Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

October 6, 2008

CONTEXT MATTERS.... Last week, in an unusually painful example of what's become of the Republican ticket, the McCain campaign released a "comically misleading" web ad, showing Barack Obama suggesting the "fundamentals" of the economy are strong. The ad concluded, "Obama's a hypocrite." The problem, of course, is that when one looked at the context of Obama's remarks, he was actually saying the opposite. McCain just wanted to deceive, and hoped the public wouldn't know the difference.

Today, he's trying a similar stunt. In a speech this afternoon, according to the prepared text, McCain will tell voters in New Mexico, "As recently as September of last year [Obama] said that subprime loans had been, quote, 'a good idea.' Well, Senator Obama, that 'good idea' has now plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression."

And once again, McCain's desperation has led him to ignore context so blatantly, his attack is baseless.

In that September 17, 2007 speech -- titled "Our Common Stake in America's Prosperity -- Obama criticized the "dangerous erosion of the rules and principles that have allowed our market to work and our economy to thrive." He said that dynamic reared its head "during the Enron and WorldCom scandals ... and we cannot help but see some reflections of these practices when we look at the subprime mortgage fiasco today."

Obama said that "subprime lending started off as a good idea -- helping Americans buy homes who couldn't previously afford to. Financial institutions created new financial instruments that could securitize these loans, slice them into finer and finer risk categories and spread them out among investors around the country and around the world. In theory, this should have allowed mortgage lending to be less risky and more diversified."

But then, Obama said, something went wrong.

"As certain lenders and brokers began to see how much money could be made, they began to lower their standards," Obama said. "Some appraisers began inflating their estimates to get the deals done. Some borrowers started claiming income they didn't have just to qualify for the loans, and some were engaging in irresponsible speculation. But many borrowers were tricked into glossing over the fine print. And ratings agencies began rating bundles of different kinds of these loans as low-risk even though they were very high-risk. Most everyone knew that some of these deals were just too good to be true, but all that money flowing in made it tempting to look the other way and ignore the unscrupulous practice of some bad actors... Repeated calls for better disclosure and stronger oversight were met with millions in mortgage industry lobbying. Far too many continued to put their own short-term gain ahead of what they knew the long-term consequences would be when those rates exploded."

Context, in other words, matters.

I wonder if McCain will ever look back at his campaign, see how ridiculous he allowed it to become, and feel embarrassed. Somehow, I doubt it.

Steve Benen 3:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (30)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

To reprise a line from a few weeks ago:

They must think you're stupid.

Posted by: neilt on October 6, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

It would take too many brain cells for McCain to feel embarrassment. And a soul.

Posted by: Anon on October 6, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Embarrassed? The campaign he is conducting merits hari-kari.

Posted by: Algernon on October 6, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

"I wonder if McCain will ever look back at his campaign, see how ridiculous he allowed it to become, and feel embarrassed."

Only if it makes sense politically.

Posted by: John Henry on October 6, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Just a side note:

Why are some people saying that calling McCain "erratic" is an attack on is age?? I have no idea how some in the media (CNN) draw this conclusion. Any help on this?

Posted by: Katie on October 6, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

McCain, like most narcissistic personality types, lacks the capacity for embarassment. All conduct is measured against the same standard: did he get what he wanted?

Posted by: Califlander on October 6, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen wrote: "I wonder if McCain will ever look back at his campaign, see how ridiculous he allowed it to become, and feel embarrassed."

Not if he is sworn in as President on January 20th, he won't.

And the fact is that George W. Bush got close enough to steal two elections with lies that were, if anything, more blatant and preposterous than those of the Palin-McCain campaign.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 6, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

McCrap will be embarrassed at about the same time that the corporate media are.

I just got home & turned on MSNBC. The twit Norah ODonnel ended a segment with "what will voters think about Obama's 1960's affiliations".

Think about that! Obama was born in 1961. How many "affiliations" did you or I have when we were 8 years old, which is what Obama was when the 60's ended?

Why do the f*cking corporate media let the McCrap campaign determine what will be discussed? Because they are what they are - corporately owned and corporately controlled and an extension of the rethugnican party.

Posted by: SadOldVet on October 6, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry to be totally OT, but there's only one hour left in some states, so I couldn't wait till the Mini Report and open thread.

http://www.electoral-vote.com/

has a list of states where massive purging of voter rolls had been going on and a link to the place where you can check your status (and that of neighbours and friends).

Plus, it's an altogether a good/interesting posting today and worth reading :)

Posted by: exlibra on October 6, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Snipet, Snapit and Slurit.

Sarah and John now use snipets to bolster their epithets.

At a snap of their fingers they can slur the truth, about pretty much anything.

When you lie so much, the truth becomes meaningless, because you don't believe in it anyway.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on October 6, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if McCain will ever look back at his campaign, see how ridiculous he allowed it to become, and feel embarrassed

If he wins, no.

If he loses, ummm...no.

Republicans know no shame. To them, everything they do is for the good of the country.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on October 6, 2008 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

As long as we're on the economy, here's an interesting OpEd piece from yesterday's WaPo

GOING FOR BROKE He Told Us to Go Shopping. Now the Bill Is Due.
By Andrew J. Bacevich
Sunday, October 5, 2008; Page B03

Posted by: Marko on October 6, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, this total madness is going to be effective. I hope the Obama campaign figures out how to sink the swiftboat.

Posted by: Lucy on October 6, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

It's Rovian tactics as executed by a grade-schooler.

Posted by: idlemind on October 6, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

And in a bit of irony, a headline at Salon.com from the AP says "McCain calls Obama a liar":

Republican John McCain is calling Democratic rival Barack Obama a liar. The GOP presidential candidate told a campaign rally: "Sen. Obama has accused me of opposing regulation to avert this crisis. I guess he believes if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed."

Posted by: AJB on October 6, 2008 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

"I wonder if McCain will ever look back at his campaign, see how ridiculous he allowed it to become, and feel embarrassed."

Or if some other Republicans might prevail on him to stop tarnishing the brand. But if they cared that much they might have run for President.

Posted by: Allen K. on October 6, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

This is no different than one of the favorite lines creationists use. They "quote" Darwin as saying, "the eye could not have evolved naturally", when the whole quote is, essentially, "it may be easy to think that the eye could not have evolved naturally, but here's how it easily could have. (Long explanation follows.)" In other words, blatant, sticking-a-finger-in-your-eye lying.

It really is pathetic that McCain has sunk to the level of honesty and integrity found in Creationism. Next he'll be saying that Obama was cloned from Atilla The Hun. Why wouldn't he?

Posted by: DH Walker on October 6, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if McCain will ever look back at his campaign, see how ridiculous he allowed it to become, and feel embarrassed. Somehow, I doubt it.

No, he won't be embarrassed at all. But he'll write another book detailing how "sorry" he is now that he looks back on his 2008 campaign. He'll act all contrite and the MSM (aka McCain's base) will roll over on its back for a belly rub and a barbecue.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on October 6, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if McCain will ever look back at his campaign, see how ridiculous he allowed it to become, and feel embarrassed.

No. Or, let's say he won't let himself consciously feel or acknowledge it. But something in him will know, those subconscious lights will flicker and grow dim, and that will have an effect on his physical health. I predict he dies within the year.

I don't feel sorry for him now, but I probably will when he's internally broken and dead.

Posted by: on October 6, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

I don't feel sorry for him now, but I probably will when he's internally broken and dead.

Sorry, I can't agree. He's shoved his middle finger in my face about a hundred times too many for me to feel any sympathy for him.

Posted by: DH Walker on October 6, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

That was me at 4:39.

Posted by: Julia Grey on October 6, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

He won't be embarrassed if he wins.

Yes, I know it is a long shot, and I know Obama is solidifying his lead, but these people are the bottom-of-the-barrel scum, and they will do anything to win. If McCain pulls it off, and it looks legit, all will be forgiven, and we will have sunk to a new low in election year politics.

I want Obama to win. I am doing what I can to make sure he does. At the same time, I know 30 days can make all the difference. If Osama bin Laden releases a tape, who knows what could happen...

Posted by: SentinelPrime on October 6, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Steve? By the way ... CONTEXT DOES NOT MATTER, because the corporate-owned mass media, from which the vast majority of Americans get the vast majority of their information, will make sure that millions of Americans never see the context.

John McCain knows that. Steve Schmidt knows that. Sara Palin knows that.

Why don't you?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 6, 2008 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

"I wonder if McCain will ever look back at his campaign, see how ridiculous he allowed it to become, and feel embarrassed. Somehow, I doubt it."

Of course not. He is a lying pig.

Posted by: CT on October 6, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Remorse is a better word because his behavior now borders on the criminal. Just like a murderer cannot feel pain, McShameless is incapable of feeling remorse (much less embarassment). History will view his campaign as the absolute lowest point in America's political history. May God have mercy on his sorry soul.

Posted by: rick on October 6, 2008 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK
Or if some other Republicans might prevail on him to stop tarnishing the brand. But if they cared that much they might have run for President.

As I recall, several other Republicans did run for President.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 6, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

President Bush says we could be in Iraq for five or ten more years.

McCain: "Maybe a hundred. That's fine with me."

Wasn't there a bit of a whine about that some time back? Might sound good during the debate. Someone could get "testy".

Posted by: Capt Kirk on October 6, 2008 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

President Bush says we could be in Iraq for five or ten more years.

McCain: "Maybe a hundred. That's fine with me."

Wasn't there a bit of a whine about that some time back? Might sound good during the debate. Someone could get "testy".

Posted by: baloney on October 6, 2008 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

It brings to mind the SNL voice over skit:

"Barack Obama wants to provide health insurance to the Entire Universe, even Osama bin Laden!"

"We take the literal meaning of the word Universe!"

How pathetic. He should resign his senate seat shortly after the race is over.

Posted by: TBone on October 7, 2008 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

That "a good idea" remark would rate an F and a stern admonition on a college sophomore's paper. It's undiluted dishonesty.

Posted by: tamiasmin on October 7, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly