If I agreed with what these folks are advocating, I’d be embarrassed they’re on my side. I’ve gotten the impression that Karen Floyd is. But she’s sort of stuck; she’s their candidate.
Anyway, here is a partial breakdown of the problems that made the latest SCRG unpublishable by anyone except SCRG.
I should probably preface this by noting that on the pages of The State, we let (actually, we encourage it and facilitate it) folks who disagree with us say pretty much anything they want and call us any names they want — as long as they’re suitable for a family newspaper. You can call us left-wing; you can call us right-wing (they’re about equally popular, it seems); you can call us late for supper. You can say our mothers dress us funny.
What we won’t let you do is confuse readers by saying something that is objectively, obviously untrue. And that includes saying we said things we didn’t say. I mean, what’s the point of our taking the trouble to write something if we’re going to use our own space to let people say we said something else? Kind of a pointless exercise. Argue with what we say all you like, but no inventing false statements. (I suspect people do this because they think they have an answer for the phony statement, but they know they are incapable of contending with what we actually said. Whatever.)
Anyway, here’s the point-by-point:
- Goebbels? Joseph Goebbels? Isn’t this device in some sort of Over-The-Top Name-Calling Rhetoric Hall of Fame?
- Actually, Cindi likes school choice. You know, send your kids to any public school you want, whether you’re zoned for it or not; whether you even live in the district or not. And send them to any private school you want, but then you pay for it yourself instead of asking other taxpayers to do it for you. On this point she’s a lot easier than I. I’m suspicious of any movement that has to hide behind the word "choice." Whether it’s abortion or subsidizing private schools, people with bad ideas avoid saying what they’re actually for.
- "She used both of them in this diatribe with a shameless disregard for the facts or the truth." Hey, maybe she’s a Nazi, but the law doesn’t let you libel Nazis, either. We will now wait in vain for any assertions by SCRG that anything she said was untrue, much less "shamelessly" so.
- "Ms. Scoppe recklessly labels South Carolinians for Responsible Government and other groups’ activities as ‘white collar crime.’ " Uh, hello. No she didn’t. Reading comprehension problem time. Her actual text: "The poker barons were more dangerous, in the sense that street
crime is more dangerous than white-collar crime." It’s called an analogy. Look into it.
- "She is a partisan, liberal Democrat." When they try to make a case for this one, I want to be in the room. It should be entertaining. One quick example: Cindi is the one who has to keep coming to Mark Sanford’s defense when I get fed up with him (it’s becoming a full-time job, and, truth be told, she’s starting to agree with me sometimes). For the record, no one on my editorial board is a partisan, or I wouldn’t have chosen him or her to work with us. That’s just insulting. The amusing part is when they call her "liberal" and "Democrat." Of course, there is no evidence offered here — circumstantial or otherwise. How could there be? None exists.
… tell you what — to save your time and mine, let’s just stop skipping over all the plain silly stuff (although all the stuff about her "screaming" — coming from people talking about Goebbels — is a lot of fun) and go to their out-and-out false assertions of "fact"…
- "While complying with all applicable laws." Say what? They can argue that the law is unconstitutional if they wish. But the fact is
that the law does require them to report their spending, and they have refused
to comply with it.
- "She is doing it to advance liberal political candidates and causes." Such as? I can think of some folks we’ve endorsed over in the Democratic primary who might be described as "liberal" — but only here in South Carolina and few other places. But in the Republican primary, which is what we’re talking about here? Who? Where? In what sense?
- "Destroy your opponents’ credibility through lies and distortions." Once again, give us one example in which Cindi (as opposed to some other people we could name if we wanted to get picky) has done this. And remember the rule: You can’t make it up! She has to have actually done it, and you actually have to have a plausible argument that it’s untrue.
I realize we’re playing by tough rules, requiring actual facts and all, but publishing the op-ed page South Carolina’s largest newspaper is not the same as throwing junk on the Web site of some lame, ranting advocacy group. We’re kind of particular about this fact stuff, and if you don’t know what one is, you’re going to have trouble keeping up.