Posts Tagged ‘2008 Elections’

Bachmann Blames Media Trap for Her Opinions

October 23, 2008

Rep. Bachmann has a found an interesting way to avoid being held responsible for her words: she claims Matthews trapped her by introducing and repeating the term “anti-American” so that she just used it without thinking. But, as we are accustomed with Republican politicians these days, she initiated the theme by claiming that Obama has “negative views of the United States.” This is standard Republican strategy: don’t call it a duck, but just talk about the quacking and waddling so that everyone knows you’re talking about a duck, yet you can claim you never said “duck.”

In the transcript of the show, Matthews used “anti-American” first, but Bachmann had a chance to immediately respond and repeat the term. But notice Bachmann’s sentence prior to Matthew entrapping question in which she uses a Russian term to evoke images of communism, which, of course, America fought for decades. He uses “anti-American” only twice in his question, which she promptly picks up and uses.

REP. BACHMANN: You have a troika of the most leftist administration in the history of our country.

MR. MATTHEWS: If you have liberal views, does that mean you have anti-American views? What’s the connection? I don’t get the connection. What’s the connection between liberal and leftist and anti-American?

REP. BACHMANN: Anti-American is the point, because —

Matthews immediately interrupts and reuses the term in a refining the question, which, again, she reuses. More importantly, she doesn’t just use “anti-American,” she provides an example of it, which the GOP has been repeating for months. The idea that she was trapped into using the term “anti-American” is ridiculously untrue. She believed it to be true but avoided using the term, relying on indirect accusations of “anti-American.” Her regret is that she was called on the carpet for it. She was trapped only in the sense that she thought she was with a fellow traveller and can speak freely. She then repeats the term twice in her response.

MR. MATTHEWS: I mean, if you’re liberal, are you anti-American?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, the liberals that are Jeremiah Wright and that are Bill Ayers, they’re over-the-top anti-American. And that’s the question that Americans have. Remember, it was Michelle Obama who said she’s only recently proud of her country. And so these are very anti-American views.

So, initially, they use “anti-American” equally. For those counting at home, Matthews ends using it 13 times and Bachman 8 times. But the truth is that Bachmann is the one who raised the idea of “anti-American” with her “troika” reference and accusations:

REP. BACHMANN: It’s important because we look at the collection of friends that Barack Obama has had over his life, and usually we associate with people who have similar ideas to us. And it seems that it calls into question what Barack Obama’s true beliefs and values and thoughts are — his attitudes, values and beliefs with Jeremiah Wright on his view of the United States

MR. MATTHEWS: Okay —

REP. BACHMANN: — which is negative; Bill Ayers, his negative view of the United States. We’ve seen one friend after another. It calls into question his judgment, but also what is it that Barack Obama really believes? And we know that he’s the most liberal senator in the United States Senate, and that’s just after one year after being there. He’s the most liberal. Joe Biden is the third most liberal. You’ve got Harry Reid who’s liberal, Nancy Pelosi who’s liberal.

This is pure political cowardice: she said exactly what she meant, as evidenced by her words prior to Matthews’ first use of “anti-American.”

You’re clearly anti-American or not a real American if you don’t vote Republican. Got that America? And it’s probably our fault that these politicians say this crap.

John McCarthy

October 10, 2008

It is a sad commentary on McCain’s desperation and hunger for power that he allows his staff and his running mate to accuse Obama of being a terrorist. Is that how adled McCain has become that he honestly cannot separate someone that he disagrees with from an enemy of our nation?

I think that, if a candidate doesn’t deserve leading our nation as president, it is the one who’s willing to call his fellow senator an enemy of America, so that he can achieve a selfish political end.

Ask a Simple Question, Get a Defensive Palin

October 1, 2008

Sometimes, I think the easiest to do is to play the martyr. Certainly, John McCain and Sarah Palin seem good at it. How paranoid do you have to be to respond as Palin does to a very simple, mundane question? Notice in the clip how Palin assumes Couric is implying that Alaskans aren’t informed. Instead, in a climate in which people seem to attend increasingly to more ideologically driven news sources, Couric simply asks what kinds of news sources Palin reads. Instead, Palin launches in a very defensive mode, almost attacking Couric for asking such a question. Who knew that asking a candidate to defend a claim with specifics, to address an important topic like the judiciary to the conservative movement, or to respond to a major shift in foreign policy were such dastardly attempts to catch the candidate with their mental pants down.

What you see in campaigns will be magnified once the person is in office. And what we’re seeing from McCain and Palin is that they consider being held accountable for their words is inappropriate and contemptuous.

McCain’s False Claims

September 27, 2008

John McCain made several false claims in tonight’s debate.

Claim: By the way, my friend, Dr. Kissinger, who’s been my friend for 35 years, would be interested to hear this conversation and Senator Obama’s depiction of his — of his positions on the issue. I’ve known him for 35 years. And I guarantee you he would not — he would not say that presidential top level.

Fact: Kissinger does support talking to Iran “without conditions” and a high, presidential level. He may have known Kissinger for 35 years, but he apparently doesn’t know what he says.

Claim: “I have voted for alternate fuel all of my time.”

Fact: According to Project Vote Smart, John McCain has not voted to support alternative energy since at least 1996. He voted did vote for or voted against the following alternative energy bills:

  • Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Amendment HR 6 on 06/16/2005
  • 06/16/2005 Reduction in Dependence on Foreign Oil HR 6
  • 06/28/2005 Energy Policy Act of 2005 HR 6
  • 06/21/2007 Alternative Energy Subsidies S Amdt 1704
  • 06/21/2007 Energy Act of 2007 HR 6
  • 06/17/2008 Alternative Energy Tax Incentives HR 6049

Claim: “I know the veterans. I know them well. And I know that they know that I’ll take care of them.”

Fact: According to Project Vote Smart, John McCain has not voted for a bill for veterans benefits since at least 2005.

  • 10/05/2005 Health Care for Veterans Amendment HR 2863
  • 11/17/2005 Additional Funding For Veterans Amendment S 2020
  • 02/02/2006 Tax Rate Extension Amendment HR 4297
  • 05/22/2008 GI Bill and Other Domestic Provisions S Amdt 4803

John McCain told several stories about his visiting foreign countries and past foreign policy debates, but the point remains that, for all of his vast experience, why did he vote for the unnecessary Iraq War? For all of his experience, why did he say that we could “muddle through” Afghanistan? For all of his vast foreign policy experience, why did he shift focus from those that attacked us on September 11?

McCain on muddling through Afghanistan:

Suspending News on Suspended Campaigns

September 25, 2008

I think the media should take McCain’s campaign suspension seriously and relegate them to the news bin:

  • Do not interview or report anything from the McCain campaign staff and advisors.
  • Do not try to interview Sarah Palin or report on her bogus photo ops.
  • Do not quote, interview, or talk about McCain outside of his legislation on the bailout measures, which would put him behind Senate leaders are already working on resolutions.

You want your media freeze out, John? Well, welcome to it.

Surprise . . . Rush Lies About Obama

September 23, 2008

Rush Limbaugh showed his ignorance yet again:

These polls on how one-third of blue-collar white Democrats won’t vote for Obama because he’s black, and — but he’s not black. Do you know he has not one shred of African-American blood? He doesn’t have any African — that’s why when they asked whether he was authentic, whether he’s down for the struggle. He’s Arab. You know, he’s from Africa. He’s from Arab parts of Africa. He’s not — his father was — he’s not African-American. The last thing that he is is African-American. I guess that’s splitting hairs, I don’t — it’s just all these little things, everything seems upside-down today in this country.

Here’s the deal: Obama’s African roots are in Kenya, which is not an “Arabic” state in whatever sense Rush means that word:

  • Arabs, along with Europeans and Asians, make up only 1% of Kenyan population.
  • Muslim are 10% of the population with Christians making up some 70%.

I always laugh when people, particularly conservatives, criticize actors and musicians for making political statements because what do they do know about politics? Yet, I believe even they would know that Kenya is not Arabic or Islamic.

Rush, you are the Jessica Simpson of politics.

Arrogant Ignorance

September 18, 2008

One of the disturbing things about George Bush is that, for a man lacking knowledge and experience in so many areas, he displayed more than just confidence but outright arrogance. It seems that we are seeing that odd combination yet again in Sarah Palin. For example, consider the following exchange with a very GOP-friendly townhall meeting:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor Palin, there has been quite a bit of discussion about your perceived lack of foreign policy experience. And I want to give you your chance. If you could please respond to that criticism and give us specific skills that you think you have to bring to the White House to rebut that or mitigate that concern.

PALIN: Well, I think because I’m a Washington outsider that opponents are going to be looking for a whole lot of things that they can criticize and they can kind of try to beat the candidates here, who chose me as his partner, to kind of tear down the ticket. But as for foreign policy, you know, I think that I am prepared and I know that on January 20th, if we are so blessed as to be sworn into office as your president and vice president, certainly we’ll be ready. I’ll be ready. I have that confidence. I have that readiness.

Nowhere does she describe the specific skills that the questionner asked for. Instead, she just gives us this Stewart Smiley belief in herself, as if that is all that is needed. Yet, her interviews continue to reveal someone who really has no idea about anything and displays, like Bush, a penchant for obtuse and incoherent statements.

Through reform, absolutely.  Look at the oversight that has been lack, I believe, here at the 1930s type of regulatory regime overseeing some of these corporations.

It seems that Tina Fey’s portrayal wasn’t an insult: the impersonation may have actually been more intelligible and smarter than the real thing.

It’s important to be confident and to believe that you can do something, but generally that’s what we expect of underachievers, the inexperienced, and the young. But we’re not talking a job learning program: candidates must display some real qualifications, real knowledge about national issues, when running for national office. For example, consider the contrast the Jerusalem Post drew between McCain and Obama:

In March, on his whirlwind visit to Israel, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, one of whose primary strengths is said to be his intimate grasp of foreign affairs, chose to bring along Sen. Joe Lieberman to the interview our diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon and I conducted with him, looked to Lieberman several times for reassurance on his answers and seemed a little flummoxed by a question relating to the nuances of settlement construction.

Several of Obama’s Middle East advisers – including former Clinton special envoy Dennis Ross and ex-ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer – were hovering in the vicinity. But Obama, who was making only his second visit to Israel, knew precisely what he wanted to say about the most intricate issues confronting and concerning Israel, and expressed himself clearly, even stridently on key subjects.

The fact is that with the Republican ticket, voters have no idea what they are getting: Palin doesn’t demonstrate any qualifying knowledge or mental prowess, and John McCain just flips and flops so much that we don’t know what he stands for.

Biased Fox News poll

July 26, 2008

How biased is Fox News? Look carefully at their poll questions, and you’ll see how much of an arm of the GOP they are. When you get past the generic poll questions, you’ll see a pattern when the questions address the specific candidate. I’ve indicated the number of the poll question in parens.

  • (19) Have you heard any of your friends and neighbors say there is something about Barack Obama that scares them?
  • (20) Have you heard any of your friends and neighbors say there is something about John McCain that scares them?
  • (23) Based on the campaign so far, has Barack Obama offered any truly new ideas?
  • (24) Can you please tell me one of Obama’s new ideas?
  • (25) Which presidential candidate–Barack Obama or John McCain–do you think most members of the media want to win the election?
  • (26) Do you think the national press is covering both campaigns objectively or is one campaign receiving more positive press than the other?
  • (27) Some people believe Barack Obama, depsite his professed Christianity, is secretly a Muslim. Others say that is just a rumor and Obama really is a Christian as he says, and point out he’s attended a Christian church for years. What do you believe — is Obama a Muslim or a Christian?
  • (28 ) John McCain was held capture for five years in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp. Do you think that experience would make McCain a better president or a worse president?
  • (31) Does Barack Obama’s popularity overseas make you more likely or less like to vote for him for president?
  • (32) Do you think Barack Obama’s trip to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East is better described as a fact-finding trip or as a campaign event?
  • (33) Do you think Barack Obama had already made up his mind on Iraq before the trip or could this week’s visit to Iraq change his mind?

First, note that these questions are primarily aimed at Barack, which might seem like a positive thing, but the questions address several of the popular conservative attacks on Barack. Is he really a Muslim? Is he experienced enough? Is he a media darling? Does Obama have any substance?

Second, note that while several criticisms of Obama are reflected in these questions, not one criticism of McCain is presented as a question. The one question addressing McCain specifically is about his war experience. I don’t included #20 because, while it addresses McCain, it is actually a question about Obama, making the point that McCain doesn’t have such suspicions. (Also, it makes sense you’d hear fears about Obama since fear is the operating strategy for the Republican Party. Conservatives pundits and bloggers have called Obama a communist, a Marxist, a terrorist, a militant black, and, more recently, a figure reminiscent of Hitler. Why don’t they just call him the bogey man and be done with it?)

Question 27 is perhaps the most blatant piece of propaganda because it is such an obvious lie. There is no question these Muslim Obama rumors are lies, yet Fox News sees problem giving them validity, using such vague terms like “some people” and “others” and leaving the respondents to imagine some credible group making these claims rather than hate radio and their ilk.

The poll is effectively pushing a negative image of Obama with all of these GOP talking points and criticisms of Obama. Getting question after question about Obama makes a clear impression: McCain apparently doesn’t have so much controversy surrounding him.

I find ironic that Fox News uses a poll to question the media bias in favor of Obama when they themselves demonstrate extreme bias for McCain. Obama might have raised more campaign funds than McCain, but that’s not taking into account the Fox News budget.

Hypocrisy is not change

June 23, 2008

I’m sorry, but you don’t go around talking about how you’re a candidate of change and how right you were on Iraq and then support the ‘compromise’ FISA bill that offers no substantative limits on the president’s ability to wiretap innocent Americans.