Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Hypocrisy and Lies.... Physician, Heal Thyself

For a very mild mannered and good-natured person, I'm spending a lot of time these days being irritated. There are big things like the political battle going on and lots of little things that go on in that context.

The media folks keep quoting something from the Bush campaign along the lines of "now they are going to start going negative." Uh. I live near Pennsylvania. The McCain campaign has been negative from the get-go, running a campaign of lies like the idea that Obama supported sex education for kindergarten children. I think that's a pretty ugly negative lie. The McCain teams lies ARE getting more intense and slanderous and even more dishonest in the crap they are peddling, but why is the media once again letting them control the story and allow them to act as if they are just now beginning to get negative? Agggh.

What makes me happy a bit is that the negative campaigning seems to have backfired on them. Obama has a big lead in Pennsylvania. Maybe virtue really will win out for a change.

That "sweet soccer mom" Sarah Palin's has been spewing venomous slander for the past couple of days, accusing Senator Obama of "palling around with terrorists," and distorting the meaning of a very serious (and accurate) comment about the situation in Afghanistan and then impugning Mr. Obama's patriotism, saying it "disqualifies" him for the job. The McCain campaign is also running an add called "dishonorable" using this same half of an out of context quote. Here's factcheck.org's analysis. What Obama was actually saying was that we need more troops to avoid the kinds of civilian deaths that have been occurring. Mr. McCain said much the same thing about troops in Kosovo in 2000. Is he dishonorable? Disqualified? Does that means Sarah gets to run alone?

For a "what would Jesus do?" kind of person, who is allegedly motivated by her faith, I find Mrs. Palin's capacity for telling lies to be very incongruous with who she thinks she is. Equally disturbing and sick to me is that the crowds she talking to seem to be eating the lies up and spewing phrases like: "Treason," and "Kill him... "

What are the facts? Check this article for detailed rebuttals. But suppose the facts don't matter to you, let's look at why this is supposedly important. McCain/Palin claim that Obama's casual acquaintance with Ayers, the so-called "terrorist," (whose crimes were committed when Obama was 8 years old and who is currently a highly respected citizen) speaks to his judgment. Given that logic, what does McCain's deep personal involvement with Charles Keating say about HIS judgment? What does it say about his integrity? He used his narrow escape from being convicted himself in this scandal, to create a reputation as a maverick, but learning the story of the Keating Five in this vide0, reading more biographical material about McCain (I highly recommend this article), makes me doubt very much that McCain is anything more than a man who will do and say anything to further his own interests. Another member of the accused Keating Five, Senator Diconcini, recently said that he felt McCain's Keating connection should be open to scrutiny.

The thing that probably troubles me most - more - or at least as much - as the McCain/Palin approach to governing the nation... feed the rich and screw the poor, non regulation except for women's bodies and peoples right to marry... It's so odd. The places they most want to interfere are places where I think they have no business being. But I digress.. Lies really bother me. Conscious intentional lies that distort truth and are an effort to slander another person or to mislead and frighten voters bother me. I'm not talking about fibs, or areas where two people can see the same thing and interpret it differently - I'm talking about lies. Lies, I repeat bother the heck out of me. I was going to write a big list and defend against them, but you can go to Factcheck.org for that. They call the Democrats on their distortions and occasional lies too. Here's another good piece from the New York Times offering some fact checking.

Then there's the reported threat that the Republicans are going to raise the specter of Obama's former pastor the Rev. Wright. Perhaps before they do that, they should examine the demented folks they call pastors. Here's some information from a reporter who writes regularly at Huffington Post, Cenk Uygur:
Rudy Giuliani's priest has been accused in grand jury proceedings of molesting several children and covering up the molestation of others. Giuliani would not disavow him on the campaign trail and still works with him.

Mitt Romney was part of a church that did not view black Americans as equals and actively discriminated against them. He stayed with that church all the way into his early thirties, until they were finally forced to change their policies to come into compliance with civil rights legislation. Romney never disavowed his church back then or now. He said he was proud of the faith of his fathers.

Jerry Falwell said America had 9/11 coming because we tolerated gays, feminists and liberals. It was our fault. Our chickens had come home to roost, if you will. John McCain proudly received his support and even spoke at his university's commencement.

Reverend John Hagee has called the Catholic Church the "Great Whore." He has said that the Anti-Christ will rise out of the European Union (of course, the Anti-Christ will also be Jewish). He has said all Muslims are trained to kill and will be part of the devil's army when Armageddon comes (which he hopes is soon). John McCain continues to say he is proud of Reverend Hagee's endorsement.

Reverend Rod Parsley believes America was founded to destroy Islam. Since this is such an outlandish claim, I have to add for the record, that he is not kidding. Reverend Parsley says Islam is an "anti-Christ religion" brought down from a "demon spirit." Of course, we are in a war against all Muslims, including presumably Muslim-Americans. Buts since Parsley believes this is a Christian nation and that it should be run as a theocracy, he is not very concerned what Muslim-Americans think.

John McCain says Reverend Rod Parsley is his "spiritual guide."

Then there's Sarah Palin's spiritual guide from Wasilla, Pastor Kalnins, who in 2004 told his congregation that critics of President Bush and supporters of Sen. Kerry would be "banished to hell," and who preaches that the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Iraq conflict are part of a larger war "contending for your faith," that Jesus "operated from that position of war mode," and that damnation awaits critics of the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina. I don't know, but if I was hanging out with the above quoted people, I'd be careful about throwing stones at anybody else's pastor.

But then all of Mrs. Palin's new attacks are tinged with subtle and not so subtle racist overtones. That, however is a topic for another day.

It has taken me all day to finally get ready to post this. There is SO much ugly dishonesty and slander coming out of the McCain camp that I don't know how not to be repulsed and angry. And the thing about slander is that it's hard to correct. First, people who want to believe lies will believe them. Second, there is so much crud and lies and counter-lies to dig through that it becomes difficult if not impossible to actually sort through and find the truth. One of the sources CNN was using to fact check the Ayers story is someone who I read in another source is one of the people who wrote some of the original inaccurate and distorted stories. Great fact checker.

And just for closing.... Because he has wit and I like him, here's Keith Olberman. He says this much better than I could have and points out some very interesting terrorist skeletons in the McCain and Palin closets. Oops.

My instinct - the traditional "liberal" instinct is to be polite and take the high road. I don't think this post is the low road, but it's a lower road than I like. Still. Time the liars got called on a few things. Here's one last article - by Joe Klein in Time. He says in much fewer and clear words what I was trying to say here.


SBVOR said...

The evidence, from the admittedly “Liberal” New York Times, as well as the very “Liberal” PBS Online News Hour PROVES that this pathetic and unfounded attempt to smear McCain with the crimes of Keating is unmitigated BUNK!

1) Although McCain had dealings with Keating (who was a constituent in McCain’s district), McCain was NOT connected in ANY WAY to the CRIMES committed by Keating (and even The New York Times ADMITTED IT).

2) McCain did NOT support, IN ANY WAY, Keating’s request for regulators to ignore his violations (much less eliminate the regulations).

3) In FACT, even the New York Times admits that the Keating scandal ONLY involved Democrats (which is precisely why the Dems were so DESPERATE to lynch the ONLY Republican they could even REMOTELY connect to Keating)!

Quoting the New York Times:

“The special counsel to the Senate Ethics Committee has recommended that the panel clear two of the five Senators under investigation for their links to the savings and loan debacle, Congressional officials said today.

In a confidential report submitted to the committee on Sept. 10, the special counsel, Robert S. Bennett, concluded that there was not adequate evidence to merit a full-scale investigation of John Glenn, an Ohio Democrat, and John McCain, an Arizona Republican, several officials said.”

“If Mr. McCain is dropped from the investigation, the political implications could be significant: He is the only Republican under scrutiny, and Republicans could portray the scandal as a Democratic one.”

4) Quoting the very “Liberal” PBS Online News Hour:

“The Senate Ethics Committee concluded that Glenn and McCain's involvement in the scheme was minimal and dropped the charges against them. In August 1991, the committee ruled that the other three [DEMOCRATIC] senators had acted improperly in interfering with the Federal Home Loan Banking Board's investigation.”

Click here for the UNDENIABLE FACTS on what REALLY caused the current housing mess (AND the Keating related S&L mess).

Raven said...

sbvor - my point is not about whether McCain was or was not guilty. I very pointedly didn't speak to that one way or the other. My point is that he spent much more time hanging out with Keating - took gifts and vacations - than Obama did with Ayers who he barely knows. If McCain's campaign wants to say that knowing another person makes you guilty of their crimes, then they need to accept that that logic applies to them as well. But of course they know that Obama isn't a terrorist and they know that he is not close with Ayers and they know that Ayers is no longer a terrorist. They are engaging in slander and smear tactics and conscious lies.

That said, I was uncomfortable posting my post today because I kind of got in the mud with McCain and Palin in posting some of what's here, but I think you have just proved my point about how those smear tactics work... and how it feels to be on the other side of them.

Travis said...

The distortions from both sides of the aisle are troublesome. Politics is about winning elections and both sides will say whatever they feel needs to be said in order to win elections.

It is so frustrating.

Dianne said...

My God! Poor Addie Polk!! Imagine a 90 year old woman feeling that desperate in THIS country. SHAMEFUL.
I'm watching the debate. McCain looks like a blow-up doll of his former self. The desperation to be #1 has made him insane. I truly believe he has lost more than just a bit of his ability to reason. And perhaps that explains his choice of Palin - he wanted a poorly trained pitbull who would come forth with her sewage.
All of your research is incredible Raven and once again I thank you for that. I am remaining hopeful that the vast majority of American people are not ignorant or hateful and that all of the McCain/Palin tactics will blow up in their faces.
I just can't see America being so backward as to elect either of them.

peppylady said...

I'm so sick of all the mud slinging and those religious zealot want to make me puke.
And that all I say because I could go on and on.

Coffee is on.

Kay said...

I agree with so much of what you say.... thank you Raven!

I also seem to be spending more time writing/thinking politics right now... and I am at once happy for that and annoyed by it.


Rambling Woods said...

I agree with you..this is such an important election..How could McCain talk about putting country first and put someone on the ticket who is so inappropriate and unprepared..Now that is scary...