Friday, August 1, 2008

Facts Are Stubborn Things

John Adams had a famous saying, “Facts are stubborn things.” Never has it been more important to separate fact from fiction than during an election campaign when bumper stickers and sound bites become accepted truths.

The average person does not have the time to verify everything that is said during a campaign. The sad result is voting based on half-truths, distortions and outright lies. The campaign managers know this and use it to their advantage. As Mark Twain said, "A lie gets half way around the world before the truth puts on her boots."

The result is that some people still believe that Obama is a Muslim despite that fact that he is a practicing Christian. Others believe that John McCain is still a maverick in spite of the fact that he is parroting the Bush administration’s policies right down the line. The media keep reaffirming this view by bringing it up in spite of the fact that McCain has voted with the Bush administration almost all of the time and would keep the same policies if elected.

Polls indicate that more people believe that John McCain would be the strongest candidate to protect us as Commander-in-Chief. This perception seems to be based on the fact that he was born into a military family and that he served and was captured. It IS a fact that he was a prisoner of war and knows what torture is. It is NOT a fact that this makes him a better candidate to be Commander-in-Chief. If so, our best presidents who won wars would have been military men. Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer, but his leadership helped the North win the Civil War in spite of being burdened with some really bad Generals. Franklin D. Roosevelt was crippled by Polio and was physically unable to be in the military. Yet with their leadership they won wars. Only two Presidents have actually taken to the battlefield. George Washington and James Madison (who lost the battle). (Wickpedia).

Therefore, military experience is not a necessary, or even a desirable, characteristic for a President. What he must possess is excellent judgment, intelligence and knowledge. Many factors come into play in keeping a country safe. They are too numerous to mention here, but if you use your own thinking cap you will realize that knowing WHEN to go to war is one of the more important ones. (Or, as they say, when to hold and when to fold.) McCain still actually maintains that going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do.

John McCain knows that his military experience is his best playing card and so he is trying to portray Barack Obama as being weak and lacking in knowledge. (That's a hoot when you realize that McCain said there was a border between Iraq and Pakistan). McCain is making false statements about Obama’s record. Here are some of the misstatements on his recent ad followed by the truth.
  • Barack Obama never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan.
Barack Obama is on the Foreign Relations subcommittee on Europe. Afghanistan is not in Europe. Afghanistan was not in his area of responsibility.
Fact: McCain is the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee and has missed every hearing the past two years.

  • He (Obama) hasn’t been to Iraq in years.
While McCain has been to Iraq he was so protected that there is no way he could have known what was really happening. Instead, on his last visit he gave a Pollyanna view of everything being just peachy keen there. It sure as heck wasn’t, as it turned out. Where is his judgment?
  • He voted against funding our troops
This is an outright lie. Obama voted for funding every time with the one exception when they were trying to force a timeline on withdrawing the troops.
  • He made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops.
This distortion of what really happened has been covered by the media. Obama didn’t cancel; it was never on his schedule. Obama did visit the military hospital in Baghdad with no fanfare. The McCain ad makes it sound like Obama was just having fun at the gym and ignores the fact that the troops were there and he was actually visiting them in Kuwait.
  • John McCain is always there for our troops.
This is the one that really sticks in my craw. McCain has actually voted against, or has not shown up for, funding for the troops nearly every time. He voted against the GI bill, against the funding for armored vehicles bill, against a bill requiring adequate rest between deployments, a plan to draw down troop levels, against funding for outpatient treatment for Vets, against increasing Vet's medical services, etc. (Source, www.Vets For Common Sense,org.)
  • McCain. Country first.
Yeah, right! That is, if you believe that the country can survive another 4 to 8 years of the current policy.
  • John McCain approved this message.
Please question, question question when you listen to campaign ads whether left, right or front and center.

John Adams was correct; facts are stubborn things.


Nancy said...


This was a terrific analysis of the differences between Senators McCain and Obama.

You hit the nail on the head in so many instances.

I certainly have no intention of voting for McSAME and your post here today bolsters my feelings against his election.

I feel that the most important question we should ask ourselves before voting is:

What type of person will this President appoint to the Supreme Court?

Rain said...

Boy, you did a good job on that one. Your analysis was right on. I just wish more people paid attention. The media has to be closely watched for whether they are reporting the truth or adjusting it into an opinion on what it meant.

Darlene said...

Nancy, you are absolutely right on the importance of the Supreme Court. The damage from another right wing appointee will tilt the court that direction for generations.

Rain, you are so right about the media. They are no longer journalists, but are entertainers and they don't care diddly about the truth.

Thanks to both of you for heartwarming comments.

lilalia said...

Darlene, I just love the sanity of your Commander-in-Chief argument. I had never thought about it in this content. It completely rips apart what I previously thought to be true: that it was McCain's strong card, when in reality that strong card doesn't exist. Thank you.

ladyluz said...

Great post, Darlene, very illuminating, especially facts about the way Senate McCain has voted in Committees.

I'm an Englishwoman living in Spain and take an interest in what's happening over your side.

Kay Dennison said...

This is absolutely outstanding, Darlene! Logical, to the poimt and very, very telling! I salute you!

naomi dagen bloom said...

Wonderful to see this link at TGB,Darlene. This is an excellent post and could not agree with you more about the media.

We have reduced out watching of CNN, MSNBC. Too much drivel, hardly a word on Iraq, effect of economy on lives of real people.

Thanks so much! -naomi

Judy said...

Thank you, Darlene, for a great post on the differences between Obama and McCain. You did a great job and your analysis is very enlightening.

janinsanfran said...

What a great summary of so many falsehoods! Thanks.

Darlene said...

I am overwhelmed. Thank you one and all.

Mort Reichek said...

This is a first-class analysis. It is particularly valuable because, as some one from Arizona, you know McCain better the rest of us.

Darlene said...

Mort, thank you for the compliment.

Yes, John McCain was involved in the Keating 5 scandal and you rarely hear that mentioned in the media.

We Arizonans know how close that came to ending his career. In a way it's too bad it didn't, but then Obama might have a more formidable opponent now if McCain weren't around.

TravelinOma said...

I am so disappointed in our local news and newspapers. The focus has changed from informing the public to advertising. Even CNBC is losing it's edge. I will follow your political research with interest.

Robin said...

I am luckly to find this blog and the very issue, which helps further understand the famous phrase--"facts are stubborn things " via google search.And the analysis about the two candidates is aslo amazingly reasonalbe!