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Negative Campaigns (How Can One be Positive About This?)

The subject of Negative Campaigns came up at OTB yesterday.

I tell James:

There are some issues one cannot play Pollyanna over. As an example, and at the risk of tossing this thing down a subthread, let’s run a quote from Boortz, this morning:

Barack Obama is trying his darndest to link John McCain to “big oil” and Dick Cheney. Yesterday on the program we talked about Obama’s latest McCain-Exxon ad, where he claims that John McCain has received $2 million in campaign contributions from people in the oil industry … which is completely untrue. The actual figure is more like $1.3 or $1.4 million, but that is beside the point. What Obama failed to mention is that he himself has received well over $400,000 in campaign contributions from “big oil.” Nice try, BO!

Something else that Barack Obama has failed to bring up … and that the media has failed to point out (there’s a surprise) … is that Obama voted for an energy bill in 2005 that included billions in subsidies for oil and natural gas production. Dick Cheney was credited with writing, or at least influencing, much of the bill. And yet Barack voted for it … twice. Even more surprising is that John McCain did not vote for the bill “because it included billions in unnecessary tax breaks for the oil industry.”

The Obama camp says that he supported the bill because it included “huge investments in renewable energy.” Yeah, like the ethanol industry … and we know how well that has gone.

Want another example of Obama’s failure to tell the whole truth? He is also saying that McCain is trying to push a $4 billion tax break for the oil industry. Just what is The Chosen One talking about? That would be McCain’s proposal to lower corporate income taxes. Currently the United States has the second-largest corporate income tax in the industrialized world. Our punishing tax rates are chasing businesses and capital overseas. Now if you do the math you will see that if McCain manages to get his cut in the corporate tax rate through would cut corporate taxes to oil companies by about $4 billion. So there you go …. Ignoring all of the other American businesses that would benefit, The Big BO is pushing the idea to his ignorant followers that this is really nothing more than a big break for big oil.

OK, granted that’s pretty snarky, though I’ll note that Boortz tends to be that way as a matter of reflex. But Obama’s getting caught in several bald faced lies. How does one present this without having the charge of ‘going negative’ thown at you?

“Well, he delivered these lies in a wonderful speaking voice….”

That’s what this really comes down to, and why I have always and invariably chafed at the complains about politics ‘going negative’. Sorry, but bringing flaws of the candidates out into the open …sometimes by force….  is what campaigns are suppsoed to be all about. A political campaign, hopefully,  is the crucible in which we expose the impurities of content of those candidates who willingly enter it so as to allow the voter an informed choice.  Anyone (Yes, including McCain) who enters a campaign, telling us he’s taking the high road and not going negative, what they’re really doing is forcing the voter into the position of judging candiates soley by their abiliy to mouth empty, meaningless platitudes… and in that event,  Obama wins hands down.