A new documentary on Question 1 in Maine (the ballot initiative to stop same-sex marriage there in 2009) is due out this summer. It contains footage from strategy meetings on both sides, including this bit where Yes on 1 campaign chairman Marc Mutty basically says he knew they were lying to people:
"We use a lot of hyperbole and I think that's always dangerous," says Mutty during a Yes on 1 strategy session, at the time on leave from his job as public affairs director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine.
"You know, we say things like 'Teachers will be forced to (teach same-sex marriage in schools)!' " he continues. "Well, that's not a completely accurate statement and we all know it isn't, you know?"
"No," interjects a woman off-camera. "We don't say that."
"Let's look back at our ads and see what we say," Mutty persists. "And I think we use hyperbole to the point where, you know, it's like 'Geez!' "
While California's homophobes went for both the "Kids will be forced to learn about gays" and the "Homophobic churches will be shut down" arguments, Maine's less religious character made the right focus more on the kids in that state.
So, if it's any consolation, we were right and the other side knew we were right but they chose to lie anyway.
There's another clip Mutty complains about the lack of "honest discussion" in the campaign, because, you know, as campaign chairman he had absolutely no control over that. He also whines about how people recognize him when he goes out and how he just wants to live his life, when his work at the time was to demonize another group of people.
But don't think that Mutty is actually remorseful about anything other than that he used some dirty words behind the scenes there:
"I'm very sorry and apologetic for having used the language I did," he said. "It certainly was unbecoming for the spokesman of the Catholic Church."[...]
Mutty also regrets, in retrospect, welcoming in the documentarians -- although he has no complaints about what he's seen so far.
He allowed the filming, he said, because he agreed with Fox's position that "this is a historic moment that needs to be recorded ... I thought that was the greater good."
So why regret it now?
"It makes me very vulnerable," he replied. "What impact it will have on my professional life remains to be seen."
I have very little patience for people like Mutty who know that they were lying to lots of people but don't give two shits. It's especially annoying since people like him like to lecture the rest of us about how society is all about winning at all costs nowadays and no one cares about following the rules. He proves that that's ageist BS; there were always people like him who just want to have their way no matter what.
But the big lesson to take from this is that if a goal is based on lies, either telling them or believing them, then it's just not worth fighting for. Maybe there are some people of moral standing in that campaign who were living in the alternate right-wing universe and believed their arguments without much investigation. But that, again, just proves why people should be processing this information for themselves and looking for places where their leaders are letting them down or where group-think is taking over.
Mutty did all that, apparently, and arrived at the conclusion that what his campaign was saying was wrong. But he just didn't care. To me, that's worse than the intellectual laziness that afflicts people in all sorts of movements.
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