Last week, The Washington Post began grumbling about an Americans for Prosperity (AFP) ad featuring Julie Boonstra, a woman with leukemia who was thrown into expensive uncertainty by Obamacare, with Greg Sargent lamenting the tragedy of its effectiveness and Glenn Kessler asking for more proof. (BEDFORD: The Post is pretty worried about the people Obamacare hurts)
Then Rep. Gary Peters, who is the running for the U.S. Senate in Michigan, went all-in Friday, having his lawyers send a letter to a Michigan television station citing the Post in demanding that AFP provide more evidence that Obamacare is as terrible as it really is. Mr. Peters’ lawyers wrote that “Unlike federal candidates, independent political organizations” — and by extension, Ms. Boonstra — don’t have a “right to command use of broadcast facilities.” They clinched with a threat that airing the ad could “be cause for the loss of a station’s license.”
Big guns, Mr. Peters. Big guns.
But damn, what a bonehead.
In politics, and in political advertising, folks play hardball with their words. It’s important to dodge big hits and counter artfully. In the case of a woman stricken with cancer and thrown of her healthcare plan because of a bill Mr. Peters voted to pass, the artfulness of the counter is particularly important. But instead, Mr. Peters chose to charge in full-force.
Let’s lay them out: Mr. Peters goes to Washington and votes for Obamacare. Because of this, back home, Ms. Boonstra, a mother who was given a 20 percent chance of surviving her cancer, looses her health insurance. It takes her two uncertain, sleep-deprived months to replace her plan, with Obamacare delaying every step of the way through its broken website, weeks of snail-mail delays and days of backed up phone lines. Ms. Boostra finally ended up with a plan she doesn’t think is even comparable to the security of her old plan. And when she told her story, Mr. Peters, the politician who wants to be her senator — and represent her in Washington — sicced his lawyers on her, questioning her trials and, in a page right out of Richard Nixon’s playbook, threatening the license of the station that dared to air it. (BEDFORD: The (real) life of Julie)
We’d wish him good luck, but we wouldn’t mean it.