Secret Pop

Oct 2, 2006

"Jerry Brown opposes the death penalty."

There is a campaign ad running right now that begins with both the text titles and the voice over announcement that Jerry Brown opposes the death penalty. It goes like this: "Jerry Brown opposes the death penalty. Even for serial killers and cop killers. Jerry Brown. He may just be the least qualified person in all of California to be Attorney General. Paid for by Poochigian for Attorney General." Holy assumptive leap. I don't even know what the premise of this objection is. Because Jerry Brown opposes the death penalty, he doesn't know the law or wouldn't be willing to uphold it? What a load. For the record, I oppose the death penalty. And, yes, even for cop killers and serial killers. Opposing the death penalty does not mean that one opposes enforcement of the law or that one maybe even applauds crime. But proponents of the death penalty often use this method of communication to get you to start thinking that people who think the death penalty is bad must also believe that violent criminals should go free. Like if you think it's pointless and unenlightened to think that killing murderers will not keep people safer or less murdered -- despite what common sense, statistics, and the rest of the Western World might tell you -- you must be some kind of misanthrope or perhaps even a criminal mastermind yourself. Do you think Jerry Brown thinks serial killers and cop killers should just go free? Maybe you think that Jerry Brown thinks that cop killers and serial killers are super cool and that he probably has a secret fan site dedicated to congratulating these guys and hoping that one day he might get a chance to buy one of the works of art they create while behind bars, eating lobster thermidor on the taxpayers' tab. If you don't already think that sort of thing, I guess you should start hanging out with Chuck Poochigian. He's probably got some opinions on the topic.

Also, I've lived in California for a number of years now, and I feel fairly confident that there are a few residents who are less qualified than Jerry Brown to be Attorney General. Let's just start with my upstairs neighbor and then begin going house to house on my street, knocking on doors and asking my neighbors what res ipsa loquitur means. It's not that I never use hyperbole, but come on Senator Poochigian. Is campaign advertising really the place for it? I'm surprised the advertisement I saw didn't close by saying Chuck Poochigian is the only man in California ever to have had a dream or be handsome.

And Chuck Poochigian's campaign web site promotes him with the slogan, "Tough to pronounce. Tougher on crime." If this isn't a ridiculous non sequitur. While he alienates his Armenian constituents and those of use who have at one point or another been hooked on phonics, he also proves that he is not keen on convincing anyone that he is an astute logician. I'm not running for Attorney General, but I'm pretty certain that the ability to put two and two together (and find four, as opposed to a lollipop or a hat) is a big part of what the job calls for.

Please make up your own mind when you go to the polls, but please also remember that it would likely be possible to stymie Chuck Poochigian with a simple if-then statement.

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