Friday, October 24, 2008

The Muddiest Mudslingers in History

This is, perhaps, the dirtiest election in American history!
by Charlie Leck

Let me sling a little mud before I get to the blog about how dirty this campaign has been.

Are you aware of this statement that John McCain made on the floor of the U.S. Senate in 1993? He was speaking in favor of a bill to restrict the use of campaign funds for strictly personal uses:

MCCAIN: Madam President, the amendment before the Senate is a very simple one. It restricts the use of campaign funds for inherently personal
purposes. The amendment would restrict individuals from using campaign funds for such things as home mortgage payments, clothing purchases … and vacations or other trips that are noncampaign in nature. […] The use of campaign funds for items which most Americans would consider to be strictly personal reasons, in my view, erodes public confidence and erodes it significantly.

Also, let me inform you that the NY Times has endorsed Barack Obama. It is a rather ringing endorsement without reservations [read it]. I think the time completely nailed the most important factor when it said:

Hyperbole is the currency of presidential campaigns, but this year the nation’s future truly hangs in the balance.

The United States is battered and drifting after eight years of President Bush’s failed leadership. He is saddling his successor with two wars, a scarred global image and a government systematically stripped of its ability to protect and help its citizens — whether they are fleeing a hurricane’s floodwaters, searching for affordable health care or struggling to hold on to their homes, jobs, savings and pensions in the midst of a financial crisis that was foretold and preventable.

Finally, just before I get to the mudslinging, former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson (Republican) has also endorsed Barack Obama [read it]:

Sen. Barack Obama arrived on the political scene as a wind of freshness, unity and idealism. He saw America as it could be if we reached across all divides. This long, grueling campaign has revealed a remarkably disciplined and focused leader who has the potential to become a truly great president.

President John F. Kennedy spoke of the opportunity of America to pass the torch of leadership to a new generation. This is entirely appropriate for today’s history, in that we need the benefit of a longer-term vision on the compelling issues of our time ranging from global warming to exercising financial discipline.

Arne Carlson served as Minnesota’s Governor from 1991-1999.
Now, on to mudslinging!
No candidate in the history of American politics has had to endure the slinging of mud and the outright lies about his character that Barack Obama has had to undergo in this campaign.

Watch this video and listen to Lee Rogers, on KSFO, claim on radio that Obama has said that he will stand with the Muslims in any confrontation. Part of what Rogers says is:

"[Obama]…admits in one of his own books" [that] "…in case of a confrontation
between the Western world and the Islamic world, he will stand with the Muslims."
In fact, the words “stand with Muslims” do not appear anywhere – not anywhere – in Obama’s book. Here’s what Obama really said in his book, “The Audacity of Hope.”

“In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
There has been so much of this kind of innuendo and outright lying on conservative radio that it sickens the heart and spirit of democracy, where decisions are supposed to be made on the basis of a fair exchange of truthful discussion.

These constant mistruths do damage to the Obama campaign. Make no mistake about that. People listen to these broadcast idiots and they buy into this stuff. I see it in my own family. It is a terrible crime – but unpunishable because of first amendment protections – against the American people and against our nation’s democratic process. I wish there was some way to make these guys accountable for what they say.

It continues to look bleak for John McCain. It seems that Barack Obama would win this election even if he were to lose Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Virginia and North Carolina – and that is not likely to happen. Under such a scenario, Obama would have to win in Colorado and either Nevada or New Mexico (all three of those states are now leaning toward him).

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