The Republican Party's gubernatorial candidate in Virginia Bob McDonnell has chosen as a campaign slogan, a phrase used by the Coalition for Positive Sexuality (CPS) to promote "irreverent and unabashed sex education" for teens.
The former Attorney General, heading into the general election following an un-opposed primary, announced that he would be traveling the state on what he deemed the "Just Say Yes" tour. When he accepted the GOP nomination on May 30, he used the same phrase repeatedly to chastise the opposition as a bunch of do-nothing pessimists.
* "When it comes to promoting energy independence: They'll just say NO, we'll just say YES!"
* "When it comes to keeping Virginia competitive: They'll just say NO. We'll just say YES!'
* "When it comes to improving our schools: They'll just say NO. We'll just say YES!"
It is a rhetorical flourish that has been compared to Barack Obama's "Yes We Can," used during the 2008 president campaign.
The only problem is, well, Google.
Type in "Just Say Yes" into the search engine and the results that come back don't exactly resemble the platform of a GOP gubernatorial candidate from Virginia. The phrase is the title of a group that helps equip "youth to lead healthy and successful lives." It also, however, is the slogan for CPS' safe sex and sexual openness campaign.
"Just Say Yes is about having a positive attitude towards sexuality -- gay, straight, bisexual or whatever," reads the site. "It's about saying 'yes' to sex you do want, and 'no to sex you don't. It says there's nothing wrong with you if you decide to have sex, and nothing wrong with you if you decide not to."
"You have the right to make your own choices, and to have people respect them," it goes on. "Sex is enjoyable when everyone involved is into it, and when everyone has the information they need to take care of themselves and each other."
The Google search -- on which, at this point, McDonnell's slogan does not have a high rating -- also brings up a song by the recording artist Avant, titled "Don't Say No, Just Say Yes." The lyrics read:
Open your heart and let me pour my loving
Inside of you (...inside of you)
You make me feel like living and breathing again
I wanna touch you (...i wanna touch you)
Lest there be any doubt, McDonnell has touted abstinence education legislation in the past. So this is likely the first, and last time, he will be associated with the Coalition for Positive Sexuality, or, for that matter, Avant.
If anything, the episode reflects how in the age of Google, the difficulties in finding a trendy campaign slogan without complicating factors (Obama was accused of stealing his "Yes We Can" phrase from, among others, Bob the Builder) has drastically increased.
(h/t: The Shad Plank)