McCain’s lies, revisited

In today’s news, TheHill.com brings out the old Lilian Helmann, statistics, bromide, applying it to that dishonorable, disgusting John McCain. Here, according to Mark Mellman, is the case against John McCain:

Yet John McCain himself stands behind the lies and the dishonor. There is not a kernel of truth in the statement that Barack Obama called Sarah Palin a pig. There is not an iota of reality in McCain’s attack on Obama’s supporting comprehensive sex education for kindergartners. As we all know, he voted to help children avoid sexual predators.

On the sexual predator question, I would refer you to the article below that shows conclusively that either Obama’s intentions and his vote were not on friendly terms with each other or that Obama is dishonest. I don’t believe the second, so I go with the former.

However, the other horrific lie John McCain appears to have told is that “Obama called Palin a pig.” Before I can reply to that charge, I’d need to see where McCain claimed Obama called Palin a pig. i did find this on the Associated Press website.  

Did he call her a pig?” McCain was asked. “No, I but know that he chooses his words carefully, and it was the wrong thing to say,” he responded.

As I recall, the charge was nuanced, not arguing that he called her a pig, but that his words were, in the context in which they were spoken, easily taken that way. In other words, Obama didn’t directly call her a pig, but he knew that his audience would take it that way, as they did, or else he didn’t know and should have.

I have a hard time remembering what exactly the ad said because I can’t find it on line for some reason. And that matters, because all I’m commenting on here is whether John McCain actually lied about what Obama said. I would argue that, given the context, one could defend the statement that Obama was calling Palin a pig. It was indirect, if he was, but I think one could defend the statement.

I don’t believe McCain should have accused Obama of doing so, if he did. I do think McCain has a case to make that Obama knew what he was doing and either did or should have known how his words would be taken IN THE CONTEXT they were delivered.

So it is wrong to say McCain lied. I’m not sure how much more is wrong. Maybe McCain’s ultimate goal was to show that Obama isn’t such a great communicator after all. If that was his goal and if he put questions in people’s mind, then he was successful. I’m not sure the success was worth it for him though.

Obama has great communication skills, especially on the inspirational, formal side. Then that is where he will also be most vulnerable to pride and therefore break down. Obama should have been aware of how these words would be taken. Maybe he still should have said them. Maybe it was a truly great line.

But he can’t accuse McCain of lying by making McCain say something he never said.

That nuance shouldn’t give the democrats and the media any problem, because everybody knows they are much more refined and nuanced than the red neck Republicans.

I emphasize “everbody knows” because that is what Mr. Mellman emphasizes in his, er, article. Give it a read. Look for the support for his points and see if he does better than your junior high student.

By the way, Mellman, who writes for the HIll, “is president of The Mellman Group and has worked for Democratic candidates and causes since 1982, including Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004.”

I must hastily add that I do these blogs for educational purposes (practicing the application of reason to the argument), not for political reasons. I am amused by the media’s strategy for dealing with McCain/Palin and find it deeply disappointing at the same time. When I consider how silly and one sided the coverage has been, I shake my head and wish for more educated news folk.

Now that nobody knows how to think, those who speak don’t have anybody whose presence shames them when they open their mouths. This is a greater loss than we think.

My point on the issue is that if they’re going to go after McCain for his character, they’ll have to pull their teeth out of the carcass they’re gnawing on (the lipstick and sex ed accusations) and recognize it’s an empty skin. They’re leaving the impression of political amateurity, which makes sense, since there are now so many news people that the skill level would have to drop without an extensive minor league system to prepare them.

When you boil down what the media have come up with, it seems as if what this election boils down to is whether John McCain lied about things he didn’t clearly lie about even though everybody knows he did and whether Barack Obama or Sarah Palin is more experienced. Go figure.

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One Response

  1. Despite perceptions that Sen. John McCain has spent more time on the attack, Sen. Barack Obama aired more negative advertising last week than did the Arizona Republican, says a study released yesterday.

    Seventy-seven percent of the Illinois Democrat’s commercials were negative during the week after the Republican National Convention, compared with 56 percent of the spots run by McCain.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/17/AR2008091703581.html

    “If we’re going to ask questions about, you know, who has been promulgating negative ads that are completely unrelated to the issues at hand, I think I win that contest pretty handily,” Obama said.

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