Off Base on Sex Ed
This discusses a McCain ad claiming Obama supported comprehensive sex ed for kindergartners. It's an inexcusable distortion of the truth (the ad is available at that location; I don't want to appear to be perpetuating the rumor, like certain Gravel-interviewing hosts might do in the reverse situation, so I won't embed it here).
The key points:
FactCheck: It's true that the phrase "comprehensive sex education" appeared in the bill, but little else in McCain's claim is accurate. The ad refers to a bill Obama supported in the Illinois state Senate to update the sex education curriculum and make it "medically accurate." It would have lowered the age at which students would begin what the bill termed "comprehensive sex education" to include kindergarten. But it mandated the instruction be "age-appropriate" for kindergarteners when addressing topics such as sexually transmitted diseases.
Obama: We have a existing law that mandates sex education in the schools. We want to make sure that it's medically accurate and age-appropriate. Now, I'll give you an example, because I have a six-year-old daughter and a three-year-old daughter, and one of the things my wife and I talked to our daughter about is the possibility of somebody touching them inappropriately, and what that might mean. And that was included specifically in the law, so that kindergarteners are able to exercise some possible protection against abuse, because I have family members as well as friends who suffered abuse at that age. So, that's the kind of stuff that I was talking about in that piece of legislation.
There is a valid argument to be had, in that McCain is apparently staunchly anti-sex ed (something Palin disagrees with him on), and Obama is clearly not. It's pathetic that instead of presenting that argument, McCain chose to go into the sewer on this one.
P.S. Why am I so political lately? Well, first off, it's hard not to be in the couple of months leading to the Presidential election.
Second, aside from my post on where I stand generally on the election, most of my coverage is really about correcting myths, which is something that, as a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic, I just get drawn to. I truly don't care who you vote for, but I do hope you'll vote based on reality and not on made up crap.
I have no intent of repeating every campaign mis-statement here (that's what places like FactCheck.org are for) -- but I am likely to cover the particularly egregious cases that might swing votes if they are not countered.