The McCain campaign:
Throw the flag against: The McCain-Palin campaign.
Call: Unsportsmanlike conduct.
What happened: A new 30-second TV ad attacks Barack Obama’s record on education, saying that Obama backed legislation to teach “‘comprehensive sex education’ to kindergartners.” The announcer then says, “Learning about sex before learning to read? Barack Obama. Wrong on education. Wrong for your family.”
Why that’s wrong: This is a deliberately misleading accusation. It came hours after the Obama campaign released a TV ad critical of McCain’s votes on public education. As a state senator in Illinois, Obama did vote for but was not a sponsor of legislation dealing with sex ed for grades K-12.
As has been discussed before, there is no downside for lying for the GOP. They lie about anything, and never pay a price, so why not accuse Obama of wanting to teach sex ed to kids so young that they can not yet read ? Some moron somewhere will see it, most likely on one of the Cable tv shows as they play it repeatedly for free, and not from seeing it during an actual ad buy, and then will miss the repeated debunkings. Then, for the next 30 years, it will be another one of those zombie lies that never dies.
At least Jokeline seems to be firmly out of the McCain camp. For now. For the record, he has produced enough quality posts lately that I think I am going to stop referring to him as Jokeline.
John McCain…worse than Bush. Less scruples, less honest, nastier.
How…how is that possible?
Fixed, cuz surely they’ll use at least a few of these.
Josh Marshall quoted a poster at TPM yesterday:
To which Josh responded:
McCain and his supporters are out to win at all costs, no shot is too low. If your dog hears this ad, check to make sure its ears are not bleeding.
Klein and Tweety both seem to have had both had a “come to Jesus” moment recently. Although I think a more likely explanation is that their Dr. upped their meds.
The Moar You Know
I’m looking for a phrase here…what’s good for the goose…something about geese or some shit. Ah, fuck it, I forgot the rest of it. Something to do with this:
There’s an obvious lesson to be learned here, but as a Democrat I’m damned if I can figure it out.
Almost. To fully fix it for McCain’s group, you need to take out the “OR”s and replace them with “AND”s
I can has “Why is John McCain opposed to protecting our children from sexual predators?” plz?
OT – Sullivan’s just written a lengthy, smarmy paegn to Sarah Palin’s pro-life bona-fides. He definitely got a serious rap on the knuckles during his short absence.
John McCain doesn’t really want children to be easy prey for pedophiles. But if the choice is between a program that helps kids protect themselves and another tax cut for corporations, well . . . sorry kids, cowboy up.
What the fuck is wrong with this strategy? If you want to win, you do what it takes. Who cares about “honor” bullshit?
In a sane world, mearly being “dishonest” would keep you from being elected. But since it actually helps you, why the hell should McCain not utilize it?
That this is all coming out of a christianist/corporatist rump party is astonishing. Do these people want to see what a real culture war would look like?
If such a sleazy, dishonest, criminal group should maintain control of the executive branch and continue to rule in the manner of Bush-Cheney, there could be a real social convulsion required to shake them loose.
In Mexico, until a few years ago, it was illegal for a priest to wear a clerical collar in public – that is the sort of result a true culture war can reach. Maybe it is time to start taxing religious organizations so they can not accumulate so much power and wealth as to become part of criminal enterprises like the Republican Party.
Between this and the “lipstick on a pig” outrage, I’ve become convinced today that the McCain Campaign, and the GOP as a whole, now only have one goal:
Piss off the liberals.
Don’t say what you mean, don’t say what you believe, don’t talk about issues, don’t answer questions, don’t focus on what’s best for the country. Simply concentrate on coming up with the most outrageous shit you can possibly think of – the more you can distract the other side, the angrier they get – the better.
Think about it: every minute you spend talking about this, or “lipstick”, or earmarks in Illinois, or “uppity” — that’s one less minute spent tying McCain to Bush, or trying to find out if Palin has any idea of what she’s doing.
I read on another blog that the reason they put out that ad was to counter a story coming out soon about “Troopergate,” which states that according to Court documents Anchorage Judge John Suddock said to Palin and her family members (on Wooten’s behavior and character): “Disparaging will not be tolerated—it is a form of child abuse,”
The article is now on Democratic Underground, I don’t remember where I first saw it.
But if they couldn’t lie, they wouldn’t have anything to say.
I can’t believe Andrew Sullivan’s blog.
Someone dropped the hammer down on him, but who was it?
Mike in MI
The saddest and most overlooked part of this ad:
The McCain campaign, having tried to score cheap political points, has now made it more difficult to pass future legislation to fight child molestation. It now takes just a bit more political courage to author, promote and vote for legislation that protects kids from sexual predators. Because of the McCain campaign, politicians will now think they need to more carefully measure the political costs of similar legislation, lest they get attacked in a similar way. Somewhere a good bill might stall in committee because the political risk has increased ever so much and some poor kids are going to suffer.
It’s in Newsweek, and there’s a link to it (right now at least) on the front page of MSNBC.com.
Obama addressing issues live on MSNBC right now.
I know this ad isn’t supposed to be funny, but I was dying laughing last night after seeing this idiocy on the Rachel Maddow show.
Remember, everyone: McCain’s campaign is being run by the same people who ran Bush’s campaigns (Schmidt, Rove, et. al.).
This is their last huzzah, and they’re going to pull out all the stops. You know. ‘Cause they think it’s funny.
Watch. They’re going to push the race and religion thing like crazy. They will push it right up to the line (which, of course, forces the line* further and further into crazy-town).
And, again, it’s only early September. They’ll be reduced to outright racial slurs and incoherent howling by October. By Halloween they’ll be running ads where McCain and Palin speak in tongues, laced heavily with the n-word. The article about the ad will contain this gem:
I swear, if politics gets any more surreal I’m going to just get myself lobotomized and exult in my newfound security in our beloved Idiocracy.
*Or lowers the bar, or whatever.
I agree with Breschau. Instead of stomping our feet and cursing loudly as McCain/Palin waltz into the WH, we should hold hands and smile politely.
Hey, isn’t that what we did in 2000 and 2004?
I think Jesus came to Andrew in a vision of the morning glories.
Totally freaked me out. And then I remembered, oh yeah. This is the guy who used to piss me off and then he seemed to have some sort of awakening that made him rational.
Shouldn’t be surprised when a conservative voices a consertative point of view. Mad, yes. Surprised, no.
Whose kid doesn’t learn to read before kindergarten????
That’s where I’d go with this – McCain is willing to sacrifice our children’s safety to win the news cycle on a random day in September.
This might work with people who like harping on a single issue, but we do not suffer from that problem here. Nor do many liberals suffer from this affliction. McCain is doing everything he can to rev up his base because the big bad leftie media is attacking this poor little lady. That is what is going on right now.
It is possible to point out the inanity and insanity, and still stay focused on the political metrics of the game. I find it hard to believe that the McCain bought into the Palin mess knowing every single aspect of her life and it is their evil plan to take over the universe (or at least this corner of it) with this wreck of a life she has.
We like to multi-task here and are quite good at it. Thank you for your concern though.
Why, yes. Just ask President’s Gore and Kerry. Every time someone punches you in the mouth, sing “Kumbaya”. Everyone loves a powerless wuss.
I should call Deval Patrick to see if I can bill taxpayers for my breakfast.
Quick question: do we have any confirmation this ad is actually running anywhere?
Can we change Did you know John McCain was a POW? to Did you know John McCain is a congenital liar?
“so why not accuse Obama of wanting to date-rape white women OR support NAMBLA OR execute all Evangelicals OR have gay sex with Iran’s leadership council OR kill all the Jews OR…”
dammit Face, you beat me to the punch
at this point why even stop there? what’s next? Obama having sex with an animal?
Yes it is. MSNBC, CNN, FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN-HN, BET, OB/GYN, STFU, and ND SUX.
Look, if it’s actually running in some key states, then I’ll be disappointed if Obama doesn’t push back forcefully. This would seem to represent an opportunity for him to call a press conference, and really cast a light on the type of campaign McCain’s been running. The ad is 100% indefensible. Get pissed off, show some emotion, question McCain’s honor, for Chrissakes. Let’s hit him in balls over this kind of crap a little, and show that Obama has a pair of his own.
A more important reason that’s wrong, from the next paragraph in the MClatchy story:
Which means that it doesn’t behoove Obama to run from the “accusation.” He should be proud of voting for it.
and, if they’re really lucky, Obama or one of his supporters groups will retaliate in-kind, thus destroying Obama’s “New kind of politics” position.
yes, they’re venal, criminal and soulless, but they’re not stupid.
Josh Marshall’s editorial should be on the front page of every newspaper in the country.
Unfit for High Office
Key take away:
Josh really rips McCain good at TPM. Look for the article: Unfit for high office
He has some good advice for Obama supporters too. Don’t take this lying down, fight back.
I was reading somewhere that Obama folks might reconsider letting 527s back in the game so they can go on the attack. This might be a good idea because he’s going to need everyone in the tank to counter the lies. Not sure if we have enough time but we’re going to have to really pull all the stops.
I realize Obama wants to actually follow the spirit of the campaign he’s advertising but national politics can be quite abusing and a lot of us are used to seeing some kind of push backs in ads and just having a strong ground team doesn’t help to keep us motivated in giving money and time.
The MUP needs to sharpen those hooves and start kicking.
There is an echo in here… ;)
Umm… yeah. Anyone wanna find the part where I suggested “singing kumbaya”? Jump to conclusions much, folks? Sometimes I forget that there are a few of you who are really unpleasant people.
Steve Benen, in a follow-up to the TPM article a few of you just linked to, put it better than I did.
The Moar You Know
Lyndon Johnson was the last Democrat who understood that politics is a blood sport.
I say cast open the gates of hell and unleash the dogs of war and destroy the vile old prick.
Wait . . . CL, are you sockpuppetting me somehow? With your mind-bullets?
Guess it shows how much everyone loves Josh Marshall. There’s a good reason TPM has become the go-to place.
As Breschau just posted, that misses the point.
The point—which I’ve seen made here and there in blog posts and comment sections—is that the deadliest weapon against McThug is to link him to Bush.
Arguments about “character” will likely make the election a
tossup. Yes, it’s true that if McThug/Palin keep going about this, there’s liable to be a backlash, etc, but “character” is not solid ground, simply because it’s subjective.
I think the right thing to do is to not allow them to get away with these negative attacks—IMHO Obama needs to go truly nuclear and flat-out call McCain a liar, and his campaign despicable—but go on the offensive on McThug’s 90%-with-Bush voting record.
Is anyone actively counting the number of lies (that includes exaggerations, distortions, and evasion of answers) that the Republican campaign has committed from July to present day? And to be fair, the number of lies (same definitions) that the Democratic campaign has committed from July to present day?
Should there be a disqualification mark at a set number of lies to where a campaign be denied the right to continue?
My position on lying: it is NOT protected First Amendment speech. It should never be protected speech. It damages our political forum, it denies us honest debate. We need to fight back against all the goddamn spin out there.
I think this is all to try and force Obama to lose his temper and actually act like an angry black manchild- and not the politically savvy, intelligent adult he is.
Let’s not get too eager to see him bang the table and yell. With the world we’re stuck in, I want a President who can stand to watch totally unhinged bullshit and still keep his head. I’m watching Obama too, but what I want to see is him fighting this crap HIS way.
By staying level-headed, and out-organizing the McCain forces on the ground, and doing whatever he can to head off what I expect to be a massive, massive vote fraud attempt by the Republicans and company-formerly-known-as-Diebold, supported 100% by big chunks of the corporate media.
This is going to be a bastard of a fight, but not because McCain actually has the people behind him- it’s because the political system is insanely in the pocket of the Republicans, for good reason- it’s been set up that way for years, to survive even a loss of popular support. There’s even some groundwork laid for full-on martial law and the suspension of elections, though I believe this to be unlikely as it would be leaning too heavily on the military/National Guard, who don’t see themselves as political death squads and are pissed off at the Republicans for good reason.
We don’t need Obama to buy in to the terms of that game. We need him to get old school, out-organize, and beat these guys in the traditional, legitimate way so bad that they would have to brutally over-reach in order to still prevail- because there will come a point where they won’t be able to do it, you cannot sink to ANY depth and still be working with the many many factions you need to work with in the American system. Some are less corruptible, some answer to different motivations…
Stay Presidential, Obama. We need one of those, real bad.
OK, Sully’s back!
To add to my previous comment, Atrios or someone linked to McCain Adviser Tells CNN: McCain Refuses To Talk About Bush’s Iraq Policy Because It’s ‘A Political Death Knell’. Money quote:
You’d be surprised at how many cannot read by the time they’re in kindergarten. And, really, it’s not a goal that all children that age are able to or should be expected to meet. Too much is being expected of these kids at younger and younger ages.
However, I fully support sex ed before kindergarten. Children should know the names of their body parts and basic functions, including of their “naughty bits”. They should know that no one is allowed to touch them there beyond a medical examination by a parent or doctor.
What’s McCain’s definition fo sex ed, I wonder?
“I was reading somewhere that Obama folks might reconsider letting 527s back in the game so they can go on the attack.”
You know, if Kerry was involved in something like the USS Forrestal disaster, the Republicans’ 527s would have run ads about it and everyone in the country would know what “Wet Start” means. If Kerry had cut 30 propaganda videos for the Vietnamese, you would have seen a few of them, even if they were beaten out of him by procedures the Republicans can’t call torture.
The Dems don’t fight like that, though. At this point, I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad.
You would be surprised how many kids do not even know how to hold a pencil or crayon by kindergarten in some pockets of our society, let alone read.
And no, I am not exaggerating.
I think most of us fail to consier that Obama’s “new kind of politics” isn’t about a better kind of campaign, it’s about a better kind of governance. It does appear that he wants to campaign in the same spirit, but his vision of change is more focused on what comes after January 20 than on what comes before November 4.
Woooeeeewwwooooooo… spooky! :)
TPM is a great place for info and commentary, and Josh listens to his members comments. He nailed it on this one and as I see above, Sully is on the same page.
McCain and Palin lie and are unfit to serve. That says it all.
Check out Obama’s response to the pig lipstick BS. Pretty good kung-fu, IMO.
From Barack Obama’s “More Perfect Union” speech in Philadelphia, PA, March 18, 2008:
I know everyone wants Obama to hit back, lash out, etc. Here’s the problem: our side doesn’t have the machine in place to “catapult the message”. We have KO and Rachel Maddow. That’s it. If we go there, we’ll fail.
Obama and Biden need to stay on message, remind voters what McCain and Palin represent, and make it clear what they represent. If that’s not enough, c’est la vie.
James F. Elliott
Here’s how you nail McCain for this one. Things like “good touch, bad touch” and “stranger danger” get lumped in to the “sex education” funding rubric. So, “sex education” for K-12, especially for those K-5 kids, is about how to not let Uncle Ernie touch your special place.
Why does John McCain want children to be molested?!
Jake linked it above, but it bears repeating–Obama hit back on the lipstick on a pig thing today, and hit hard. Read it all.
Yes, I understand the machinery isn’t on our side. But many of us would like to see Obama figure out a means to make the machinery, as it is, work for him anyway.
He doesn’t have to *actually* get pissed off. Nobody wants him to lose his cool. But certainly he’s capable of delivering a strong, stern statement about McCain’s disgrace of a campaign.
All we’re asking for is a little bit better kung-fu on this kind of stuff.
The lipstick thing from Obama looks pretty deliberate
1) juice up your supporters
2) piss off the other side
3) plausible deniability
4) emphasize real issues
all at the same time. Substance and style, I like it.
Here’s the video of Obama hitting the pig/lipstick “controversy” this morning.
I think we should all relax a bit. Barry’s got this one.
The Moar You Know
McCain went for five and a half years without molesting kids in that prison camp! Could you?
I agree with those who think Obama needs to keep it cool. Josh Marshall and a lot of commenters here learned all the wrong lessons from 2004 and overstate the effect of Swift-Boating. Kerry lost because of fundamentals (war time incumbent and pretty good economy) and because he acted like a stiff, not because of smears.
Getting down in the mud with McCain is precisely what they want… they don’t care about McCain’s rep anymore. They’re going character assassination and “liberal media bias” for the next 50 odd days. Do you *really* think Obama jumping up and down and shouting is the way to go?
Stay calm, and just point out that this is the same old bullshit and that they are resorting to this stuff because they’ve got nothing else for the American people.
With all due respect, Jay, that is pony-wishing of the highest degree. The machinery is not wired that way. It is wired to fling lies, smears, and distortions, all in service of the “conservative” cause. Every time we’ve tried to play in that arena, it’s blown up in our face.
BO’s kung-fu is just fine. If, with the situation being what it is, Americans want McCain/Palin, if that’s who we really are, then so be it. It fucking sucks, but it is what it is.
I just lost my appetite.
On a serious note, I would no longer be surprised if that actually happened.
McCain & Palin: Pro Pedophile and Pro Child Abuse.
No offense, but all of you are living in Dream-World. This is not how you win elections. You must go negative. Must go hard, negative. But if every time you do so, you feel like you have to back up and apologize the next day, you cant win. Instead of Obama explaining what he meant, he should have said “fuck the explanation” and called McCain something shitty for his desire to eliminate the Dept. of Education. Offense, offense. Offense. If you do this daily, the other side cannot catch up. They’re ALWAYS on the defensive. You control the headlines, every day. You look leader-ly.
McCain hasn’t apologized once for any of his lies. Never will. And he’s winning. The same way Bush did in 2004. If you think civility and “issues” will win this popularity contest, let me be the first to introduce you to Preznit McCane.
Sure you have to go negative, but you don’t have to lie through your teeth to do it. That response Obama was negative… he totally called McCain out today. And he is on the offensive by showing it as “More Of the Same”.
I really don’t understand what you guys want him to say. He’s called them out for lying… he uses every single opportunity to tie these tactics to Rove and Bush. David Kurtz and Josh Marshall can keep screaming Attack! Attack! Attack! as much as they want, but I’m not sure I get what they are asking for. I mean the man “goes negative” on McCain’s positions in every single speech.
Instead of just saying OMG Defensive! Why don’t you give me an example of what Obama should be saying right now.
FAIL. “Control the headlines”? Really? Talk about living in a dream world. Our side will never, NEVER, win by going negative. Going negative is a classic IOKIYAR; they’re allowed to do it, rewarded for doing it, and we’re crucified if we do it. Welcome to The Matrix.
“McCain cannot be trusted to fix the economy…after all, he was deeply involved in Keating Five corruption.”
“How can a man who divorced his wife and has voted against (X, Y, Z w/ respect to education funding) parrot about family values”?
“John McCain thinks a vice president who has a little over a year in the office of govenor has enough political experience to negotiate with nations, keep us safe, understand our economy, and fix our housing crisis. This is a risk we cannot take”
Any one of those lines works well.
The media seems to finally be breaking ranks–it’s about damn time. We can only hope it’s soon enough.
I like your #1 and #3, but #2 (John McCain dumping his first wife) is an example of what I’m talking about. McCain is free to go to places like this; hell, he’s gone there multiple times already. If Obama goes there, he’ll be crucified. It would dominate the news cycle for at least a week, and would be a net FAIL.
You may not have noticed, but…. **whispering**… Obama is a Negro.
As such, he must walk on egg shells at all times lest the white folks feel (more) threatened.
I guess we just disagree on what people vote for, because I can’t see any one of those statements making the slightest impact, except to hurt Obama.
None of those lines work. You seem to think that the press is neutral, and that an attack from a Dem would play in the same way as an attack from a Rethug. It’s an asymmetrical world out there in media land. Media commentators who wonder today why Obama isn’t striking back (Scarborough, Carlson, et al) are the same guys who would be first in line to call Obama out of line if he were to say anything like you suggest.
Obama’s best bet is to do just what he did in the primaries: absorb the attacks and press on the policy. Obama went from being a virtual unknown to defeating one of the most powerful political families in the country. He didn’t do it by trading kitchen sinks with Clinton. He did it by staying focused and working his plan.
Winning the election is the goal here, not dishing out a load of crap to McCain.
Unfortunately, far too many of them.
Many parents today think it is the job of the public schools to teach their children how to read, write, count and recite the alphabet.
Remember, part of John McCain’s “Honor” and “Integrity” is doing the WRONG thing and then APOLOGIZING for it later. It’s as much a part of his personality as his reckless, impulsive gambling. The confession is supposed to totally neutralize the cowardice behind his choices and any harm done by supporting bad legislation or policy.
He really has no reason to change his behavior, if he even can (it could be compulsive), because he keeps getting away with it.
Somebody ought to string together a video of McCain’s actual choices and the inevitable useless, after-the-fact apologies and ask the voter’s if this is the type of President they want. Or maybe someone just could point-blank ask him why, if he “knows better” he just doesn’t act upon that knowledge when it actually MEANS something instead of putting on a phony hairshirt later.
13 … Each class or course in comprehensive sex
14 education offered in any of grades K -6 through 12 shall
15 include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted
16 infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread
17 of HIV.