A Dishonest Debate

September 27, 2008

Q: How do you know when a politician is lying?

A: When his lips are moving.

 

I feel lied to.

It irritates me when McCain takes a “cheap” shot at Obama and vice versa. It makes me feel that they think I am stupid and I don’t know the games they are playing.

Watching this debate reminds me of a recent experience that I had when Ashley and I went used car shopping. I’m telling you the similarities are very relevant. I was talking to the salesman about gas mileage, particularly what was the mileage that this van got in the city, and you know what he told me? 20-25mpg! “What are you kidding me?” was my response, and he told me again with a serious and straight face.

I was insulted because I knew that from previous research that was untrue. I told him what I learned from research and he blew me off explaining that it was because “they” don’t test it accurately for fuel efficiency.

In the same fashion, I feel that both of the candidates tried to sell me a bill of goods last night that I knew was wrong. And just when I try to object with reason and rational they hit me with another one.  Don’t get me wrong, they said some great things as well and got a good debate going on. But here is my problem, they love to distort and misrepresent each others policies and words.

I hate that, and it’s wrong. Now it so happens that tonight I found McCain doing more of this distasteful tactic than Obama, but that doesn’t give Obama a free pass because there have been similar times in the past where he was just as guilty.

Obama in the past has misrepresented McCain’s words that “we could be in Iraq for the next 100 years just as we are in Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc.” and turned that into “McCain wants to continue the Iraq war for the next 100 years” that is untrue and dishonest.

The past has also shown that Obama’s camp has jumped on McCain’s words about the “fundamentals” of our economy being good in poor economic times. But in reality, which is outside the “spin zone” McCain was communicating that the workforce, spirit, determination, etc. are going strong not that the housing market, gas prices, etc. are going well. So that’s my beef with Obama on “parsing” words or lying as I like to call it.

Now McCain at this debate was just as bad as Obama has been on the campaign trail. He distorted Obama’s vote on not funding the troops when McCain also did not vote to fund the troops just for a different reason. That is wrong and dishonest. The issue obviously was not funding the troops it was on a strategy or tactic for the war.

Lastly, when McCain attacked Obama on nuclear energy, he said that Obama was against it, that’s a distortion. Obama does want all forms of “alternative energy” he just has reservations on the safe handling of the waste.

Why do the politicians feel the need to dumb down the debate? I am offended that they think that I and others are just going to blindly take whatever they hand us, unfortunately for the majority its true. What we need is critical thinkers preferably clear thinking non-partisan ones, or non “kool aid drinkers” as I like to call them.    

Those who know me, will understand that I watched this debate very differently than the last Presidential Debate I watched which was in 2004. In this debate I found myself not rooting for either side, I was genuinely interested and sympatric to both arguments.

It is so weird to think that I can sit there and watch these debates and not have a major partisan bias, key word there is “major” I know it’s not possible to be totally “fair and balanced”.

What do you think? Am I fair or balanced or something that resembles it?