Is the Republican party becoming the party that cries victimization?

The more I listen to the talking points coming out of the Republican party, the more it seems that they cry foul at any perceived slight, or sometimes even pre-empt slights.  Usually this is directed at the supposed liberal media and its unfair treatment of conservatives.

You may remember back during the Republican National Convention, that right wing pundits were on message complaining about the sexist critical coverage of who the heck is this new political person on the national scene, Sarah Palin.  I mean I didn’t know much about her, so it makes sense that the news organizations would go looking and let the public know about her.

Not exactly consistent on their opinion of the media’s treatment of female candidates.  But hey, why let consistency stop you from calling foul, crying that the big bad liberal media is being unfair to conservatives when it allows you to intimidate that media to treat you more favorably due to your whining.

More recently we have the conservatives complaining that the LA Times won’t release a videotape of a party for Rashid Khalidi that Obama attended.  As the AP reports,

Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin accused the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday of protecting Barack Obama by withholding a videotape of the Democrat attending a 2003 party for a Palestinian-American professor and critic of Israel. The paper said it had written about the event in April and would not release the tape because of a promise to the source who provided it.

McCain and Palin called Rashid Khalidi a former spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization, a characterization Khalidi has denied in the past. Both candidates said guests at the party made critical comments about Israel.

So that is the situation, this is the whining that is going on,

McCain and Palin cited the paper’s position as evidence of media bias. The Times has endorsed Obama.

“If there was a tape of John McCain in a neo-Nazi outfit, I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different,” McCain said in an interview with Hispanic radio stations.

Palin said the Times should win a Pulitzer Prize for “kowtowing.”

It must be nice for a candidate to have major news organizations looking out for their best interests like that. Politicians would love to have a pet newspaper of their very own,” she said.

Apparently Republicans are a little forgetful of the withholding of a story that can only have helped their candidate in 2004.  As a blog on Wired pointed out,

The tale is an odd one. There seems to have been at least two meetings between the Times and the White House about the story, but Lichtblau’s Slate excerpt confusingly jumps between the two.

He also doesn’t explain who at the Times was persuaded in 2004, at the tail end of a presidential election, to withhold a bombshell story about the president secretly wiretapping inside the United States in plain contravention of federal law.

His book, Bush’s Law: The Remaking of American Justice, comes out Tuesday, April 1.

Here’s hoping that the book explains much more about the 13-month hold on one of the most important stories of the post-9/11 era, instead of skimming over embarrassing details and relying on passive constructions (“It was a difficult decision for everyone.”).

The sentence “The editors were not persuaded we had enough for a story” is not enlightening nor does it ring true.  Nor does it explain at all how the nation’s most respected newspaper nearly spiked, for eternity, the warrantless wiretapping program story.

Why should the debate at the Times over the NSA’s warrantless targeting of Americans be more of a secret than the spying?

In the world of unintended consequences, the push to find out about Rashid Khalidi shows that McCain may have more extensive ties to the professor as the AP reports.

Khalidi is a professor of Middle East Studies at Columbia University and a longtime friend of Obama’s. Khalidi has publicly criticized Israel, but he and Obama have both said they hold very different opinions on Israeli issues.

McCain also has ties to Khalidi through a group Khalidi helped found 15 years ago. The Center for Palestine Research and Studies received at least $448,000 from an organization McCain chairs.

If Khalidi is so bad, so anti Israeli, why did an organization McCain chairs give him $448,000?  Think Progress has a great write up on this embarassing (well if you weren’t a rampant hypocrite) situation for McCain.

It would be nice if the Republicans didn’t cry foul at every perceived slight in the media, and learned to show a little spine.  Sadly the mainstream media more often than not enables this behavior, as I personally think that the suppression of the warrantless wiretapping demonstrates.  It is as bad as professional athletes taking dives in games to get a foul called.

-Josh

Right wing talking points uploaded by McCain campaign

In response to Barack Obama’s half hour political ad buy on October 29th, the talking point coming out of the McCain campaign is that the only way that Obama could afford it was because he broke his promise on public financing in the general election.

As Rudy Giuliani said on Hannity and Colmes on October 29th,

…I think it’s a testament to his not keeping his word. I mean the reality is he’s spending money because he has broken his word about sticking with the campaign finance limits.

But history is a bit important.

In February 2008 the NY Times reported on the push by McCain to get Obama to agree to public financing of the general election.

Mr. Obama did not rule out the possibility of accepting public financing, but declared on Friday, “I’m not the nominee yet.”

“If I am the nominee, I will make sure our people talk to John McCain’s people to find out if we are willing to abide by the same rules and regulations with respect to the general election going forward,” Mr. Obama told reporters at a news conference in Milwaukee. “It would be presumptuous of me to start saying now that I am locking into something when I don’t even know if the other side will agree to it.”

Last year, Mr. Obama sought an advisory ruling with the Federal Election Commission to see whether the campaign could opt out of public financing in the primary and accept it in the general election. It was merely an inquiry, he said, not a pledge to accept the financing.

If he wins the Democratic nominating fight with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. Obama said, “my folks will sit down and see if we can arrive at a common set of ground rules.”

Nowhere did I find anything that said Obama would take public financing.  Now the case can be made that he went back on his word to the McCain campaign, not the American public…well unless McCain now equates himself as the American public, to sit down and try to agree to some rules.

But thinking about candidate going back on their words related to public financing it interesting to contrast the two candidates.

Obama said he would meet with his opposing candidate to try to seek an agreement between both campaigns before committing to taking public financing in the general election.

McCain took public financing in the primary season when his campaign was cashed starved.  Apparently that acceptance of public financing allowed him to secure loans to continue the primary campaign.  After doing well on Super Tuesday, he informed the FEC that he would withdraw from public financing.  Before getting an okay from the FEC, they did not have enough members for a quorom to rule on his decision to withdraw, McCain spent past the public financing limits that he agreed to.  You can read more about this in my previous post.

In terms of breaking their words, Obama apparently didn’t meet with his opponent, while McCain entered into public financing, then withdrew, then spent past the limits, during the primary season.

In terms of the severity of going back on his words McCain’s looks worse than Obama’s in my eyes.  I would even encourage the Obama campaign to make this counter point to McCain’s talking points!

-Josh

McCain on corporate taxes

He is talking about CEO of various corporations who could go to Ireland which has a lower tax rate, and why don’t they go there.  That is a fair question, why don’t they if it would lower their taxes?  Everyone he listed is still in the US with its supposedly too high corporate tax rate.

-Josh

Can we trust him with the important decisions?

John McCain seems being getting more and more confused.

The full quote, “across this country this is the agenda I have set before my fellow prisoners, and the same standards of clarity and candor must be applied to my opponent.”

So are Republicans, because that is the audience at these things, prisoners?

But this is more priceless from October 21, 2008.

Transcript:

John McCain: I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama’s supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately.

Crowd: [Booes loudly]

John McCain: You know, I couldn’t agree with him more.

Crowd: [quiet chuckling]

John McCain: I couldn’t disagree with you…I couldn’t agree with you more than the fact that Western Pennsylvania is the most patriotic, most god loving, most patriotic part of America. [crowd cheers loudly] This is a great part of the country.

Everyone misspeaks from time to time, but with the age issue, and not releasing health records, you have to wonder about his coherence when the tough decision needs to be made.  Especially in light of the fact he seems to shoot from the hip, not make deliberate decisions.

-Josh

Moderate Republicans for Obama

Earlier this week we had Colin Powell made a very compelling case for Barack Obama over John Sidney McCain, if you haven’t seen it, you can check it out here.  For those dittoheads, his reasoning is reason, not just race.

Now we have Scott McCellan, former George W Bush press secretary, endorsing Obama because Scott would, “support the candidate that would have the best chance to change the way Washington works and getting things done.”

For those of you who know Minnesota political history, pre Jesse Ventura era, Arne Carlson, a two term Republican governor endorsed Obama today [emphasis added].

Former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on Thursday, saying Obama represented the best hope for an America facing an economic crisis and criticizing Republicans for waging a mean-spirited campaign that has “been going down all these side roads.”

Speaking at the State Capitol, where he was introduced by U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Carlson said his party had strayed from the moderate philosophies of past Republican leaders such as Ohio Sen. Robert Taft and President Dwight Eisenhower. “I consider myself a Republican maverick,” Carlson said in explaining his endorsement of Obama.

I think Carlson has a muc more legitmate claim to the maverick Republican these days than the flip-flopping McCain that has run to embrace the base.

Hopefully this will help persuade some moderate Republicans that Obama is a better choice than the leader of their hostaged party.

-Josh

Where is the 2000 McCain?

This past week, all he can talk about is “spreading the wealth” and labeling Obama with socialism like it is something horribly wrong.

Well, ironically in 2000 John McCain gave a pretty give response to a young woman who asked him a question in Hardball townhall Q & A about a progressive tax system, including the other taxes – payroll and sales – not just income tax.

Personally, I think her follow up question equating it to slavery then backtracking to socialism due to the boos was way off target and glad they booed her!

-Josh

A real challenge for Barack Obama

NOW on PBS is one of the better news shows.  They had a great segment this week on the vote in Virginia which is in play this year, not solidly in the Republican column on election night.  And it isn’t just the growing DC suburbs, you know the communist part of Virginia, but disillusioned Republican voters (0:00 to 3:00), and even military families who given more to Obama than McCain in donations (12:45 to 14:50).

But even with all of that, one of the hurdles is deeply faithful people like Tracy from 8:25 to 10:05 of this video.  Make sure to watch her eyes as she makes her points.  This is the kind of total faith, and intolerance that scares the hell out of me.  She has a problem with atheists and Muslims, she has a problem Obama’s name.

Hopefully her husband Sean (6:10 to 8:25 of the video) will make what I consider to be a more rational choice about what is best for him and his children.

-Josh

John McCain on Fox News Sunday – October 19, 2008

I am watching Fox News Sunday this morning.

John McCain said that Barack Obama is the most eloquent politician he has ever known.  Take that Ronald Reagan!

Chris Wallace did a nice job of challenging John McCain on the issue of public financing.  McCain complained about Obama’s opting out of public financing for the first time since Watergate.  He also complained about the non-disclosure of small donations.  Wallace challenged McCain on whether Obama is doing anything wrong?  McCain said that large amounts of money corrupt, but no, nothing wrong.  He did allude to multiple small donations which may be problematic.  But in terms of the going back on his word on taking public finance, McCain is far from innocent, because in the primaries he did his best Hokey Pokey imitation on public financing.

Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama.  McCain counters with four Secretaries of State.

McCain defends Joe the Plumber by saying that people shouldn’t be investigated for asking a candidate a question.  First of all, Joe asked a question that was reported on television, the question had a political agenda since it was about a future that doesn’t look to be to close for Joe.  And it was McCain’s obsessive focus on Joe in the final debate that brought the media scrutiny.  Wallace made the point that it was the media.

Wallace challenges McCain’s use of robo-calls, which in the past he derided and even stated he would never use.  Wallace also points out that Senator Collins has asked McCain to end the calls.  McCain’s response is that the statement is true and it doesn’t sound like he will cancel them.

Wallace challenges McCain on the issue of calling refundable income tax credits, when he is proposing a refundable tax credit for health care.

I don’t know that I would describe Sarah Palin in terms of arousing enthusiasm in America when there are criticisms about her attractiveness as being one of her few positive attributes.

In general I would say Wallace did a decent job of challenging McCain on real issues, so kudos to him.

-Josh

Update:  Bill Kristol describes a tax cut that would help Joe the Plumber right now as a handout.  So tax cuts are handouts when they are not structured to your liking.

John McCain on school vouchers

I find it strange to hear McCain try to project the choice that he and Cindy had to the average American to make the case for school vouchers.

Now I don’t know about you, but thinking about the millions of dollars that the McCain family has, do they need vouchers to pay for private school?  Maybe, just maybe, if they sent his kids to public school, he would advocate for a better public school system!

-Josh

So which is state’s rights or not?

McCain earlier talked about state’s right for Roe v. Wade.  Yet here is talking about troops-to-teachers and needing to get rid of the certification process in some of these states.

As usual the Republicans are only for states rights when it serves their ideology, not on any consistent manner.  At least on this topic Libertarians – as nutty as I find them – are principled.

-Josh

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