Monday, September 8, 2008

Republican Convention Lies: McCain's Acceptance Speech

The lies were flying fast and furious at the RNC this past week, and a post that catalogued all those lies would probably break the Internet. First, I tackled the lies in Sarah Palin's speech.

Now, it's McCain's turn.

LIE: Well, first up is that weird green background. There was an image on the screen behind McCain of Walter Reed Middle School. McCain spokesman Tucker bounds claimed the image of a school was intentional.

TRUTH: All signs point up to a screwup. Many have speculated that the McCain campaign actually meant to use an image of Walter Reed Medical Hospital, and in fact, campaign manager Rick Davis blamed the screwup on McCain ad man Fred Davis. Meanwhile, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America slammed McCain, saying the faux background "was as close as McCain got to veterans issues" at the RNC.

LIE: "[Palin's] tackled tough problems like energy independence and corruption."

TRUTH: Palin does not have any record of tackling energy independence, unless you count being in favor of drilling more, which would not lead to energy independence. She did help pass an ethics reform bill, but is mired in corruption and ethics scandals of her own.

LIE: "She's balanced a budget, cut taxes, and taken on the special interests"

TRUTH: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin started with a balanced budget and left the city $20 million in debt. She also raised taxes on city residents. As governor, she raised taxes on oil companies by $1.5 billion. The only instance in which Palin cut taxes was rescinding a fuel tax that amounted to approximately $40 million, leaving a net tax increase of approximately $1.46 billion. Alaska's budget surplus is almost exclusively due to high oil prices.

LIE: "She's helped run a small business"

TRUTH: One business partially owned by the Palins was an Anchorage car wash that was involuntarily dissolved because they failed to pay state licensing fees.

LIE: "I'm not in the habit of breaking promises to my country and neither is Governor Palin"

TRUTH: See this flip-flop list.

LIE: "I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon."

TRUTH: This isn't actually a lie, it's just ironic that he co-sponsored this legislation with Barack Obama.

LIE: "I fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq, when it wasn't a popular thing to do."

TRUTH: In 2003, McCain professed that the war would be "fairly easy," then later claimed that the war was over, citing the Mission Accomplished banner. He did eventually call for more troops, but hedged.

LIE: "...that strategy succeeded and rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war and threatened the security of all Americans."

TRUTH: Um, the jury is still out.

LIE: "I fight for Bill and Sue Nebe from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lost their real estate investments in the bad housing market."

TRUTH: McCain opposed helping distressed homeowners, saying, "it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers." So... he actually fought against Bill and Sue Nebe.

LIE: "We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies."

TRUTH: The energy bill that Obama voted for in 2005 did have $2.6 billion in tax breaks for oil companies, but they were counterbalanced by $3 billion in oil taxes. Obama helped add measures for alternative energy to the bill.

LIE: "I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them."

TRUTH: McCain plans to cut taxes, but the vast bulk of his tax cuts would go to the wealthy. Obama wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and plans to give the middle class $80 billion in tax cuts.

LIE: "I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them."

TRUTH: Obama believes in free trade but wants to amend some free trade agreements to add environmental and labor considerations.

LIE: "My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance."

TRUTH: McCain's plan calls for tax credits so that individuals can pay for health insurance, but he would eliminate tax exemptions on employer-provided health care. The tax break McCain is proposing is $2,500, compared to the average $12,000 yearly premium paid by employers, leading many to question how it would actually make it easier to pay for health insurance. It should also be noted that one of McCain's health care advisers said everyone should be considered insured because they can go to the emergency room.

LIE: "His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor."

TRUTH: In Obama's health care plan, it would only be mandatory for children to have health insurance (the horror!). Adults would have a choice. The Obama plan would also insure businesses against catastrophic health costs.

LIE: "Senator Obama thinks we can achieve energy independence without more drilling and without more nuclear power."

TRUTH: Obama is not opposed to nuclear power or drilling. He has also called for a $150 billion investment in new energy sources.

LIE: "The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isn't a cause, it's a symptom. It's what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you."

TRUTH: The McCain campaign has been noted for its partisan rancor, including questioning Obama's patriotism.

LIE: "I won't let you down."

TRUTH: He will.


geo said...

I would agree with virtually everything that you've said in this posting! At the same time I would question whether the "lies" are seemingly important to the percentage of US voters who will determine who wins the election.

I hope that people will listen to the issues and seek the truth and see through the lies.

At the same time - the fact - that so many people - seemingly "don't get it" (e.g. Obama is Moslem) or simply obviously don't rely upon the issues - to determine their Vote - is important here.

You can call the lies - "dirty tricks" or "effective campaigning" or whatever else you want to call it. Every 4 years - we have a thing we call "presidential election". What happens at any other time - has little impact in many areas.

Rove and others - seemingly are "geniuses" - at manipulating the media and other sources of "knowledge".

I heard my partner's ex - talking with her mother - who evidently was saying "there are 4 good candidates" (refering I assume to the VP and Presidential nominees). The frustration - of the daughter to mother was evident - but many voters - see "good" where we obviously see deception, lies - and "more of the same" (e.g. Bush 3).

It's sad! It's crazy! At the same time - IF people don't take from the Obama campaign and the media -"the truths" that we see as important, the results will be another 4 years of disaster.


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