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BOW Award Time!

First of all, a belated Birthday shout-out to my friend Mark Wise!  Sorry I didn't do this the other day, my friend.  Hope it was a great day.

We're into the silly season of this campaign, and today's BOW (Buffoon Of the Week) Award is going to reflect that.  What do I mean by "silly season"?  Well, we're less than a month away from election day, and despite what conservative commentators and pollsters on television might say, these are desperate times for the McCain-Palin campaign.  It's not that they can't win -- of course they still can.  But the number of Presidential candidates who have been down this far (between 6 and 8 points in most national polls) this late in the campaign and have come back to win is pretty small.  So it's time for McCain and company to "go negative."  And it's already begun.


So let's get to it.  The attacks and smears coming out of the McCain-Palin camp are already bordering on the ridiculous, and the claims about Obama's record range from misleading to out-and-out lies.  There's the claim, first made months ago and repeated by Sarah Palin several times in Thursday night's debate, that Obama voted 94 times to raise taxes.  Fact-check.org begs to differ.   More than half of these votes were on non-binding budget resolutions that didn't raise taxes on anyone.  They counted multiple votes on several bills -- so 17 votes were on only seven bills.  And at least seven of those votes actually were to lower taxes on many while raising them only on corporations or affluent taxpayers.

There are the repeated claims that Obama's health care provisions will result in a "huge government bureaucracy" that will take away people's rights to choose their own doctors.  This, too, is nonsense, as even a cursory read of Obama's health plan will show.

I could go on, but I won't.  There are lots of distortions on both sides right now.  Obama's claims about McCain's social security proposals and their relationship with the stock market have been equally misleading, and deserving of a nomination.  And the same can be said about some of the Obama-Biden campaign's charges about aspects of McCain's health care proposals.

But in the last few days (including during the debate the other night), John McCain and Sarah Palin have crossed the line.  Just yesterday Sarah Palin said that Barack Obama "pals around with terrorists" citing as evidence for this ridiculous claim that Barack Obama has had some connection with William Ayers, the former co-founder of the Weather Underground.  Ayers, who founded the radical group in 1968 (when Obama was eight years-old), who went underground to avoid arrest in 1970 (when Obama was ten) and turned himself in to authorities in 1980 (when Obama was twenty and in college), is now a distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago.  He and Obama live in the same neighborhood in Chicago.  They served together on an anti-poverty board between 1999 and 2002.  And Ayers donated $200 to Obama's state senate campaign in 2001.  That's it.  There is no connection beyond that.  Obama has condemned Ayers' radical and violent activities, but the truth is he was almost certainly unaware of them at the time.  To suggest anything else would be ludicrous. But the McCain campaign doesn't really believe that Obama has anything to do with William Ayers.  Rather, these attacks tap into something much darker -- the belief among a few ignorant, deluded souls that Obama is a Muslim.  This is a racial/cultural attack that uses Ayers to raise a whole set of other fears many Americans have of this African-American candidate with the funny name.  And it's disgusting.

And (this one really bugs me) at the Vice Presidential debate the other night Sarah Palin repeated the charge that Obama had voted against funding the troops in Iraq.  As Joe Biden pointed out, McCain and Palin ignore the fact that John McCain also voted against funding those same troops in a different but similar vote.  See, these votes have nothing to do with funding the troops and everything to do with the debate over how the war should end.  McCain opposes any timeline for ending the war (though Iraq's government and even the Bush Administration now support one) and so he voted against a funding bill that included a timeline.  Obama opposed an open ended commitment in Iraq and so voted against a funding bill that made such a commitment.  The McCain campaign knows this, of course.  But they're losing and they're desperate and they don't care about the truth.

So this week's BOW Award goes to the McCain-Palin campaign once again, for their lies and distortions and anything-goes attacks on Barack Obama.  Take a BOW there guys; you've earned it.  I notice Sarah Palin is in Omaha today; I'm sure that your campaign plan always foresaw that you'd be defending your lead in Nebraska in early October....


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 6th, 2008 12:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the shoutout, David! You honor me. Yes, it was a great day.

As for the BOW, I think the Obama-Ayers connection is a valid point. If McCain was friends with Timothy McVeigh; served on boards, committees, and launch his politcal career at his house, that it would not be an issue?

I am short on time atm, so I can't comment as long as I would like, but I wanted to say thanks once again.
Oct. 6th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
My pleasure. Glad you had a good day.

Yes, if McCain had known McVeigh that would have been an issue, for a few reasons. First, because the Oklahoma bombings killed hundreds and targeted children. The Weather Underground never did anything of the sort. Second, McVeigh's crime came in the middle of McCain's political career; Ayers' came when Obama was eight years-old. By the time Obama met Ayers, Ayers was a distinguished scholar, an official in the Administration of Chicago's mayor, and a member of various community boards, including the one on which they served together. He was, in short, an accepted member of lawful, respected society. McVeigh was never that. The comparison isn't at all apt. If you want to compare, you'd have to go back to McCain's childhood -- maybe John Brown? (Okay, that was a mean, age-ist joke and I apologize. I couldn't resist.... :))
Oct. 6th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
While it is true that Ayers and his wife are currently college professors, it doesn't change the fact that in 2001 (on September 11 no less), Mr. Ayers voiced his opinion that he was not sorry for the bombings that his group commited and expressed regret that his group did not kill more people before being routed by the FBI. His group did indeed bomb buildings including Post Offices and killing several policemen. It was after his friends blew themselves up while makinga new bomb that Ayers and his wife went into hiding. The FBI put him and his wife on the FBI Most Wanted List and called his wife "the most dangerous woman in America". After 10 years of hiding, they did turn themselves in, but the charges were dropped based on botched FBI proceedural handling.

So when Barack Obama met Bill Ayers in the 1980s, Obama was well aware of his new friend's past and his hatred for America.

Just how many people has Obama been hanging out with that are self-proclaimed haters of America? Ayers, Rev. Wright, Father Flagerity, Louie Farakhan, etc...

There is a an old adage, if you want to get the measure of a man, look at the men who he associates with. ALso, "birds of a feather flock together".
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
That last is a cheap shot, Mark. Come on you're better than that. Barack Obama has never had anything to do with Farrakan. Did Wright? Yes, tangentially. But to put Farrakan in Obama's address book because somebody he knows also knows him? That's ludicrous. I don't know who. Flagerity is, but if you mean the white preacher who came to Wright's church and also gave a sermon that raised eyebrows, then that's the same story. He knew Wright, not Obama.

By the way: John Hagee, Charles Keating, Jack Abramoff.... You really sure you want to play this game?
Oct. 6th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
Ok, the Farahkan connection is weak i appologize, but the others are reported to be people of Obama's Chicago circle and members of his spiritual advisor team.
P.S. - I misspelled the priest name, it should be Father Flagler.
Oct. 6th, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
Once a domestic terrorist, always a domestic terrorist. Apparently Mr. Ayers has led a quiet life after his Weather Underground days, and is a well respected educator.

Where I didn't agree with some of the Weather Underground's policies, especially the bombings, I could understand where that anger came from -- frustration with the system. Surprise, we're there again.

I think there are too many bigger issues right now than dredging up the old stuff. I want to hear how they're going to get us back on track. The rest is just noise.
Oct. 6th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
I agree, Jana. And I have a feeling most voters will feel the same way.
Oct. 6th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
It depresses me to no end that we need to start a $2 Trillion bonfire in order to shed some light in an election.
Oct. 6th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
Amen to that.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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David B. Coe

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