Was J. Peder Zane’s March 12 column “Loose with labels, fast with facts” an attempt at satire? He laments how political discourse has deteriorated to shouting matches using opinion, provocative language, attacks and outright lies and then proceeds to write a column doing exactly that. Are these the words of polite discussion? “Ignorant booboisee,” “narratives untethered to reality,” “fact-free canards” and “libelous opinions” – how about these statements presented as fact?
“Democrats first slashed teacher pay.” Average teacher pay in 2003-2004 was 23rd in the country, and it is now 46th. When exactly did Democrats slash teacher pay? Does he mean they did not give raises some years?
“Democrats let Duke Energy create dangerous coal ash ponds and thankfully Republicans are considering new safeguards.” Republicans have cut 225 jobs from DENR since 2011, obliterated the Clean Water Management Trust Fund from $100 million to $11.5 million and basically given private industry carte blanche.
“The Koch brothers have spent millions of dollars attacking Democrats – a tiny fraction of the billions spent by labor unions.” In the 2012 presidential election, each candidate spent about $1 billion. Outside spending attacking Obama was $258 million vs. $68 million attacking Romney.
I agree we need better discourse. Zane’s article does nothing to further that ideal.