Maddow States it Plain

So far I'm really liking Rachel Maddow's new MSNBC show. She reminds me a lot of what Keith Olbermann used to be (and sometimes still is). On last night's edition she had a nice summary of precisely how pathetic the McCain campaign has been recently:

See, saying “It's not fair the way I'm losing,” translates to the American people roughly as, “I'm a loser.” That's the dilemma facing Barack Obama's campaign right now, as the McCain campaign keeps lying over and over and over and over again. No, Sarah Palin did not say thanks but no thanks to that bridge to nowhere. People making $42,000 a year will be way better off under Obama's tax plan than under McCain's. Obama supported legislation to keep kindergarteners safe from sexual predators, and turning that into some creepy anti-sex-ed ad is not just a McCain lie, it is a prevarication miracle, totally unknowable through rational means. That jet did not get sold on e-bay, no one called Sarah Palin a pig. All this stuff is just made up. Even Karl Rove believes it's made up:

ROVE: McCain has gone in some of his ads similarly gone one step too far in sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the one hundred percent truth test.

Beyond the one hundred percent truth test. I love hearing Karl Rove explain that. The question, though, is what's the tipping point here. At what point does the overall story of this campaign shift from, “John McCain: Known Honorable Guy, Has Some Inaccurate Ads,” when does it to change to John McCain is a ... prevaricator. John McCain is ... not telling the truth. John McCain is a li.... John McCain is an exaggerator, at least. Maybe it shifts when the country realizes that McCain's not just lying about Obama's record or Palin's record or even McCain's own record. Maybe this overall story shifts when we realize that McCain is even willing to lie about sad, small, petty, embarrassing things.

Such as crowd size. Bloomberg news first reported this weekend that the McCain campaign has been overstating the size of their crowds, crowds that show up to their rallies, inflating the crowd estimates. Why didn't he sheepishly say to his undersized audience, “I swear this never happens to me.” Last week in Fairfax county, Virginia, the McCain campaign said there were 23,000 people on hand for the campaign's largest event ever. They cited the local fire marshall as the source. The local fire marshall, however, says he provided no such number to the campaign, and a reporter on hand from The Washington Post said actually it looked to him like 8000 people not 23,000 people.

Again on Saturday a local Nevada politician supporting McCain gave a shout out to the ten thousand people who he said had turned out to see Sarah Palin.

SPEAKER: Is this what 10,000 people looks like?

Actually, no. The trouble here is that venue only holds 3500 people. Maybe people were sitting on each other's laps or hiding in each other's purses or something. I can understand why John McCain would want his campaign to seem bigger than it is. But this is humiliating, it's like lying about how much you weigh. It's like saying, “This never happens to me, I swear!”

Today John McCain spoke in Jacksonville, at the Veteran's Memorial Arena. McCain was able to fill less than a quarter of the venue, as this video shows. But according to the McCain campaign there were five hundred million people there. And also, John McCain invetned the internet.

Well said. She might have added that McCain lied when he said the plane was sold for a profit. Actually it was sold at a substantial loss.


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I keep waiting for this business of calling a spade a spade to accelerate dramatically between now and election day. While it goes against my deep cynicism, I believe it's possible that the 'conservative base' might, at the very least, just stay at home on election day if they really understood the brevity of the situation and didn't just blame it on the 'liberal media bias'. OTOH, if I were really optimistic I would hope that more people would realize how much better off we would be with Obama/Biden policies and vote accordingly- so I guess my cynicism is intact after all.
Anyway, thanks for the post.

McCain didn't invent the internets, he invented the Blackberry!

Yeah, well, when McCain lies the polls move in his favor. I don't expect that to change considering how the public reacted to the discovery that the Bush Admin lied about WMD's and Bio-Weapons in order to gain support for the Iraq war.

You do remember the outcry, right? Right? I can't either, because there was none. People shrugged their shoulders and started saying "Well, at least we are fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here."

I still continue dialogue with the right wing and have these last 8 years. They honestly DO NOT CARE about the lies. They care only about keeping the communist, muslim-loving, baby killing monsters of the left out of the White House any way they can.

Now, why the so-called independent voters aren't outraged.....I have no idea. Most of that is due to the Media ignoring the whole thing and not making as big a deal out of it as it is I think. They just don't think it's important. They are more concerned with Obama's skin color. Obama needs to make himself more familiar to these people. With those of us who are more Constitution-oriented, his FISA vote did NOT help but we see few options.

It is possible that McSame has damaged himself very badly and there is just a delay in people making up their minds they don't want another pair of liars in office.

Actually, none of this makes any difference. Senator Obama has made the same mistake as many of his Democratic predecessors in allowing the opposition to define him. Like Senator Kerry in 2004, he has allowed the Rethuglican smear machine to do the defining. The Democrats needed Harry Truman for this election, they got Michael Dukakis.

Oldfart -

I've had the same experience arguing with right-wingers.


Harry Truman was not facing the our modern media. The basic story lines of the candidates are set by the media, and that media is currently dominated by right-wingers. Actually, though, I think the media has been better this time around than in the past, and even a lot of conservative columnists have been calling McCain out on his incessant lying and his reckless choice of Sarah Palin as his VP. On the other hand, twice nothing is still nothing. With Al Gore they twisted everything he said into the story line that he was a serial liar. They've been pointing out McCain's lies, but they seem to think that it's kind of endearing.

The media was even more biased against Truman in 1948 then it is against Obama in 2008. All the major newspapers and radio commentators anointed Tom Dewey president 2 months before the election. The story line then was that Truman was a sure loser, based on the defection of the Dixiecrats and the parlor pinks. Unlike Senator Obama, this years Michael Dukakis, Truman came out fighting and refused to let the media set the agenda by running against the do nothing Congress. Unlike Truman, Obama just doesn't have the fire in the belly.


But the media was nowhere near as powerful in Truman's time as it is today. Television was brand new at that time. It's not like today where you have 24 hour news channels blaring out whatever scripts they want to promote.

I thought a big part of the deal with Truman was that the polls showed him behind until he won.

Re pough

That's an urban myth. What happened was that the pollsters (Gallup) stopped polling several weeks before the election because their polls at that time showed Truman way behind and they figured his cause was hopeless.

Re Jason Rosenhouse

The difference is that Truman didn't allow the media of that era to set the agenda. He believed in getting in his punches first and, given the instantaneousness of todays' communications, I think that it would be an even better approach today. Senator Obama and his predecessors like Kerry and Dukakis are counterpunchers who wait too long to hit back, if they hit back at all.

As a straight male, I thought it was totally, totally unfair that Rachel, who's gay, kept making snarky penis jokes in that monologue (and at several other points in that night's show). I shook my fist at the screen impotently.

Oh, great--now I'm doing it.

I've only watched Rachel once and missed any penis references she made. But I thought she did well and hope MSNBC has the balls to keep her on the air. Maybe she can lend them hers.

I think Obama HAS struck back much more aggressively and to the point than either Al Gore or the wimp Kerry did. Whether or not it is enough or has an effect will be determined in a few more weeks.

Truman's world was NOT our world. He had a daughter that couldn't sing. Can you imagine what Rove would have done with that?