Thanks to Alex Pareene, I have become aware of a major flashpoint that's driving the conversation and winning the morning in the hotly contested race to represent Pinellas County in the Florida State Senate, where incumbent Republican Jeff Brandes is currently running well ahead of his primary opponent Jim Frishe. That flashpoint? Driverless cars, careening around the streets of Florida, leaving fear and loathing in their wake. This just goes to show that it was possible to have substantive debates on the critical issues of the day before Paul Ryan got picked to be Romney's running mate.
The ad, furnished by the appropriately named "Committee to Protect Florida," depicts a wayward Prius, straight-up ghost-riding around the Florida suburbs, with out a hey-diddle-dee care in the world. An elderly woman provides the voiceover: "Technology is great. But driverless cars?" It is, indeed, an eternal question. And it raises more questions, like the "Will Driverless Cars REALLY Slow for Pedestrians?" The ad then answers this question, when the car in question runs a stop sign, nearly killing a sweet, walker-enabled lady.
Will the driverless cars know how to zipper merge onto on-ramps? Will they properly yield at four-way stops? When a cop stops the car and asks, "Son, do you know what I'm stopping you for?" will the car be able to offer up a spontaneous, hip-hop inflected colloquy on search-and-seizure rights? Probably not.
The ad, naturally, raises fears that are not justified by reality. As Travis Okulski points out at Jalopnik, the ad's contention that the cars are remote-controlled is "patently wrong." "These cars are not close to being remote controlled, which can be a positive or a negative depending on who you ask," Okulski writes, adding, "There's also a driver in the front seat to override when things go wrong."
The ad also cites a Forbes article as backing for its claim that these driverless cars are "more dangerous than driving." Forbes' Alex Knapp writes that this citation seems to refer back to this article by James Poulos. But as Knapp points out: "It's worth mentioning that Poulos isn't claiming, in this article, that driverless cars are unsafe. Rather, he's criticizing the suggestion that driverless cars be the only cars allowed on the road once they become viable. Which is nowhere near what Brandes has suggested."
Or has he? Can we really know for sure that Brandes' support for these driverless cars isn't just a Trojan Horse meant the stealthily advance the robot-Sharia agenda? (Yes, we totally can.)
[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not?]
Motorcycle To Change
Candidate: Jon Huntsman Race: 2012 Republican Presidential Primary
A Bump In The Road
Candidate: Mitt Romney Race: 2012 Republican Presidential Primary
Rock Into Lake Is Clearly A Metaphor For...
Candidate: Mike Gravel Race: 2008 Democratic presidential primary Outcome: Dropped out of Democratic primary and switched to Libertarian Party on March 25, 2008
Coroners Taking Organs!
Candidate: Dwight McKenna Race: 2010 New Orleans Parish coroner Outcome: Lost to nine-term incumbent Frank Minyard
From Bad To Bizarre
Candidate: Steve Chabot Race: 2006 Ohio First Congressional District, general election Outcome: Incumbent Congressman Chabot defeated challenger John Cranley
'Traditional American Values'
Candidate: Vernon Robinson Race: 2004 North Carolina 5th Congressional District, Republican primary Outcome: Lost to current Congresswoman Virginia Foxx in primary
The Bloopers Were Better
Candidate: Adriane Reesey Race: 2008 race for supervisor of elections for Broward County, Florida Outcome: Lost to Brenda Snipes
Trickle Down Economics
Candidate: Jim Slattery Race: 2008 Kansas Senate race Outcome: Incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts defeated Jim Slattery
Harold, Call Me!
Candidate: Bob Corker Race: 2006 Tennessee Senate race Outcome: Bob Corker defeated Harold Ford, Jr.
Here He Comes To Save The Day
Candidate: Charlie Wheelen Race: 2009 Illinois 5th Congressional District, Democratic primary (special election) Outcome: Lost primary to current Rep. Michael Quigley
Maybe She Thought She Was Running For Dog Catcher?
Candidate: Diane Benson Race: 2008 Alaska At-Large District, Democratic primary Outcome: Lost in primary to Ethan Berkowitz
Candidate: Dale Peterson Race: 2010 Alabama Agriculture Commission, Republican primary Outcome: Finished 3rd in GOP primary
'I'm Not A Witch'
Candidate: Christine O'Donnell Race: 2008 Delaware Senate race Outcome: Lost to Chris Coons
Luxurious Prison Spas
Candidate: Sue Lowden Race: 2008 Republican primary in Nevada Senate race Outcome: Lost to Sharron Angle
Candidate: Carly Fiorina Race: 2010 California Senate Republican primary Outcome: Fiorina defeated Tom Campbell in the GOP primary but lost in the general election to incumbent Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Candidate: Bradley Byrne Race: 2010 Alabama gubernatorial Republican primary Outcome: Lost in primary to Robert Brentley
Advice: Don't Tape Yourself With No Shirt On
Candidate: Lee Fisher Race: 2010 Ohio Senate race Outcome: Lost to Rob Portman
Gather Your Armies!
Candidate: Rick Barber Race: 2010 Alabama 2nd Congressional District Outcome: Lost primary to Martha Roby
Dance Party, District 19!
Candidate: Mike Weinstein Race: 2010 Florida House of Representatives, District 19 Outcome: Weinstein reelected to second term
Candidate: Bill McCollum Race: 2010 Florida gubernatorial Republican primary Outcome: Lost primary to Rick Scott
A Kick In The Groin
Candidate: Peter Schiff Race: 2010 Connecticut Senate Republican primary Outcome: Lost primary to Linda McMahon
Welcome To Nevada
Candidate: Sharron Angle Race: 2010 Nevada Senate general election Outcome: Lost to Harry Reid
Candidate: Lyndon B. Johnson Race: 1964 presidential election Outcome: Johnson defeated Republican challenger Barry Goldwater