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Going negative

A local conservative blogger gets word of a Patty Wetterling child-safety event tomorrow and proceeds to call Patty a "whore" and a "pimp":

I hate people that whore their tragedies. Kid gets killed and you have to camp out at the President's vacation grounds. Mom dies of cancer and you have to go on a crusade against tobacco companies. [...]

I personally feel there are more things that should be looked at with more scrutiny when assessing the person's character...namely a character that would pimp one's tragedy or use the tragedy of others for one's own political gain.

Cashing in on your celebrity is another thing. An example of this is how Coleen Rowley uses her position in the FBI and her created celebrity as a "whistleblower" to draw attention to her campaign. (Details at the link above.) Basically making appearances under the guise of being "not a part of" one's campaign during a campaign. Typical politicians do it all of the time (and that does not make it right or palatable) when they show up at places as the Representative so it is not campaigning even though they are running for a different office.

To me the level of depravity by the person is directly correlated to the importance of the cause to remain non-political. Do it for a Save the Humpback Beatle awareness seminar and it is bad but not bordering unethical. Do it for a Save the Children from Incest Session and it is bordering on reprehensible.

Now enter Patty Wetterling.

Patty Wetterling to Host Session on Child Internet Safety

ANOKA, MINN. - Patty Wetterling will lead a one-hour information and discussion session on child internet safety at Northtown Library in Blaine on tomorrow, July 14. The public is welcome to attend. Wetterling will suggest ways to keep children safe while using the internet, and will provide an update on internet safety legislation. Detective Jeff Rokeh from the Anoka County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division will also be present. Wetterling and Detective Rokeh will invite attendees to ask questions and participate in a discussion.

This is politicizing an issue that should not be politicized. Worse than that is Wetterling is not even willing to admit this to be a campaign event which means that the effort is to deceive the public. [...]

Wetterling is preying on the fact that Joe Q Public will go, "Hmm, this is not a campaign event and it is an important issue. That Patty is willing to sacrifice her campaign to help this important cause."

Legal? Yes.
Commonplace? Too much so...in fact this particular race will see this done to the nth degree because both candidates have very little regard for anyone but their own career and both candidates have very little, if any, decency or honor.
Should we accept it? Hell no.

Patty is politicizing an issue that should be left unpartisaned (check the OED for that one please). The result may be a short term bump for her ("oh, she REALLY cares about children"). The long term result is that this issue will get less attention that it deserves because once politicians have an issue they rarely can help the issue.

Patty...the best thing for you to do is cancel this event so that it can be an American issue instead of a political one.

Hmm. Well, he does have a point... important issues such as child internet safety should really be nonpartisan. But the post implies, using extremely insulting language and rhetoric, that this is an issue that Patty has recently discovered and hopes to use to further her own career. This is just patently false. Patty Wetterling has spent a substantial portion of her life since her son Jacob was abducted dedicating herself to the safety of children and families. Is this blogger suggesting that Patty Wetterling has spent the last 17 years as a tireless advocate for children solely in order to get herself elected to Congress? That is just tasteless and ignores all the facts.

Patty decides to hold a talk on internet safety for children. Well, she's running for office, so of course it's political. It's also practical and useful, as evidenced by the Anoka County Detective who will be present. This isn't just some George Bush-style "look at me with the Katrina victims, see, I do care" photo op. Patty Wetterling has spent three presidential administrations learning about this stuff, lobbying Congress, and advocating for children. She's an expert. So to accuse her of being a "pimp" and a "whore," to say that she is "deceiving the public," and to say that is just plain despicable.

(Of course, I should note that the person making these accusations isn't one of the foaming-at-the-mouth Bachmann addicts. He's no fan of Michele Bachmann, either.)


Let me make one clarification which I thought was clear in the post...

Regardless of what one's "pet" issue was before becoming a politician bringing that issue into your campaign in any manner politicizes it.

Before Rowley ran (in fact, in December of 2004) I told her that if she ran for either party she will need to keep her previous writings and expertise out of the campaign for good. By running for office and mentioning the previously non-partisan issue it would either destory her credibility on that issue permanently and/or politicize that issue which ruins any possibility of advancing that cause.

Once Wetterling announced even 2 years ago she should have handed the reigns of "child safety advocacy" over. She was a child safety advocate...by trying to be one WHILE also being a partisan destroys the cause's ability to advance.

I hope you reevaluate the post and push Wetterling to stay away from the issue now as it will just kill its ability to do good.

Sure, Tony. Patty will "stay away" from child advocacy when your hero Michele stays away from abortion. If you'll recall, Bachmann was a sidewalk hate-monger, er, "counselor," outside abortion clinics before she became a politician. Using your logic, I guess that pretty well "destroys her credibility on that issue permanently" since she's now politicizing it.

Perhaps you should read before responding...at least understand whom you talk about before talking. You are way off.
1) Perhaps you need to reread this very posting...or my blog postings where I discuss Bachmann. I find Wetterling's positions objectionable...I find Bachmann herself objectionable. I prefer them both to lose.
2) I believe "abortion" is already politicized. I could be wrong. But let's pretend for a moment that I am right on that...thus "abortion" is not analogous.