Piling on the Westover column
As you've probably already noticed,
I have a simpler problem with the column: Craig Westover fails to hold Michele Bachmann accountable and demand a clear statement of her position on education. Of course, we shouldn't be surprised, because this tactic follows a unique Westoverian pattern. In his columns on the emergency contraceptives issue and Bachmann's (lack of a) stance on them, Westover attacked "DFLers" and other Bachmann detractors while failing to be intellectually honest and holding Bachmann's feet to the fire. Those columns never answered the essential question: Does Michele Bachmann support the availability and use of emergency contraceptives such as Plan B? Similarly, in this column, Westover attacks Bremer for using "guilt by association" and claims an attempt to "politically nail" Bachmann-- then changes the subject completely. The telling line is this one:
The gist of Bremer's harangue is that it is somehow inconsistent for Bachmann to say that public education is "her number one issue" and accept campaign contributions from individuals who have signed the proclamation of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State, which favors "ending government involvement in education."
Hmm. Yes, that seems "somehow inconsistent" to me. I can't think of a single way that those two facts would be consistent. Thus the question asked by Karl Bremer is a reasonable one: is Michele Bachmann for or against public education? Does she support the abolition of public education? What is her plan on education?
Westover's column answers none of these questions. It fails to address them completely. Whether or not you agree with his ideas in the rest of the column, it is intellectually dishonest for Westover to smear Bachmann's critics, who are asking reasonable questions, and not demand, or even look for, an answer from the candidate herself, or even to acknowledge that, based on the facts, their questions are relevant and substantial.
In short, the "principled conservative" Westover, who uses his support of gay marriage as a way to "prove" that he doesn't walk the GOP party line, has become yet another partisan hack. There's nothing wrong with partisan hackery, as this site has been known to dabble in that illustrious field occasionally. But at least I am up-front about it. Westover is not. Why does the Pioneer Press continue to publish the writings of this GOP hack and represent them as somehow transcending partisan discourse?