The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

GOP 350 votes for higher taxes slur on Kerry has stuck even for sophisticated media, apparently

Start with a piece on FactCheck (updated on March 24), outlining the way the story spread, including links to GOP lists of votes [1] and media pieces on the story.

Key things to note were:
  1. the preferred formulation
    cast in favor of higher taxes
    - from which some BC guys strayed (to talk of tax increases); and

  2. the range of Kerry votes included in the list: non-binding votes, votes not to lower taxes, etc.

The list of 352 runs up to April 2003, so I suppose the gag has been available for use for some time.

Now, as Campaign Desk point out (March 29), the 350 votes jibe has stuck: it quotes an AP piece on a Cheney speech which reports him making the jibe without parsing or commentary on its trickier points [2].

And now it's been incorporated into a BC ad featuring a Boston cop (Jay Moccia) which our friends at The Note (March 29) note. According to the script as quoted, Moccia says
John Kerry likes to raise taxes. So much so he's voted for higher taxes 350 times …

And The Note calls a must read a piece in the Boston Globe by Anne Kornblut (March 28) on the ad.

The Note doesn't mention the problems with the tax jibe, and nor does Kornblut.

Now, perhaps that's because the jibe is now an acquis - like Gore boasting about inventing the Internet - which is now impossible to retrieve, so it's not worth the effort of serious professionals to parse the thing - analysis which the plebs wouldn't understand anyway...

Or perhaps, as Campaign Desk suggests, they've forgotten.

(The Globe is surely a Kerry supporter: so on both grounds of fairness and partiality, it ought to have explained the point, surely?)

Whilst on the ad: Moccia says at one point
I'm a working guy with six kids.

What's that about? Even Catholics in America have been practising birth control for decades. And the guy is moaning about Kerry's supposedly increasing his taxes? With six kids?

The swing voter surely reacts: Should have tied a knot in it!

  1. A list of 352 votes and a supplemental list of 27, both PDF.

  2. Perhaps we're in the territory of objective journalism again here: the point has arisen before on Campaign Desk, and the piece discussed here - not disposed to track it down right now.

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