Paid for by the Michigan Republican Party
An ad about failure a fail itself? Yes. The conditional perfect was ruined by a common misspelling of the simple past form of "to lead."
"Copy editors? We don't need any stinking copy editors! We're the Michigan Republican Party!"
Or at least that's the dialogue that ran through our head when we saw this weekend's mailer from the Michigan Republican Party, supporting Gov. Rick Snyder.
It's a simple mistake, one that can be common to those who aren't copy editors. Frankly, that's why anybody hoping to put out a message before the general public should hire a copy editor, or at least a part-time proofreader.
The error, of course, is that the past tense of "to lead" is "led" not "lead." (As in, "Get the lead out!") The correct sentence would have read, "Mark Schauer's policies would have led us to failure."
Then again, the wording of the ad doesn't make a whole lot of sense. That's because the full statement, even with correct English, would read, "While Governor Snyder has turned Michigan around, Mark Schauer's policies would have led us to failure."
You see, "While" suggests that things are happening at the same time, and it would be utterly impossible for both things to happen (or have happened) at the same time. Snyder won the election, thereby forestalling the alleged march to failure Schauer would have led.
Furthermore, it was not Schauer running against Snyder, it was Virg Bernero. How would Schauer have led anybody anywhere when he didn't win because ... he didn't run?
We know the run-up to these elections can be full of tense, nail-biting deadlines. But perhaps the state GOP could win on grammar and job-creation at the same time. Hire a competent copywriter instead of having a GOP flack making it up on the fly over the shoulder of a 22-year-old graphic designer. And, for land sakes, man, hire a proofreader. We do.