Take responsibility for your failures
In elections, there are winners and losers. That’s just a fact of democracy. Some of those losers, however, turn out to be sore losers. Perhaps the sorest of all is former Rep. Steve Driehaus, D-Ohio. After serving one term in Congress, Driehaus lost his bid at re-election. Rather than accepting his fate, Driehaus decided to take the matter to court. Driehaus is suing the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group that publicly identified him as a traitor to the pro-life cause during the 2010 election on the grounds that he voted in favor of President Barack Obama’s health care reform. Driehaus claims the group is responsible for his “loss of livelihood” and, surprisingly enough, the U.S. District Court has actually allowed the lawsuit to proceed.
To put it bluntly, Driehaus’s lawsuit has absolutely no solid claim on which to stand. Yes, the Susan B. Anthony List publicized material about Driehaus, which most likely hurt his standing with any members of the pro-life community. However, this material was not slanderous. It is true that Driehaus voted in favor of the health care reform, and it is also true that most pro-lifers disliked the reform because it offered no pro-life protections. Therefore, the Susan B. Anthony List’s characterization of Driehaus as unconcerned with protecting the pro-life stance is not unfounded. One cannot be mad at the facts.
It seems that Driehaus forgot that attack ads are and always have been part of the election game. When one side doesn’t like what the other side is saying, they are always sure to make sure the public knows it. As long as the attacks are not outright lies, then they are fairly protected under the First Amendment. If one cannot stand that sort of climate, then one should not be a politician.
It’s easy to blame others for our failures, and, sometimes, other people are actually responsible for those failures. Usually, though, that is not the case, and it certainly isn’t the case here. Driehaus failed because he didn’t have the public’s support. That is not the fault of the Susan B. Anthony List. That is his fault for not serving his constituents in the way they wanted him to.