Friday, September 26, 2003

False Political Advertising

I saw an advertisement last night, funded (I believe) by Gray Davis’s anti-recall campaign. The primary message of the ad was that the recall would hurt California’s economy, cost too much money, and so on -- and that, therefore, voters should vote against recalling Davis. The ad showed lots of newspaper clippings with headlines about the recall’s terrible toll on the state of California.

The ad’s reasoning is disingenuous, of course. Although I don’t have those newspaper clippings in front of me, I’m willing to bet they related to the economic costs of having the recall election at all, not the costs of removing Davis from office. And since the recall election is happening whether you like it or not, those costs are sunk. We will suffer them regardless, and therefore they are utterly irrelevant to the question of how one should vote in the recall election.

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