The law prohibits you from spanking your boss, your employee, your spouse, your best friend, or a stranger you walk past on the street.
GETTING SPANKED AS A CHILD MAKES PEOPLE MORE LIKELY TO SUFFER FROM MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS AS ADULTS
But in the United States, it’s still perfectly legal to spank your own children.
This is because state laws only define physical abuse as any “unreasonably” violent actions that leave a mark on a child. Spanking and other less severe types of physical punishment generally don’t count — and as a result, about 90 percent of American parents resort to spanking at one time or another.
Research, though, tells us that getting spanked as a child can leave a discernible mark on people: it makes people more likely to suffer from addiction, depression, and other mental health problems as adults. This is one reason why 37 countries have explicitly banned all physical punishment of children — even by parents — since 1979.
Even our own existing state laws generally define child abuse as “endangering a child’s physical or emotional health and development.” By this standard — and given what we’ve recently learned from research — any form of physical punishment violates children’s rights, whether it’s done by a teacher or parents.
Over the past century, we’ve gradually expanded the legal rights of children to protect against physical abuse, with the state recognizing a responsibility to curtail parents’ rights in this area. Here’s the case for why we should extend this to ban all forms of physical punishment, including spanking.
Spanking isn’t effective
There’s a reason why the American Academy of Pediatrics — along with most leading psychologists — strongly recommend that parents do not spank their children: research shows it’s an especially ineffective form of punishment.
MOST PSYCHOLOGISTS STRONGLY RECOMMEND AGAINST SPANKING
Spanking may temporarily force a child to stop doing something wrong, but it’s not a long term solution. “Hitting a child only results in fear and obedience,” says Karin Österman, a developmental psychologist who’s conducted research into the effects of physical punishment. “It does not enhance the child’s understanding of why a certain behavior is undesirable.”
It also communicates that violence is an appropriate way of dealing with a problem. As a result, research shows,children that are spanked become more likely to get into fights with peers and engage in antisocial behavior.
Of course, just because a punishment isn’t effective doesn’t mean that it should be outlawed. But other recent research provides a compelling reason why it should:
Spanking causes real, long-term damage
Researchers have long known that more severe child abuse leads to long-term mental problems. Obviously, the physical pain kids experience immediately makes abuse unacceptable, but the way it makes them more likely to suffer from depression, PTSD, addiction problems, and other mental disorders as adults is equally troubling.
Spanking may not cause the same sort of instant physical harm — but research increasingly indicates it leads to the same type of long-term mental damage.
PEOPLE WHO ARE SPANKED ARE MORE LIKELY TO COMMIT CRIMES, ABUSE THEIR SPOUSES, AND ATTEMPT SUICIDE AS ADULTS
There’s evidence that when children are spanked, their cognitive development slows. Later on, as adults, they’re more prone to suffering from mood disorders and addiction problems and more likely to commit crimes or abuse their spouses or children. They’re more likely to attempt suicide.
All this might come as a surprise, but it makes sense in the context of physical child abuse as a whole. The longest-lasting problems caused by abuse are generally mental, not physical.
The difference between severe beatings and spanking isn’t one of kind, but one of degree. This is true both for how the punishment is carried out, but also how it affects the developing brain.
“The link between child abuse and negative health effects in adulthood has long been known,” says Österman, who recently studied the long-term effects of Finland’s 1983 spanking ban. “Our study shows that adults who were victims of physical punishment during childhood suffer the same types of symptoms in adulthood.”
Her study was especially interesting because it compared kids who’d grown up before and after the ban went into place. The law was found to reduce spanking across all socioeconomic groups, but the strong link between spanking and long-term negative mental health remained in place — reducing the chance that it was a random correlation caused by unrelated socioeconomic factors.
Banning spanking is part of the broader development of laws that protect children
The idea of a law against spanking might seem like a sudden government intrusion on the rights of parents. But the truth is that parents’ and adults’ supposed “rights” have steadily been giving way to children’s actual rights for some time now — and that the US is actually behind much of the world in this area.
FOR MOST OF HUMAN HISTORY, CHILDREN HAD NO RIGHTS AGAINST PHYSICAL ABUSE AT ALL
For most of human history, children had no rights against physical abuse at all: in most societies, a parent was free to beat them however they saw fit. In the US, during the early and mid 20th century, laws were gradually passed that protected children from physical and sexual abuse, along with neglect.
Most recently, 37 nations have banned all forms of physical punishment, including spanking. The earliest laws came in 1979, but the movement has been accelerating as of late — 29 countries have enacted bans since 2000.
Countries with laws that ban all physical punishment of children
In the US, some states have recognized that spanking is abuse — but only when it comes at the hand of someone other than a parent. 30 states have banned all sorts of physical punishment in schools.
States that ban all forms of physical punishment in school (shown in blue):
For comparison, in addition to the 24 nations in Europe that have banned physical punishment entirely, every single European country has banned it in school.
International law has also moved in the direction of banning all forms of physical punishment of children — including spanking. 194 countries have signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty that commits them to “protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence.” In 2007, the UN committee explicitly interpreted this as forbidding physical all punishment. There are three UN states, though, that still haven’t ratified it: Somalia, South Sudan and the US.
It’s time to ban spanking in the US too
Laws that ban spanking — and explicitly define all physical punishment as abuse — have been proposed in the Massachusetts and California state legislatures in recent years. Both were controversial, though, and were ultimately voted down.
Support for anti-spanking laws is is high among child psychologists, researchers, and other experts. Still, about 81 percent of American adults feel spanking is sometimes necessary to properly discipline a child. The most common argument for spanking usually goes “I got spanked as a child, and I turned out fine.”
But the link between spanking and long-term mental problems doesn’t mean everyone who gets spanked will suffer them — just that they increase the chance of them as a whole. Given that physical punishment also doesn’t work in the short term, it makes sense to err on the side of the child.
WHETHER PUNISHMENT LEAVES A MARK ON THE SKIN OR IN THE BRAIN IS UNIMPORTANT
The other main argument is that the state shouldn’t be in the business of policing parents. Banning spanking might make for more effective parenting, the argument goes, but so would forcing parents to read to their children every night. Ultimately, it’s up to parents to determine how to raise their children.
That’s a stance that makes sense for many aspects of child-raising — but one that we don’t take when it comes to matters of basic well-being and abuse. Over the 20th century, public opinion shifted as we came to accept that the state had a responsibility to prevent parents from beating their children.
Until now, we’ve made a strange distinction: recognizing this responsibility for punishment that leaves broken bones, bruises, or other physical signs of pain, but permitting less severe forms of physical punishment that do not, like spanking. New research, however, is telling us that these so-called “reasonable” forms of physical punishment still make an indelible mark on a child’s brain, increasing the chance of depression, addiction, and other mental disorders down the road.
The discussion here shouldn’t be about parents’ rights, but children’s. Physical punishment as a whole should be banned. Whether the mark it leaves is on the skin or inside the brain is unimportant.
Pastor John MacArthur, host of the Grace to You show, has a solution for the whole gay…thing. Parents struggling to reconcile their faith-based bigotry with the news that a family member is gay simply shouldn’t worry about it — they should just “alienate” their gay kids and “turn them over to Satan.”
“If that adult child professes Christ, claims to be a Christian, then that becomes an issue for confrontation of the sternest and strongest kind because that falls under Matthew 18. If they profess to be a Christian, you have to alienate them, you have to separate them. You can’t condone that; it’s inconsistent with the profession of Christ. So, you isolate them; you don’t have a meal with them; you separate yourself from them. You turn them over to Satan, as it were as scripture says.”
This advice is only for parents of gay Christians. Non-believers, MacArthur says, should be repeatedly hammered with admonishments and Bible verses to “expose that sin and all other sins, and call that person to salvation and repentance.”
MacArthur unleashed some “love speech,” as he calls it, on the gay community in 2012 when he claimed that the Democratic Party supports a “homosexual revolution,” which came about because God had abandoned ‘Murika and “unleashed on the world the horror of AIDS.”
See it for yourself, below:
h/t: John Prager at AATTP
Local reporting on Texas divorce law has finally put to rest the right-wing media smear that gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis lost custody of her children, debunking this myth as the lie it always was.
Since she announced her candidacy for governor, national right-wing media figures have gone after Davis and scrutinized her parenting choices in a way no male candidate would ever have to confront. One nasty example has been Fox News contributor and RedState editor Erick Erickson, who has repeatedly referred to Davis as “Abortion Barbie,” baselessly questioned her mental health on the basis of routine legal pleadings, and misrepresented the terms of her divorce settlement.
It was also the discredited Erickson who quickly jumped at the opportunity to help spread perhaps the most persistent myth about Davis — that her ex-husband, Jeff Davis, “got custody" of her two daughters following their 2005 divorce decree. This falsehood was unfortunately started by the Dallas Morning News, whose January 18 profile of Davis was criticized for various reporting failures. Although the Dallas Morning News never corrected the language in the original piece, the reporter correctly described what actually happened in a later article, in accordance with the editor’s online admission that the original version “left some readers perhaps too free to misinterpret the situation. We will print a clarification in tomorrow’s newspaper.”
In short, Davis never “lost custody” of her children; rather, she was granted what’s known under Texas law as “joint managing conservatorship" of her daughters. "Custody" isn’t even the relevant legal term in Texas divorce proceedings.
By the time the Dallas Morning News mentioned Davis’ joint conservatorship, the “lost custody” smear had already gained traction. Versions of the myth eventually cropped up in the New York Post (which claimed Davis “lost custody” of her daughters), Breitbart.com (she “gave up custody”), and even Ann Coulter jumped into the fray, accusing Davis of telling “huge whoppers” and erroneously reporting that the Texas family court “awarded [Jeff Davis] full custody.”
Unlike the Dallas Morning News, right-wing media have yet to issue a “clarification,” let alone a much-needed correction and apology to Davis after their smears about Davis’ divorce raced from the fringes of the internet to Fox News. Davis herself expressly pointed this out in a recent speech, saying, "I never gave up custody of my children. I never lost custody of my children. And to say otherwise is an absolute lie."
Wendy Davis is telling the truth on custody of her children.
‘Enough is enough’: Rand Paul suggests cutting benefits for unwed mothers with too many kids | The Raw Story
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) suggested the possibility of cutting government benefits for unwed mothers who have multiple children. “Maybe we have to say ‘enough’s enough, you shouldn’t be having kids after a certain amount,’” said Paul, who opposes…
New revelations about the Texas gubernatorial candidate’s family life have prompted frenzied—and just plain wrong—denunciations from conservatives.
It seems that Wendy Davis needs to learn her place.
Since news broke in the Dallas Morning News that the Texas gubernatorial candidate had support from her then-husband while she attended Harvard Law School, conservatives have been apoplectic.
The right has been heaping scorn upon Davis because she and her husband decided that their children should stay in Texas with him while she studied in Boston. Ben Shapiro of Brietbart tweeted, “The real question: if you wear pink shoes, how fast can you run away from your parental responsibilities?” RedState blogger Erick Erickson tweeted, ”So Abortion Barbie had a Sugar Daddy Ken” and then, “Just think, if Wendy Davis gets elected, she could create “take your daughter to her dad” day. Ann Coulter complained, “I’m … stuck on her leaving her kids behind while she headed off to a law school 1,500 miles away.”
For crying out loud, she didn’t leave her children on the side of the road. She left them to live with their father. It’s fair to criticize Davis for her misleading bio that implied she had been a single mother during law school. Instead, a misogynistic mob is determined to punish her for her parenting choices.
It’s sad that the attacks on Davis are coming uniformly from people who call themselves “pro-life.” Many women in Davis’s position–pregnant and unmarried at 18 years old–would have gotten an abortion. She didn’t. But that’s not enough to satisfy the right. Once she had the baby–and another with her second husband–she was expected to follow the right’s designated script or suffer dearly for it.
“Wendy is tremendously ambitious,” an anonymous source told the Dallas Morning News. “She’s not going to let family or raising children or anything else get in her way.” (Unlike her male colleagues in the Texas House of Representatives, who apparently sit at home darning their children’s socks.) Here’s a news flash: people who run for office are typically ambitious. But only with women is ambition treated as something shameful.
The double standard is reminiscent of how Sarah Palin was treated when she chose to run for vice president in 2008. Her candidacy set off a controversy about whether she was neglecting her children, in particular her special-needs baby. Back then, conservatives were the ones mostly defending her and expressing outrage that anyone would question her decision. Now they see attacking a woman’s parenting choices as fair game.
Nancy Pelosi spoke of the obsession with women’s choices in a 2011 interview, “When I first ran for public office, which is now over 20 years ago, although my youngest was a senior in high school, the question I was most frequently asked was, ‘Who’s going to be taking care of your children?’ And, of course, it’s one of those questions I don’t think a man has ever been asked when he runs for office.”
Becky Haskins, a Republican who served with Wendy Davis on the Fort Worth City Council, blasted the sexist attacks. She told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday that Davis “did what she needed to do for her daughters.” She added, “If this involved a man running for office, none of this would ever come up. It’s so sad. Every time I ran, somebody said I needed to be home with my kids. Nobody ever talks about men being responsible parents.”
When Davis divorced, custody was awarded to her husband. This is proof to right-wingers that she’s a bad person. Rush Limbaugh intoned on his show, “Do you know how hard it is for a mother to lose custody these days?” But Davis didn’t “lose” custody of her children. She agreed that her ex-husband should have custody of their two children, and she paid him child support.
Not that it is anyone’s business. How many male candidates have been raked over the coals because their ex-wives have full custody? Zero. For that matter, nobody is accusing male members of Congress who live in Washington, D.C. (while their families reside elsewhere) of abdicating their parental responsibility.
GOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler: "Force women to have babies because abortion ‘robs men’ of fatherhood rights" | The Raw Story
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) told conservative activists on Wednesday that women should be forced to carry their babies to term because abortion “robs men” of their right to be fathers. Speaking at the 41st annual March for Life in Washington, D.C…
AFTAH's LaBarbera: "Kids Better Off In Single-Parent Household Than With Same-Sex Parents" | Right Wing Watch
In an interview with Alan Colmes yesterday, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality head Peter LaBarbera said that children are better off in a single parent household than with same-sex parents, whom he warned would teach children “perversion.” -Colmes: Let’s talk factually: we know it’s not always possible to have a two-parent household. So I’m asking you, is the child better with two parents of the same gender or a one-parent household?
LaBarbera: I don’t know, I tend to think they’d be better off in a single-parent household because you’re not modeling homosexual behavior. When you have two men raising a young child, that child grows up learning dysfunction and a sexual perversion as normal. He’s learning a sexual perversion as normality.
Later in the interview, the anti-gay activist was left speechless when Colmes asked him to spell out his plan to ban homosexuality.
LaBarbera repeatedly refused to answer Colmes’ question about what he thinks the punishment for homosexual behavior should be, finally admitting: “I don’t know what the punishment should be.”
“So you want these laws on the books but you don’t know what to do about them?” Colmes asked. “You keep talking about criminalizing sodomy and using the country of Jamaica as a model for that but you’re not telling me how you would enforce it and then what the punishment should be. So you don’t have a well-rounded idea of how to approach the idea of criminalizing it.”
From the 01.07.2014 edition of Fox News Radio’s The Alan Colmes Show:
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) will introduce the FAMILY Act on Thursday, a bill that would ensure 12 weeks of paid leave a year for a new child, to take care of an ill family member, or to care for oneself.
While American workers are guaranteed 12 unpaid weeks of time off if they work at a company with 50 or more employees, the United States is one of a very small number of countries that doesn’t guarantee that mothers can take paid leave for a new child. Only 12 percent of workers have access to paid leave through their employers, and less than half are covered by the unpaid leave. Just three states have instituted paid family leave programs: California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
Under the FAMILY Act, all workers would pay 0.2 percent of their wages into the program, about $2 a week on average. They then could then collect benefits equal to 66 percent of their typical monthly wages, capped at $1,000 a week.
While it may seem that family leave is just for new mothers, it would end up benefitting a wide swath of Americans — not to mention the economy itself.
Women:Without paid maternity leave, many women struggle to afford time off to take care of themselves and their newborns after the birth of a new child. Over 40 percent have to take unpaid leave, and a quarter either quit or are let go from their jobs when a new child arrives. Among those who receive only partial pay or no pay at all during leave, the financial hardship is clear: a third borrow money, dip into savings, and/or put off paying bills, and 15 percent even have to go on public assistance to get through. Paid leave will help new mothers and their families avoid these tough choices.
Paid family leave will also help women in another important way: it helps raise their wages. Generally speaking, working mothers make less than childless women. But if a woman gets 30 or more days of paid family leave, she is over 50 percent more likely than those who get no paid time off to see her wages increase.
Men:If few women have access to paid leave, even fewer men can take it. Only about 15 percent of men get paid leave through their employers. While 85 percent take leave when a new child arrives, three-quarters of them take just a week or less. But paid leave makes it easier for them to take time off. In California, only 35 percent of fathers took time off before the paid leave program, but now three-quarters take it. They also take more of it, taking an average of three weeks. The vast majority of men want to spend more time with their children and split parenting equally with their partners, and paid leave could be the key to helping them achieve those goals.
Children:When fathers take more leave, their children benefit. Fathers who take two or more weeks off after the birth of their child are more involved in the kid’s direct care nine months later than dads who didn’t take leave. Men who are better able to take paternity leave are more competent and committed later in their children’s lives.
Seniors:Family leave isn’t just to take care of children, though. As more Americans age, more need care. The number of Americans who rely on long-term care services will more than double by 2050, from 12 million to 27 million, and most rely on family members. But that can create a huge financial strain on the caregivers, 62 percent still have full-time jobs rather than taking unpaid leave. Making sure these caregivers are paid will not just make it easier for them to take care of their loved ones, but it will also allow more older Americans to stay in their homes instead of going to nursing homes, which is much more cost effective.
The economy: Research shows that paid family leave is likely to help keep people in the labor force and even expand it. Leave reduces the amount of time women spend out of the labor force by reducing the chances that they’ll have to quit their jobs. The U.S. has seen the opposite trend, however, with its rate of women in the labor force failing to keep up with developed peers thanks to a lack of paid leave. A growing labor force will, in turn, help grow the economy.
Paid leave also benefits the country’s employers by reducing turnover and employment interruptions while helping to ensure that workers who take leave go back to their original jobs. California’s program has been estimated to save employers $89 million a year in reduced turnover costs.
Wish there were more weeks, but 12 paid weeks is a decent start.
In a Christian Post column his week, Southern Baptist leader Richard Land argues that single women are unqualified to raise their children and should always give their kids up for adoption as “the best option for everyone concerned.”
“Keeping the baby is almost never preferable to allowing a baby to be adopted into a solid, faithful Christian home,” Land writes. Although Land notes that there are “more than 100,000 children in foster care in America alone,” he cites the Judgment of Solomon to suggest that single mothers are being selfish by not putting their kids up for adoption.
China has opted to ease its “one-child” policy, which for decades has limited the birthrate of the world’s most populous nation, according to newly released details from the country’s most recent meeting of top leaders.
According to media reports, the final document produced during the Plenum declared that China would launch a major reform its one-child policy, allowing couples to have two children if one of the parents is an only child. The policy already exempts those Chinese who still dwell in rural communities, who can have two so long as the first one is a girl, as well as Chinese citizens who aren’t members of the Han ethnic group. Given that the Han make up 92 percent of the population, the number of minorities having two children places them in no danger of losing their majority status.
The alternative for city-dwellers who wish to skirt the one-child policy is to pay a penalty — known as a “social maintenance fee” — to gain a second child access to the household registration documents, or “hukou,” which entitle residents to subsidized health, housing and education. That fee can range from 5,000 yuan ($820) to as much as 1.3 million yuan ($213,000) in the case of one couple. Not everyone can afford to pay such a steep rate, resulting in situations like that of Li Xue, unable to attend school as a child and forced to use her mother and sister’s identity to purchase medicine.
Since its inception in 1979, the policy has been used as a warning to the West over the otherness that China represents and the repression of the Communist government. Legislators have issued statements over it countless times on the floor of the House and Senate and op-eds describing the brutality of the policy in practice. State-pressured abortions are often the result of accidental pregnancies, a fact that abortion activists in the United States have not been shy to seize upon.
Parenting Advice From Glenn Beck: "Push Your Children Against The Wall To Teach Them That Rights Come From God" | Right Wing Watch
Somehow this all culminated in Beck telling his listeners to ask their children where they think their rights come from and “challenge them, get in their face” and “teach them a lesson; push ‘em!”
And he meant that literally: "Well, they’re going to cry, I’ll hurt their feelings. PUSH ‘EM!," he screamed, "because if you don’t do it now, it’s going to be much worse when they’re pushed and they’re shoved and they’re shot. Push them! Teach them! The need to know the truth and the need to be pushed up against the wall once in a while so they know they can defend themselves."
Glenn Beck = a danger to society.
h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW
RenewAmerica's Keyes: "Teaching It's OK To Be Gay Is To 'Rape The Parental Authority Of Christian Parents'"
Alan Keyes somehow managed to include a rant against gay rights in a screed against the UN Arms Trade Treaty, which is already the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories. Keyes said that the treaty is—of course—a push to stifle the gun rights, classify “people who support the Second Amendment” as “prospective terrorists” and provide “a pretext for suppressing the constitutional rights of people.”
“Can they figure out a way to reconcile their desire to give arms to Islamic extremists with their equally intense desire to disarm law-abiding American citizens?” Keyes asked. “The problem is that these days, what constitutes human rights abuses, terrorism, and violations of humanitarian law is very much in the eye of the propagandist.”
This all goes back to homosexuality and abortion, you see, because that’s where the Obama administration and the judiciary’s supposed crackdown on liberty began: “These days, elitist faction judges cite human rights violations as they rape the parental authority of Christian parents who seek to raise their children to believe that homosexuality is wrong and sinful behavior. Pro-abortion officials are well-known for their attempts to prosecute pro-life demonstrators as criminals under provisions of law created to target organized crime.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
Rush can suck it!
A new study has once again confirmed that same-sex couples are just as effective at raising children as opposite-sex couples. Focusing specifically on children adopted at an early age, the study compared gay and lesbian couples to straight couples who were all becoming parents for the first time. Though there were differences in the children’s psychological adjustment, they were not affected by their family type.
What the study actually found is that when parents adopt, how prepared parents were and how depressed parents were impacted their children:
- Parents’ level of preparation for the adoption was related to both externalizing and internalizing symptoms, such that parents who were less prepared reported more symptoms in their children.
- Parents’ depressive symptoms were also related to externalizing and internalizing symptoms in adopted children, such that more depressed parents reported more symptoms in their children. Depressive symptoms may compromise parents’ emotional availability and ability to parent effectively, which can contribute to child adjustment problems.
Conservatives have tried to argue that same-sex couples are selfish for wanting to have children, arguing against marriage equality because marriage should be about what’s best for children, not adults. In fact, just today the National Organization for Marriage endorsed the viewpoint of Robert Oscar Lopez, who has called same-sex parenting “child abuse,” describing adoption as “buying other human beings as property.”
WASHINGTON — Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) used his speech Thursday afternoon at the National Right to Life Convention to attack Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), who became an instant abortion rights icon after she filibustered for 11 hours to stop an anti-abortion bill. She succeeded with the help of hundreds of screaming activists.
Davis’ filibuster resonated across Texas and the rest of the country. Here was a single mother-turned-senator speaking of the hardships of so many others. But in his Dallas speech, Perry chose to use Davis’ personal story as cannon fodder.
"She didn’t come from particularly good circumstances. What if her mom had said, ‘I just can’t do this, I don’t want to do this’?" Perry asked rhetorically. "It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given the chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters."
Perry’s comment brought back memories of Texas’ 1990 gubernatorial race between Democrat Ann Richards and Republican Clayton Williams Jr. In the fall of that year, Richards claimed polls showed her gaining ground, according to a Los Angeles Times account. When asked about her assertion, Williams quipped, “I hope she didn’t go back to drinking again.”
Richards was a recovering alcoholic.
The Richards campaign used Williams’ words for the kicker of a brutal attack ad that compiled all of her opponent’s foot-in-mouth moments. There were many. In fact, Williams is perhaps most famous for likening rape to the weather: ”If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.”
The campaign may have run that ad with Williams’ worst quotes more than any other, recalled Glenn Smith, a Richards campaign consultant at the time. “Williams’ negatives went through the roof … This sure helped cost him the campaign in a significant way,” Smith said. Richards ended up winning the governor’s race.
The difference between then and now, Maxey said, is that everyone doesn’t have to wait to catch Perry’s comments on the six o’clock news or in a campaign ad. There’s Twitter and Facebook and YouTube. “They go after Wendy Davis personally, and everybody’s going to know it and everybody is going to tell their friends,” Maxey said.
Maxey assessed the outpouring against Perry and in support of Davis as 100 times greater than the Richards-Williams moment. “They are playing with fire when they go after Wendy Davis personally,” he said.