[politics] Scared of the next presidency

From this poll analysis by CBS:

A majority of McCain voters – 56 percent – are “scared” of the prospect of an Obama presidency, while 45 percent of Obama voters are scared of a McCain presidency.

Let’s consider this. Evidence for an Obama presidency being scary? Lies and innuendo by the McCain campaign and their surrogates concerning the legitimacy of Obama’s citizenship, the African and Islamic associations of his unusual name, his childhood growing up overseas, the possibility of him being a crypto-Muslim (and simultaneously a disciple of Christian preacher Jeremiah Wright) or a terrorist or a socialist, that he might raise taxes (a so-called tax increase which would lower taxes for 95% of Americans) and their whisper-meme of “do you really know him”? That One being a man whose entire adult life is in the public record, an extensive legislative history which is decidedly centrist, and whose childhood is perfectly well documented. (As opposed to, say, a certain other candidate who spent five and half years out of the public view, subject to potentially endless psychological reprogramming.)

Evidence for a McCain presidency being scary? His 95% voting record in support of the Bush administration’s disastrously unpopular and failed policies, his stated support for a century of endless war in Iraq, his health plan which would put many people (including me personally) permanently outside the healthcare umbrella, his widely demonstrated nonexistent grasp of the economy, the leadership and insightful thinking displayed in his choice of Palin as a running mate, etc., etc., etc. ad nauseam.

So one group of voters is afraid of Obama for reasons of directly counterfactual rumor spread by McCain and his people, the other group is afraid of McCain for reasons of flatly factual statements and actions by McCain himself. Yet these are presented as balanced positions. That’s false equivalency in a nutshell, courtesy of Your Liberal Media and the right wing echo chamber.

4 thoughts on “[politics] Scared of the next presidency

  1. tetar says:

    McCain was a founding member and president of the PNAC.

    That says it all.

  2. Kyle Jelle says:

    I’m sorry, Jay, but a lot of this is baloney. You should consider the possibility that your contempt for republicans is blinding you to the signal behind the noise. I’m not a Republican by any stretch, but I know quite a few, and none of them are panicking because “OMG, Obama’s friends with a terrorist!” Rather, they’re concerned that Obama’s association with Ayers suggests that he may pursue a far more radical leftist agenda than his stump speeches indicate. This is a legitimate concern.

    None… well, most of them aren’t actually afraid that he’s a socialist, but those who have worked hard and earn a lot of money are worried that Obama’s going to tax it away from them, and those who don’t earn so much are concerned that higher taxes on the people who have the most money to invest will have an adverse impact on our already shaky economy that might cost them their jobs. This is also a legitimate concern.

    I don’t share these concerns myself—the prospect of an individual who said on national TV that being able to see Russia from Alaska means she has foreign policy experience being a heartbeat away from the presidency is far scarier than anything I’ve heard about Obama—but citing only stupid, cartoonish reasons why Republicans might fear Obama, and ignoring the serious ones, does not make for a good or useful argument.

  3. Jay says:


    Kyle said, Rather, they’re concerned that Obama’s association with Ayers suggests that he may pursue a far more radical leftist agenda than his stump speeches indicate. This is a legitimate concern.

    That’s bullshit, and I suspect you know it. Obama has a legislative record over a decade long, and a public record stretching back at least to law school, neither of which show anything other than a socially active centrist. Whatever conservatives think his association with Ayers “suggests” is overbalanced by twenty years of clearcut words and actions. That’s exactly the kind of smokescreen bs the McCain campaign has put out to layer a seemingly legitimate veneer over conservative fear mongering.

    Furthermore, the extent of Obama’s association with Ayers extends to sitting on a charitable board with the man, a board also populated by a number of prominent Illinois conservatives. Are they radical leftists by association? Is Obama a Republican by association with them?

    You’re buying into exactly the kind of campaign mud I’m talking about by even making such an observation.

  4. Kyle Jelle says:

    Oh yes, I agree it’s bullshit. But it’s “wrong” bullshit, as opposed to the “crazy” bullshit that it looks like when you only cite the extreme partisan rhetoric as if it represents what the whole group thinks. I’m not critiquing your point, just the way you’re making it, which would be more effective with less stereotyping.

    But as long as I’m critiquing, here’s another example. You’ve got McCain nailed on his disastrous health care proposal, his economic ignorance, and “the leadership and insightful thinking displayed in his choice of Palin.” But right before that you mention “his stated support for a century of endless war in Iraq.” Anybody can Google up his exact quote:

    “Make it one hundred. We’ve been in South Korea, we’ve been in Japan for sixty years. We’ve been in South Korea for fifty years or so. That’d be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.”

    That’s hardly a call for “endless war”—unless you think we’re currently in a state of endless war with Germany—and your claim that it was is only convincing to those who haven’t been paying attention, or those who don’t care that it’s not true.

    Jay, I know you’re angry about the last eight years. I understand. It’s okay to be angry. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t skewer Republican bullshit to your heart’s content. They deserve it.

    But Democratic partisan bullshit doesn’t smell any better than Republican partisan bullshit. And it doesn’t matter if they started it, or even if they’re still doing it—bullshit is still bullshit, and that’s what too much of this post is.

    It’s your blog, so it’s your call.

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