Archive for September 7th, 2008

Fact-checking McCain

Sep 07, 2008 in Politics

There is no penalty for Republicans who make up things. You let me know when it becomes conventional wisdom that McCain/Palin depend on avoiding the truth:

He called for “reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs,” but as in the past failed to cite a single program that he would eliminate or reduce.

I cite this one because it is most central to the thesis of the Republicans for why you should vote for them. They promise to cut taxes, say they’ll balance the books with reduced spending…and then pile up the deficit for your kids and grandkids to pay off. Why don’t they promise to reduce spending and then reduce your taxes with the gains? Because then nobody would vote for them. They tax and borrow while denigrating “tax and spend” Democrats, but there’s the choice: pay for things now, or put them on the credit card. Which is the fiscally responsible choice?

The reality is that John McCain’s plans will add $7+ trillion to the deficit, and that the only chance he has at fiscal conservatism is the degree to which the Democratic Congress will restrain him.

-jb

Democrats have to be perfect on foreign policy.

Sep 07, 2008 in Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Journamalism, Politics, War on Terra

Bill O’Reilly desperately tries to trip up Barack Obama. Bill accepts that Obama knows his facts better than either McCain or Palin like a child drinking castor oil.

The point is that when a Republican talks foreign policy, they are allowed to be wrong. They’re allowed to mix up Shia and Sunni, tie Al Queda to Saddam Hussein, shift rationales for war, shift metrics for success…even co-opt Democratic Party ideas that were “surrender” just months or weeks before. They can do that because they’re Republicans, and everybody knows Republicans Are Strong Against Our Enemies.â„¢

Barack Obama is not only thoroughly knowledgeable about foreign policy, he is also ahead of the curve. Compared to the hilariously wrong record of every pro-Iraq Republican, he could be accused of possessing a crystal ball. Yet all the Republicans can think to do is keep harping on, “But you were wrong about the surge, weren’t ya weren’t ya!?!?” Barack has to point out that the surge wasn’t just about the violence, but about the political settlement, and it’s too soon to count the chickens yet. Are the Republicans really prepared to explain themselves if violence breaks out again and/or the government crumbles? Probably not, because they’ll be held no more accountable for their words than they’ve ever been.

But the Democrat has to be right 100% of the time, because we know Democrats Are Weak On Terror.â„¢

To their credit, the public has begun to see through this facade. When will our media?

-jb

The media is frustrated that it hasn’t had the chance to fawn over Sarah Palin.

Sep 07, 2008 in Glenn Greenwald, Journamalism, Politics, Sarah Palin

The indomitable Glenn Greenwald points out that if Sarah Palin will gladly expose herself to the press soon because she knows they have no intention of practicing journalism with her. She’ll hold out a couple weeks until she’s briefed and ready with her soundbites, and then they’ll joyously scoop up the breadcrumbs she throws them and declare her ready to lead the free world should John McCain succumb to the inevitability of Death. At the suggestion that her current moratorium will provoke spiteful acts of journalism by the press, Greenwald scoffs:

Several people in comments suggest/hope that Palin’s refusal to submit to press questioning will alienate journalists and make them more intent on investigating her and subjecting her claims to scrutiny. A healthy journalistic instinct would indeed produce that reaction. But is that what we have?

It isn’t just that the Bush administration has been the most secretive in modern history (though it has been), but Dick Cheney seemed to take sadistic pleasure in purposely concealing from reporters even the most innocuous information, just to show he could. He even refused to say how many people worked in his office, or who worked there, or even where he was and what he was doing on any given day. Did that propel journalists to investigate him more aggressively or subject his claims to greater investigative scrutiny? Yes, that is a rhetorical question. A properly functioning press corps would become more adversarial and aggressive when treated with such contempt by the GOP. Ours becomes more browbeaten, more passive, more eager to please.

Our dysfunctional media simply wants to give Sarah Palin the chance to swat away the serious questions regarding her fitness for office with a smile and a snappy remark. They want to be charmed by her, and they’re absolutely furious that they haven’t been able to dote on her in person.

In less than two months, we’re supposed to consider Sarah Palin ready to assume the presidency at a moment’s notice, and half that time nobody’s allowed to ask her things like, “Why are you proud of your mayoral term when you left that tiny town $22 million in debt?” Indeed, it is likely that the media will huff and puff a bit in order to get access to her, but don’t get your hopes up. Don’t expect follow-up questions, don’t expect rigor, don’t expect much more than obsequious deference. The Republicans are now comfortable to have a know-nothing “charmer” who they can surround with neoconservatives and steer towards their designs, and they know how to steamroll the media through years of practice. Against all available evidence, the base will worship Sarah Palin the harder so-called journalists attempt to probe her, and after, at best, a week of questions, the MSM will give her the pass needed, lest they be “biased” (consult Fox News to see the thorough absence of journalism practiced against Republicans it takes to appease the right).

-jb