Animadversions.

The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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CJR on Obama’s “100 Year” lies.

April 2nd, 2008 · No Comments · Politics, Rants

The Columbia Journalism Review lays into Obama for his gross and continuous misrepresentation and manipulation of McCain’s “100 years” comment:

Ever since John McCain said at a town hall meeting in January that he could see U.S. troops staying in Iraq for a hundred years, the Democrats have been trying to use the quote to paint the Arizona senator as a dangerous warmonger. And lately, Barack Obama in particular has stepped up his attacks on McCain’s “100 years” notion.

Obama is seriously misleading voters—if not outright lying to them—about exactly what McCain said. And some in the press are failing to call him on it.

This matters. Obama has given every indication that his general election strategy on Iraq and foreign policy will be to portray McCain as dangerously bellicose. If he’s going to do so by distorting McCain’s words, the press should forcefully call him out on it each time.

Unsurprisingly, this is the first time I’ve actually seen anyone other than McCain’s own supporters bother to criticize Obama’s cheap rhetorical trickery over this issue.

If Obama has problems with McCain’s war policy, there’s plenty of legitimate ammunition to use in order to get that message across. But Obama’s is a campaign less about hard data and winning the minds of voters and far more about physics. He gains momentum largely by granting his fawning throngs of star-struck supporters slogans and bite-sized buzz phrases to repeat unthinkingly and ad nauseum as they push (albeit glacially) towards the Democratic Convention. The “100 years” comment has stuck out as the most obvious example of this in recent weeks and one certainly hopes a more vigorous sort of oversight might begin at SOME point.

And no, Obama is not alone in this sort of behavior. Clinton is running an entire secondary “emergency” campaign built upon going after Obama emotionally - rather than on actual issues - as much and as often as possible. When she actually suggested a few weeks back that McCain would be a better choice for president than Obama, my jaw nearly hit the floor. And it’s hard to blame her, since the tactic has proven so effective thus far. Karl Rove would be proud of them both.

McCain, for his part, has been nearly invisible for the past month. I assume he’s pulling the same sort of stuff wherever the hell he is at the moment with his traveling “Uphill In the Snow Both Ways/Get Off My Lawn” biography tour, but it’s hard to be sure when the candidate has become all but invisible in the media.

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