ShareThis Page

Good grief, Connie Schultz

| Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, 8:55 p.m.

Connie Schultz must think people are stupid.

It's the only logical takeaway from the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist's contention that billboards placed in some, but not exclusively, lower-income black communities in Cleveland were “signs of trouble ... rising like the ghosts of Jim Crow.”

An unnamed private family foundation bankrolled 145 billboards in Ohio and Wisconsin that read:

“VOTER FRAUD IS A FELONY — UP TO 3½ YRS and $10,000 Fine.” There's also a photo of a gavel. The billboards went up early this month.

But after the billboard company — Clear Channel Outdoor — succumbed to the pimps of progressive victimhood (born out of the thin-air creation of a brand-new and supposedly socially unacceptable “code message” worthy of the John Nash character from “A Beautiful Mind”), the billboards began coming down.

Apparently, exercising one's constitutional right to free political speech, a right affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, and simply stating a fact now is “racist.”

Ms. Schultz, the wife of Democrat U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (and who twice quit her job as a columnist for The Plain Dealer of Cleveland over perceived and real conflicts of interest but who still pens a syndicated column) called the billboards “menacing.”

Incredulous she was that the billboards were placed a “short walk from just about anywhere” — a public housing development, near a community college and not far from the home of black Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

“The billboards' target: African-American voters who support President Barack Obama,” she claimed in an Oct. 13 column.

Why, the billboards' “unwritten message” is clear, she added: “We will do anything to keep you from voting,” including convicted felons who served their time and retain their voting privileges.

“The plan, of course, is to intimidate an entire community of innocent Americans accustomed to withering suspicions steeped in race.”

Good grief, you can almost hear Schultz affecting the voice of Lucy van Pelt: “Look, Charlie, let's face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It's run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.”

A nonsensical analogy? No less so than Schultz's race-baiting and Orwellian assertions.

The Schultz mindset is like a Rorschach test for the imbecilic. Who can wait for her social justice interpretive skills to be applied to incendiary “messages” buried in the octagonal red stop signs with white lettering or her decoding of “Fasten Seat Belts, State Law” signs as examples of the obvious racist hate speech that, in our heart of hearts, we all really know them to be?

Not only does Schultz “decode” fictional John Nash-worthy messages, she attempts to rewrite history when she insists “voter fraud is a myth” in Ohio and “just as it is everywhere else in the country.”

Yoohoo, Connie, ACORN. Ohio in 2008. Thousands of fraudulent voter registration forms.

As National Review Online's John Fund reminds, “The real myth in Ohio today is that people can exercise their free-speech rights and simply remind potentially errant voters that ballot fraud is a crime.”

Without being smeared, it must be added, by someone who enjoys free-press rights and who should know better.

Colin McNickle is Trib Total Media's director of editorial pages (412-320-7836 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.