Saturday, September 13, 2008

New York Times gets it right: the Republicans are "regularly stretching the truth"... as do ALL politicians

I will most likely vote for Barack Obama, but I am unable to "support" him due to the unacceptable behavior of his supporters and even his campaign itself. I do believe that Barack has a lot of good qualities and potential, so there is no good excuse for a campaign that should be focused on positives and potential to be so focused now on playing the helpless victim of Republican "lies and smears." Every half-truth uttered by the Republicans automatically gets labeled by the Obama camp as a "lie" and every criticism gets labeled as a "smear." However much the Republicans may be "distorting the truth", the Obama camp is distorting the truth about the truth in equal measure. Barack claims that he will fight lies with truth, but the Obama camp is really fighting half-truths with half-truths. I read through all of the "fact checks" and there are indeed many legitimate criticisms of Republican claims, but there is absolutely no justification for considering them en masse "naked lies" and "smears". The most common valid criticisms are that a lot of claims are incomplete and out of context. But that is not the same as a lie. An article in The New York Times by Michael Cooper and Jim Rutenberg entitled "McCain Barbs Stirring Outcry as Distortions" perfectly characterizes the nature of the Republican claims as "regularly stretching the truth." The Republicans are in fact generally quite careful to base their claims on some basis of fact, however small it might be. Barack is not correct when he suggests that the Republicans "just make stuff up." Yes, they do spin, stretch, mislead, and otherwise distort the truth, but almost always from some documented fact. But, guess what... the Democrats do the same thing!

The other statement by The Times that I found right on the mark was that "Disputed characterizations are not uncommon on the trail." That is what so much of the discussions are almost wholly about, each camp starting with some core truth and spinning it in its own favor. One side spins the core truth one direction and the other camp spins the core truth in the opposite direction. The distance between those two endpoints certainly seems great enough to constitute a "lie", but we should really be focused on the starting point in the middle.

In any case, it was good to see The Times 100% accurately label what the Republicans are actually doing. Now, I wish the Democrats would accept that and move on and finally try to convince the 50% of America that does not consider Barack to be "The One" why he really should be considered "the one" to become the next occupant of The Oval Office.

I do sincerely wish that Barack would start "fighting back" with "the truth", but let it be the truth about what Barack would do in office rather than engage in mud wrestling with his opponents.

Alas, the really ugly truth is that a lot of Democrats actually enjoy taking part in a good old-fashioned  mud-slinging campaign. A lot of them thrill to hard-core "red meat" one-liners at rallies, regardless of how distant from the truth they may be. The simple truth is that a lot of people would be horribly bored and inattentive if this were to shift to a purely positive campaign. Some people need a continuous diet of juicy "lies and smears" just to keep their hearts beating (and their wallets open and flowing into the campaign.)

-- Jack Krupansky


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home