This is the debut of a new blog feature, to run through the election, in which I decide whether I think a particular campaign controversy should matter to people. Not analyzing whether it will matter in the final election tally, but judging whether it seems like it should matter to people as they size up the candidates. I'll make my ruling, and then you can all weigh in with yours.
For example, the one I'll debut with today is Scott Brown claiming credit for the STOCK Act bill that was really not his.
As a factual matter, Brown is clearly fudging the truth, especially in the particular wording he's chosen -- unneccessarily -- for his recent TV ad. The bill that passed is not his bill.
I'd also argue that the ad is pretty bogus in other ways, such as his narrative of discovering, upon reaching Washington, that his fellow legislators were pulling this insider-training scam. That's not really quite right; he glommed onto the topic after a book and 60 Minutes feature drew popular attention to the issue.
In any event, I find that I don't really care. Yeah, he's fibbing a little, but whatever. He grabbed onto a trendy, anti-Washington, do-gooder bill, and helped get it passed so that he could boast about it, and now he's boasting about it. The details don't strike me as all that important.
So, yes, he should be goaded by the Globe and others to be honest. But should voters care and hold it against him? Meh.
Now here's the big question for this exciting new feature: what should the ruling be? Is it "Care/Don't Care"? "Do I Give A Rat's Ass?" Or should there be a scale, from <yawn> to Outrage!
If it's Care/Don't Care, I'm giving this one a "Don't Care." Please comment on whether you agree or not, and also what you think the ruling and the name of the feature should be.