Here’s the problem: people on the right have a caricature view of Obama and people on the left have a caricature view of McCain. If your only info on Obama comes from Powerline and your info on McCain comes from the Huffington Post, you are not getting good information.
Neither of these men are perfect. They are politicians and they are trying to get elected. Both of them, unfortunately, will say or do whatever it takes to get elected. This is nothing new. You’ll recall that George W. Bush presented himself as a compassionate conservative in the first election. He was nothing of the sort. He lied his way into office. Now it looks like either Obama or McCain will try to lie their way into office as well.
It doesn’t make me happy, the utter balls-less-ness of our presidential campaigns. Both candidates are wooing the center and it makes them look like “empty suited pander machines”.
But this is the bed we must lie in. Earlier I asked for a nice clean election. Clearly that is not going to happen. Still, I’d like us all to abandon these caricature views of the candidates. I get pissed off when people dismiss Obama and I get pissed off when people try to paint McCain with a broad brush. Neither of these men are as bad as the other side says they are or as good as their side says they are.
The truth is these are both accomplished men and they will both make great presidents. If you find yourself dismissing either of them you are not getting very good information.
There is no way I’m going to vote for McCain. I’ve watched him too long and I understand his positions too well to support him. I think comparing him to Bush is completely fair and voters who vote for him should be clear on their similarities. But I’m not going to resort to lame, shallow name-calling tactics and neither should you.
22 thoughts on “The Truth about Obama and McCain”
You are still missing the point, IMHO, Micadelic, that there is a difference between disagreement on the issues and implying that people are “empty suited pander machines”. But I’m going to forgive you. Now you forgive me and we’ll move on.
So let’s keep it clean, keep it positive, keep it on the issues, avoid character slaughter and let this thread die! There will be plenty more.
In the first sentence above, I meant “write off”
You guys write of people who are critical of Obama as Rush-bots, or brainwashed Powerliners, or whatever and that is just so fucking insulting. Sure, I read Powerline, I don’t listen to Rush, can’t stand him, he’s a pompous asshole. I’ve tired of Hannity and his one-note questioning style. O’Reilly is too insufferable anymore to even watch. My main sources of hard news are the CNN website and I subscribe to the Star Tribune which I read every day. I obviously read this blog daily. I also like the more neutral sites like Real Clear Politics and Politico.
I’m sure it makes you guys breath easier to just write me off as another wacko right winger because if you just can’t imagine a well informed, intelligent, thoughtful person could possibly not see the true greatness of Mr. Obama. Well, if this is the way you think then I suggest maybe it is you all with your heads in the sand who are just brainwashed by KOS, HuffPo, ABC, Democratic Underground and the rest.
See, I just might have read everything out there and actually came to my own conclusions. I give you guys that credit, please extend it to me. If you can’t then I am just wasting my time and yours.
Look guys, I don’t hate Obama, I never said I did so STF up on that please. I violently disagree with his policy but I don’t hate the man. For the record, I don’t think he’s evil, I think he’s just another politician. He’s just more slippery than most.
Secondly, I don’t believe the worst of what the right has to say. If you believe that I do, you’re not aware of what the worst the right has to say even is. For you to just right off my opinions as such is just wishful thinking on your part. Many people see the mask sliding off Obama’s facade, notice his poll numbers tanking? Even Dems are worried. This should be your year and every poll is now pretty much a dead heat. I think you have a seriously flawed candidate.
And guilt by association, absolutely, if I’m running for high US office, I stay the fuck away from assholes who bombed the Pentagon. Him not doing so demonstrates a breathtaking lack of judgment.
McCain may have been endorsed by some fucked up religious characters but he didn’t sit in their churches for 20 years nodding his head and shouting AMEN! This is a big, big difference.
And Imagine, if the person who did those things was the primary pastor, the leader, the guy who built the place from the foundation up, I think I just might quit that church. That’s the point, not that I’m holding Obama accountable for Wright’s statements, but his 20 year membership sure looks to me like an endorsement of those views. Don’t you think?
And Obama will not slaughter McCain in a debate. Take Obama out from in front of a teleprompter and he mumbles and stumbles and stutters. Badly. If you’re not aware of this you’re not paying attention.
didn’t print the link…..try this
I was not up to speed on the “to busy to visit injured troops” news…..
apparently not everyone thinks the same as McCain.
This is the youtube link….
I’ll comment on a few of Mic’s issues also.
1. I go to a lutheran church. During the time that I have been a member of this church we have had different pastors…it is a big church and they always have three pastors on staff.
one has been a child molestor
two have had affairs within the church
one beat his spouse
Should I be held accountable for their actions because I was a member?
2. Abortion is a sin. It is wrong. It is not my business or yours. It must remain legal. Doesn’t make it right, but it makes it a ‘right’.
I am surprised that you commented on these recent media events…ie…race card, brittany speares et…. this is so ‘new’ ….I haven’t even seen the McCain ad that Obama commented about.
I agree with you that he is an excellent speaker. He will slaughter poor McCain in any debate. I look forward to who they choose for running mates. Does MN want Pawlenty on the ticket?….
1. Guilt by association. How about you let Obama speak for himself instead of implying that Wright speaks for him?
2. Reproductive decisions should be private, period. Late-term abortions are exceptionally rare and are almost always performed for health reasons, not convenience.
3. I’d suggest you not put up the Mission Accomplished banner just yet. Yes, of course, more policing means less violence. That’s not the point, we need less violence with less policing.
4. Of course you believe the most damning interpretation possible. Powerline much? You really think that he, what, hates our troops? Seeks to only use them as a political tool? That’s insane and so are you if you believe it.
5. C’mon, dude, the racism is flying off the shelves. Here’s a nice one for you.
6. Guilt by association again. Want me to list the racist bastards that McCain associates with?
It was very interesting reading your comments from years ago. You have veered much more right than you used to be.
You still can’t seem to bring yourself to understand why I am disappointed in you that you repeat the inane bullshit of the worst voices on the Right in regards to Obama. You are believing that bullshit and it is sad. I don’t doubt that you have material differences with Obama and I never thought for a moment you’d vote for him, but the fact that you are letting the right wing talk you into hating him is what is sad. The smear machine is running full steam and it is apparently working.
I’m not thin-skinned — I’m sick of watching elections where people have to hate the other guy. The left is doing it too and I hate it just as much. I’m not doing it this time.
Obama hasn’t changed as much since 2004 as you have.
Nov 7, 2004.
That was after the glow of his speech at the 2004 Dem convention which was universally praised and one hell of a speach. The guy can speak, everyone credits him for this.
This was before I found out he attended a church for 20 years led by a racist, America bashing firebrand. For Obama to say he “was never there” when Wright made any anti-American, race-baiting statements is just laughable and so obviously a lie.
This was before I learned of his views on abortion which is are even to the left of most in his own party.
This was before I saw that he cannot even admit that the surge strategy worked in Iraq when it so obviously has.
This was before he decided that he was too busy to visit injured troops at Rammstein and Landstuhl after learning he couldn’t bring cameras and press.
This was before this supposedly “post-racial” candidate started playing the race card faster than a 3 card monty dealer. In fact, the comments he made over the last couple of days saying how Republicans will “say he doesn’t look like the presidents on the $1.00 & $5.00 bills” is absolutely disgusting. He’s accusing the Republicans of doing something they have not done when in fact, he’s the one saying it. Talk about projection!
This was before I knew about his associations with William Ayers (Obama announced his candidacy for the IL state senate from Ayers’ home and they have a long-standing relationship). I think I guy who wants to be president should probably stay as far away as possible from a guy who tried to blow up the Pentagon but maybe that’s just me.
I could go on and on. I hope I haven’t offended any of Michael’s sensibilities in these observations but all of these are factual as far as I can tell. I even stayed away from some of the more incendiary criticisms that are out there that I think are unfair and over the top.
I’m sorry, I just violently dissagree with Obama’s politics and I think he will lead this nation down the wrong path. I wish he would have fulfilled the promise that I thought he had,
I was trying, in this post, to suggest that we should focus on the politics and ignore the character slaughter that is going on. We can disagree on politics. It doesn’t make Obama an “empty suited pander machine” and it doesn’t make McCain whatever MoveOn is saying about McCain. These are both men that have shown character, leadership and have led accomplished lives.
Obama was called to run by his party. This was not a mission of his to satisfy his ego. We want someone new, someone with different background, different point of view, different skill set. Obama has run a remarkable campaign.
I obviously have no problem whatsoever with people deciding not to vote for Obama. I have no problem with discussions, even heated ones, which call his credentials into question. But if your initial premise is that Obama is some clueless tool who is gaming a system to satisfy his own ego, I’m not listening.
I voted for Nader too! I thought both Gore and Kerry were lousy candidates but would have been good presidents.
PS, I found a very interesting comment from a guy named Micadelic:
I saw an interesting interview last night on The Daily Show. The author (Bishop I think)
believes that Americans vote for who we relate to rather than the issues. We look for, in a candidate, a persona that reinforces our own core beliefs…and we are really not concerned with issues the seriously affect the country. I would have to read the book to see if I buy into his entire ideology, but it was quite interesting.
Personally, I will vote for Obama. I do like McCain and if McCain were running against Kerry I would vote for McCain. At this time Obama represents change, hope, and a new vision. As a conservative liberal I have been very frustrated these past 8 years.
I really think the McCain campaign is floundering right now. He is a good man. He is a centrist and deserves better handling than he is currently getting. I believe he can beat Obama if he finds his voice, but he needs to break away (even more than he has) from the Bush reich/regime/admin.
It will be interesting to see what the country does.
this is the god’s honest truth.
8 years ago i voted for ralph nader.
i didn’t disagree with his politics as much as i just thought he was not a good candidate. obama, i dissagree with his politics.
8 years ago when Bush was running, did you think that he was well qualified to hold the office? I am just trying to understand you statement.
for the record- you’re both fuck-tards 🙂
Thank you for making my point for me. You apparently can’t debate this stuff without being a pissy asshole. Good riddance, then, my friend. You preach to me about my tone and when I change it, you adopt it? Is this a joke or something?
I was waiting for you to be a bit less of a dick so we could get on to the issues that you’ve brought up. But your reply is just more dickishness? I seriously don’t get it.
Apparently being a dick = having a differet opinion than yours. Just the mere criticism of Obama apparently makes me a pissy asshole. Just as you think that everyone who voted for and supports GWB is an idiot and a fucktard (your words, I believe) I think people who support Obama are making a serious mistake and as I said, I just flat out don’t understand it. You have made about 4,000 posts on this blog that sound like a pissy asshole to me, so I guess were even.
I have a strong opposition to Obama more so than you have for McCain. I am not alone. Believing that Obama is unqualified to hold this office is my well thought and researched opinion of the man. If you can’t handle that, tough shit. It is not the result of any right-wing indoctrination. I have serious, serious misgivings about this mans ability to lead the free world and his qualifications for the office. Having said all that, I might be wrong. I entertain that possibility every day. If he is elected I hope to God that I am wrong and that I have totally misread him.
So, if that disqualifies me from your debate, I’m really sorry about that. If I must be dishonest to “be fair” in your book, I guess I will just have to take my opinions somewhere else as you suggest.
Have fun in your little echo chamber because I don’t see anybody else debating you. I can see why.
Then quit being a dick. Seriously, I’m trying to set a better tone for this debate this time around. Every post from you lately you sound like a pissy asshole. I’m trying to take your advice on this election and be less divisive and inflammatory. Reread my last posts on these men. I’m not calling people names, I’m not calling people stupid, I’m trying to be fair. Can you try too? ‘Cause otherwise I’d prefer you post your opinion elsewhere.
Since I’m about the only conservative that posts here, you seem to need to take out all your wrath on me which is unfortunate. Let me bullet point a few things for you and maybe that will help you understand.
I don’t think Obama is evil. I never said he was.
The article you cite above is offensive even to me and I don’t believe Obama has murdered anyone.
I could characterize you’re insistence that George Bush is evil, etc. as your believing the NYT, KOS, HuffPo version of him and undermines your credibility, frankly.
I get my news from many sources, your characterization that my opinions of Obama are fueled only by Powerline, Fox, etc. are attempts by you to more easily write off my opinions. That’s much more convenient for you then considering that I might be well read, thoughtful, and fair-minded.
If my worse offense is, according to you, calling Obama an “empty suited pander machine” then dude, you better get a thicker skin.
Obama is, at the end of the day, just another politician.
Just because Obama “hasn’t driven the car yet” is not what I would call a great reason to let him drive it. I’d prefer he at least get his learners permit for a while and not learn this particular job on my time.
And lastly, I would hope we could have a friendly debate without calling each other names or telling each other to fuck off.
I get the fact that you believe the book is closed on Bush and you have every right to declare your opinions of him as “settled law” so to speak. But Michael, your opinions are only just that. opinions.
I’m surprised you don’t see the difference. I have no problems at all with you disagreeing with him or pointing out his flaws. The problem I have is with demonizing him. Bush earned my demonizing of him. We have data. We let him drive and we are in far worse shape. Obama’s only sin is running for President. The Right Wing, and unfortunately you included, are trying to character assassinate this man. Here’s one blog headline “Barack Obama Is Trying To Kill Us!” and it lists all the people that Obama has “murdered”.
We let Bush drive and he failed us. Obama is saying, let me try driving. The result is this onslaught about how he murders babies and is an evil megalomaniac.
I’m asking you to be respectful when we debate this shit like I have been respectful to John McCain. Bush has squandered my respect and he can kiss my ass, frankly. But I have been fair to McCain.
I have plenty of criticism of Obama. But if you believe he is an evil man you are not getting good information. Even the charge that he is “elitist, arrogant, and possessing of a little bit of megalomania” is believing the Fox News/Powerline version of him and undermines your credibility, frankly.
I hate this blogging software, can’t edit my posts…
Anyway, in the first sentence of the second paragraph I meant to say…
I find that you folks that support Obama just canâ€t take any criticism of him.
OK, so it’s ok for you to criticize my guy but it’s not ok for me to criticize yours. You say you know all about Bush so you have more of a reason to be dismissive of him. It’s not like Obama has been invisible. He has a history, he’s written two books, he’s made speeches, made associations, voted for, against, legislation. He’s taken positions on many issues (sometimes he’s taken many positions on the same issue). So for you to opine that we don’t know enough about him to be overly critical doesn’t wash with me.
I find that you folks that support Obama just can”t. How do you think it feels to be someone who has supported Bush. I think Bush has fucked up in a lot of ways but I still admire him and think history will treat him very well. We flat out differ on that and that’s OK.
So, I think I’m allowed to use a little rhetoric. I personally believe it would be a disaster for the country to elect Obama as president. I wish I didn’t believe that. I am not thrilled with McCain either. I wish a young, charismatic candidate would come on the scene that I could support. I wish I could support a black man for president, I think it would go a long way to heal racial divisions in this country. I just cannot support a man who I disagree so vehemently with on almost every issue that matters.
I think his approach to foreign policy, although it sounds great, would be disastrous. I wish we could all gather round the campfire and sing Kum Bay Ya but that ain’t gonna happen. I see know that he has hardened his position on Iran which is a good thing but there is an example where he’s taken multiple positions and I don’t know which one to trust.
He supports late term abortions, I think this is monstrous.
He would raise capitol gains taxes which I believe would be a huge blunder in this economy.
His positions on taxation, entitlements, etc. will make the deficits run up by GWB (because of a necessary war IMHO) look like child’s play.
I perceive him to be elitist, arrogant, and possessing of a little bit of megalomania. He takes credit for things he didn’t do, claims he was a member of committees he never served on, lies about his associations with some pretty unsavory characters (William Ayers, Reverend Wright and Tony Rezko to name a few).
These are my opinions of the man. Having said all of that, if he were elected POTUS then I would support him 1000% and hope for the best because I believe that is our duty as Americans and that is the way I was raised. I may not agree with what he does and I would be critical if that turns out to be the case, but I doubt that my criticism of him would be as vile, unfair, vindictive, and mean-spirited as what has been unleashed on the current occupant of the White House. I doubt however that others of my persuasion will be so charitable. You reap what you sow.
You are right, in my opinion the jury is in on Bush and he is incompetent and perhaps evil. No words will convince me otherwise. I find McCain to be a much better person than Bush and while I won’t vote for him, I feel I can judge him objectively. Because I can agree with him on some things, I don’t feel he is a lost cause like Bush. He has room in his head to be somewhat fair minded. (As an aside, I’m pretty much convinced that McCain will recant on everything I agree with him on in order to be electable to the Right. But that’s another blog post.)
So for you to completely dismiss Obama out of hand to me is unfair. You are treating Obama like I treat Bush but I’ve had Bush as my President for 8 years. I know a hell of a lot more about Bush than you do about Obama. He turned a surplus into a deficit, peace into war, $30 oil to $150 oil, he has killed the dollar and his biggest priorities were tax cuts for the rich and squandering American military power.
So I expect the jury to still be out, in some sense, with people like you when it comes to Obama. It does offend me that you would characterize him the way you have when all the guy has done so far is talk about his ideas. I’m not saying I expect you to vote for him, but can you entertain the idea of a different kind of leadership in Washington? I know you are not a huge fan of Bush, can you just for a moment contemplate a radical change from Bush?
Apparently you can’t. If we had suffered through 8 years of a failed Gore presidency I would not necessarily be in favor of Gore v2.0.
So, IMHO, if you want to have a dialogue about this election you have to treat Obama like I treat McCain — with some amount of respect. If your initial premise is that Obama is an empty suited pander machine, we clearly have nothing to discuss.
This post was about the fact that I could try to pick out every misstep and flip-flop of McCain and warm over the latest sound bites from MoveOn. I don’t do that. I will pick on McCain but I intend to do it on the issues and not through demonizing him as a person.
I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, I’m fine with some tension and name calling, but I don’t argue with people at Powerline because it is futile. If our discussions are going to be futile, let’s save ourselves the pain.
I don’t think my criticisms of Obama are anywhere near your attacks on Bush. You think your justified because you are just so convinced that Bush & Co. are the most evil, fucked up people to ever run a government. You cannot fathom how people can still support him, or could have ever supported him. Again, that’s fine, your opinion. That does not mean I fond you unworthy of debate even though I know debating you on the merits of Bush or the war in the Middle East is futile.
Likewise, I have serious, serious problems with Obama. I sincerely believe he is neither fit or ready to be the leader of this great country. I do think he is a cultish figure and that the fawning, worshipping, adulation is just over the top and undeserved. That’s my opinion and the o[pinion of many, many others. I do not think you are stupid, or whatever for supporting him. I have only said that I don’t understand it. I think people have become gullible to these messages put out by Obama and the media. You can’t tell the difference between lyrics to “We Are The World” and an Obama speech. Sorry if I am skeptical.
If you want to have your little echo chamber, fine, have fun. If you think I am unworthy of debate then I say you are afraid of an opposing opinion. As far as I can see I am the only one around here who generally opposes your views. You say I need to look at myself, I say look at yourself and your over-the-top criticism and rhetoric about Bush. Why is yours OK and mine is not? I dertainly have not said anything about Obama nearly as outrageous as some of the things you have said about Bush.
Of course, you feel that you are justified because Bush is such an idiot and so obviously wrong and anybody who supports him is a “fucktard.” But me saying that Obama is an empty suited pander machine somehow is just over the top and makes me “unworthy of debate.”
Think about it.