Thursday, February 27, 2014

Winston (not Smith) and Myths

Karen Tumulty wrote a good article including one bad sentence on the Republican all the eggs in the Obamacare basket case strategy.

"In Winston’s view, it is a myth that the last midterm election was swung by voter outrage about Obama’s health-care proposal, which was then being debated in Congress."

Well that would be a myth, since the bill was signed months before the 2010 midterms. I'm pretty sure the error is not the fault of "David Winston, a pollster who advises House Speaker John A. Boehner." I think it quite possible that it isn't Karen Tumulty's fault either. I think a copy editor might have decided to save some ink by eliminating un-necessary words editing down from something like

In Winston’s view, it is a myth that [the outcome of] the last midterm [campaign] was swung by voter outrage about Obama’s health-care proposal, which was then being debated in Congress.

As rewritten, the sentence says that the law was debated during the 2010 election campaign. This is arguably true (especially but not only if you think the 2010 campaign started in November 2008). But really debating *in Congress* during an election ? Congress would never do that.

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