Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bare Knuckle Fight

The campaign for President, which had already turned away from policy arguments, has now reached a new low. of The McCain campaign has now moved from ridiculous innuendo (Obama is too famous to be President), to straight out lies. In response to an a comment that Obama made about John McCain claiming to represent change (" can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."), the McCain camp has put out an ad that claims that Obama made the comment about Sarah Palin. They also issued an angry press release demanding that Obama apologize for making a disparaging remark about the Republican VP candidate. The McCain camp also put out an ad claiming that Obama wants to teach sex education to kindergartners. This is also a gross distortion of the truth. The purpose of the bill that Obama sponsored in the Illinois legislature was designed to educate children about pedophilia so that they would be better protected against it.

The McCain camp is willing to go to any lengths in order to win this election. The response from the Obama campaign has been to try to combat the lies with the truth. However, they should know by now that once a claim has been made (true or not), a percentage of the public will believe it. They should know this because of what was done to John Kerry. Kerry responded to the swift boat nonsense by saying that the American people knew better than that. He was incredulous that he, as a decorated Vietnam war vet, should have to defend his record against a draft dodger who only faced shots from a tequila bottle during the Vietnam war. The public bought it though and the public is probably going to buy whatever lies the McCain camp can come up with between now and election day.

The Obama campaign is continuing to take the high road. They respond to every attack as quickly as possible with a press release, but they are clearly constantly playing defense. Obama's "rapid response team" is his attempt to try and avoid the fate that Kerry suffered. They do respond to every charge of the McCain team, but it is clearly not as effective a tactic as being on offense. Obama's responses to the attacks have been fairly tepid. When asked if Sarah Palin is qualified to be Vice President, he has deflected the question. He also refused to say that the Republicans are lying about him and his record. He has been, in my opinion, too reserved in his response. When you are being slapped repeatedly, the response should not be to politely ask the person to stop doing that.

This latest round of attacks make it clear that it's time for a change. It's time for Obama and Biden to stop complementing John McCain. McCain has certainly never returned the favor. The Democrats should stop prefacing their criticism of John McCain with "...we honor his service to our country", or "...John McCain is a freind of mine", or "John McCain cares about his country". Until now, the Democrats have brought a knife to a gun fight. It's time they even up the score. I am not advocating for the Obama camp to start lying about the Republicans, but it is time for them to stop pussyfooting around the truth. Sarah Palin isn't qualified to be President. I know she's running for Vice President, but she is only a "heart beat away" from the top job. Sarah Palin was for the "bridge to nowhere", she hired a lobbyist to help secure federal earmarks for ther small town in Alaska. These facts are not in dispute. The Obama campaign should call their remarks what they are, lies. They are simply lies. Obama's tax plan will not raise taxes on the majority of Americans, but McCain keeps on repeating that he will and polls show that a majority of the public believe it. It is a lie. It's time to call it what it is.

Barack Obama may not be able to win the election, but at least he can expose the Republican ticket for what it is. He has to call them out, in no uncertain terms, and make sure that the American people know what kind of people they are voting into office. He doesn't have to pull a Network moment (I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore), but he does have to show a little more spirit in defending himself. John McCain promised that he would run an above board campaign and he hasn't come close to living up to that promise. The actions of the McCain camp should release Obama to show a little more fight. It's time to take off the gloves. It's time to get serious. It's time to take the fight to them. And in the words of Kevin Costner in "The Untouchables", never stop fighting until the fight is done.

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