Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Is anyone watching?

I'm sure these "claims" by the Republican speakers last night will start the email rounds soon.
It took less than a minute to find the truth under all the spin. Yeah, yeah, politics is about half-truths and saying what people want to hear, but some basic honesty would be nice, you know? If you look at the world in bright primary colors and simple one-syllable words, well, I guess this sort of "truth" might appeal to you. Nuance really isn't a skill at this level, is it?

Yes, taxes will go up -- if you make more than 250K a year. While that probably does affect the delegates at the convention, it doesn't touch 95% of the people who vote republican. Neither income nor capital gains taxes would affect them. And, of course, closing corporate tax loopholes will piss off a big part of the Republican support base. So, technically true fpr about 5% of the people, but certainly not the gasping, breathless threat of "Obama will raise YOUR taxes" that is presented. Unless, well, the RNC assumes that everyone is making that much money.

Never reached across the aisle. Flat-out false. He worked with Sen. Coburn to track Federal spending, and with Sen. Lugar on a non-proliferation Law, among others. Maybe he didn't reach across the aisle to agree wholeheartedly with the Republicans, but to say he does not work with the other side is false. Then again, for the last eight years, bipartisan meant agreeing with the Republicans and Bush. I don't know how much of Obama's speech on "working together" we can take as face value, I hope it's true.

And cut funding for troops? Well, I suppose you could spin it that way -- if by not voting on an appropriations and military funding bill that didn't include some sort of plan to withdraw from Iraq (as did many other Senators) is "voting against funding for the troops" . That's skating on pretty thin ice. If that's the criteria, we should take a look at the stuff that everyone else has "voted against" in the past-- like voting against funding education when it's got to much pork attached to it that it's a farce, or voting against veterans because the law didn't include enough support for huge spending increases in other areas. But, spin is everything. Characterizing this as a vote against the troops is misleading -- especially since there is a huge double standard here.

Then again, the fact that legislation is often festooned with various and unrelated bits of law -- funding pork barrel projects in a social security bill, adding wording to ban a contraceptive in a law creating parkland, that sort of thing. Have you ever read the bills proposed? By the time they make it through committee, most of them have a few pages of special legislation added. Can't veto a bill the funds the government for another year just because you don't like a line item that provides funding for something else -- or maybe you do, then you are criticized for shutting down government. Maybe the first law that everyone should consider is that every single line in a bill has to have the same topic.

And, if we want to look at "not supporting the troops" lets not lose sight of the fact that the current administration has refused to support pay increases, GI bill expansion, and has cut funding for VA hospitals among other things. What, you say? Well, that's just spin as well, isn't it? He didn't "cut" funding, he just didn't allocate as much as was requested; but he did strongly oppose raises and increased benefits for our troops, is that "voting against our troops"? What about opposing the GI bill? Pot, meet kettle.

And as for Palin having "more experience", that is laughable. Oh, wait, they're touting her "executive experience'. Apparently being governor of a state with the population of Memphis, TN is awfully important, and being the mayor of a town with 7K people has given her so much more experience than someone who has taught constitutional law, been a sendator in Illinois for eight years, and a US senator for four - and on the Foreign Relations Committee --....but wait! They are claiming Palin has foreign affairs experience because she lived near Russia. And she has command experience as CiC of the National Guard in Alaska (which is untrue, but the way - the governer has extremely limited powers to control the ANG) Oh! And she was in the PTA. And John McCain is a POW? Who knew? (please inject as much sarcasm as you can into that particular sentence. It seems to be trotted out against every criticism.)

Gah. I need to stop listening to CNN during the day. I avoided all but the final acceptance speech of the Democratic Convention, I should certainly stay away from the Republican one, or I'm going to be a Miss Bitchypants for the next week or so.

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