John McCain’s dishonorable campaign

Another day, another breath-taking ad from the McCain campaign:


Go read the supporting evidence at McCain’s site; here’s the relevant portion:

The Full Text Of S.B. 99 Included Changes That Would Offer Sex Education To Children Beginning In Kindergarten. “Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.” (S.B. 99: Illinois Senate Health And Human Services Committee, Passed, 7-4-0, 3/6/03, Obama Voted Yea)

Now I realize it’s been a while since I graduated from law school, so perhaps my ability to parse legislation is a tad rusty. But a clear reading of that sentence — really the only way to read that sentence — indicates that the legislation simply added the requirement insofar as they were already taking in a class. In other words: if (and only if) there was a Kindergarten class teaching sex ed (can anyone point out any curriculum where this was on the agenda? I’ll be stunned to see any link to any Illinois school where that’s the case; it sure wasn’t in Naperville), then that class simply needed to add language regarding HIV.

Put more simply: no class in Kindergarten? No HIV talk. The bill just toughened up existing sex ed to make sure it was more effective. You know, so that kids might not, um, get pregnant and stuff.

But that’s an entirely separate discussion.

Why was Kindergarten even mentioned? As Hilzoy points out, it was because Barack felt that age-appropriate education might help protect children from pedophiles. Hardly the “comprehensive sex education to kindergarteners” claimed by McCain.

Let’s not forget: