John McCain: Plain Spoken Heroism

Politics, Republicans — By on September 5, 2008 at 12:16 pm

By John Mark Reynolds
John McCain cannot give a great speech, but he has lived a great life. He has done great things, but he wants to do more. Tonight John McCain did well, but Sarah Palin gave the speech everyone will remember. Her soaring rhetoric met her promising reality and caused a national explosion of interest in the Republican Party.
She beat Obama as the most watched speech this year.
That is fine with the Maverick, because he is not known for his rhetoric, but his reality. Nobody can match his reality.
John McCain was inspirational, especially at the end, because he is an American hero running to serve his nation.
His speech was about what he would do and what he believed. It was straight and clear and McCain was unbowed as he gave it. When interrupted by aging protesters, he waved them off, because John McCain has seen war protesters, perhaps even those very same people, before in worse circumstances.
McCain became eloquent as he talked about his desire to serve.
At the end John McCain stopped giving a speech and began to talk about why he wants to be president. If there is one thing you have to believe is that he will, in his words, fight for America as long as he has breath . . . so help him God.
He is a moderate man and has moderate ambitions.
He is a hero, but he has the humility of a man who became a hero by being crushed by adversity. If there was a day when he was hot headed, it is plain that time has mellowed him. John McCain is not the president for anyone who wants great words, but he is the president for Americans who want someone who knows who to fight, when to fight, and where to fight.
He is a quiet fighter for a changed Washington. He is running to be a servant leader and not savior of America.
John McCain did, as he always has, what he had to do tonight. We can be pretty sure that if elected, he will do the same.


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  • JohnW

    What about McCain’s first wife?
    Also, it’s great McCain was willing to serve his country, but what about the fact the Vietnam war was morally wrong-an act of agression and genocide against the people of Vietnam?
    What about the fact you can not “win” an occupation? And McCain has voted against the very veterans he likes to use as political props?

  • jd

    I agree with most everything that Dr. Reynolds wrote–unfortunately, I think he was writing about the John McCain who came to Washington many years ago. I think McCain has gotten way too comfortable with being a senator. I think he has the ego of most senators, egos which are not tempered by being held accountable for decisions. He has fallen in love with the image that the press has painted of him: the maverick who fights his own party. I think his manner…”my friends”… is gratingly condescending. Aside from his foreign policy, I disagree with almost everything he has stood for during the last 10 to 15 years.
    The only reason I would support him is that there’s a better chance he’ll nominate judges like Alito and Roberts.
    That being said, Barack is worse. He is an empty suit, who is trying desperately to hide what he really is: an extremely ambitious socialist.
    Sarah Palin should be the nominee; or maybe the Fred Thompson who spoke on Wednesday night.

  • Jrm

    John McCain’s commercials state we are worse off than four years ago.
    Specifically, what went wrong with the White House in that time? What, specific mistakes did Bush make that McCaim will not repeat?
    Unless McCain answers those questions he will lose the election. The only way to win is to distingush himself from George Bush. Nobody wants “four more years.”
    His POW status is worthless as a Presidential qualification. Ther are millions of service personel who have served their country at great personal sacrifice. He has no claim to be unique in that circumstance.

  • TestFlight
  • ucfengr

    What about McCain’s first wife?
    What about her? Yes, in a perfect world, he and his first wife would have stayed together, but he was in a POW camp, being tortured for 5 and 1/2 years and she had been in a serious auto accident. How many marriages could stand that strain?
    Also, it’s great McCain was willing to serve his country, but what about the fact the Vietnam war was morally wrong-an act of agression and genocide against the people of Vietnam?
    I am not sure that North Vietnam’s morally wrong act of aggression and genocide against the people of South Vietnam can really be counted against John McCain. He did his best to stop it.
    What about the fact you can not “win” an occupation?
    You mean like the lost “occupations” of Japan, Germany, South Korea, Texas, California, Alaska, etc.?
    His POW status is worthless as a Presidential qualification.
    It does show strength of character and moral fortitude. I suspect most people would agree that those are important qualifications to be President.
    Ther are millions of service personel who have served their country at great personal sacrifice.
    Not many of those millions spent 5 1/2 years in the Hanoi Hilton. His sacrifice, especially when you consider that he could have gotten out earlier because of his father’s position, is unique.

  • Crystal

    Sarah Palin And John McCain are not very good Christians to sit there and only back stab Obama? I’m sorry but I can’t vote for such hateful people I was brought to tears hearing them all speak. It was so hateful.

  • Julie

    Hateful people?
    You mean like Obama dissing his “typical white person” grandma, or the people of Pennsylvania who “cling to their guns and their religion”?
    You mean those kind of people, Crystal?

  • Mike Toreno

    Julie, no, that’s not what she means. Your complaint is that Obama said things about people. To you, everything Obama does is wrong, and so everything he says is therefore hateful. Your evaluation of people is based on group identification; Obama isn’t a member of the group with which you identify; therefore anything he does is immoral. If someone who is a member of the group with which you identify does the exact same thing, what they do is, in your eyes, OK. To you, the morality of an act is not based on the nature of the act; it is based on your identification with the actor. Sarah Palin lied about her opposition to the Bridge to nowhere; you identify with Sarah Palin, therefore, to you, her lying is OK. John McCain lied about Obama’s service in Congress; you identify with John McCain, therefore, to you, his lying is OK. Obama has a long, loving marriage and has been faithful to his wife; you don’t identify with Obama, therefore, to you, his marriage is wrong. John McCain started dating Cindy McCain while he was still married to his first wife; you identify with John McCain; therefore, his conduct is perfectly acceptable.
    It would be refreshing if you would quit using the words traditionally associated with ethical judgments. Just admit that you don’t like Obama, quit pretending that what he’s doing is morally wrong. You don’t fool anyone, your worthlessness and hypocrisy is revealed in your every word and your every act.

  • einsteinshairdo

    It’s good to see that Christians are still worshiping Constantine.

  • J. Michael Matkin

    Is this really supposed to be an evangelical take on politics? Because this kind of hagiography on the part of the supposed followers of Jesus smacks of the worst kind of political idolatry. You’ve gone past ‘God and Country’ to ‘God and Party’, and are flirting with ‘Party as God’. If this is representative of thinking amongst evangelicals in America, then clearly the salt has lost its savor.

  • ucfengr

    Sarah Palin And John McCain are not very good Christians to sit there and only back stab Obama?
    I don’t think you have a very good understanding of the concept of backstabbing, Crystal. John McCain and Sarah Palin are attacking Obama and Biden head-on; there is no attempt at subterfuge here. A better example is Obama claiming that Sarah Palin’s family should be off limits, while at the same time sending out his surrogates to attack her has a bad parent for “allowing” her daughter to get pregnant or for not taking better care of her new, special needs baby. See the difference?
    Your complaint is that Obama said things about people. To you, everything Obama does is wrong, and so everything he says is therefore hateful. Your evaluation of people is based on group identification; Obama isn’t a member of the group with which you identify; therefore anything he does is immoral.
    I think a better description of her complaint is that Obama made broad and inaccurate generalizations about a large group of people that he doesn’t know and has no experience with. It’s kind of like what you are doing here, Miguel, albeit to an individual rather a group.
    Is this really supposed to be an evangelical take on politics? Because this kind of hagiography on the part of the supposed followers of Jesus smacks of the worst kind of political idolatry. You’ve gone past ‘God and Country’ to ‘God and Party’, and are flirting with ‘Party as God’.
    I think a better description of this is ostensibly pro-life Christians/Catholics supporting Obama. Protection of innocent life should be a first principle for any politically active Christian, but many are ready to throw it over to vote for Obama.

  • ucfengr

    Obama has a long, loving marriage and has been faithful to his wife; you don’t identify with Obama, therefore, to you, his marriage is wrong. John McCain started dating Cindy McCain while he was still married to his first wife; you identify with John McCain; therefore, his conduct is perfectly acceptable.
    I don’t know that anybody is attacking Obama’s marriage. Some people are concerned with some of the views Michele Obama has espoused (America is mean place, complaining about having to get by on a measly $250k/year, etc.) and with their choice of church, but that is different from “attacking” their marriage. Likewise, I don’t know that anybody is defending McCain’s conduct in his first marriage (he certainly isn’t), however there are mitigating circumstances that should be noted.

  • Mike Toreno

    ucfengr, I’m not generalizing anything. I can peg Julie because she engages in behavior that I recognize. I also recognize what you’re doing, it’s called lying. Obama didn’t send out any surrogates to attack Palin’s family. A couple of diarists on Daily Kos picked up the rumor that had been swirling around in Alaska since April. Those two people didn’t really have a great understanding of how to evaluate evidence, and they got slapped down in the comments pretty good. After a couple days of chewing the issue over, everybody recognized the obvious, which is that the “mother swap” story was just silly. It is your stupidity and dishonesty that leads you to blame the actions of a couple of random diarists on Obama, but Obama isn’t to blame for things in which he had no involvement, nor is he to blame for the stupidity and dishonesty that causes you to assign responsibility to him for things he didn’t do. Anybody on Kos can post a diary. Obama isn’t to blame for everything any of his supporters do. Similarly, McCain is responsible only for his lies, he isn’t responsible for your lies.
    There are legitimate comments being made about how Sarah Palin is careful to point out that keeping the pregnancy and the baby is Bristol’s choice, freely made, yet she would deny others the same choice. Those are policy arguments. Similarly, there are comments being made about how Palin vetoed a bill providing housing for teen mothers, girls in the same position as her daughter. Those are policy arguments. But Obama doesn’t have anything to do even with those arguments?
    Once again, you base your argument on what you want to believe, rather than actual reality. This is similar to the time you demonstrated that you are a lying idiot too stupid to read a page of statistics. You wanted to prove that various regions in California had higher infant mortality than that in Alabama, you saw a page of statistics that you thought supported your view, you didn’t stop to think, hey, am I smart enough to understand what I’m looking at here (the answer was no) and made a big show of how high the infant mortality was in California cities. Your stupidity and dishonesty proved your undoing, just as they do here.

  • ex-preacher

    ucfengr writes: “Likewise, I don’t know that anybody is defending McCain’s conduct in his first marriage (he certainly isn’t), however there are mitigating circumstances that should be noted.”
    What “mitigating circumstances”?

  • ucfengr

    What “mitigating circumstances”?
    I thought I mentioned them. Oh wait, I did. From comment #5: “Yes, in a perfect world, he and his first wife would have stayed together, but he was in a POW camp, being tortured for 5 and 1/2 years and she had been in a serious auto accident. How many marriages could stand that strain?”.
    ucfengr, I’m not generalizing anything. I can peg Julie because she engages in behavior that I recognize. I also recognize what you’re doing, it’s called lying. Obama didn’t send out any surrogates to attack Palin’s family.
    Oh, I see what the problem is. You don’t understand what “lying” is. You seem to think that it means disagreeing with you. What it actually means is to represent something as true that you know to be false. Now, I can’t confirm for a fact that Obama sent his surrogates out to attack Palin’s family, but enough of his surrogates have that it is a credible proposition and, in any case, he certainly hasn’t done much to discourage it.
    There are legitimate comments being made about how Sarah Palin is careful to point out that keeping the pregnancy and the baby is Bristol’s choice, freely made, yet she would deny others the same choice.
    Nobody is in favor of forcing anybody to keep a baby, pro-lifers just don’t think killing it is a legitimate option.

  • Mike Toreno

    He was a POW.

  • Mary Sepoc

    I am confused about what our evangelical values stand for with the nomination of Sarah Palin. Do we have a core value system of beliefs or have we entered the “spin zone?”
    1. How can Sarah Palin adequately take care of her five children, two of whom have serious problems?
    Yes, I would ask this question of a male candidate as well.
    ISN”T FAMILY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING?
    2. How are we as Christians going to spread the word of God? Any one can “tell it like it is.” That’s what the rest of us do all the time. Don’t we need someone who can bring the word of God to all people?
    Do we have a core value of beliefs like family first or have we entered the spin zone?
    I am deeply disappointed with this nomination and even more so with the reaction of some Christians whose unbridled enthusiasm for Mrs. Palin seems to me to be a direct and obvious conflicts with my faith.

  • Ana

    In People magazine (which by the way, Palin posed for, with her baby front and center – not the best way to keep them out of the limelight) – Palin is said to have been shocked when she found out through an amniocentesis that the baby she was carrying had Down syndrome – and then she hid the pregnancy with scarves and shawls and said “not knowing in my own heart if I was going to be ready to embrace a child with special needs…” – Two questions for true pro-lifers (1) why did she have the amniocentesis? if the results wouldn’t possibly change her decision to have a baby? (and don’t bother with the “in order to be better prepared”, since she seemingly did nothing to take special precautions over the birth or help prepare her other children to understand the situation) and (2) why does the Palin family say they “decide” to keep babies – the only time you make a decision about a pregnancy is when you decide to get pregnant – once you are pregnant, there are no more decisions to make!

  • jd

    Ana:
    suppose you tell us why she had the amniocentesis. Since it can’t be for any good reason, perhaps you know some god-awful diabolical Republican conservative reason for getting the amniocentesis. Maybe Dick Cheney had something to do with it. Shall we alert People magazine or maybe US Weekly for this breaking news?

  • Ana

    jd – did I say that I was pro-choice? The only way I could be described that way is if you think that by making the choice to become pregnant, I’m pro-choice. My point is, once a woman (or girl) is pregnant, the choices have been made. I think we owe it to ourselves to ask the tough questions. The only reason I know of to have an amniocentesis (which has risks associated with it) is to identify problems with the baby. Are you a woman, by the way? Just maybe, Sarah Palin doesn’t represent all of us with her “choices”.

  • ucfengr

    1. How can Sarah Palin adequately take care of her five children, two of whom have serious problems?
    Sarah Palin doesn’t have to take care of 5 children. One is an adult serving in the military and one is a 17 year old near-adult about to be married. BTW–When did being pregnant constitute a “serious problem”? One of her children is a “special needs” child, which does require additional care, but as the parent of a “special needs” child myself, I can tell you that life does not come to an end.
    2. How are we as Christians going to spread the word of God? Any one can “tell it like it is.” That’s what the rest of us do all the time. Don’t we need someone who can bring the word of God to all people?
    I wasn’t aware that the job of the Vice President entailed spreading the Word of God. I thought that was the job of the Church, nor was I aware that stumbling in our walk was grounds for disqualification from the Faith. Bristol Palin made a mistake. She is doing her best to correct the mistake and her family is doing its best to support her in making the right decision. Shouldn’t that be enough?

  • http://honest2blog.blogspot.com Baus

    RON PAUL’s reality beats McCain’s “reality” every day in every way.
    McCain serves the god of tyranny and unconstitutional government at every turn. And those who support McCain are confused and ignorant about real liberty.

  • ucfengr

    The only reason I know of to have an amniocentesis (which has risks associated with it) is to identify problems with the baby.
    I am not sure what the problem with this is. Shouldn’t a women with a relatively high risk pregnancy (such as a 40+ year old woman) take positive steps to ensure that she is prepared for any eventuality?

  • JYcd

    I thought we were trying to heal this nation, to bring us closer together, to understand each other better.
    I thought we were suppose to live our faith and to me that means family comes first. Lets not talk about words but ACTIONS AND BEHAVIORSS when we spread the word of God. We spread the word of God by being inclusive, listening to others, caring about others, doing for others, etc.
    Most of us who have had a special needs child worked but I wasn’t a governor of a state or VP of a country.
    She is mean spirited in her comments about the democrats. Is that what we want in our leadership? I don’t. I have been a life long Republican and just donated to Barrack’s campaign and will work for him.
    Her arrogant comments about his community organizing pushed me over the edge. So she has a BA in communications and is a sarcastic, mean spirited lady? I don’t want any part of this or people who see any value in dividing us further. I expect a lot more from our leadership. Unfortunately McCain is beginning to act like an attack dog.
    God didn’t intend for us to treat each other the way she acts. We all have free will. To say her meanness is part of her fundamental belief is to insult fundamental religion at its core.
    It is frightening that she was ever even considered as a nominee.

  • Ana

    I’ve heard that excuse used many times – you prepare for a baby – even a special needs baby – the same way – if you think your risk is high for Down syndrome, read up on it, discuss the possibility with your family and make sure everyone understands that any baby is a gift. Why risk miscarriage? Besides, I think the quotes in the article and the fact that she hid the pregnancy makes it sound like she felt unsure of her ability to love a baby with problems – what message does that send?

  • Jrm

    ucfenger seems to place great stock in McCain’s POW status. Other POWs disagree with ucfenger’s assessment:
    John McCain is a long-time acquaintance of mine that goes way back to our time together at the U.S. Naval Academy and as Prisoners of War in Vietnam. He is a man I respect and admire in some ways. But there are a number of reasons why I will not vote for him for President of the United States….
    People often ask if I was a Prisoner of War with John McCain. My answer is always “No – John McCain was a POW with me.” The reason is I was there for 8 years and John got there 2 1/2 years later, so he was a POW for 5 1/2 years. And we have our own seniority system, based on time as a POW….
    This heroism has been played up in the press and in his various political campaigns. But it should be known that there were approximately 600 military POW’s in Vietnam. Among all of us, decorations awarded have recently been totaled to the following: Medals of Honor — 8, Service Crosses — 42, Silver Stars — 590, Bronze Stars — 958 and Purple Hearts — 1,249. John certainly performed courageously and well. But it must be remembered that he was one hero among many — not uniquely so as his campaigns would have people believe.
    I furthermore believe that having been a POW is no special qualification for being President of the United States. The two jobs are not the same, and POW experience is not, in my opinion, something I would look for in a presidential candidate.
    Source: http://www.alternet.org/election08/95825/i_spent_years_as_a_pow_with_john_mccain,_and_his_finger_should_not_be_near_the_red_button/?page=2
    So again, McCain’s campaign ads specifically state we are worse off than we were four years ago.
    What would he do differently than the current president?
    If McCain and his supoorters can jsut stop for asecond about his past POW record and focus on what he will do going forward to get out the mess he says we are in, that would be interesting.
    Surprising, but interesting.

  • jd

    Ana:
    I simply assumed that your animus towards Palin meant that you were a Democrat. Commenters here who attack conservatives are either Democrats or Ron Paul supporters. I couldn’t imagine that you are radically prolife and yet would attack a woman who purposely had a Down syndrome child. Seems pretty logical to assume you’re pro-choice.
    It seems hard for liberals to admit what they are–from Barack to Clinton to people like you.
    Care to enlighten us?

  • ucfengr

    I thought we were trying to heal this nation, to bring us closer together, to understand each other better.
    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39).
    Most of us who have had a special needs child worked but I wasn’t a governor of a state or VP of a country.
    Just because you can’t envision yourself taking care of a special needs child and holding a high position in government doesn’t mean it can be done. Don’t project your own limitations on others.
    She is mean spirited in her comments about the democrats. Is that what we want in our leadership? I don’t. I have been a life long Republican and just donated to Barrack’s campaign and will work for him.
    So, you only have a problem with “mean spirited” comments when Republicans make them, or do you mean to imply that only Republicans make “mean spirited” comments? Either way, it makes it hard to believe that you are a “life long Republican”.
    I’ve heard that excuse used many times – you prepare for a baby – even a special needs baby – the same way – if you think your risk is high for Down syndrome, read up on it, discuss the possibility with your family and make sure everyone understands that any baby is a gift. Why risk miscarriage? Besides, I think the quotes in the article and the fact that she hid the pregnancy makes it sound like she felt unsure of her ability to love a baby with problems – what message does that send?
    Who set you up a judge over this woman? How do you know what she was thinking or feeling? How well do you think you would stand up if your and your family’s lives were put under a microscope? It’s real easy to pass judgment from anonymity, but we all have pasts that we wouldn’t want put on TV. Maybe you should worry about the plank in your own eye before worrying about the mote in Sarah Palin’s.

  • jd

    ucfengr:
    Does there seem to be more trolls here than before?

  • Rob Ryan

    “How many marriages could stand that strain?”
    That’s a good one.
    I thought the strain was McCain meeting a wealthy woman just over half his age, dating her for a while, then pressuring his wife to divorce him so he could marry his Barbie-Doll mistress.
    It’s nice of you to make excuses for him, though. Some people are very good at making excuses for folks they agree with politically (or at least see as preferable to someone else), but their generosity rarely crosses the aisle.

  • ucfengr

    I thought the strain was McCain meeting a wealthy woman just over half his age, dating her for a while, then pressuring his wife to divorce him so he could marry his Barbie-Doll mistress.
    I guess when your only experience with war comes from watching MASH reruns on TV, it easy to make light of those who given their blood and health in service to their country.
    It’s nice of you to make excuses for him, though.
    Not making excuses, just trying not to pass judgment on the personal life of someone who’s given more than I can ever imagine.
    Does there seem to be more trolls here than before?
    Not more, but maybe worse. Taking an anonymous shot at a true hero seems to give some folks a pretty big thrill.

  • ucfengr

    Does there seem to be more trolls here than before?
    One does wonder what kind of troll hatchery could spawn Ms. “Amniocentesis is from the Devil”.
    ucfenger seems to place great stock in McCain’s POW status. Other POWs disagree with ucfenger’s assessment:
    Only as it testifies to his moral courage and strength of character, something most people want in a President. What has Joe Biden or Barack Obama ever done to demonstrate similar courage or character? Also, while there were many other people with McCain in the Hanoi Hilton, none of the other residents had a father who was Commander of all US forces in Vietnam, and therefore in a position to be offered early release, which he refused. That does make his experience somewhat unique.

  • Ana

    not that it matters but….
    I think that what passes for Christian behavior is sometimes troubling – my parents discouraged mockery, sarcasm and lying – they also taught me that when you have sexual relations with someone, you are married in God’s eyes and that you should therefore, take that more seriously than any other decision you make – the children you are blessed with are gifts from God. Say want you want but I’m not judging Gov. Palin, I’m simply saying that when you are in the public eye, you might be held to a pretty high standard. You can call me Ms. whatever you want if it makes you feel better – I’ll keep working on the plank in my eye – something we can all spend some time on.

  • Ana

    not that it matters but….
    I think that what passes for Christian behavior is sometimes troubling – my parents discouraged mockery, sarcasm and lying – they also taught me that when you have sexual relations with someone, you are married in God’s eyes and that you should therefore, take that more seriously than any other decision you make – the children you are blessed with are gifts from God. Say want you want but I’m not judging Gov. Palin, I’m simply saying that when you are in the public eye, you might be held to a pretty high standard. You can call me Ms. whatever you want if it makes you feel better – I’ll keep working on the plank in my eye – something maybe we can all spend some time on.
    By the way, I respect John McCain a great deal for his service to the country.

  • Ana

    not that it matters but….
    I think that what passes for Christian behavior is sometimes troubling – my parents discouraged mockery, sarcasm and lying – they also taught me that when you have sexual relations with someone, you are married in God’s eyes and that you should therefore, take that more seriously than any other decision you make – the children you are blessed with are gifts from God. Say want you want but I’m not judging Gov. Palin, (and I apologize if it seemed that way), I’m simply saying that when you are in the public eye, you might be held to a pretty high standard. You can call me Ms. whatever you want if it makes you feel better – I’ll keep working on the plank in my eye – something maybe we can all spend some time on.
    By the way, I respect John McCain a great deal for his service to the country.

  • Ana

    oops – you can tell I’m not a professional blogger – sorry about that – can anyone tell me how to remove multiple messages – the last one is the real one – I realized after I sent submit that I owed an apology

  • Jrm

    ” none of the other residents had a father who was Commander of all US forces in Vietnam, and therefore in a position to be offered early release, which he refused. That does make his experience somewhat unique.”
    Go back and read the link. Factually incorrect. All POWs were offered early release. All they had to do was to “confess.” None, including McCain, accepted the offer. He was as brave as every other POW–a testament to the bravery of all U.S. Service personnel, none of whom have served less than honorably as a POW. I know of no POW that has compromised his (or her) military honor while incaptivity since the Korean War. McCain’s status as a POW was not in any sense better than any other POW’s.
    You’ve pretty clearly established McCain is disgracefully worse than average on the “for better or worse” part, divorcing his wife seven years after his POW release, but was a brave POW–mixed results, undeniably. Oddly, despite his brave service as a POW, his Naval Academy Graduate status, and being the son and grandson of admirals, he himself didn’t make flag. His military decorations are essentially the same as John Kerry’s, except earned over a longer military career. Kerry also managed to evade capture.
    But all of that is beside the point.
    Now, what does McCain propose to do to correct the mess he says we’re in?
    What is he going to do differently?
    Guilani everntually became a one trick wonder. his sentences finally degenerated to a noun, a verb and “9/11.” McCain’s sentences, and those of his supporters, are beginning to consist solely of a noun, a verb and “POW.”
    That’s not a winnning election formula.

  • ucfengr

    Go back and read the link. Factually incorrect.
    Really, some other resident of the Hanoi Hilton had a father who was Commander of all US forces in Vietnam. Small world.

  • ucfengr

    Oddly, despite his brave service as a POW, his Naval Academy Graduate status, and being the son and grandson of admirals, he himself didn’t make flag.
    Not really odd, if you know something about the road to flag rank. Getting to flag rank is dependent on getting the right assignments and going to the right schools at the right time. Spending nearly 6+ years not getting the right assignments and not going to the right schools makes it much more difficult to attain flag rank, even if you spent that 6+ years as a POW or recovering from you injuries.
    His military decorations are essentially the same as John Kerry’s, except earned over a longer military career. Kerry also managed to evade capture.
    Of course, none of the people who served with John McCain question his courage, loyalty, or merit; the same cannot be said about John Kerry.

  • JOhnW

    Mike Toreno,
    Did you see McCain’s speech and the crowd’s response to the protesters? Especially the Iraq veteran with the “McCain Votes Against Vets” and “You Can’t Win an Occupation? They grab his sign and start chanting “USA, USA, USA…”. The whole convention was sureal-it may as well have been a Hitler rally in the 1930’s.
    I’ve been re-reading Bob Altemeyer’s book, The Authoritarians. Very relevent and scary. We’ve got to keep speaking out as much as we can or we may lose our democracy.

  • Mike Toreno

    ucfengr, another obstacle to making flag rank is not being good enough.
    The fact that a bunch of broken-down alcoholics question Kerry’s service isn’t significant since all their statements questioning Kerry’s service have been proven to be lies. I mean, one guy who says there was no incoming fire had bullet holes in his boat.
    Now, of course, what’s important to you is not whether something is true or false. What’s important to you is reinforcement of what you want to believe. You demonstrated this earlier when you claimed that Obama sent his surrogates to question Palin’s family life. Even if you were too stupid and lazy to check out the abundant evidence that this claim wasn’t true, you did no that there was no evidence of its truth. But you didn’t care that it wasn’t true, you only cared that you wanted it to be true. Similarly, it doesn’t matter to you that Kerry served bravely and honorably, all you care about is that questioning his service reinforces what you want to believe. Kerry isn’t a member of “your” group; therefore nothing he does is right. The reality, of course, is that Kerry has rendered immense service to this country, while you own life has been an irredeemable failure, of service to no one.
    The idea of you perpetuating a smear against a man like John Kerry further reinforces your status as a lazy, stupid, cowardly, hypocritical piece of garbage. If you fell into a sewer, the sewer would vomit you out in disgust.

  • ucfengr

    ucfengr, another obstacle to making flag rank is not being good enough.
    You’ve obviously never been in the military. Being “not good enough”, unfortunately, is not an obstacle to flag rank.
    The fact that a bunch of broken-down alcoholics question Kerry’s service isn’t significant since all their statements questioning Kerry’s service have been proven to be lies.
    You throw the terms lie and liar out an awful lot, but I don’t think they mean what you think they mean.

  • Rob Ryan

    “A better example is Obama claiming that Sarah Palin’s family should be off limits, while at the same time sending out his surrogates to attack her has a bad parent for “allowing” her daughter to get pregnant or for not taking better care of her new, special needs baby. See the difference?”
    Do you know something we don’t? Do you have any evidence to back it up? I doubt Obama is doing any such thing. I similarly doubt that McCain is behind the “Obama is a Muslim” nonsense. You, unfortunately, are willing to believe anything negative about the “other” candidate.
    “Protection of innocent life should be a first principle for any politically active Christian, but many are ready to throw it over to vote for Obama.”
    You’d vote for the devil himself if he gave lip service to the pro-life movement like republicans do. You are going to lose this battle anyway; why not consider some other issues as well?
    “I guess when your only experience with war comes from watching MASH reruns on TV, it easy to make light of those who given their blood and health in service to their country.”
    Oh, dear; I forgot I had never been to war. I guess I no longer have the right to express an opinion of anyone who has. Also, I am not making light of McCain, you dummy, I’m saying he was a bastard to his first wife.
    Really, if his experience was so traumatizing that it causes him to act out of character, I’m afraid he is quite unsuitable for the presidency. I don’t want any excuses when he bombs somebody, you see. Get real, ucfengr; you can’t have it both ways.

  • Mike Toreno

    Since you have proven that you are too stupid to read a page of statistics, it doesn’t surprise me that you are also too stupid to understand how to use a dictionary. But here, I’ll indulge your stupidity and laziness. First, the fact that you want to believe something doesn’t have any effect on whether it is a lie or not.
    Second, here:
    http://www.publicchristian.com/index.php?p=115
    Now, given your demonstrated laziness, you probably don’t have the initiative to go to the page, so here are a couple of excerpts:
    Kerry’s crewmates said of this ad: “These assertions are garbage; these people weren’t there with John Kerry. If he hadn’t made the right command decisions, in my opinion, we would be some of the names on that wall.” -Crewmate PCF 94, Gene Thorson, in response to assertions that Kerry acted poorly in combat.
    “That’s a pure fabrication…the fire was strong enough to knock out Tommy Belodeau’s machine gun…I was in the middle of the firefight.” -Jim Rassmann, Special Forces Officer saved by John Kerry, in response to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth assertion that there was no enemy fire on the day that Rassmann was rescued by Lt. Kerry.
    “It was a hellacious firefight, I don’t know how these guys could stretch the truth like this” -Senior enlisted man PCF 94 Del Sandusky in response to the same assertion.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    ucfengr
    A better example is Obama claiming that Sarah Palin’s family should be off limits, while at the same time sending out his surrogates to attack her has a bad parent for “allowing” her daughter to get pregnant or for not taking better care of her new, special needs baby
    Who specifically are these “obama surrogates” who are attacking her at the behest of secret orders from Obama’s underground lair?
    I think a better description of her complaint is that Obama made broad and inaccurate generalizations about a large group of people that he doesn’t know and has no experience with.
    You mean like calling people elitists on the basis of what exactly?
    Just because you can’t envision yourself taking care of a special needs child and holding a high position in government doesn’t mean it can be done. Don’t project your own limitations on others.
    True and what evidence has been presented that it has been successfully done in Palin’s case and that one (or both) jobs haven’t been shortchanged?
    Who set you up a judge over this woman? How do you know what she was thinking or feeling? How well do you think you would stand up if your and your family’s lives were put under a microscope?
    Obama set the proper precedent here. He has mostly refrained from using his family as a political prop.
    You throw the terms lie and liar out an awful lot, but I don’t think they mean what you think they mean.
    If by lie you mean something that is asserted as true but has demonstrated to be false then yes the attacks on Kerry were demonstrated to be lies. Perhaps that means something different in your world.

  • ucfengr

    Obama set the proper precedent here. He has mostly refrained from using his family as a political prop.
    Generally I refrain from responding to you Boonton, because as comments like this show, you really are a moron, but I couldn’t let this howler slip by. So, cover stories in People and Us Magazines, Michelle Obama appearing on “The View”, and the Obama family appearing on “Access Hollywood” don’t count as using your family as a political prop? What would he have to do? Have a family chat live on stage at the DNC? Oh wait, he did that too.
    If by lie you mean something that is asserted as true but has demonstrated to be false then yes the attacks on Kerry were demonstrated to be lies.
    They really haven’t been, but nice try.

  • http://www.originalfaith.com/ Paul Maurice Martin

    I do understand that he’s a Vietnam vet who served his country bravely and honorably, but I’ve always frankly been puzzled about the “war hero” phrase. JFK – I understand that. After his boat was sunk and he’d been injured, he towed another injured man to shore.
    Wasn’t McCain basically shot down, captured and tortured? I think of heroism as hinging on saving somebody. Again, not to detract from the fact of his military service but I haven’t understood what makes him a war hero.
    Obama’s rated first in every news report I heard, with hers a close second.

  • Anon

    Country First! Country First! Country First!
    Deutschland über alles! Deutschland über alles!

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Ucfengr,
    From comment number 5:
    [ JohnW said: ] “Also, it’s great McCain was willing to serve his country, but what about the fact the Vietnam war was morally wrong-an act of agression and genocide against the people of Vietnam?”
    [ You replied: ] I am not sure that North Vietnam’s morally wrong act of aggression and genocide against the people of South Vietnam can really be counted against John McCain. He did his best to stop it.
    [ JohnW said: ] “What about the fact you can not “win” an occupation?”
    [ You replied: ] You mean like the lost “occupations” of Japan, Germany, South Korea, Texas, California, Alaska, etc.?
    Your comebacks are a lot wittier than Mike Toreno’s. Perhaps that’s because they also make a lot more sense.
    About Senator McCain’s failed first marriage, a few points:
    1) If Cindy McCain happened to be John McCain’s first and only wife, would that change anyone’s vote here (“anyone” meaning “Rob Ryan”, for instance)?
    2) The power of Senator McCain’s biography is that it testifies to his character. Was he a b**tard to his first wife? Possibly, possibly not. Prima facie he was, though, so let’s assume, for our purposes that he was.
    That was almost 30 years ago, however. If this is the worst thing he has done in 30 years, then his character is pretty d**m impressive, and would speak strongly in favor of his candidacy. Especially in comparison with the good junior senator from Illinois who has been flip-flopping like a beached whale over the past few months. (Imagine how hard that must be on his pectoral fin, poor guy!)
    3) Note, I’m not saying Senator McCain is a moral paragon in every way, or totally honest, but he’s probably a better man than me, and he’s definitely a better man than M. Toreno.
    And how do I know that?
    Because he didn’t just lose his first wife, he also lost the ability to raise his arms above his head — and this is the important part, the heroic part if you will — he lost the ability to raise his arms above his head because he chose to serve his country as a bomber pilot and he chose to honor the POW code by refusing to go home early, a refusal which resulted in brutal, brutal physical torture by his captors.
    Thank you, Ucf-sensei, for manning the guns in his defense.
    JohnW,
    I don’t know if the Vietnam War, on balance, was moral or immoral.
    Were we indiscriminately violent (and dishonest, too) because of an ultimately good-faith effort to contain the deeply evil Soviet Union? Or were we simply too caught up in the hubris and corruption of empire to really care about the “gooks” who got caught in the crossfire?
    I don’t know, that’s an excellent question. But it’s not all that relevant (meaning “not at all relevant”) to sizing up Senator McCain.
    Senator McCain was an important peace-maker and bridge-builder in the Senate when he pushed (successfully) for better relations with Vietnam. If he gets elected — the man who was “broken” by the North Vietnamese — then that would be a very fitting conclusion to the Vietnam War, in my opinion.
    Peace all,
    Matthew

  • Mike Toreno

    Matthew, so if the worst thing McCain has done in 30 years was to humiliated his first wife by dating another woman while still married, after she had been injured in an auto accident, so that he could become a gigolo and have the new wife finance his political career, his character is still impressive and speaks strongly in favor of his candidacy? Seriously? Wow, your moral standards are just pitiful, particularly in light of the fact that you discount this act by saying it took place almost 30 years ago, while holding up McCain’s POW experience, which took place over 35 years ago. What you are saying is that the passage of time diminishes the impact of an event you want to discount, but doesn’t diminish the impact of an event you want to emphasize. What you are saying is that you are a hypocrite.
    More recently than that, McCain took contributions and gifts from Charles Keating, and then leaned on bank regulators in his favor. Does that testify to his strength of character? In what way? More recently than that, McCain voted against the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Act. Does that testify to his strength of character? In what way? If the bill was bad, why did he help write it? If it was good, why did he vote against it?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Generally I refrain from responding to you Boonton, because as comments like this show, you really are a moron, but I couldn’t let this howler slip by. So, cover stories in People and Us Magazines,
    His wife is an adult, his children are not. His ‘biographical profile’ is public (happily married two kids etc.) but he keeps his kids out of the limelight. He did allow a interview of them on a Holiday but even that he said he regretted and wouldn’t be doing again. This is hardly exceptional, Clinton’s daughter was more or less kept private during his presidency and so have Bush’s kids.
    Nice of you to ignore all the other points. I didn’t think you had anything worthwhile to say about them.

  • http://www.newcovenantliving.blogspot.com Jack Brooks

    Barack Obama is an evil, deceitful, and unaccomplished man. He supports the murder of babies. He is a communist in his economic views (today masked under the misleading, euphemistic phrase “liberation theology”). He was a community agitator in league with ACORN. If he believes the black liberation theology preached by Jeremiah Wright, the theology that he tithed to support for twenty years, then he isn’t a Christian, and is lying about that, too. He claimed not to have been raised a Muslim; but school records and family friends testify that, during his childhood years, he was indeed raised as a Muslim. So he has lied about that as well. He is in bed with the corrupt Chicago Democrat machine. He funneled millions of tax dollars to corrupt contractors like Tony Rezco (think Harry Lime from The Third Man, except involved in crooked building schemes instead of penicillin theft). He himself is corrupt, having personally profited off a crooked Chicago land deal. He accomplished nothing of lasting substance as a community agitator. He wrote nothing as a law professor. He accomplished nothing of substance as a state senator. He has accomplished nothing of substance as a federal senator. The reason his supporters are all spitting and snarling like rats is because they’re cornered. The mythology and illusion around Obama, the illusion without which he cannot gain power, is collapsing around him in large chunks.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Mike Toreno,
    If you edit out the gratuitous ad hominem‘s, then you’re left with some good points.
    Evaluating character is a highly personal affair, and I respect your right to disagree. But I call it as I see it: McCain has good, strong character, equal to the office of the presidency.
    All the best to you, my insult-prone friend.

  • Ada

    Where was the love of God in McCain’s Convention.
    It was divide and rule and ridicule and slash and burn. Then talk bipartisan on the last day.
    WHERE WAS THE TRUTH in Sarah Palins speech. Where was the love of one another that we Christains and especially evangelicals should mirror at all times.
    My father’s name has been hijacked for political gain. But remember, the LORD SEES ALL THINGS.
    Let us think carefully and remember that after the elections are over, after our lives on this earth are over, We gave a greater being to answer to: God.
    For the book of James says that if we know the right thing to do not do it is sin

  • Mike Toreno

    Matthew, in other words, you got pwned. I demonstrated that your adulation of McCain is unprincipled and that you’re a hypocrite, so you retreat to your typical cowardly position, that of avoiding your opponent’s points by claiming they aren’t presented in the way you desire. You aren’t entitled to decide how your opponents can express themselves. What you could do, and it would be a novelty, certainly, is to express yourself in an honest way.

  • smmtheory

    What you could do, and it would be a novelty, certainly, is to express yourself in an honest way.

    What would that look like? Stooping to your level by calling you a liar, a coward, and a hypocrite who can’t make an argument? I see no need for another Mike Toreno wannabe in a thread. I’m fairly certain Matthew doesn’t either.

  • smmtheory

    For the book of James says that if we know the right thing to do not do it is sin

    And I know the right thing is to NOT vote for a fellow that supports infanticide. In fact, I would go so far as to say that voting for anybody other than the major contender would be a sin.

  • Mike M. in Colorado

    I’ve been job hunting for seven months and am voting for Obama. I respect Sen. McCain and honor him for his POW/service, but he’s been a member of the ultimate power club far too long to understand the working middle class; and Palin, although refreshing and interesting, is a gimmick I am not falling for. Sorry, I cannot even imagine a Republican in office again for at least twelve years — they have blown it so badly. This is the first generation of Americans who are worse off than their parents. I think the Republican motto should be, “I got mine, what’s wrong with you!?” I agree there is NO high road to take with respect to abortion, but there are more issues than abortion. No matter how bad one might think it will be when Obama and Biden are in office, it cannot possible be worse than the rampant incompetence, greed, arrogance, bad judgment and stupidity of the last eight years. Even most conservatives were disgusted or embarrassed. Palin doesn’t change anything — she will not be exempt from the same process that all weathered politicians have to survive, as ugly as that truly is. The Palin distraction is a clever (and desparate) ploy, but it does not fool me one bit. Republican brothers and sisters, you have earned a Democratic White House and administration. I’d vote for the Maytag repairman over a Republican right now.

  • Rob Ryan

    “If Cindy McCain happened to be John McCain’s first and only wife, would that change anyone’s vote here (“anyone” meaning “Rob Ryan”, for instance)?”
    Not mine. So I guess it doesn’t matter. Never mind.
    “If this is the worst thing he has done in 30 years, then his character is pretty d**m impressive, and would speak strongly in favor of his candidacy.”
    It’s a darn sight worse than anything I have done in the last thirty years, yet no one is touting me for president. To be honest, though, the torture section of my resume is a bit thin.
    “Because he didn’t just lose his first wife,…”
    I think she lives in Virginia Beach, but it’s probably too late now, hmm?
    “… he also lost the ability to raise his arms above his head”
    Dang! I guess he won’t be making any deodorant commercials after he loses the election. Maybe Bob Dole can set him up with the folks who market Viagra.
    Note to ucf: NOW I am making light of John McCain. See the difference?
    Look guys: I admire McCain’s courage and his service to our country (if only more folks on your side had said the same about Kerry instead of smearing his service record!). I used to even admire the man himself. But I don’t want him to be president. I don’t trust him, and Palin is a nightmare in heels. If he picks Supreme Court justices like he picks a VP running mate, he’ll finish the vandalism of the court begun by Bush II. No thanks.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Michael Toreno,
    What you could do, and it would be a novelty, certainly, is to express yourself in an honest way.
    Now that you’ve had a little time to cool off, I suggest you read again what I wrote. Here’s a hint, in case I was being a little too subtle: I was agreeing with you, there are ethical/character issues you can raise about McCain, and you succeeded in mentioning a few of them.
    Now if I’m supposed to be a hypocrite because I can acknowledge when you’re telling the truth even when I’m disagreeing with your conclusion, then I’ll just repeat that you’re entitled to your opinion and leave it at that.
    Hasta luego, mi insult-prone amigo.
    Rob Ryan,
    [ How McCain ended his first marriage is ] a darn sight worse than anything I have done in the last thirty years, yet no one is touting me for president. To be honest, though, the torture section of my resume is a bit thin.
    How do you know it’s worse? Do you know the two parties personally; are you basing it on hearsay; are you just making an assumption?
    I don’t trust [Senator McCain] …
    And you trust Senator Obama?
    … and Palin is a nightmare in heels.
    Hmmm… a nightmare, you say?
    Are you a corrupt politician? No, you’re a teacher. Are you concerned Governor Palin might support vouchers for public school students? What exactly is worrying you about her?
    Perhaps it is because she is pro-life. Is that the reason?
    Mike M. in Colorado,
    Perhaps you are right to be cynical about Republican politicians, even Governor Palin.
    But why in the world would you be cynical about them and not about the Democratic ones?
    Smm,
    Mike Toreno believes it is okay to hurt people who disagree with him. Maybe he doesn’t believe that consciously, but the way he acts in comment threads clearly demonstrates how he feels.
    Other people lash out occasionally in anger and frustration, but for Mike, hurtful comments are a policy. And I know he knows how to write thoughtfully and respectfully, because I’ve seen him do it every now and again.
    One day he might realize that a person who won’t criticize and control himself does not come across as very credible when he criticizes others.

  • ucfengr

    This is the first generation of Americans who are worse off than their parents.
    I don’t really know that this is true, but let’s say it is for the moment and explore why it might be. Could it possibly be that it is because the economic plan of our parents and grandparents was unsustainable. I found this in an article about Obama’s history as a community organizer:
    “The long-term goal was to retrain workers in order to restore manufacturing jobs in the area; Kellman (the person who hired Obama) took Obama by the rusted-out, closed-down Wisconsin Steel plant for a firsthand look. But the whole thing was a bit of a pipe dream, as the leaders soon discovered. “The idea was to interview these people and look at education, transferable skills, so that we could refer them to other industries,” Loretta Augustine-Herron told me as we drove by the site of the old factory, now completely torn down. “Well, they had no transferable skills. I remember interviewing one man who ran a steel-straightening machine. It straightened steel bars or something. I said, well, what did you do? And he told me he pushed a button, and the rods came in, and he pushed a button and it straightened them, and he pushed a button and it sent them somewhere else. That’s all he did. And he made big bucks doing it.””
    We see the same things happening in the US auto industry (though strangely, not in Japanese auto plants based in the US). Maybe the problem is that US industry can no longer afford to pay “big bucks” for what is essentially, unskilled labor and maybe we need to accept that changing the political party in charge is not going to change that dynamic. That is not to say that the US can’t produce quality, high-paying jobs, only that we can’t produce low-skill, high-paying jobs anymore.

  • Mike Toreno

    Matthew, like I said, you got pwned, and are too much of a coward, liar, and hypocrite to admit it. Yes, you agreed with my position on McCain’s history of immoral acts, but then failed to admit the inescapable conclusion that follows from that admission – namely, that McCain is an immoral man. The reason for this is that you want to support McCain and you want to claim that he exhibits an exemplary character. Therefore, you engage in convolutions and make excuses in order to avoid admitting that his behavior exhibits a degraded character.
    No, evaluating character is not a highly personal affair. Evaluating character involves examining a person’s actions and comparing them against generally accepted moral standards. McCain has led a generally dishonorable life for decades, that makes him dishonorable. By ignoring his dishonorable conduct in evaluating his character, you demonstrate that you are a hypocrite who doesn’t care anything about character.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    There’s two possible answers to the unskilled labor problem:
    Direct income assistance to those too old to really be taught new skills with incentives to take lower paying unskilled jobs as they finish off their careers.
    Educational assistance to those young enough to learn new skills.
    The Obama episode ucfengr posted is interesting because it depicted one style of fighting poverty; fighting for a geographical area. Obama seemed to experience how that fight can be a losing one if the dynamics that created a particular economic climate disappear as in the case of some of the rust belt’s industrial cities. The other style is to target aid to the person….for example education grants let the person try to get more skills and move to whereever they are economically viable. A town or city may still collapse but individuals move on and will hopefully be ok in the long run.
    Naturally city councils and community organizations concentrate on the geographical fight. It’s good to keep in mind, though, how limited that may be.

  • Rob Ryan

    “How do you know it’s worse?”
    For one thing, he cheated on his wife. Repeatedly. In 17 years of marriage, I haven’t come close to cheating, though I’m sure I’ve had as many opportunities as McCain. He pressed for a divorce. He took responsibility for the failure of his marriage. His wife does not dispute this admission. I am willing to take him at his word on this, since politicians generally do not take responsibilities for screw-ups unless they have to. I’ve had a couple of speeding tickets and sometimes I have a drink or two.
    “And you trust Senator Obama?”
    Yes. And I think his SCOTUS appointments will maintain the current balance, as I think the next couple of openings will be to replace left-leaners. Maybe he can even restore the pre-O’Connor retirement balance, especially if certain justices fall victim to high-fat diets or something.
    “What exactly is worrying you about her?”
    Too much to list here. Maybe you can open a Palin thread at your place, if you are still blogging.

  • Scott

    John McCain dumped his first wife for a billionaire heiress trophy wife, he almost went to jail for taking bribes in Abscam, has consistently voted against measures designed to help the most vulnerable in society, supported the initiation of an illegal and immoral war, supports the indefinite continuation of the same war, has engaged in the most reprehensible and risable smearing in political history (worse than the worst Karl Rove envisioned) pandered to rascists in SC, and has purpotrated the most cynical ploy in American political history by choosing a running mate so unqualified to be POTUS that his own handlers refuse to debate the issue because they have already learned once (Tucker vs Campbell Brown) that the indefensible cannot be defended.
    Hmmmmmm other than that you may be on to something

  • smmtheory

    Where ever you cut-and-pasted that from Scott, the author ought to learn how to avoid writing run-on sentences.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Mike Toreno,
    … you agreed with my position on McCain’s history of immoral acts …
    Further clarification: I didn’t agree with your position. I agreed that the questions you raised were valid questions, and I understood why you answered those questions differently than I did.
    Therefore, you engage in convolutions and make excuses in order to avoid admitting that his behavior exhibits a degraded character.
    The first time you said I was ducking the issues, and refusing to answer them; now you’re saying I’m answering them with convolutions and excuses.
    Since I haven’t said anything to defend McCain on your specific points, I think you are confusing me with someone else.
    McCain has led a generally dishonorable life for decades, that makes him dishonorable.
    Once again, you are of course fully entitled to your opinion. And I would concede that compared to President Bush, Senator McCain is a dishonest person.
    But compared to Senator Obama, McCain is a veritable Mother Theresa. For every “lie” or “flip-flop” on McCain’s part, I could come up with a half-dozen from Obama. If McCain is “dishonorable”, then Obama is off the charts.
    Rob Ryan,
    I’ve had a couple of speeding tickets and sometimes I have a drink or two.
    When I asked you, “How do you know it’s worse?”, I didn’t mean to solicit a confession from you. I just wanted to know on what grounds you were evaluating Senator McCain’s divorce.
    I find Senator McCain’s cheating and subsequent divorce to be disturbing. I would find it a whole lot more disturbing if it happened ten years ago instead of 28 years ago; I would find it a whole lot more disturbing if he refused to admit his culpability and the shamefulness of what he did.
    And I would find it a whole lot more disturbing if he hadn’t gone through such a traumatic experience in Vietnam. His valor and sacrifice in Vietnam were of such magnitude that even the dishonor of his divorce only makes a small dent in the bigger picture. In other words, I’m not discounting what happened in his first marriage, but I am weighing it against what he did before and afterwards.
    Yes. And I think his SCOTUS appointments will maintain the current balance, as I think the next couple of openings will be to replace left-leaners. Maybe he can even restore the pre-O’Connor retirement balance, especially if certain justices fall victim to high-fat diets or something.
    I salute you, this is an excellent reason to vote for Senator Obama. An excellent reason for you, though, and not for me: I myself would prefer the kind of judges that a President McCain would presumably nominate.
    Maybe you can open a Palin thread at your place, if you are still blogging.
    Well, if I had any reason to start posting to my blog again, Gov. Palin would be at the top of my list of topics. I really like her a lot. I think our country is very fortunate to have people like her and President Bush in public life.
    Scott,
    he almost went to jail for taking bribes in Abscam …
    That wasn’t Senator McCain. You’re probably thinking of Congressman John Murtha.
    supported the initiation of an illegal and immoral war, supports the indefinite continuation of the same war …
    You know, there are a few people who disagree with you about this “illegal and immoral” war business.
    It’s funny how in April 2003, almost all the brave anti-war leaders in the Democratic party were all very much in sync with the war and kept their misgivings pretty much to themselves. It’s amazing how an insurgency and a terrorist campaign made it clear to these statesmen how “illegal and immoral” the war was all along.
    Cheers,
    Matthew

  • smmtheory

    It’s amazing how an insurgency and a terrorist campaign made it clear to these statesmen how “illegal and immoral” the war was all along.

    Out soldiers get shot at and the weaklings in Congress duck and run for cover. Newsflash… the bullets don’t travel THAT far!

  • Mike Toreno

    Matthew, first you did avoid the issue by heading for the fainting couch at my supposed “incivility”. This is a common wingnut tactic used to silence opponents. Then you did respond to my points with convolutions and excuses.
    You don’t point out examples of Obama’s supposed lies compared to McCain’s. This is because Obama does not have a record of lies, political expediency, and generally reprehensible character the way McCain does. You don’t care who is telling the truth and who isn’t and you don’t care who is an honorable man and who isn’t. You base your moral analysis on your desire to support McCain. Therefore you make excuses for McCain’s misconduct and seek to attribute misconduct to Obama. Because you avoid taking a morally consistent position, you don’t demonstrate that McCain is an honorable man, what you demonstrate is that you yourself are a worthless, lying, hypocritical piece of garbage.

  • Mike Toreno

    Oh, Matthew, check this out. This (from the Carpetbagger Report) is just a list of McCain’s flip-flops and doesn’t count his lies. I think this demonstrates your claim that you can document 6 lies and flip-flops of Obama’s for every one of McCain’s demonstrates that not only are you a worthless, lying, hypocritical piece of garbage, you are lazy and retarded beyond all reckoning.
    National Security Policy
    1. McCain thought Bush’s warrantless-wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.
    2. McCain insisted that everyone, even “terrible killers,” “the worst kind of scum of humanity,” and detainees at Guantanamo Bay, “deserve to have some adjudication of their cases,” even if that means “releasing some of them.” McCain now believes the opposite.
    3. He opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. When the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion, he called it “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.”
    4. In February 2008, McCain reversed course on prohibiting waterboarding.
    5. McCain was for closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay before he was against it.
    6. When Barack Obama talked about going after terrorists in Pakistani mountains with predators, McCain criticized him for it. He’s since come to the opposite conclusion.
    Foreign Policy
    7. McCain was for kicking Russia out of the G8 before he was against it. Now, he’s for it again.
    8. McCain supported moving “towards normalization of relations” with Cuba. Now he believes the opposite.
    9. McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Hamas. Now he believes the opposite.
    10. McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Syria. Now he believes the opposite.
    11. McCain is both for and against a “rogue state rollback” as a focus of his foreign policy vision.
    12. McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty’s behalf before a Senate committee. Now he opposes it.
    13. McCain was against divestment from South Africa before he was for it.
    Military Policy
    14. McCain recently claimed that he was the “greatest critic” of Rumsfeld’s failed Iraq policy. In December 2003, McCain praised the same strategy as “a mission accomplished.” In March 2004, he said, “I’m confident we’re on the right course.” In December 2005, he said, “Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course.”
    15. McCain has changed his mind about a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq on multiple occasions, concluding, on multiple occasions, that a Korea-like presence is both a good and a bad idea.
    16. McCain was against additional U.S. forces in Afghanistan before he was for it.
    17. McCain said before the war in Iraq, “We will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” Four years later, McCain said he knew all along that the war in Iraq war was “probably going to be long and hard and tough.”
    18. McCain has repeatedly said it’s a dangerous mistake to tell the “enemy” when U.S. troops would be out of Iraq. In May, McCain announced that most American troops would be home from Iraq by 2013.
    19. McCain was against expanding the GI Bill before he was for it.
    20. McCain staunchly opposed Obama’s Iraq withdrawal timetable, and even blasted Mitt Romney for having referenced the word during the GOP primaries. In July, after Iraqi officials endorsed Obama’s policy, McCain said a 16-month calendar sounds like “a pretty good timetable.”
    Domestic Policy
    21. McCain defended “privatizing” Social Security. Now he says he’s against privatization (though he actually still supports it.)
    22. On Social Security, McCain said he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Soon after, asked about a possible increase in the payroll tax, McCain said there’s “nothing that’s off the table.”
    23. McCain wanted to change the Republican Party platform to protect abortion rights in cases of rape and incest. Now he doesn’t.
    24. McCain supported storing spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Now he believes the opposite.
    25. He argued the NRA should not have a role in the Republican Party’s policy making. Now he believes the opposite.
    26. In 1998, he championed raising cigarette taxes to fund programs to cut underage smoking, insisting that it would prevent illnesses and provide resources for public health programs. Now, McCain opposes a $0.61-per-pack tax increase, won’t commit to supporting a regulation bill he’s co-sponsoring, and has hired Philip Morris’ former lobbyist as his senior campaign adviser.
    27. McCain is both for and against earmarks for Arizona.
    28. McCain’s first mortgage plan was premised on the notion that homeowners facing foreclosure shouldn’t be “rewarded” for acting “irresponsibly.” His second mortgage plan took largely the opposite position.
    29. McCain went from saying gay marriage should be allowed, to saying gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed.
    30. McCain opposed a holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., before he supported it.
    31. McCain was anti-ethanol. Now he’s pro-ethanol.
    32. McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag.
    33. In 2005, McCain endorsed intelligent design creationism, a year later he said the opposite, and a few months after that, he was both for and against creationism at the same time.
    34. And on gay adoption, McCain initially said he’d rather let orphans go without families, then his campaign reversed course, and soon after, McCain reversed back.
    35. In the Senate, McCain opposed a variety of measures on equal pay for women, and endorsed the Supreme Court’s Ledbetter decision. In July, however, McCain said, “I’m committed to making sure that there’s equal pay for equal work. That … is my record and you can count on it.”
    36. McCain was against fully funding the No Child Left Behind Act before he was for it.
    37. McCain was for affirmative action before he was against it.
    38. McCain said the Colorado River compact will “obviously” need to be “renegotiated.” Six days later, McCain said, “Let me be clear that I do not advocate renegotiation of the compact.”
    Economic Policy
    39. McCain was against Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy before he was for them.
    40. John McCain initially argued that economics is not an area of expertise for him, saying, “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues; I still need to be educated,” and “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.” He now falsely denies ever having made these remarks and insists that he has a “very strong” understanding of economics.
    41. McCain vowed, if elected, to balance the federal budget by the end of his first term. Soon after, he decided he would no longer even try to reach that goal. And soon after that, McCain abandoned his second position and went back to his first.
    42. McCain said in 2005 that he opposed the tax cuts because they were “too tilted to the wealthy.” By 2007, he denied ever having said this, and falsely argued that he opposed the cuts because of increased government spending.
    43. McCain thought the estate tax was perfectly fair. Now he believes the opposite.
    44. McCain pledged in February 2008 that he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Specifically, McCain was asked if he is a “‘read my lips’ candidate, no new taxes, no matter what?” referring to George H.W. Bush’s 1988 pledge. “No new taxes,” McCain responded. Two weeks later, McCain said, “I’m not making a ‘read my lips’ statement, in that I will not raise taxes.”
    45. McCain has changed his entire economic worldview on multiple occasions.
    46. McCain believes Americans are both better and worse off economically than they were before Bush took office.
    47. McCain was against massive government bailouts of “big banks” that “act irresponsibly.” He then announced his support for a massive government bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
    Energy Policy
    48. McCain supported the moratorium on coastal drilling ; now he’s against it.
    49. McCain recently announced his strong opposition to a windfall-tax on oil company profits. Three weeks earlier, he was perfectly comfortable with the idea.
    50. McCain endorsed a cap-and-trade policy with a mandatory emissions cap. In mid-June, McCain announced he wants the caps to voluntary.
    51. McCain explained his belief that a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax would provide an immediate economic stimulus. Shortly thereafter, he argued the exact opposite.
    52. McCain supported the Lieberman/Warner legislation to combat global warming. Now he doesn’t.
    53. McCain was for national auto emissions standards before he was against them.
    Immigration Policy
    54. McCain was a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants’ kids who graduate from high school. In 2007, he announced his opposition to the bill. In 2008, McCain switched back.
    55. On immigration policy in general, McCain announced in February 2008 that he would vote against his own bill.
    56. In April, McCain promised voters that he would secure the borders “before proceeding to other reform measures.” Two months later, he abandoned his public pledge, pretended that he’d never made the promise in the first place, and vowed that a comprehensive immigration reform policy has always been, and would always be, his “top priority.”
    Judicial Policy and the Rule of Law
    57. McCain said he would “not impose a litmus test on any nominee.” He used to promise the opposite.
    58. McCain’s position was that the telecoms should be forced to explain their role in the administration’s warrantless surveillance program as a condition for retroactive immunity. He used to believe the opposite.
    59. McCain went from saying he would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade to saying the exact opposite.
    60. In June, McCain rejected the idea of a trial for Osama bin Laden, and thought Obama’s reference to Nuremberg was a misread of history. A month later, McCain argued the exact opposite position.
    61. In June, McCain described the Supreme Court’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush was “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” In August, he reversed course.
    Campaign, Ethics, and Lobbying Reform
    62. McCain supported his own lobbying-reform legislation from 1997. Now he doesn’t.
    63. In 2006, McCain sponsored legislation to require grassroots lobbying coalitions to reveal their financial donors. In 2007, after receiving “feedback” on the proposal, McCain told far-right activist groups that he opposes his own measure.
    64. McCain supported a campaign-finance bill, which bore his name, on strengthening the public-financing system. In June 2007, he abandoned his own legislation.
    65. In May 2008, McCain approved a ban on lobbyists working for his campaign. In July 2008, his campaign reversed course and said lobbyists could work for his campaign.
    Politics and Associations
    66. McCain wanted political support from radical televangelist John Hagee. Now he doesn’t. (He also believes his endorsement from Hagee was both a good and bad idea.)
    67. McCain wanted political support from radical televangelist Rod Parsley. Now he doesn’t.
    68. McCain says he considered and did not consider joining John Kerry’s Democratic ticket in 2004.
    69. McCain is both for and against attacking Barack Obama over his former pastor at his former church.
    70. McCain criticized TV preacher Jerry Falwell as “an agent of intolerance” in 2002, but then decided to cozy up to the man who said Americans “deserved” the 9/11 attacks.
    71. In 2000, McCain accused Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt, spending “dirty money” to help finance Bush’s presidential campaign. McCain not only filed a complaint against the Wylys for allegedly violating campaign finance law, he also lashed out at them publicly. In April, McCain reached out to the Wylys for support.
    72. McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he was for it.
    73. McCain decided in 2000 that he didn’t want anything to do with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, believing he “would taint the image of the ‘Straight Talk Express.’” Kissinger is now the Honorary Co-Chair for his presidential campaign in New York.
    74. McCain believed powerful right-wing activist/lobbyist Grover Norquist was “corrupt, a shill for dictators, and (with just a dose of sarcasm) Jack Abramoff’s gay lover.” McCain now considers Norquist a key political ally.
    75. McCain was for presidential candidates giving speeches in foreign countries before he was against it.
    76. McCain has been both for and against considering a pro-choice running mate for the Republican presidential ticket.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Mike Toreno,
    Matthew, first you did avoid the issue by heading for the fainting couch at my supposed “incivility”. This is a common wingnut tactic used to silence opponents.
    If I wanted to “silence” you, that would be extremely easy: I would simply skip over your comments, not read them, and not respond to you.
    If I disagree with you, I am making an effort to engage your thoughts. I am paying you the respect of listening carefully, digesting your views, and writing my honest response.
    You haven’t responded with “incivility” — you have responded with a paranoid blend of insults, hyperbole, and invective. I have given you the additional respect of disregarding all this noise that you put in the mix, and I have focused on what is worthy in your arguments. My main reward from you is more of the same.
    You are one hurting puppy, my friend. Not because of your politics, which is perfectly fine and rational, as far as it goes. You are hurting because you view the people you talk to here as means to an end (scoring points in a debate), and not as persons worthy of your respect and consideration.
    I would say “Shame on you!”, but I can’t even get annoyed over it; I just feel sorry for you and hope you can find a better way of coping with your demons.
    Peace,
    Matthew
    P.S. If I’m going to diagnose you as a hurting puppy, I might as well give you a constructive suggestion that you might find useful.
    If you find yourself doubting the honesty or the personal integrity of myself or anyone else because of what they say or don’t say, try staying focused on the facts (“I don’t think this, this, or this is true; I think that is true instead, and here’s why”; or “Are you sure about that, how do you know that?”).
    If you shift the debate to accusations of dishonesty and bad motives, you’re not advancing anyone’s knowledge of what is in dispute, and you’re just creating a lot of heat and very little light. And what’s more, I’ve never encountered anyone in these comment threads whom I considered to be dishonest or commenting in bad faith (with one or two possible exceptions), so you are just barking up the wrong tree in any case if you go there.
    All the best to you, insult-man ;)

  • Mike Toreno

    Once again you claim the right to tell other people what they can and can’t say, and how they can and can’t express themselves. I would be only too pleased if you didn’t respond to my comments, because invariably, your responses are hypocritical lies. McCain’s moral degradation has been demonstrated; your convolutions and lies excusing his reprehensible acts don’t contribute to our knowledge of the situation, they contribute only to knowledge of your character. They teach us that you craft your moral principles to conform to the position you wish to take, rather than taking a position based on moral principles.
    What you want is for your claims, made ex cathedra, to be accepted; you want to accuse Obama of numerous lies and 456 flip-flops without providing a single example, and for others to accept your claims as legitimate and carefully and patiently correct them. You don’t deserve that consideration; you have not earned it. The only way to judge morality is by evaluating actions. McCain consistently engages in immoral actions; therefore, he is an immoral man. Your shifting standards of morality, taken on only in service of your desire to excuse McCain’s immorality, contribute nothing to our knowledge of the subject, they contribute only to our knowledge of your character, namely, our knowledge that you are a lying hypocrite.
    We know McCain abandoned his first wife to become a gigolo. We don’t need to hear your explanations of how that doesn’t matter. We don’t care what you think about the subject. We know McCain tells lies. We don’t need to hear your unsupported claims that other people tell worse lies. We don’t care what you think. We know the facts. We know how we judge the facts. We don’t need you to tell us that we need to abandon our system of judging actions based on their nature in favor of a McCain-centered system of morality. We don’t care about your idiotic and hypocritical system of morality.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Mike Toreno,
    What you want is for your claims, made ex cathedra, to be accepted; you want to accuse Obama of numerous lies and 456 flip-flops without providing a single example, and for others to accept your claims as legitimate and carefully and patiently correct them.
    Yes, I can see how that would bother you, if it were true.
    But you make the mistake of reading too much into my (and others’) comments.
    My comments are what I believe. Sometimes I explain them and defend them in great detail, sometimes I don’t. But I don’t expect anyone to accept them just because I write and post them. I know some will agree and some will disagree, and I have no desire (or capability) to control what anyone else thinks.
    In short, I’m sharing my perspective, your mileage may vary. I can’t prove anything to anyone, so I don’t think you should expect me to try.
    Once again you claim the right to tell other people what they can and can’t say, and how they can and can’t express themselves.
    You’re missing a very important distinction. I’m not telling you what you can and cannot say. I’m telling you that it is wrong (and counterproductive to boot) for you to personally attack me or anyone else on this comment thread.
    You can continue to ignore my advice if you wish. I can’t stop you. But I wasn’t trying to stop you, I’m just trying to persuade you to improve your ways. Freedom of speech certainly includes my right to attempt to persuade you.
    More importantly, I’m not trying to hurt you or hurt your feelings. I’m paying you the respect of assuming you are intelligent and caring enough to want to do the right thing. Perhaps if you sleep on it and mull things over, you won’t feel so defensive about these things tomorrow.
    Take care,
    Matthew

  • Mike Toreno

    But Matthew, your perspective isn’t important. No one cares whether you think in a particular way. The only relevant information is why you think what you think, what facts you base your opinion on, the importance you assign to those facts, and the process you follow to reach a conclusion. The fact that your support for McCain is based on lies and hypocrisy is much more important than your opinion., because it gives us insight into McCain’s character. If McCain’s supporters can’t support him without lying, what does that tell us about him? If McCain’s supporters can’t praise his character without adapting their moral standards to excuse and ignore his moral defects, what does that tell us about him?
    I don’t care what your perspective is, only how you came to it. You came to it by lies and hypocrisy. You first determined that you wanted to support McCain and made whatever moral adjustments were needed to allow you to pretend that McCain is a morally decent person. You decided you didn’t want to support Obama, and decided that you would tell whatever lies you needed to provide a reason for that lack of support. You have claimed that you can identify 456 flip-flops of Obama’s. Let’s hear them.
    Again, your pompous pronouncements of your perspective, together with promises of factual support for it (which support never seems to be forthcoming) aren’t important. What’s important is that your arguments are hypocritical lies.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Mike Toreno,
    Well, your latest comment isn’t quite as outrageous as your previous ones, so I’m pleased you’ve calmed down a little.
    But you’re still so excited by my alleged crimes against reason that you contradict yourself right out of the gate.
    First two sentences:
    But Matthew, your perspective isn’t important. No one cares whether you think in a particular way.
    Next sentence:
    The only relevant information is why you think what you think, what facts you base your opinion on, the importance you assign to those facts, and the process you follow to reach a conclusion.
    In other words, the “only relevant information” (according to you) is my perspective! But it is “relevant” without being “important”.
    Here’s another suggestion, Mike.
    After you have slept on things and mulled things over, take any comments you care to post and use the Preview button. Read your post, but pretend that I am the one who wrote it, not yourself. Critique it ruthlessly and edit out the obvious errors and self-contradictions.
    When you’re done with that, you should cut all personal attacks as well, but apparently you still disagree with me on that.
    You have claimed that you can identify 456 flip-flops of Obama’s. Let’s hear them.
    Actually, I claimed that Senator Obama has committed a half-dozen flip-flops and lies for each one of John McCain’s. I would say the list of Obama’s “lies” is much, much longer than the list of his flip-flops.
    While Senator Obama’s list of flip-flop’s is already pretty impressive, his record of repeatedly voting “present” in the Illinois state legislature (instead of “yes” or “no”) has meant that Senator McCain has had a more than 20-year headstart on making public commitments on the most controversial issues (McCain joined the Congress in 1983; Obama in 2005). So Senator Obama may not have actually overtaken Senator McCain on flip-flops yet.
    But not because he isn’t trying (click the links to read articles):
    “Top Obama Flip-Flops”, from the Washington Post
    “Comprehensive Obama flip flop list”, with updates and video clips
    “Obama’s flip-flops”, by the Associated Press
    So how about his “lies”?
    It’s hard to know where to begin, and where to end. And the truth is, what I consider to be a lie or a “lie” is not what you would consider to be a lie, so it’s actually not going to produce a miraculous agreement between us if I start cataloguing Senator Obama’s dishonesty and disingenuousness.
    A good starting point might be the candidates’ speeches at their respective conventions. I was struck by how dishonest Senator Obama was throughout his, and how candid and truthful Senator McCain appeared to be. But once again, I doubt that my judgement of Senator Obama’s speech is likely to be shared by you, so I think we will just have to agree to disagree on this and many/most other instances of what I judge to be his dishonesty.
    You first determined that you wanted to support McCain and made whatever moral adjustments were needed to allow you to pretend that McCain is a morally decent person. You decided you didn’t want to support Obama, and decided that you would tell whatever lies you needed to provide a reason for that lack of support.
    Actually, Senator McCain was my second to last choice in the primaries, ahead of Congressman Ron Paul. Like yourself, I had doubts about his political integrity and his honesty. What really stuck in my craw, though, was his backing of “campaign-finance reform”, which I consider to be a disaster on several levels.
    And actually, Senator Obama was my favorite in the Democratic primaries, and I was excited by the prospect of an African-American president. For quite a while, I was leaning toward supporting Senator Obama over Senator McCain.
    You decided you didn’t want to support Obama, and decided that you would tell whatever lies you needed to provide a reason for that lack of support.
    You know, if I did have to come up with lies to attack Senator Obama, I wouldn’t be attacking him, I’d be supporting him.
    And maybe one day, if Senator Obama regrets his dishonesty and disavows it, I will be an Obama supporter once again. But if President Clinton’s administration can be used as a guide, I should not be hopeful that Obama would reform his ways, whether he wins or not.
    All the best,
    Matthew

  • Mike Toreno

    The Wapo article includes only 5 claimed flip-flops, and I know the characterization as a flip-flop of Obama’s decision not to accept public financing is a lie.
    That wingnut site you linked to, the first two claims of identifying position changes by Obama are lies, so I didn’t read further.
    The AP article, the claim that Obama has changed his position on withdrawing from Iraq is a lie, so I didn’t read further, except that I did happen to notice this:
    “He not only embraced but promised to expand Bush’s program to give more anti-poverty grants to religious groups, a split with Democratic orthodoxy.”
    So by disagreeing with some other people, Obama is supposed to have flip-flopped. I think we can pretty safely ignore the article.
    And this from you is even more worthless than your average:
    “I was struck by how dishonest Senator Obama was throughout his, and how candid and truthful Senator McCain appeared to be.”
    You mean, you didn’t want to believe what Obama was saying, and you did want to believe what McCain was saying. A lie is a statement contradicting facts known to the speaker.
    If you want to demonstrate that Obama has lied, you have to point out statements he has made, and facts demonstrating those statements to be untrue. Claims by a worthless, lying, hypocritical idiot such as yourself are utterly unpersuasive.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Actually, I claimed that Senator Obama has committed a half-dozen flip-flops and lies for each one of John McCain’s. I would say the list of Obama’s “lies” is much, much longer than the list of his flip-flops.
    Hmmm, several problems with an objective sounding statement like this:
    1. Some lies are bigger than others. For example, considering McCain’s campaign has made fighting pork one of its major themes it’s a pretty big lie to continue to allow his running mate to claim she opposed the bridge to nowhere.
    2. Even assuming you can properly score big lies and little lies you need a comprehensive list of all lies to assert something like there’s 6 Obama lies to 1 McCain lie. You can easily fake that ‘result’ by being hyper-picky on Obama and ignoring lots of McCain lies.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Boonton,
    The biggest problem with cataloguing “lies”: deciding how skeptical to be of a politician’s assertion. Crank up the skepticism and a casual misstatement becomes a calculating deception; be generous with allocating benefit of the doubt, and the most bald-faced double-speak dissipates like the fog burning off in the morning sun.
    And when the skepticism is based partly or wholly on partisan political beliefs, then one candidate’s lies will often be the photographic negative of the other candidate’s dogma, and vice-versa.
    There is no easy or obvious way to get around this, either, as my exchanges with Mr. Toreno have been demonstrating.
    Mike Toreno,
    I believe we have, de facto, found some common ground. We have agreed to disagree, have we not ;)
    Peace, insult-man,
    all the best to you.

  • Mike Toreno

    Boonton, you leave out the biggest problem with Matthew’s assertion, which that he doesn’t point out any of Obama’s supposed lies. He says he can identify 6 Obama lies and flip-flops for every one of McCain’s, I put up a list of 76 McCain flip-flops, he puts up lists of 4 or 5 supposed Obama flip-flops, some of which are based in differences between Obama’s positions and those of others. Let’s be generous, let’s say Matthew has identified 5 Obama flip-flops and let’s restrict ourselves only to the list of McCain’s flip-flops and ignore his lies, such as his claim that Obama will raise taxes, Bridge to Nowhere, fundamentals of economy strong, Palin and McCain champions of reform, Pailin crusader against earmarks, and on and on and on. So just counting McCain’s 76 flip-flops and ignoring his lies, here’s the scorecard:
    Number of lies and flip-flops needed:
    456
    Number of flip-flops claimed by Matthew’s sources:
    5
    Number of lies needed:
    451
    Number of lies identified:
    0Matthew’s supposed excuse for the difficulty of identifying lies of politicians is just that, an excuses. An honest person identifies lies of his friends in the same way he identifies lies of his enemies – by an examination of the statement made and the relevant facts. It’s not hard, not to somebody who’s honest. The fact that Matthew says it’s hard tells us everything about him that we need to know.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Mike Toreno,
    An honest person identifies lies of his friends in the same way he identifies lies of his enemies – by an examination of the statement made and the relevant facts. It’s not hard, not to somebody who’s honest.
    I didn’t say it was always hard to tell the truth from falsehood (although frequently it is). But determining truthfulness from dishonesty is almost always hard, often impossible.
    Why? Because lying means that the liar knows what the truth is, and intends to deceive by telling a falsehood or omitting the truth. Being wrong is not sufficient.
    And if you and I or someone else cannot even take the first step, agreeing on what the truth is, then we will never agree on who is lying.
    Now if you disagree with me, one of us is wrong. But both of us could be honest, provided that we both believe what we say.
    Here’s an example:
    Politician A says that the surge in Iraq has succeeded. Politician B says that the surge in Iraq has not succeeded.
    Who is telling the truth? Who is not telling the truth? Is the politician who is not telling the truth lying?
    Politician C says that the surge in Iraq has succeeded “beyond anyone’s imagination”. Politician D says that the surge in Iraq has not succeeded “beyond anyone’s imagination”. Which one is correct? Is anyone lying?
    The fact that Matthew says it’s hard [to identify lies] tells us everything about him that we need to know.
    As I just said, it’s a lot easier to identify apparent lies from my own perspective than it is to identify genuine lies that everyone will agree are lies. In fact, it is probably impossible to identify lies to everyone’s satisfaction.
    Now, you say you disagree with me. Does that make you a liar? Does that “tell us everything we need to know” about Mike Toreno? No, and to say otherwise is very, very silly.
    You and I are both Americans, we are both human beings. If our political views are driving you to consider honest disagreement as a species of dishonest immorality, then I suggest you take a slow, deep breath and consider what we have in common as opposed to what seems to divide us.
    You and I are brothers, or at least cousins, even if you don’t want to admit it.
    Peace and love,
    Matthew

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Matthew
    The biggest problem with cataloguing “lies”: deciding how skeptical to be of a politician’s assertion. Crank up the skepticism and a casual misstatement becomes a calculating deception; be generous with allocating benefit of the doubt, and the most bald-faced double-speak dissipates like the fog burning off in the morning sun.
    False modesty I thinks. You asserted quite boldly that the ratio of Obama lies to McCain lies is 6 to 1. You didn’t assert that you had found 6 lies to 1 lie out of some unknown larger population of lies, you asserted a ratio. This implies pretty directly that you have hard numbers to back this up or at least knew of someone who did just as if I told you I had lost 4.3 pounds over the last year that would imply I had some type of scale to weigh myself or had used someone else’s scale.
    Now when it looks like you may get called out you suddenly convert to postmodernism….how can we know what a lie is when we poor souls are hopelessly blinded by our own partisan outlooks!!!!! Wooo is us!
    I will give you credit, you do embody the current stance the Republican party has in general towards truth. Whether it’s a Christian stance I’ll let others decide.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Uh-oh, now you’re calling me a liar too.
    Does that mean McCain/Palin are putting the great state of New Jersey into play? :)
    But my stance is hardly post-modernism: as far as I am concerned, Obama is easily six times as dishonest and flip-floppy as McCain. I believe that, but I also acknowledge that you and Mike do not. Rather than insist that I am objectively right and you guys are hopelessly confused, I am begging off that discussion, as is my prerogative.
    If you want, however, you can tell me what you think the McCain/Obama dishonesty ratio is, and lay out the proof for your figure. I’d be very interested in seeing that — provided that wouldn’t be too hard.
    Cheers,
    Matthew

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    In other words, you believe in precise numbers connected to absolutely nothing. Sure you aren’t a closet postmodernist?

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    … you believe in precise numbers connected to absolutely nothing.
    I believe in numbers connected to the mouths of Senators McCain and Obama. My numbers are different from yours, but I am sure my numbers are correct.
    Speaking of which, what are your numbers? What is the McCain/Obama ratio in your opinion?
    And remember to provide proof — I want proof, please.

  • Mike Toreno

    Boonton, once again Matthew fails to produce any examples of Obama’s supposed lies, yet the lack of examples does not shake his confidence that such lies exist, and does not diminish his insistence that you accept the reality that only he sees. There’s a word used to describe people who see things no one else does. Crazy.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    I don’t insist you see anything, Mike. You’re the one doing all the insisting.
    Peace out. And may the better candidate win.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Speaking of which, what are your numbers? What is the McCain/Obama ratio in your opinion?
    Mondays it is 5.52 to 3.42
    Tuesdays it is 3.21 to 4
    Wednesdays it is 7.893 to 2
    Thursdays it is 10.5 to 5
    Fridays it is 4.5 to 2
    Sat. it is 3.3 to 1
    Sundays it is 2.5 to 0.5
    And remember to provide proof — I want proof, please.
    Why I’ve never been so insulted in my life! You sir are a man of no honor or decency!

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    You sir are a man of no honor or decency!
    I had plenty of honor and decency when I started in on this comment thread. But I’ve been giving it all away to Mr. Toreno, and he hasn’t sent any back my way yet :-)
    As for the broader issue of apparently pulling numbers out of the ether:
    The set of all statements by Senator McCain and Obama is way too vast to exhaustively scour for truth and falsehood, honesty and dishonesty.
    The only practical way to determine some frequency of lies (or flip-flops) would be to take a sample of statements, comb through them, and then try to figure how representative the sample should be considered.
    But that still doesn’t address at all any of the issues that I brought up in comments 79 and 81. Since there is no way to bring you or Mike or anyone else around to the same parameters or assumptions that I would be using, the whole exercise would be essentially useless as a means of cross-partisan persuasion.
    I don’t think you can disagree with that, but prove me wrong if you wish.
    Cheers,
    Matthew

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Post 88 demonstrated McCain has a higher lie ratio than Obama does. I’m perplexed at your inability to grasp simple, well demonstrated, facts.

  • Rob Ryan

    “And may the better candidate win.”
    Amen! That’s the kind of change I would welcome.

  • Mike Toreno

    Boonton, those numbers are meaningless. Numbers are imaginary, they are essentially a way of talking about the things you are using them to describe. You have to describe what the numbers apply to if you wish to persuade anyone. You have to identify lies told by McCain (of which there are numerous examples) and lies told by Obama (of which Matthew claims there are examples, even though he won’t provide us with any). Only then can you assign numbers and compute a ratio.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Mike,
    Clearly youare a numbers radical which is fine. This is America and you’re free to have all sorts of strange beliefs about numbers and stuff. But you can’t force those beliefs down other people’s throats. Both Matt and I have an equal right to beliefs about numbers. Quite frankly, I find your lack of respect for other belief systems disturbing. I just doesn’t feel right!

  • Mike Toreno

    Boonton, you’re entitled to have any beliefs about numbers you want, but my approach is useful for describing phenomena, and yours isn’t. Your use of numbers is nothing more than a way of talking to yourself about yourself.

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