulfill their biblical duty to love their wives, and leave prayers about women's submission to their wives. However, the emphasis of these remarks, as those familiar with Christian rhetoric could recognize, is not on the optional nature of wives' submission. Wifely submission is part of an often-unbalanced equation to Christians who subscribe to "complementarian" or "patriarchal" marriage roles, where men must "love" and women "obey." Saying that a woman should pray for God's guidance in submission, if she wants to, is not leniency, but rather standard evangelical language that emphasizes individuals must obey biblical mandates regardless of how others around them behave. So, Webster is saying, men must be accountable to God for their responsibility to love their wives regardless of whether she submits -- that they must pray to do right, even if she doesn't.

Posted by: Mithras | Sep 28, 2010 1:37:15 PM

I called his DC office, his Orlando and other local offices and his campaign. They stand by the ad and the volunteer I spoke to says she sleeps well at night. The overall tone of everyone I spoke to was, once they noticed I wasn't a fan, extremely hateful, snide, snarky and disrespectful.

I am thinking that this man is surrounded by very nasty folks and is not fit to be a Congressman,

Posted by: Alan Davidson | Sep 28, 2010 11:12:34 AM

Actually, Grayson has it right. Webster was telling men not to pray that their wives be submissive and that their children be obedient, because those are prayers that are to be made by wives and children. Men are supposed to pray with respect to their own behaviour.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 28, 2010 10:54:07 AM

I'm still in shock after watching that ad. What's even more interesting is that the campaign is standing behind the ad...

Posted by: john phillips | Sep 28, 2010 9:58:48 AM

Every year these get nastier, and every year they start popping up on my television/radio/interwebs earlier and earlier. That the Grayson campaign can stand behind this one, though, is remarkable. Is it November 3rd yet?

Posted by: TJS | Sep 28, 2010 9:44:13 AM

This is the most despicable political ad ever? Not the Willie Horton ad. Or Jesse Helms' "white hands" ad. Or Saxby Chambliss linking triple-amputee Vietnam Vet Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden. Not those. This. Why? Because it was run by a Democrat?

Posted by: Mithras | Sep 28, 2010 9:36:32 AM