While Justin is keeping us abreast of the lies, misstatements and fudges coming from Republicans, I thought Iâ€™d take a moment for a little site balancing and remind everyone that obfuscation is congenital not to any particular party but to the entire species known as politicians. Unsurprisingly, a scan of PoliFact reveals some recent dodges, weaves and misdirections from not just McCain/Palin but from Barack Obama as well.
Following are quotes directly snipped from the Obama fact-checking pages of the non-partisan PoliFact. You can read full entries here.
Claim: â€œJoe Biden brought Republicans and Democrats together to pass the 1994 crime bill, putting 100,000 cops on the streets and starting an eight-year drop in crime across the country.â€
Truth: Several independent analyses concluded the program resulted in far fewer than 100,000 new officers on the street; and that while crime did drop, there were other more significant reasons. The effect of the COPS program was modest.
Claim: “The fact is that although we have had a president who is opposed to abortion over the last eight years, abortions have not gone down.”
Truth: Obama’s statement is directly contradicted by statistics that show legal abortions have fallen since the start of the 21st century.
Claim: â€œI argued for years that we need to move from a ‘Musharraf policy’ to a ‘Pakistan policy.â€™”
Truth: If Obama had said he has been advocating this position for months, heâ€™d be on solid footing. â€¦ But when he says itâ€™s a position he has argued â€œfor yearsâ€ he is giving himself more credit than even his campaign can confirm.
So, while this post in no way is meant to excuse any shenanigans coming out of the McCain/Palin campaign, if weâ€™re going to get worked up over Palinâ€™s fudging on when exactly she opposed the â€œBridge to Nowhereâ€ and McCainâ€™s misstatement on exactly how Palin sold the Alaska governorâ€™s plane, itâ€™s only fair to point out that Obama/Biden are not paragons of accuracy either. Through purposeful exaggeration or plain ignorance of the facts, both campaigns are often less than 100% factual in the way the describe their records and the records of their opponents.
Itâ€™s really easy to get upset by the â€œother sideâ€™sâ€ obfuscations. Problem is, all sides distort records and facts to their own advantage. Except in the cases of dangerous lies or when a politician is hiding criminal behavior, I tend to let these things roll off my back. Otherwise, Iâ€™d be so cynical Iâ€™d be unable to vote for anyone.