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Something about mudslinging politics

In responses to friends and acquaintances blogs where I am told that I "hate" McCain, a reminder of why I do not cut the man slack for the things he has done, at least in the context of political candidacy.

This video was made as a response to the recent upswilling of lies, distortions, and outright hate-speech directed at Barack Obama and Joe Biden by John McCain, his self-described pitbull running-mate, and the Rovian wonders at McCain's campaign.

If you don't like having your candidate shown in a negative light, consider choosing a candidate who can stand in the light unashamed.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 27th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
I read this somewhere last week. Can't remember where, though. It was a little eerie watching it said by so many people, though.
Oct. 27th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
Steve's probably referring to this thread on my blog. A cursory browse of Factcheck.org reveals Obama's campaign has been distorting and spinning on a large scale as well, so focusing on McCain while holding up Obama as "a candidate who can stand in the light unashamed" suggests a lack of desire to apply critical thinking to both sides...which reinforces my point that you're probably too close to it to be objective, Steve. The "but he really is a bad, bad guy, so I'm justified!" defense doesn't help your case unless you're already a believer, to me it comes across as just the mirror image of what the GOP was saying about Clinton back in the day.
Oct. 27th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
hmm..If I go to your links, will I find you're practicing "equivalency"? You know, like when Obama's ads about McCain voting with Bush are said to be negative just like McCain's ones about Obama having been a muslim terrorist when he was 8?
Oct. 28th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC)
If you consider sites like Factcheck.org and Politifact biased, there's no point in discussing further.
Oct. 28th, 2008 04:57 am (UTC)
I have no problems with factcheck (I don't know Poltifact, but I'll concede it's another unbiased source.).

What i question is the tit for tat, where one side is Dolly Parton and the other is Kiera Knightly.
Oct. 28th, 2008 08:52 am (UTC)
I think that Obama and his campaign have NOT gotten off without some missteps, but I do think that they can, and do, stand up to the light of day. I don't think Tom is doing tit-for-tat, but there are definitely some scaling factors that I use that don't agree with what he uses.
Oct. 28th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
While neither site is perfect, they're both reasonably objective within the abilities of their maintainers. While I disagree with the weighting Tom seems to have given to some of the distortions on both sides, I do not think he is in any way being given a distorted view by the sites themselves.
Oct. 28th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer to factcheck.org, Tom. Was not just you, but yeah, that was one part of it, and I didn't want to bring more argumentation into your journal (because it's rude to flame in your host's house.)

Having caught up - hadn't read the site since mid-September - it looks to me as though both sides like to assign motives to actions that do not match the actual motives for the actions.
It appears to me that during the campaigns the RNC has been doing this about 2 times for every one time various Democrats have done so.

It looks to me as though both sides tend to predict the outcomes of bills and policies of their opponents in very negative ways, and to attribute those possible negative outcomes as being goals of their opponents. This comes in two degrees: interpretation, and outright lying. While both sides have engaged in outright lying, there seems to be quite a bit more lying coming out of the RNC on the local contest levels as they are fighting hard to retain political power.
In the case of McCain and Obama directly, they seem to be less directly lying and more using a highly distorted filter. I cannot say anything good about Sarah Palin in that regard, though; the truth is not in her.

It looks to me as though the major effort of the Democratic side is to ensure that people see a direct connection to and continuation of the Bush/Cheney policies, and McCain had the unpleasant challenge of attracting the votes of the people who think that those policies were correct, while also attracting the votes of the people who do not think they were correct, and he had the especially unhappy task of dealing with a seriously compromised economy which has (hindsight shows us) gotten to where it is, in a large part, due to the LACK of fiscal conservatism that began with Ronald Reagan's presidency.

Obama may not have any effective immediate answers for that. I am sure that any answers he does have, will require years and much pain to implement. McCain does not have any effective immediate answers either, but I am less than confident that the revealed elements of his plan (which I believe amount to "more of the same") are going to work, and there will still be years and much pain.

I don't think you have any grounds for saying that I have a lack of critical thinking here. That's astonishingly arrogant. Do you really think I don't know both sides? Do you really think I am jumping to conclusions, just because those conclusions do not agree with yours?

I don't recall saying anything like that about your reasoning, and only explained the evidence and standards which led to my position.
Oct. 28th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
The lack of acknowledgment in the original post that both sides are engaged in this was the main thing I was reacting to, and that's what I meant by critical thinking. Neither of them can exactly "stand in the light unashamed," as you say in the reply, "both sides have engaged in outright lying." Then again, Tsongas didn't win, either; I doubt a completely honest politician could win the nomination, much less the general, with how the current system is set up.

Politifact shows an even heavier distortion quotient by the GOP side than Factcheck, from what I saw. I don't think this is surprising, the attacking side tends to distort more than the one that's playing defense since they need to find some game-changer to shift the balance.

You're correct, I should leave this alone, so I'll stop here. I respect that its your blog, and have the right to say what you want in it.
Oct. 28th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
You're welcome to say anything (but please try to avoid personal attacks) ... I try to observe the same rule, although since I speak bluntly more often than not, I sometimes need the gentle baseball bat of correction. You are one of the people I trust to express well researched and non-jingoistic conservative views and I respect that; some of the other people I find myself talking to are more of the knee-jerk kind (and they're all legs.)
Oct. 27th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
I was surprised that that vid went with the anti-POW thing. NO ONE's touched that one this time around.
Oct. 28th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think that was part of the "we can has mud too" remark.
Oct. 28th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
Mainly cuz the biggest proponent of it is wacky Ross Perot, even independent purveyors of political snark have avoided it.
Oct. 28th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC)
Politifact named a different wacky nutcase for this year's repeat poster. It was published sometime in January.

Given that the other things mentioned in the video are documentable, even if some of them are arguable, and given that this claim is an outright lie, they should have simply left it out. But then again, if they're trying to make the point that mud can be dredged up and slung, then it makes that point. I think it weakens their point. They'd be better off simply sticking to truth wherever possible, opinion and spin only where appropriate (like, in response to original spin) and to completely forego the Swiftboat lies.

Edited at 2008-10-28 09:12 am (UTC)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )