Friday, July 18, 2008

McCain Heats Up the Smear Campaigning

Republican White House hopeful John McCain said Friday that his Democratic rival Barack Obama is further to the left than the only Socialist US senator.

Asked by a reporter for the Kansas City Star newspaper if McCain, 71, believed Obama was an "extremist," McCain replied:

"That's his voting record. All I said was his voting record... is more to the left than the announced Socialist in the United States Senate, Bernie Sanders of Vermont," McCain said according to a video of the interview posted online.

"Do you think he's a socialist, Barack Obama?" the interviewer asked.

"I don't know," McCain answered.

So, let's see. McCain has recently moved very far to the right. Some might say he is more to the right than a Nazi.

"So do I think John McCain is a Nazi?"

I guess I'd have to say, I don't know.

Whenever you hear something that sounds too stupid to be true, visit to check out the truth.


coreydbarbarian said...

ahh, the ol' smear by insinuation trick. a classic.

G said...

So are you saying that what McCain said is untrue? Is it off limits to talk about Obama's voting record? Is it a "smear" to give his voting record a baseline to show some perspective? Or is it just a "smear" when you use the word "socialist?"

coreydbarbarian said...

oh, come on now. a candidate with integrity would just come out and say, "no, barack obama is not a socialist." but no. would it have been clearer to you if mccain had said, "i don't know if he loves his country or not"?

i for one am a bit tired of joe lieberman saying, "that's a good question," when asked if obama is muslim, or glen beck saying mrs. obama "is pushing a socialist agenda", etc.

and yes, it is a wee bit disingenuous when folks use words like extreme to describe obama's voting record (how many "extreme" bills have actually come up for a vote, really?) or latch onto one concocted study from the weekly standard to incessantly slam barack as "the most liberal senator".

G said...

If he doesn't personally know him at all, then the proper response is, "I don't know." Same for any other questions about Obama's personal beliefs. It sounds like McCain was saying, "look at his voting record" and putting it into perspective.

And I believe it was the interviewer that used the word "extremist," not McCain. But just look at his voting record in the senate. It is extremely liberal, party-line voting. Anyone can see that if they care to look.

Anony Mouse said...

I like to fight smear as well but in this case McCain is only stating what the record supports. Obama has the most liberal voting record in the Senate. That includes the gentlemen from Vermont. Hillary supporters make the same claim. I sense anger and a strong attempt to look for reasons to hate an American hero.

I noticed this week Obama is shutting up his wife. Suppose that is to make her off limits?

csm said...

Both of you, G and mouse, have your heads so far up the ass of John McCain that you can't see any light. Corey gets it absolutely correct. McCain is attempting to smear Barack Obama. EVERYBODY with an ounce of intelligence knows that Obama is not a socialist, just like we know that McCain is not a Nazi.

Ceroill said...

Of course the only thing that really makes this count as a 'smear' is all the effort the conservatives have gone to over about the last 3 decades to make 'liberal' into a pejorative, roughly equaling 'evil America hater'.

Lou said...

Only an idiot would attempt to link a socialist with a nazi. EVERYONE knows Nazism is a system of hate where socialism is just an economic system between capitalism and communism.

G said...

It's politics, csm. It's an election. The candidates try to paint a negative picture of their opponents... like referring to the Bush-McCain policies (which Obama's campaign has done more than once).

What exactly do you expect? "Gee, Barack Obama is the finest man I've ever met, and I consider it a privilege to step aside and allow his coronation to begin." Right.

And I actually haven't even decided whether I'm going to vote for McCain.

csm said...

Well, linking McCain to Bush is fair by looking at McCain's voting record. This is the same way that it is fair to conclude that Obama is liberal based on his voting record. What is stupid and divisive is to insinuate that this makes him a socialist, when you know damn well he isn't one. This is the type of thing that Republicans stoop to that Obama has not (at least not yet).

csm said...

Hey Bob, I don't find calling someone liberal to be a smear. It is the socialist part that is a smear, especially when McCain KNOWS he is not.

Ceroill said...

Oh, I know YOU don't csm. I was speaking in general terms I guess, perhaps general media terms.

Thought just popped into my head...with some of the issues that conservative pundits seem to find vitally important in recent years I wonder if we should expect a reappearance of the "Know Nothing Party"...

coreydbarbarian said...

hi lou!

so good to hear from you again.
i was starting to wonder if they'd revoked your computer privileges there at the asylum.
damn shame they can't squeeze in some logic classes in between the basket weaving and the sitting, smiling, and twiddling your thumbs & toes - ha ha!

coreydbarbarian said...

i agree with your point. the conservatives have been quite busy these last 30-odd years.
in addition to demonizing the word "liberal", they've convinced the majority that socialism ='s communism, and capitalism ='s democracy.
not to mention the whole 'christian nation' fallacy.

i realize not all conservatives agree with these notions, but the conservative movement pushes them.

Thomas said...

There have been only two incidents in which people officially associated with McCain have done anything approaching what Thomas and Wolfe predicted those dastardly, conniving Republicans would inevitably do. In February, a conservative talk radio host speaking at a McCain rally made reference to “Barack Hussein Obama.” McCain immediately condemned the statement, leading the embittered and embarrassed professional yacker to complain that McCain “threw me under the bus.” The only other smear-worthy episode occurred in March, when the McCain campaign suspended a low-level aide who provided a link on his Twitter account to a video featuring the rants of Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Heavy stuff, to be sure.

Contrast the absence of smears from the McCain camp with some of the outlandish remarks made by high-ranking Obama supporters. In April, West Virginia Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV said that because McCain “was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet,” and “was long gone when they hit,” the Arizona senator who spent five and a half years in a Vietcong tiger cage having his arms repeatedly broken didn’t really understand the carnage of war. “What happened when [the missiles] get to the ground?” Rockefeller asked a crowd at an Obama rally. “He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues.” That the great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller would impugn the wartime experience of John McCain is especially rich, given that the only “battle” Rockefeller has seen is when he hunts wild game at his 80-acre ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Rockefeller’s smear was the first salvo in a pattern of attacks meant to insinuate that McCain’s Vietnam experience not only shouldn’t count as meaningful “experience,” but rendered him psychologically unfit for presidential office. In May, Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin said of McCain, “Everything is looked at from his life experiences, from always having been in the military, and I think that can be pretty dangerous.” Over the weekend, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark said that McCain is “untested and untried,” and elaborated that, “I don't think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.” Clark, you may remember, ran for president in 2004 on his record as a career military officer, so his comment, which he has not retracted, was not just morally offensive but self-discrediting.

The smears didn’t stop there. On Monday, Obama foreign policy adviser Rand Beers unfavorably compared McCain’s POW experience with “the members of the Senate who were in the ground forces or who were ashore in Vietnam,” and who “have a very different view of Vietnam and the cost ... than John McCain does because he was in isolation essentially for many of those years and did not experience the turmoil here or the challenges that were involved for those of us who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.”

It’s curious how anyone could argue that a man with such visceral understanding of the capacity for what America’s enemies will do to our men and women in uniform doesn’t fully appreciate the cost of war. But even more troubling is the unmistakable pattern of these smears, all of them unsubtly alleging that McCain is an unhinged, mentally unstable warmonger who would deploy soldiers capriciously because he hasn’t truly experienced the horrors of ground battle. Indeed, the claims of these four men — and the short period of time in which they were all uttered — are so similar in tone that one would be foolish not to at least consider the possibility they were coordinated by the Obama campaign.

Nevertheless, the fears of Obama supporters that their candidate lies eternally vulnerable to GOP smears exists only in their fevered imaginations. The evidence of dirty Republican tricks has been utterly absent this campaign season. And if anyone has tried to smear Barack Obama in the way that Thomas, Wolfe and other Democratic partisans allege, it was not the Republican National Committee, but rather Hillary Rodham Clinton and her surrogates. In February, the Drudge Report claimed that the Clinton campaign circulated photos of Obama in a traditional East African turban and robe, with the message that the images showed him “dressed.” Asked if there was any truth to the smear that Obama is a Muslim, she infamously replied, “As far as I know,” it wasn’t the case. After the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, she said the results showed that "Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again.”

The belief that “the Republican Party has been successfully scaring voters since 1968” is a comforting salve for Democrats. After all, it’s much easier for them to demonize conservatives than consider that the reason for their electoral defeats may lie with liberal ideas. Please don’t take that as a "smear.”

coreydbarbarian said...

wow, thomas, it sure is a shame the article you just plagiarized was written two and a half weeks before the interview (and smear) that we are discussing, by james kirchick, associate editor of the new republic.

at least it wasn't thomas sowell this time.

coreydbarbarian said...

oh yeah, thomas?
just wonderin: do you ever do any independent thinking? if so, you might "think" about referencing the actual authors of all these opinions you keep lifting.

just a thought.

Anony Mouse said...

Thomas, thanks for the very insightful article. Politics is dirty and has been so from the beginning by all parties regardless of what is claimed on this blog. But going after a war hero like McCain with such nasty insinuations is very much over the line. The fearmongers would have us believe McCain is going to snap and become Rambo. You gotta just learn to laugh at the fearmongers and I think McCain is old enough to realize that.

csm said...

McNasty, as McCain was known way back in high school, may indeed snap, but he won't become Rambo. Johnny boy is too old to emulate Stallone (who is old enough as it is).

coreydbarbarian said...

i think maybe mclame's temper has more to do with the idea that he'll snap than his time as a p.o.w.

and i don't think his time as a p.o.w. qualifies him (or anyone else) to be president, nor do i think his actual service record (as opposed to his service in general) qualifies him to sit in that seat.

come to think about it, aside from eisenhower and washington, not many ex-military types have turned out to be good presidents.