Dueling Devils

Well, it’s official.  “Political Entertainment” is now officially a more common category for this blog’s posts than is “comps.”  I don’t know whether to celebrate that the comps posts are over or lament that the other kind aren’t.

But anyway, I finally got around to reading the latest Howard Dean email that I received.  (I unsubscribed from the Obama campaign’s email because its twice-daily frequency got obnoxious, but I still get a kick out of old Howard’s occasional messages.)  I smirked when the same political campaigners who convinced the country that a candidate who spent the presidential debates bragging about how many people he executed was a “pro-life candidate” argued, four short years later, that John Kerry was the “most liberal” Senator.  So when this election boogie woogie started and I heard that Obama was now the “most liberal” Senator, I was not surprised–same playbook, same plays.

But then I read ol’ Howard this afternoon, and now McCain’s campaign is, according to that message, the most extreme right-wing campaign ever to reach major party nomination.

I suppose I should be happy that the best way to scare voters is to threaten them with the extremes of American political life–it means that a true right- or left-wing takeover isn’t that likely and that, with the exceptions of spans like ’92-’94 and ’00-’06, one party is likely to control the Congress while the other controls the White House.  But I do wonder how many people, like me, are smirking and how many actually believe this nonsense.

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8 Comments

Filed under Political Entertainment

8 responses to “Dueling Devils

  1. Jonathan

    Well, according to Obama’s voting record he really is the most liberal Senator. At least he was in 2007. That isn’t something that the RNC or McCain camp just pulled out of thin air. It came from a study. I read it when it came out…now how reputable is that source? I don’t know. Considering Obama was the only person in the entire Senate that didn’t vote for the Babies Born Alive Act it’s not a stretch. Now, saying John McCain is the most right-wing is hilarious.

  2. Well, I’ll put down money right now that whoever gets nominated from the DNC will immediately generate a study that shows her or him as the “most liberal” in whatever office she or he held last.

    As I’ve said before, I only respond so many times when somebody cries wolf. If the GOP wanted me to believe them, they shouldn’t have pulled that tomfoolery in ’04.

  3. Jonathan

    The stust was by the National Journal.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/news/2008/01/obama_ranked_most_liberal_sena_1.html

    I tried to use a source that you would like. 🙂

    Now whether Obama is the most liberal or nor, I do understand what you’re saying about hyperbolic statements that are made during campaigns.

  4. I checked out the National Journal piece’s vote breakdown, and I do find it strange that of the (relatively few) differences between Obama’s and Clinton’s voting records in 2007, the one that seems to have made the 15-position difference are Obama’s vote in favor of ethics reform. I also can’t figure out how many of the Parliamentary procedures on that chart are “conservative” or “liberal”; many of them seem to be simple procedural votes to “limit debate,” not to pass or to kill actual law. Beyond that, the breakdown page doesn’t really give any indication of how a given proposal is designated “conservative” or “liberal” before they crunch the numbers.

    If you can find some account of how they determine which votes are “liberal” and which “conservative,” do post a link here–I’d like to know who makes those decisions and how.

  5. Liberal and conservative are words/categoires that have lost all meaning and utility when used in the context of contemporary American politics. Equating dems with liberal and reps with conservative doesn’t actually get us anywhere as far as understanding their respective policies. For instance, Reps have a reputation for favoring small government; yet, this is the largest fed govt we’ve ever had, and it’s grown under a Rep president. (That’s not the only example; it’s just the one that came to mind while I’m trying to warm up the mental tubes.)

  6. I deleted one of the last two comments, El Ick, because I assumed that it was a computer error. If in fact the duplication was part of a rhetorical strategy that went over my head, go ahead and post it again, and I’ll delete this one so as not to break up the continuity.

  7. vaindeludingjoys

    The double post was a mistake, as was my spelling of “categories”; forgive my sloppiness.

  8. No worries, man. Just watch out for those Illinois Nazis.

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