Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Republican Lies

Yesterday Sarah Palin repeated her assertion made in her acceptance speech, that she said "Thanks but no thanks for that Bridge to Nowhere up in Alaska", even though it has been clearly established that she was originally for it, and, according to a network interview with an Alaskan journalist, she only "put the nail in the coffin" of the project after it had become politically unfeasible to continue.

But the real lie, one on a substantive issue and one which people believe in amazingly high numbers, is McCain's almost daily assertion that Obama would raise everyone's taxes". This is clearly a despicable lie, as his plan would raise taxes only on those earning more than $250,000. How can McCain get away with this? An article in the Washington Post today explores this business of lying. It quotes Republican strategist John Feehery as saying that the important thing at this stage of the campaign is establishing dominant themes, and that "these little facts don't really matter". What a shame. It is said that in war "truth is the first casualty", and I guess you can add in politics also.

The daily news summary at observes that the problem is that the news media feels obligated to report equally on both sides of an issue. It is as if Obama would assert that "McCain will bring back the draft and everyone under 21 will be sent to Iraq." The press would then dutifully report this along with McCain's outraged denial. Totally unethical for Obama to do this, of course, but comparable to what McCain is dong with the taxes issue.

Actually I did see on the NBC Nightly News last night that they were doing some fact-checking on various assertions that have been made in the campaigns so far. There needs to be more of this, in order to hold politicians to account when they make false or exaggerated claims. Personally, I like to think that the truth still counts for something.

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