09 October, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

The McCain campaign's habit of telling easily-debunked lies is getting extreme:
Last night on Fox News, host Sean Hannity interviewed Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) and asked McCain what Palin’s role would be in his administration. McCain said Palin would be useful on energy issues — presumably because, as he has said before, “she knows more about energy than probably anyone else” in the U.S. As evidence, McCain claimed that Palin “was responsible for…a pipeline, the $40 billion pipeline bringing natural gas from Alaska down to the lower 48.”


In fact, there is no $40 billion dollar pipeline from Alaska bringing natural gas to the lower 48 states. As the New York Times explained last month, “the pipeline exists only on paper” —

The first section has yet to be laid, federal approvals are years away and the pipeline will not be completed for at least a decade. In fact, although it is the centerpiece of Ms. Palin’s relatively brief record as governor, the pipeline might never be built, and under a worst-case scenario, the state could lose up to $500 million it committed to defray regulatory and other costs.

Palin initiated the project by giving $500 million in Alaska state funds to TransCanada Corp. for the pipeline. However, the Canadian energy company “is not obligated to build it” and has
made no promises to do so.

I really hate to tell them this, because they seem to be having so much fun with their blatant lies, but the key to a successful lie is to tell one that's difficult to disprove. Lies that a five-year old with an Internet connection can debunk don't fit that criteria. Repeating lies that have been debunked hundreds of times is also ill-advised. And there's going to come a time when the American electorate gets thoroughly sick of being treated as outrageously stupid.

But the campaign just keeps on lying:

One of the things that has annoyed me during this campaign is how easy it has been for candidates to simply make things up about one another's records, even when they are talking about topics that are relatively easy to check. Last spring, people kept saying that Obama had no real accomplishments in the Senate, even though that was not true. More recently, McCain has said that Obama has not reached across the aisle to work with Republicans. That's not true either: he has worked with Dick Lugar on securing Russian loose nukes and small arms, and on avian flu, with Tom Coburn on ethics reform and openness in government, and so on.

The latest charge is this:

"Sen. Obama has never taken on his leaders of his party on a single issue."

Oh, really?

"Part of the Senate's ethics reform bill deals with earmarks -- lawmakers' often abused practice of inserting items in legislation to direct funds to special interests (a la Duke Cunningham). According to current rules, lawmakers can attach earmarks anonymously, a state of affairs inviting abuse. Reform efforts have sought to change that. Republicans and good government types have criticized Reid's version of earmark reform legislation, which is weaker than the version passed by House Democrats, saying that it doesn't go near far enough in terms of disclosure. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) offered an amendment today that mirrored the tougher legislation passed by House Democrats.

According to Craig Holman of Public Citizen, Reid's version, if it had been applied to earmarks as part of legislation passed last year, would have disclosed the sponsor of only approximately 500 earmarks. DeMint's amendment would have forced sponsors to be known of roughly 12,000. (...)

But Democrats sought to block DeMint's amendment, with an effort led by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). They failed, due mostly to nine Democrats, including Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and freshmen Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jim Webb (D-VA), who crossed the aisle to vote with the Republicans, along with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT)."

And guess what? It worked.

So much for that lie. So how about the whole "McCain isn't going to bring up Ayers" schtick from yesterday? What a shock - that was a lie:

It's official: John McCain has now fully embraced the assault on Obama's association with William Ayers -- and he's evoking Hillary to do it.

From a McCain-voter exchange at a town hall meeting today, as reported by The Politico...

"We're all a product of our association. Is there not a way to get around this media and line up the people that he has hung with?" the man asked.

McCain responded:

"Well, sir, with your help and the people in this room, we will find out. Just as Senator Clinton said in the primary that we should find out about this association.

"Look, we don't care about an old washed-up terrorist and his wife, who still, at least on Sept. 11, 2001, said he still wanted to bomb more. That's not the point here. The point is Senator Obama said he was just a guy in the neighborhood. We know that's just not true. We need to know the full extent of the relationship because of whether Senator Obama is telling the truth to the American people or not. That's the question."

Looks like Ayers isn't off the table after all: The rub here is that it was basically McCain who brought up Ayers, and he was very clearly primed to say what he said, since the attack dovetails perfectly with the campaign's talking points.

And bringing Hillary into it? What a shock, they're misrepresenting her comments:

McCain, incidentally, appears to be misrepresenting what Hillary said about Ayers during the primary in order to legitimize his smear. McCain said today that Hillary had asserted that Ayers "should" come up.

While Hillary did point to Ayers as something Obama might have to deal with in a general election, to the best of our knowledge, Hillary only said that Republicans would bring it up, and lamented that fact.

Is there a single fucking word these people say that isn't a lie?


I didn't think so.

1 comment:

dNorrisM said...

RE: the pipline thing, if Palin's prayers are answered and the CDesigner plonked down a fully-functioning pipeline overnight, I'd consider voting for her. Nah, it take more than that.