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Julie Boonstra, still confused by reality, knocks on the wrong door

by: Eric B.

Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 18:00:04 PM EDT

Allen Lengel, writing for Deadine Detroit, writes about Julie Boonstra. It's pretty good.

Democratic politicians criticized her for being misleading in the ads. Conversely, some folks, including some readers of Deadline Detroit, thought it was unfair to criticize a cancer patient. I'm not convinced any disease gives people carte blanche to say whatever they want without challenge.

It does not. When you say something to persuade people to a position, what you say is subject to scrutiny. What we afford someone with cancer is the dignity not to attack them for their cancer, but their cancer doesn't give them the right to mislead the public. I'm not even sure why this is controversial or subject to debate, because it's not like if Julie Boonstra said, "Hey, let's all jump off a cliff so none of us die alone," that someone wouldn't rightfully object.

It really comes down to this: Boonstra is a shameless shill for the GOP right. In her column she writes:  "I have reached out to Congressman Gary Peters for help since he is running for a Senate seat for Michigan." She writes that he hasn't helped.


She lives in Dexter. Her Congressman is Rep. Tim Walhberg, a Republican, not Peters. If she prefers to deal with  influential Democrats on the Hill, she could have called Michigan's  U.S. Senators, Carl Levin or Debbie Stabenow. But wait, the senators aren't running for office. Peters is.

Yup, to all of it. When she stopped merely appearing in Tee Vee ads and started going and knocking on doors, she stopped being just an unfortunate cancer patient being exploited by Americans for Prosperity for poitical gain and became an active participant in a political campaign.

Let me put it another way: If this was really about health care for Julie Boonstra, if she was really just primarily concerned about her own health care, she wouldn't be trying to get Gary Peters to sit down with her, she'd be visiting the office of her heath insurance provider so they could explain how her policy affects her. Blue Cross has said it would love to sit down with her and do just that.

Eric B. :: Julie Boonstra, still confused by reality, knocks on the wrong door
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Let's Face Reality....
...Ms. Boonstra and her ilk are the same people who think that our President really wasn't born in Hawaii, prays to Allah and struggle with the fact that a person of color is living in the White House.

Lengel, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is right on in his comments. This bunch keeps digging it deeper, and no doubt Representative Peters appreciates not having to spend his war chest to defend against this crap given that the media is rightly calling this out for what it is.

Glad to see some folks coming around to what had been obvious pretty much from the beginning.  It was clear very early on that Julie Boonstra wasn't just some well-intentioned fool.  The only thing the concern trolls and  misguided bleeding hearts had right is that she is, and people like her are, only a symptom of the greater problem.

On the politics of this, this seems to take away Land's only real in in this race, and it has backfired on her spectacularly.  If she's going to allow third parties to essentially run her campaign without her denouncing this crap, I am now convinced that Peters could very easily put up as many points on her as the sitting Dem incumbent senators have put up in Michigan in previous races.  This could easily be a twenty-point margin barring scandal by Peters if Land wants to keep this up.  And, really, now that Peters has been given this opening, I want him to run up the score and make Land's campaign pay for their silence and just generally make conservatives pay for being so offensively horrible in every way.  

This is why I had so very little sympathy for what was obvious to me to have been at the very least an exaggeration, and more likely and outright lie, by Julie Boonstra from the beginning.  Were we living in a healthy political environment where both sides played by the same rules, it perhaps be magnanimous, maybe even appropriate, to give her the benefit of the doubt.  Absent living in that kind of world - and god knows we aren't living in it - to give her the benefit of the doubt is not only inappropriate, but something beyond naive.  That's not even to mention that we're talking about politics, here, not some inconsequential sporting event where you could throw it for mercy and pity.  

It is irresponsible to publicly jump to conclusions
There's a considerable difference between saying what you can support and just saying shit that you suspect.  For instance, I don't think anyone was under any illusion that Julie Boonstra appeared in this ad without wanting to attack Gary Peters, which is to say that she was in part motivated by partisan leanings. The problem is that if her story were accurate, you couldn't attack her as a partisan because her partisanship doesn't alter the fact that she was harmed under the law she is criticizing.

If she'd stuck to appearing in ads, that would all remain true. She'd be a person with cancer, saying things of questionable veracity. But, you could still make the argument that she was still motivated by genuine desire to get better health care and that she genuinely believed that she was worse off under Obamacare.

What changed was that Op-Ed and that she tried to get in touch personally with Gary Peters. That last bit especially, and especially since it all comes the day after the Detroit News went and talked to Blue Cross about her insurance. If she were genuinely motivated by her beliefs about her health care, she wouldn't have visited Gary Peters. She would have called Blue Cross and asked about the medications she seems to believe aren't covered as out-of-pocket expenses but are indeed covered as out-of-pocket expenses. At this point, the difference between Julie Boonstra knowingly misrepresenting her situation and doing it because she doesn't know any better is one without distinction.

You still have to be careful about how you approach this topic. I won't just let fly with stuff like calling her a liar, and the real culprit here is still Americans for Prosperity. But, she's opened the door for her personal connections to be a part of the story and -- again -- has practically begged any enterprising media outlet following this to ask about whether she is being compensated.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
I'd call her a liar.
She is a liar.  She's purposely saying misleading things in a partisan political fashion.

People who want to give her a break because she's sick, want to trash facts to do it.  

[ Parent ]

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