1. Welcome to CowboysZone!  Join us!  Come on!  You know you want to!

The Smear Gap McCain's attacks on Obama go too far. He knows better.

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by BrAinPaiNt, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

    61,049 Messages
    4,399 Likes Received
    Link



    This is hardly the nastiest campaign in recent memory. But it's not shaping up as the "civil" contest that both candidates promised either. Instead, we're seeing the emergence of a "smear gap". John McCain making stuff up about Barack Obama, and Obama trying to figure out how hard he should hit back.

    As usual, news organizations are deeply afraid to say that one side is more negative than the other. Doing so sounds "unfair." It's much easier, and less controversial, to say that "both candidates" are being negative. That would be "balanced", but also untrue.

    One of the wonders of the Web is that it's now possible for neutral observers to determine the truth or falsity of various attacks, and to have that information instantly available to anyone. The best arbiter is factcheck.org, which is sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania (Disclosure: Newsweek.com has a partnership with factcheck.org). If you don't believe me about the smear gap, check their analyses of campaign ads.

    Obama has negative ads airing in more than a dozen states below the radar of the national media. One ad, in Ohio, links McCain to the 8,200 lost jobs at DHL, the German-owned overnight delivery service. That goes too far. McCain's support for a merger involving DHL hardly makes him culpable for the job loss. But overall, and to his credit, Obama has not engaged in anywhere near the number of falsehoods as McCain.

    For about a month, McCain's campaign has been resorting to charges that are patently false. When Obama traveled abroad in July, to positive reviews, McCain decided he had to make attack ads that went far beyond the norm. In the past, plainly deceptive ads were the province of the Republican National Committee or the Democratic National Committee or independent committees free to fling mud that didn't bear the fingerprints of candidates. But not this time. These smears come directly from the candidate.

    First, a McCain ad charged that Obama was responsible for higher gas prices, which was not just false but absurd. Next, an ad said Obama had cancelled his trip to visit wounded soldiers in Germany because he couldn't bring the press along. I was in Germany at the time, and as every reporter knew, the visit to the military hospital was never going to be open, not even to a press pool. It appeared on no press schedules. Obama had cancelled the visit when it was clear that the Pentagon viewed it as political. The charge was simply untrue.


    The now famous Britney Spears and Paris Hilton ad, accusing Obama of being a celebrity, wasn't false, just dopey. But it detracted attention from a string of false McCain spots on taxes. One ad said that Obama would raise taxes on electricity. Nope, not in Obama's plan. Another said 23 million small-business owners would pay higher taxes under Obama. Factcheck.org found that the "vast majority" of small-business owners would pay the same in taxes as they do now, and "many" would pay less. An ad saying Obama had voted for a bill raising taxes, for families making more than $42,000 a year, was found to be "false." And McCain's consistent claim that Obama would "raise taxes on the middle class"--a major theme of his campaign--is "simply false," according to this neutral policy center. In truth, under Obama's plan, families earning less than $150,000 a year would get a tax cut, and only those making more than $250,000 would see their taxes rise. Maybe by the time the Democratic Congress got done with it, Obama's tax program would look different. It's reasonable to speculate that Democrats will raise taxes. But the McCain ads weren't talking about that, they were talking about Obama's plan, which is easily accessed on his Web site. McCain's description of his opponent's plan was and is untrue. This isn't opinion, it's fact.

    McCain's campaign theme is that he puts the country first and Obama puts himself above his country. It's understandable why this son and grandson of admirals--who has served his country in one way or another since he was 18-years-old, who has never been on a private payroll beyond that of his beer distributor father-in-law--would see himself as someone who puts "America first." He has been a largely honorable public servant for 54 years, and it's acceptable within the confines of sharp debate to portray his opponent as a self-regarding celebrity.

    But when he resorts to these kinds of falsehoods, and casts such aspersions on his opponent's patriotism, John McCain is no longer putting his country first. If he were, he would recognize that the interests of the nation require a relatively truthful campaign. To fulfill his image of himself, McCain should stop lying about his opponent. For a man with his claims to honor and integrity, that's not too much to ask.
  2. sacase

    sacase Well-Known Member

    4,285 Messages
    70 Likes Received
    Well the media part is actually true. The hospital said he could come....just couldn't bring his campaign staff or the press.
  3. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

    2,134 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    A whambulance has been dispatched to Newsweek for the reporter. The reporter is expected to make a full recovery and continue whining.
  4. Angus

    Angus Active Member

    5,064 Messages
    1 Likes Received
    I applaud you, BP, for providing a link, but it was politic not to openly advertise the author to be Jonathan Alter, one, as I recall, who regularly turns up on MSNBC.

    His, and his "fact checker's," opinions of the ads political factual validity are suspect for bias.

    :)
  5. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

    27,868 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    Jon Alter? The same guy who recently admitted on bloggingheadstv that he was totally in the tank for Obama? This is about as mindblowing as Ken Starr giving Bubba's autobiography a bad review.
  6. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Zone Supporter

    15,078 Messages
    2,294 Likes Received
    Message for Jon Altar: Stop the hatin'. Try participatin'.
  7. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

    61,049 Messages
    4,399 Likes Received
    Never heard of the guy.

    However It does not change the fact that McCain has lied in his campaign ads.

    It does not change the fact that both McCain and his Wife said they wanted to run an honest campaign without the negativity.

    The one thing I did note is that the piece only took the one swipe at Obama which now I know since I have been informed this guy is in the tank for him.
  8. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

    27,868 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    And Richard Littlejohn's nationality does not change the fact the US leftists are as hypocritical as their overseas brethren when it comes to protesting non-US aggression. Fair is fair.
  9. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

    61,049 Messages
    4,399 Likes Received
    [IMG]
    AllllRighty then...
  10. theebs

    theebs Believe!!!!

    22,213 Messages
    1,270 Likes Received
    I dont see what the issue is here?

    Isnt this what the republicans do? They just go attack crazy and blame everything on the other side and then smile and say there a good christian?

    and the dems too?

    Whats the big deal.

    If tony romo were running opposite McCain I would expect they could probably do enough media and advertising to make you believe he didnt really play in the nfl. Thats there M.O.

    that is why all there hillbilly radio stations work so well. They broadcast this stuff in every inch of the country and the people in smaller areas get nervous and think there way of life is going to end.
  11. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Zone Supporter

    15,078 Messages
    2,294 Likes Received
    No. The "dems" just fabricate national guard documents while using the concept of moral relativism to justify their win at all costs approach.

    I grant the difference is a subtle one, but it does warrant noting.:D
  12. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

    61,049 Messages
    4,399 Likes Received
    Or put out polls asking about McCains illegitimate black baby? Or send out fliers to a state telling the voters if you vote dems they will ban the bible?

    :D
  13. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Zone Supporter

    15,078 Messages
    2,294 Likes Received
    Or distributing a voting handbook to minority voters, instructing them to create rancorous discord even in the absence of voter intimidation?

    Or telling voters that reelecting President Bush would result in the replacement our current Constitution with a Christian theocratic form of government?:D
  14. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

    33,012 Messages
    728 Likes Received
    Wow .... the unproven rhetoric is being thrown out fast now.
  15. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

    61,049 Messages
    4,399 Likes Received
    Oh there was, and still is, plenty of it.

    Take some of those Obama emails where the majority, no not all, have been debunked and proven false.

    How about fliers that appeared in some states in black neighborhoods saying the voting was being held at the wrong location, date or time.

    Funny thing, on both sides, you know they always say...well that was just some crazies doing it and the parties had nothing to do with it. SUUUURE the parties have nothing to do with it.:laugh2:
  16. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

    61,049 Messages
    4,399 Likes Received
    Here was another one.

    Rush telling all of his listeners to vote for Hillary in the primaries to cause trouble and hope she would win so they could beat her.

    On a side note I seen a link a bit ago saying he was basically warning McCain that he better pick a pro-life candidate. Which seems to be another possible sign that Lieberman may indeed be McCain's VP choice.
  17. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

    33,012 Messages
    728 Likes Received
    Notice you did not mention any Dem ones ..... wonder why?
  18. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

    33,012 Messages
    728 Likes Received
    Nothing wrong with that .... everyone should be allowed to vote for whoever they want. Kerry's election battlecry was "anyone but Bush" .... how is that different?

    Nothing wrong with that either ..... if Obama was gonna pick a conservative you better believe that the Libs would be warning him against it.
  19. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

    61,049 Messages
    4,399 Likes Received
    I thought that was Scipios Job.
  20. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Zone Supporter

    15,078 Messages
    2,294 Likes Received
    That's right.

    We report. Zrin decides.:D

Share This Page