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February 15, 2008

McCain Opposed What????

Filed under: Politics — CPav @ 7:37 am
Tags: , , ,

Something that’s been bugging me since Super Tuesday, but which got lost in my hectic week last week:

The morning of the primary, I saw a television ad which nearly made my head spin. So much so that, before I blogged on it, I had to go out on the internet, find it, and watch it again, to make sure that I’d heard what I thought I heard. (I’m usually pretty good once I get going in the morning, as long as I’ve gotten enough sleep the night before. Which is rare.)

Take a look at the “Never Surrender” ad at Go ahead. We’ll wait.

Done? Did you hear it? The second statement in the ad. “One man opposed a flawed strategy in Iraq.” WTF????

Is it me, or does this make it sound like McCain opposed the Iraq war? Don’t parse the sentence. I know this blog doesn’t always show it, but I’m pretty good with…y’know….words. And what the words here are saying is “John McCain didn’t support the way the war in Iraq was being waged.”

But that’s not what John and Jane Q Public will hear. And that’s not what they’ll take with them to the polls. What they’ll hear, and what they’ll base their votes on, is “John McCain…opposed…Iraq”.

Think I’m wrong? That I’m not giving John and Jane enough credit? CNN doesn’t: “McCain last year bucked public opinion with his full-throated support of President Bush’s commitment of nearly 30,000 additional troops to Iraq at a time when a solid majority of Americans had turned against the 4-year-old war….But among the 34 percent who said they disapproved of the war, McCain had a wide advantage over the GOP field — even over Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the sole advocate of a U.S. withdrawal in the Republican field.” (full story)

Look, I’m not saying that this is wrong. Wait, hold on, yes I am. I think this type of deliberate doublespeak is dangerous, and leads people to vote for candidates based on false assumptions. It’s like saying Mayoral Candidate X is going to raise taxes if he gets elected, without saying that if Mayoral Candidate Y gets elected and doesn’t raise taxes, he’s going to have to cut services. Not that that’s happened in my experience or anything.

On the other hand, as a strategy, it’s fairly brilliant. Because the people who do parse the sentence can come back and say “Well, he ain’t lyin’.” Because what McCain actually wanted was the troop surge, but much, much earlier. So while the statement that he opposed the way the war was being fought is true, the inference that he opposed the war is not.

Heck, that’s the kind of thing I might write, if I wrote that kind of stuff.

On a related note:

Available for hire: Writer with political experience. Contact owner of this blog for more information.

The 300 Project: 12/35



  1. I say, HE IS LYING, and will NEVER vote for such a fraud and a warmonger. WRITE IN RON PAUL’S NAME ON YOUR BALLOT IN NOVEMBER. Stop being sheep!

    Comment by JC — February 15, 2008 @ 8:35 am | Reply

  2. For those of us not throwing away a vote in November by voting for a candidate without a hope of winning (remember, if those who had voted Nader had voted Gore instead, we wouldn’t be in this pickle), the voter must recognize that this type of doublespeak is absolutely necessary for any political candidate. I don’t like it but I think that a candidate must be able to create nuances, guide conversations, influence, etc. Of course McCain is doing revisionist spin on his voting record – so is every other candidate. And as for campaign promises…. yeah, right. If every candidate actually did what they said they would, we’d have amazingly well funded education, the lowest taxes in the world (we’re close to that already but the US population doesn’t appreciate that) and every single special interest group would be happy. πŸ™‚ Find the candidate that seems to most closely align with your ideals – not what they promise they’ll do but what they’ve done and what your gut feels about them and then educate yourself. And vote! (If in Chicago, vote early, vote often πŸ˜‰ )

    I have the barbeque theory. The american populace will elect whomever they feel they’d most enjoy to have over for afternoon bbq. Take a look at the candidates in the modern era of TV and see if there have been any presidents that wouldn’t fit that. All of them have been (except maybe Ford) the guy that would sit down with a beer and shoot the bull with ‘ya. Tell me Clinton, Carter, and either Bush all wouldn’t be fun to just sit around in the backyard and have casual converstion? Intellectuals must hide behind this image. Kerry and Gore didn’t and it cost them. It’s one of the reasons I think that Hillary can’t get elected (nominated, maybe, but not elected). She doesn’t present an image that would allow for that relaxed, casual discussion having a drink in the backyard. And I’m copywriting that BBQ theory right now. πŸ˜‰

    Comment by Old Roomie — February 18, 2008 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

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