26 September 2008

Debate Live Blogging

Counting up the lies or unacceptable exaggerations of each candidate. Sources: WaPo Factchecker, U.S. Budget Access, 538, and me.

"You said there was no history of violence between Shia and Sunni."
"[Mullen] did not say that. It's not true."
"Your own advisor, Dr. Kissinger has agreed with me."
"...at one point, while you were focused on Iraq, you said, well, we can muddle through Afghanistan."

"...raise taxes on everyone..."
"...earmarks have tripled in the last five years..."
"Look, we're sending $700 billion a year overseas to countries that don't like us very much."
"...most liberal Senator..."
"This strategy has succeeded and we are winning in Iraq."
"The surge has worked."
"...voted to cut off the funds for the troops."
"...wants to stage military strikes within Pakistan, our ally...

I'm watching this on CNN International, a channel I do not get in my free basic cable package... so Obama is blue.  The sound is perfect, but the video feed is in the negative.

The results so far are not too surprising.  Neither of these guys are very skilled at debating; McCain is not the best speaker to begin with, and Obama tends to express himself in florid sentences that don't make good soundbites.  They are both hitting their talking points, although Obama has been doing better so far thanks to having had more time to prepare (since he didn't put on a circus and fake-suspend his campaign for a day).

McCain is pushing every button he can find, and has been jamming his thumb down on the "Israel" one from the start.  He's counting on the single-issue voters, and getting his message out to them.  For years the Republicans have managed to convince people to vote against their own interests on the basis of emotional single issues - abortion, Israel, gay marriage.  McCain is looking like a typewriter as he tries to portray himself as the wiser superior statesman while hitting every button he can reach. This his continual "Senator Obama still doesn't understand" and "Ahmadinejad has called Israel a 'stinking corpse.'" Buttons, buttons, buttons.

A lot of the pageantry of this bugs me.  I mean, things like the memorial bracelet crap don't contribute to dialogue at all.  They're just gimmicks that tug on the heartstrings of the soccer mom independent (unbelievably enough, a major demographic).


  1. are you serious it's playing negatives or is that just hyperbole?

  2. I'm serious. Check out the picture in the post now.