Obama has said he supported Senate Bill 99 because he wanted to protect kindergartners from sexual predators, and that the sex ed provided in the early grades was to teach children about inappropriate sexual advances from adults. But here's what the language in the bill actually says: "Course material and instruction shall teach pupils to not make unwanted physical and verbal sexual advances and how to say no to unwanted sexual advances and shall include information about verbal, physical, and visual sexual harassment, including without limitation nonconsensual sexual advances, nonconsensual physical sexual contact, and rape by an acquaintance." As York points out, the bill seemed to be as much about "protecting children from each other as from adults, and it doesn't seem directed toward the youngest children, as Obama maintained."
So much for McCain's "lies." But what about Obama's new Spanish language ad? In it Obama tries to tie McCain to one of his most outspoken critics, Rush Limbaugh. Throughout the primary season, Limbaugh excoriated John McCain on immigration reform, and he and his callers frequently derided the senator as "Juan McShamnesty." To try to tie McCain to Limbaugh is about as dishonest as it gets.
But even the use of the Limbaugh quotes -- "stupid and unskilled Mexicans" and "you shut your mouth or you get out" -- turn out to be misrepresentations as well. Limbaugh uttered the first words back in 1993 when he was supporting NAFTA. Stupid and unskilled as his comments may have been, Limbaugh's point was that NAFTA would send unskilled jobs to Mexico while creating more high-skilled jobs in the U.S. And the second Limbaugh reference was a parody of Mexican immigration law. What either of these comments has to do with John McCain is anyone's guess.
When it comes to lies, the media get far more exercised over unflattering truths about Barack Obama's record than they do about real distortions of John McCain's.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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