Debbie Dooley vs. MAVEN
I can respect a difference of opinion. Take TIA for example. Maybe you don’t like it, or maybe you just don’t want to impose a tax on yourself. Fine. I get it. I don’t agree and I think that you may be a bit short sighted in your opinion, but it is your opinion, and it is up to people like myself and CCT Girl and countless others to try and change your mind. I can also respect your opinion if it is at least rooted in a defensible argument. One made up of statistics, facts, and tangible information. What I can’t stand is when someone’s difference of opinion is rooted in all out lies. Short term tactics used to stick in someone’s head so that they can plant the seed of doubt or anger. And to this effect I present to you Debbie Dooley. Every once in a while she graces my television or news article that I read. And while most things she says makes me cringe (in part of her horrible misinformation, and the other from her ear drum damaging voice) her most recent appearance on 11 Alive left me screaming at my television and exclaiming to my wife, to put it nicely, that she had to be bat shit crazy. (sorry kids)
There are certain ways to go about counteracting an opinion, legislation, or political affiliation from what you believe that are effective and intelligent. That is what MAVEN’s television ad does. It doesn’t tell you which way to vote on the TIA. Nor does it make claims that if it doesn’t pass the end of the world will happen. There are no scare tactics, hell there aren’t even opinions. They simply outline the commuting problem that Atlanta faces, using facts and statistics. They utilize a study conducted in 2010 that analyzes commute times in the Metro Atlanta region. They then begin to break down how much time that takes from your personal life as a whole. And it is a lot. So when they say “Metro Atlanta, we have a problem…” they aren’t lying. They aren’t drawing reckless conclusions or even stretching the truth. They are stating the obvious, the obvious which has been studied and concluded. As a solution to that problem they encourage you to “…learn more about one of the possible solutions…” and direct you to an informational website on the TIA. Simple enough. At no point do they say “vote yes” and at no point do they spew any information that cannot be simply verified from a study that has been cited numerous times by numerous organizations.
But not to Debbie Dooley. Apparently in her twisted mind she heard that the commercial was telling you how to vote and giving you non educational, opinion based information. Sigh. As a result she is attempting to take MAVEN to the IRS for violating the rules of a 503c (that in which they are not allowed to tell someone in which direction they can vote. They are allowed to give you information and tell you when to vote. Which is exactly what the MAVEN ad did). This is why when she creeps onto my television screen I have to change the channel, or insert a mouth guard so I don’t grind my teeth down to the gums. She doesn’t like what MAVEN had to say. So instead of making her own ad, using facts and figures that could counteract what MAVEN presented, she had to indulge herself in an attention grabbing tactic, that deep down, knows will fail. Why you ask? Let me tell you.
The easiest answer is because she is crazy. The real answer is because during her media tour she will be able to grab enough peoples’ attention that when they hear her remarks they will take them at face value. They won’t check out the commercial, and they will not listen to future opinions or information. They will take what she says and run with it as one of their reasons to vote no. It is political grandstanding at its finest. Find a topic, exploit the hell out of it regardless if you are correct, and get it to stick in someone’s head long enough to influence a vote (see the Birther movement, Obama is a Muslim movement, and Agenda 21 is a conspiracy to take away property rights movement). Then it dies away, and the media, no matter liberal or conservative leaning, will let the topic die out before a resolution is made. Mainly because like us, the media has the attention span of the dog from Up. Squirrel! So that leaves a group of people, usually those without a higher functioning brain capacity, stewing on the crap they just read or heard and assume it to be true because the topic is never resolved or revisited and they are too damn lazy to go and retrieve facts.
So we are left with this crap. Having to clean up her mess, and try to defend and counteract her claims. Her own reckless behavior spreading false information, and hypocritically enough doing it to claim someone else is spreading lies. The news, acting irresponsibly, gives the loudest person in the room attention, even though they are fully aware that her claims are false. So the next time you find yourself wondering why the hell we can’t accomplish anything in this city, state, or country, just look towards Debbie Dooley.