Posts Tagged ‘truth

24
Sep
08

Who Thinks Obama Is Going To Win The Sept. 26 Debate?

I’ve seen a lot of certitude from the Democrat side that Obama is going present USC-OU 2004 National Championship-style smackdown on McCain this Friday at the first presidential debate. And while if I were christian, I’d get on my knees every night till they bleed begging baby jesus for such an outcome.

But I don’t think it’s going to happen. And here’s why.

McCain has morphed into a desperate tall-tale-teller allowing his ambition to parasitically leach the soul from our once honorable and happier warrior. All that’s left is a shell of political expediency that clings to the life-force of a five-year POW who existed forty years ago.

Given the current situation of McCain’s character – or lack thereof – how many times do you think those of us watching will want to call bullshit Friday night? How many times do you think Romney tried to call bullshit during the primaries? Probably never. My experience with Mormons is that they don’t curse.

Still, the level of untruth perpertrated by McCain and his campaign has reached atmospheric levels. They wouldn’t know reality if it bitch-slapped them in the face and called them “man-whore.”

The worse part about it is not McCain’s lying – despite it’s unprecedented levels – it’s that the type of people who would vote for McCain do not care.

Jonathan Chait offers a compelling profile of McCain’s whoppers in today’s (LEFT-LEANING) The New Republican and I’ve pulled the significant paragraphs from his 6-page report. It’s long because McCain’s told a lot of lies. Here’s what I found extremely interesting from his piece, entitled, “Liar’s Poker” (bear with me – I know it’s a long – but it’s definitely worth the read):

Here we have the distilled essence of the McCain campaign’s ethos: Perception is reality. Facts don’t matter. McCain has presented himself as the grizzled champion of timeworn values. But the defining trait of his candidacy turns out to be a postmodern disdain for truth. How could McCain–a man widely regarded, not so long ago, as one of the country’s most honor-bound politicians, and therefore an unusually honest one–have descended to this ignominious low? Part of the answer is that McCain is simply doing what works–and there is good reason to believe that his campaign’s strategy of persistent dishonesty will pay dividends come November 4. But part of the explanation for all this recent dishonesty may lie, oddly enough, in McCain’s legendary sense of honor.

If this is McCain’s strategy, then a bunch of news reports debunking his claims isn’t going to hurt. Indeed it may even help. Last February, political scientists Brendan Nyhan of Duke and Jason Reifler of Georgia State published the results of an experiment designed to test the effects of political untruths. The results would unsettle any idealist. The first conclusion they found was that lies work. When subjects were confronted with an untrue political claim (President Bush banned stem-cell research; weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq) respondents naturally moved toward those positions. When the lie was corrected, however, the effect of the untruth in moving opinions largely remained. The truth, in other words, is no antidote for a lie.

Their second conclusion was even more disturbing. Subjects who identified as politically conservative were not only immune to the effects of having a lie corrected, the correction made them even more likely to believe a lie. So, for instance, one group of conservative subjects was presented with a news story that depicted President Bush claiming weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. A second group of conservatives was presented with the same thing, along with a paragraph noting that Bush’s statement was untrue. The second group was more likely than the first to believe that Iraq possessed WMDs. The very fact of the press challenging their beliefs seems to have made conservatives more likely to embrace them. If this finding is broadly correct, then the media’s new found willingness to fact-check McCain will only succeed in rallying the GOP base to his side.

The pattern here is perfectly clear. McCain has contempt for anybody who stands between him and the presidency. McCain views himself as the ultimate patriot. He loves his country so much that he cannot let it fall into the hands of an unworthy rival. (They all turn out to be unworthy.) Viewed in this way, doing whatever it takes to win is not an act of selfishness but an act of patriotism. McCain tells lies every day and authorizes lying on his behalf, and he probably knows it. But I would guess–and, again, guessing is all we can do–that in his mind he is acting honorably. As he might put it, there is a bigger truth out there.

Main point: Conservatives who are told a lie, then told the truth, believe the lie more after they were told the truth! This means, people, that no matter how many times Barack says (with a hint of condescension), “Now, John, you know that’s just not true,” it won’t make a smidgen of difference. Even if Obama presents a coherent, thought-out, truthful rebuttal to McCain’s lies (“He wants to tax the American people,” “He was wrong on the surge,” “He doesn’t put country first,” “Palin has more experience.”), it will not make a difference in the belief conservatives have in McCain words. It truly is a sad commentary.

I must, however, point out that most of these conservatives are evangelical christians and believe the bible is fact, the Earth is 6,000 years old, all life came from the animals Noah could round up, Jesus rose from the dead and you have to believe in him – with no evidence – or their benevolent, all-loving god will send you down to the hellfires for eternity. Critical thinking isn’t their best attribute, to say the least.

I’m not sure how many of these conservatives will be watching Friday night, but seeing as how the main convention speeches drew around 40 million viewers, I’m thinking a lot will be tuned in. These people, however, would be in the bag for the Republican candidate even it was Elmo. I know, I know – there are loads of Dems who would vote for the Cookie Monster if he said he’d end the Iraq War. I get it.

While the debates will be a vital deciding factor in the outcome of the election, I think it will be harder to decide the victor. Palin has already won the VP’s go-round on Oct. 2. The bar is so low for her (perhaps the Devil is holding it up) and there are no rebuttal periods, which means than unless her boob pops out or she says, “I’m changing my mind and voting for Barack Obama,” she’s won. Actually, she’ll probably win big time if her boob pops out. Good luck, Joe B – try to chant, “I am not a political god. I am not a political god,” before heading on stage. That will probably help impede your gaffe-propensity.

What we can conclude here is that the arguments, facts, issues, policies, etc. presented during the debate will not determine the victor. The viewship will. The more informed and analytical the viewership, the more likely Obama will win. The opposite is true for McCain. I plan on watching.

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17
Jul
08

U.S. Establishing Diplomatic Presence in Iran?

Here’s my theory:

A younger, well-read student of history disguises himself as an older, white male Republican. Imagine a light navy suit, white shirt with the collar that buttons down at the corners, bright-red tie, over-sized American flag lapel pin, light brown hair – slightly graying – that’s been calling for a clip for a week. Somehow, this Navy Suit gains audience with the president – the specifics aren’t important – and extracts a thin, hollow tube from his pants – no, not that tube! – a bamboo tube.

Without notice, a dart tipped with the Secret Serum of Logic (found at one of the oldest, unnoticed library’s in the U.S.) is loaded into the thin tube. The Navy Suit raises the tube to his lips and, much like we’ve seen on TV or even practiced ourselves with paper-wrapped straws, emits a sharp, intense breath into the elongated apparatus, forcing the dart from its launching position into the neck of the President of the United States of America, who unfortunately carries the name George W. Bush and dreams of spooning Dick Cheney in the nighttime.

Not-so-coincidentally, soon after the so-called “Dart Incident,” Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik says U.S. ground troops will be “mostly finished” in Iraq by mid-2009.

Most stunning of all, a week later The Guardian claims the U.S. will establish a diplomatic presence – “a halfway house to setting up a full embassy” – in the capital of Iran, Tehran. After 30 years of relatively cool relations between the U.S. and Iran, George W. Bush has chosen a bold strategy of reaching out to Tehran in an effort to slow the Middle East country’s development of nuclear technology.

Such out-of-character developments originating from the White House cause hopeful brows to furrow in consternation over the sharp 180 (can a 180 be sharp? anyway…) in U.S. foreign policy. Theories of all kinds have emerged to explain such an enigma:

  • With a little less than 200 days left in office, Bush is grasping at straws – or logic, as we call it in the left-wing blogosphere – in a desperate effort to save the embers of his legacy after a tumultuous tenure at the helm of the American government.
  • Bush no longer feels beholden to his voters, donors, supporters – most of whom suffer from chronic headupassness – and is grasping at all straws in sight to have a least one, true success before leaving office.
  • Bush was kidnapped and water-boarded by former Secretary of State James Baker who convinces the current Executive to thank Iran for helping us with Afghanistan in the early days following 9/11.
  • Bush will want to ride the coattails of potential positive policy utilized by the next president, Obama, and claim that the strategies this new president has found beneficial were actually introduced by Bush. No one will believe the failed oilman who duped a small majority of the country into believing he’d be the best leader to steer the U.S. into the next century.
  • Presidential candidate John McCain has angered Bush by trying to forge a gap of reputation between the two old, white Republicans – prompting Bush to initiate policies that follow ideology spouted by Obama, not McCan’t.
  • Or, conversely, Bush wants to initiate these more leftist strategies he mistakenly believes will fail, allowing McCain to distance himself from Bush and garner voter approval after these Democratic tactics fall short. First of all, too little too late for McCain and secondly – most surprising to Bush, these strategies actually WORK. Tally-ho!
  • Bush wanted to plant a diplomatic effort in Iran to cover for a spy-team meant to infiltrate Iran’s confusing and secretive government hierarchy. Little did he know that President Obama would actually use the diplomatic team for diplomacy, goshdarnit.

Nevertheless, as the global population sits stunned over their morning coffee, reading rumors of the U.S. actively extending a diplomatic hand to Iran under the direction of W, the young, well-read student of history chuckles to himself in fond memory of his morning with the president and the dart that changed history.




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