The Myth of the Knockout

I didn’t watch the debate last night, because it was the last night of the Viable Paradise writing workshop and I wanted to hang out and say goodbye to the students we’d been with for the last week. But I did catch the highlight reel and all the color commentary, in which it seems that most real people scored it for Obama while the pundits figured it was a draw, because neither Obama or McCain managed a “knockout punch” on the other.

Well, in this case the real people got it right. A debate isn’t a prizefight, and the last thing we need at the moment is the artifical drama of a “knockout” — what we need are two presidential contenders thoughtfully offering up their policies and challenging each other on the issues: steak, not sizzle, and substance rather than excitement. At this point in time, I suspect the average American has all the “excitement” he or she can handle watching the banks collapse; watching the two candidates actually talk about things at length and engage with each other (with or without eye contact on the part of McCain) was probably a refreshing change.

So pundits, please restrain yourselves from viewing the currently political process entirely through the metaphor of violent sports activity. The rest of the United States seems to be managing not to do it, and with good reason; you could too, if you wanted.

55 Comments on “The Myth of the Knockout”

  1. McCain, in my mind, didn’t come off well to anyone still in doubt. He wouldn’t look at Obama and a couple of times he seemed to get into a snit when Obama calmly outpointed him on some comment, scowling and humping up the unibrow.

  2. Agreed, though I think people look for the knockout punch because of a few occurences in the past – Ford’s comment that Poland wasn’t under Soviet control, the “You’re not Joh Kennedy” line in the VP debate, etc. It provides drama for the news folk.

    I tuned it in here and there on CNN and they were using a line chart to get reactions from Dems, independents and Republicans in realtime. It was interesting that the line moved up noticeably when Obama was speaking among all 3 of those groups and down when McCain spoke. Not violently, but it was actually interesting to watch. Especially with the sound off.

  3. Every real person I talked to agreed it was a draw. The problem was that McCain spent half the debate talking about pork-barrel spending, which he is obviously passionate about but is a little trivial, and Obama spent pretty much all of the debate trying to link McCain to Bush, which made him sound like an attack ad (albeit an eloquent one).
    Also, their positions tonight were pretty similar. They both want to fix the economy and wrap up in Iraq within a year or too. Health care was the only place they were radically different.
    The debate was very interesting, but not at all exciting.

  4. The knockout punch isn’t a myth, though: In the ’88 vice-presidential debates, Lloyd Bensten’s legendary “you’re no Jack Kennedy” zinger ended Dan Quayle’s career. (Granted Quayle was elected VP that year, but he hasn’t held office since and is generally thought of as a punchline.)

    Your point’s well taken, though: The talking heads were looking for the knockout blow, so they missed the broader signals that people at home saw all evening – Obama looked confident and McCain looked angry. (Verbally McCain kept his cool, but his body language shouted “I am David Banner” all night.)

    Also I suspect Obama wasn’t trying for a knockout punch with this debate: He doesn’t need one right now. His goal was to convince skeptics that he can do more than just deliver a great speech, and his performance in last night’s debate achieved that. Meanwhile McCain needs a game-changing event, and last night’s debate didn’t give him one.

  5. No knockout punch?! I saw blood splatter the canvas, heard the crack of bones . . . oh, wait, I was watching Extreme Championship Wrestling. Never mind.

  6. I agree with the pundits on this one. Most are calling it a draw and the partisans are saying their guy won. Which is reasonable. As long as neither candidate fumbles, their supporters will call them the victor because they agree with what they are saying while they think the opposing candidate doesn’t have a clue.

  7. I have no plans of voting for McCain and never have, but I must admit that it really irritated me that most of his answers involved some form of “this is what I did before and here’s what Obama wants to spend.” 1) Today’s situation is nothing like what he was tackling “before”, and 2) I think we got the whole he wants to spend thing the first half dozen times he mentioned it. It was more than the usual political avoidance of the questions…it was ignoring the questions entirely most of the time. At least Obama generally started on point, even if he did find ways to drift off point along the way more than once. *g*

  8. I never thought of debates about winning or loosing, but rather about learning. The candidates learn to improve their positions by subjecting them to criticism, and the public gets a clearer view of how the candidates feel about the issues.

  9. I quit watching these “debates” long ago.

    First, they aren’t debates. They are question and avoid-the-answer sessions. I got so sick of “That’s a very interesting question, but before I answer that I would like to point out my opponent’s poor record on ….” that I just gave up.

    Second, everyone I know always tells me that whoever they were supporting before the debate really wiped the floor with the unworthy opponent.

    Why bother?

  10. Debate content aside, I found it interesting watching how each man handled himself during the debate.

    Obama was relaxed and talked to McCain, addressing he as John several times. This is the way I would expect a president to address other heads of state.

    McCain, on the other hand, looked tired, old, and pissed half the time. When he heard something he didn’t like, he got in a bit of a snit. He wouldn’t look at Obama, wouldn’t address him directly, and in general talked down to him. Is this the kind of behavior you want from your president?

  11. I watched the debate last night. For a political junkie like me it’s the same as watching the NFL Playoffs. It was a fairly solid performance on both their parts. Obama came across as presidential and McCain managed to not lose his top and scored some good zingers.

    I was struck by the differences in their demeanor however. Afterwards I told my wife it was like watching Grandpa Simpson debate Troy McClure.

  12. I thought the diplomacy issue of “Hey lets discuss this for a moment” vs. “I’m going to bomb the shit out of you” was a pretty telling moment. Not a knockout blow, but pretty darn close.
    IMHO McCain is lot like Bush, and is only satisfied if he’s killing something to solve a problem.

  13. It is a good debate so far. I’m only 45 min. into the thing. I wish they would just answer the questions more and back off on the sales pitch.

  14. I’m glad you posted the topic. When asked, “did you see the debate last night,” the too polite society that I encounter say, “no, I watched tennis.” It’s interesting to read other people’s take. I saw the last 10 minutes of the debate. McCain blinked almost as much as I do when I am being filmed for television. I am nervous being filmed (whether I am competent in the topic or not). I am not sure if he was nervous or if something was irritating his eyes. Obama seemed more poised. But I am biased toward Obama.

  15. They should be forbidden to say anything about the other candidate. At all. They may only talk about themselves, what they believe and what they wish and will do. Period. I don’t want to hear from them what they think of the other’s ideas. Clearly, they don’t agree or they’d be running mates. der….

  16. I listened to most of it on NPR while driving home. Both sides were kind of annoying. “What Senator Obama doesn’t seem to understand” got old pretty fast. So did Obama’s throat-grunts before answering. (Maybe that was more obvious on the radio.)

  17. I liked the format. It was much better than anything I’ve seen in the past. The candidates really got to mix it up.

    Clearly from my point of view McCain did the better job, but that’s because I mostly agree with his politics as opposed to Obama’s.

    But both put on a pretty good performance. i.e. Obama didn’t suck and McCain didn’t hit him.

    Putting on my objective hat, McCain lost the first round but won the rest. So much so that Obama spent an inordinate amount of time agreeing with McCain. It seemed to me this was mostly because he didn’t have the breath of experience to knowledgeably disagree. But he covered it well. Mostly. And Obama tried to interrupt too often.

    With regards to Independent voters, I suppose who was persuaded by which candidate depended on what they came looking for. There are pretty clear differences and these were articulated pretty well by the candidates. And since both Candidates came off appearing generally acceptable, I suppose an undecided voter could go with whoever best articulated their own general philosophy. So we’ll see what the demographics of the undecided voters look like in a few days, I suspect.

    But I do disagree with joten @3 who said

    The problem was that McCain spent half the debate talking about pork-barrel spending, which he is obviously passionate about but is a little trivial

    I, like McCain, see pork-barrel spending the way it is currently implemented, as the single most corrupting influence in Congress. I completely disagree that it is trivial.

    Case in point is the $100,000 earmark Obama obtained ostensibly to build a botanical garden in Chicago. The Park was never built but the money went to a one-time Obama campaign worker. The campaign worker is now under investigation.

    Now I’m not saying Obama did anything wrong, but it is easy to see how someone could donate to a campaign and in return receive an “earmark” that far exceeds the “investment” in the candidate. And even if there is no “quid pro quo”, even the appearance tends to undermine confidence in our political class.

    Since it is possible for a quid pro quo to occur with earmarks, and since it is not illegal, it can be very corrupting especially when earmarks can be placed anonymously.

    So to my mind, this is something that Democrats promised to deal with when they took control of Congress, failed utterly (read: didn’t even try) but must be dealt with by someone.

    And the sooner the better.

  18. AFAIK most people who listened scored the debate as a draw while most of those who watched scored the debate as a win for Obama. Obviously the body language and other nonverbal cues made a difference.

    With the “pundits” writing their reactions and bullet points down most of the time, it isn’t a surprise that their take leaned toward ‘draw’. Also, the natural tendency to want to be close to the group decision will, in absence of knockout punches, tend to see ‘draw’ as the safe choice.

    After checking out about 9 or 10 post-debate polls, the common judgement of an Obama win (average 22% edge for Obama) with the curve wrecking outlier being a known right-wing site (Drudge), I think it would be safe to say that, among those the debaters are trying to reach, Obama had a moderate win. Given that this was supposed to be McCain’s area of expertise, I see this as a very positive sign.

    Did anybody else notice that while Joe Biden was available to about everybody (MSNBC, CNN, FOX, ABC, ect.) for post debate interviews, Sarah Palin was conspicuously absent everywhere? Even the republican propaganda network FOX couldn’t get a response from her.

  19. Frank @ 19

    Do you not read anything by people who don’t agree with you?

    Having heard that B.S. talking point once too often yesterday, I pointed out why this “majority” is illusionary at best. You couldn’t respond then, so I wish you would quit pushing this tired BS now.

    FWIW McCain, despite his lies to the contrary, is quite capable of pushing a fair amount of earmarks (and hidden earmarks as well, to keep them under the radar) of his own. He is, unfortunately, MY frelling Senator so I probably know a fair amount more about his life and times (and record) than you do. Frankly, a man who in concert with his long time buddy Phil Grahm has more responsibility for the current fiscal hassles that most has no legitimate right to try to gain more political power at this time. “Keating 5” McCain as a less-than-a-week-convert to regulatory populist? Feh.

  20. Me and my buddies called it a tie, but Obama’s edging ahead in the polls according to MSNBC. The general consensus is that Obama came across as intelligent and likable, and McCain seemed emotional and passionate. Both candidates performed surprisingly well, which was a boost for McCain after a week of campaign gaffes, but it probably won’t win him any more percentage points in the polls.

  21. This was the best, most substantial, and interesting of all the debates I’ve seen. And, I saw the Kennedy/Nixon debates live. Good format, solid presentations by both men, and well articulated positions.

    The one thing that McCain has had going for him is his experience. So, he went into this needing to keep Obama from looking like his equal. What little commentary I’ve read, and heard, matches my impression of Obama. He carried himself with character, strength and, most importantly, he showed real “gravitas”. McCain frequently looked disdainful and crotchety. You could almost see steam coming out of his ears.

    And, to spice it up, Obama showed no reluctance to call McCain out. Anyone who thought Obama might be soft, based on his primary debates, obviously missed the point. I would just love to see Obama pull Reagan out of the hat. First, the next time, if McCain goes after Obama’s “inexperience”, all Obama has to say is, “There you go again!”.

    When he closes the next debate, there really is nothing Obama has to say other than: “Are you better off now than you were 8 years ago?”.

    If only…..

    Rick York

  22. I haven’t watched the debates all the way through yet, but from what I could see, there was a lot of avoidance. If either candidate didn’t really know what to say, he avoided the subject completely by changing it.

    I feel kind of like Obama had this debate won before it even began, though… McCain looked like such a fool, trying to get out of it!!! As if he was going to single-handedly fix the economic crisis on a friday night!!!

  23. That’s all well and good, but wait ’til the VP debate. I hear that Biden is studying cookbooks for a good recipe for pitbull. OTOH, it shouldn’t be too tough (the job, not the pitbull), since she’s mostly gonna cook herself.

  24. Content-wise, I thought it was a draw: each candidate argued his positions forcefully, and the supporters of each probably walked away satisfied, unless they were expecting a knockout punch.

    Style-wise, I give the nod to Obama, who stayed calm and collected throughout, while McCain just refused to make eye contact with Obama, which was weird. On the split screen, Obama would look at McCain, maybe look down and make a note, but overall listened; he addressed McCain as “John” directly several times. McCain would not engage at all, though. I don’t know what that means. Was he afraid of losing his temper? Of validating Obama the way he says Ahmedinawhatever would be validated by talks? Overall it seemed contemptuous and disrespectful, and made me think that McCain was kind of barely holding in his famous temper.

    However, I do think more of McCain now than I did before–I didn’t know he was that competent and confident in foreign affairs. Rather, I knew it, but I hadn’t seen it, and last night I saw it, and it impressed me. Still, the narrative emerging today of Obama winning because he looked and felt better than a cranky McCain makes a lot of sense to me.

  25. I found it mostly unwatchable. Joe Malchow over at Dartblog summarizes it well when he says the following:

    I was just about to write that this is the single most depressing political event I have ever witnessed—that these two men are as fools, aping their caricatures with absurd tested phrases and crude, insulting psychological links (like Obama’s “tax cuts for oil companies”).

    It hasn’t chnaged my mind in any way. If anything, it just makes me like the candidates even less. I wish I could ignore them until the election.

  26. Actually I thought it was a pretty decent debate since there was a back and forth, instead of the recent past elections debates which looked more like joint press conferences.

  27. I’m guessing a lot of people are just bummed that they only got to see a political moment like “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy” only once in their lives.

  28. I’m a longtime support of Obama who liked McCain in the early stages of his campaign (didn’t like his policies, but liked the man). I became less and less enamored of him as time went on, the nadir being when he made his VP pick. Going into the debate, my expectations for McCain were extremely low, while they were high for Obama. I thought both did very well. McCain came across as smart and knowledgeable. Obama came across as smart and knowledgeable and with the right policies. So it struck me as a draw in terms of each man’s performance, though I name Obama the winner since he was the one I was constantly agreeing with. I didn’t even notice the differences in demeanor and body language, though in hindsight, I’d agree that Obama came off as more presidential.

  29. I thought Obama did well, in terms of style. As I disagree with his policies, I sided with McCain in the debate. Which should be no surprise to anyone.

    Nargel @ 21: McCain is my senator also. I’m a 43 year old native Phoenician. I am unaware of any earmarks that McCain has taken, which is a source of ire amongst some members of Arizona’s voting public (they don’t think we’re getting our share out of the pig trough). I am also aware of the Keating 5 scandal and McCain’s involvement in it. Exactly how does that equate to earmarks? And if we’re throwing around the donation for access argument, shouldn’t we be jailing Obama for the Freddie Mae-Fannie Mac fiasco?

  30. Even though I’m an Obama supporter, I think the debate itself was a draw. That said, Biden managed to win the evening for him.

    Biden did three different post-debate interviews and layed the hammer down on John McCain. He kicked McCain’s defenseless keaster in the post-debate, set the tone for all of the commentary and opinion-setting that followed. He was nice and snappy and ended up showing himself to be exactly the perfect attack dog Democrats dreamed he would be.

    It’s a surreal feeling. Democrats usually suck at spin, but I think Biden’s interviews were all so effective that any doubt I had that he might have been the right VP choice was obliterated. Sure, with Biden you get somebody who occasionally says really stupid things(he’s a loose cannon). But once you get Biden going during one of these townhall meetings, he has this old-school gumption that plays well to the elderly and Reagan Democrats.

    What’s interesting is that the more you watch Biden in action the more impressive he is. The opposite holds true for Palin.

  31. The two polls I’ve seen (CBS and CNN) so far indicate a clear victory for Obama. Which is at odds with my view – a draw.

    in the long run, I don’t think the debate is going to be as important as how Obama capitalizes on his increase in popularity in the past week, or how McCain thinks he can turn things around.

    McCain has been trying to turn things around through stunts. Palin worked OK, but now she’s becoming a detriment, and the whole “suspend the campaign” thing failed to generate any boost in voters as well.

    At this point, conservative columnists are starting to claim McCain is in real danger. No doubt, some polyannas will see every McCain blunder as a victory, but the facade is crumbling among non kool-aid drinkers.

  32. At this point, conservative columnists are starting to claim McCain is in real danger.

    Given that the first strong call for Palin to withdraw came from an NRO contibutor, I’d say they’re already there.

  33. I browsed through the blogosphere’s reactions to the debate, and I got the impression that this late in the election, the debate *might* have affected the undecideds…

    …but to those who have alreay made up their minds, the debate is like a Rorschach Test — they see what their minds tell them to see. What one sees as “bullying” the other sees as “strong”. What one sees as “polite” the other sees as “weak”, and so on.

    (President Palin. Think about it.)

  34. stevem @ 32

    As I am 55, I imagine we’ve both had enough time to watch McCain’s antics. Please note that I have never said that all earmarks are evil, just that McCain’s hypocricy in claiming that he has *never* taken earmarks should be seen in the same view as all his other lies. Note also that his habit of going to agencies that already have been allocated spending and trying to browbeat the agency heads into ‘earmarking’ part of their allocated money for one or more of his projects is just stealth earmarking. He has gotten a bit better at hiding his tracks but some of his earlier earmarks are still out front and center.

    That is a list of some of the earmarks McCain is personally responsible for. He never said ‘I never asked for earmarks in the last 2 years’. He said ‘I never asked for earmarks’. Period.

    I pointed out the Keating 5 due to his work at the time that allowed Keating’s S&L almost a year extra to drain the funds before regulation closed in. The Deregulator in early action. I also remind you of his attempt to help Keating to gain control of the water sources out here.

    I wouldn’t be pointing too hard in Obama’s direction re: Fanny/Freddy. There is more evidence coming out as to McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis and his ongoing and current connection to Fanny/Freddy lobbying (and remember that the Fanny/Freddy folks are admitting that the millions in payments were solely for ‘proximity’ to McCain. Additional information about payments from the campaign to Davis, done in a suspiciously money laundering like manner, is being examined by FEC investigators. A Davis created firm 3eDC using the same address as Davis Manafort is involved Any years-old, vague to nonexistant connections to Obama charges don’t do much for you, especially when contrasted with payments made recently to McCain’s lobbying-while-on-the-Straight-Talk-Express campaign manager.

  35. Any years-old, vague to nonexistant connections to Obama charges don’t do much for you, especially when contrasted with payments made recently to McCain’s lobbying-while-on-the-Straight-Talk-Express campaign manager.

    Vague to nonexistant? Are you kidding? Obama’s economic advisors, Raines and Johnson, were CEOs of Fannie Mae and may have contributed to the currant crisis. Obama also was the 3rd largest recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the last decade. I am not saying McCain is not involved, but to call Obama’s connections vague or non-existant is not supported by facts.

  36. So many people (in my red red home state) are so reassured by all of McCain’s experience, but none of them can tell me what good that’s going to do when he gets to the point where he can’t remember what he had for breakfast. As I watch the debates and heard stories of Eisenhower and the gold old days I was strongly reminder of the stories told by the folks down at the senior center. They can’t remember that their daughter came to see them this morning, but they do remember that Barry Goldwater was quite a corker… Absent any chance for medical experts to really look at the man’s medical records, i reserve judgment on the value of his experience.

    As for Joe Biden, someone over at mudflats said, “Biden? He’s smart. Granted, he DOES have a tendency to hit the nail on the head, then toss the hammer forcefully into the teeth of some innocent bystander ” I think they hit the nail on the head.

  37. It was all, and only about the patriotism with the republicans. Only wearing an American Flag lapel pin part time is tantamount to treason. Many have said as much, and even some of the more “reasonable” republicans were in agreement that they felt the lapel pin thing is a pretty big issue. Well, McCain was not wearing his American Flag lapel pin during the debate. Nothing else matters. I will remind all of my republican friends that the only thing they get to say about the debates last night is that they are outraged and shocked SHOCKED that McCain revealed himself to be a terrorist sympathizer and traitor to his country by not wearing an American Flag lapel pin.

  38. Lawn @23
    Dunno if you listen to Rush Limbaugh and posted here as a joke, or if you just understand how he thinks…

    But Mr. Limbaugh, I think on Thursday (maybe Wednesday?) claimed that Obama isn’t an African American, because his African blood is from Muslim Africa. Which is an amusingly odd thing to say, because Muslim Africa is still Africa, AND Kenya isn’t Muslim Africa anyway…

    Now, if he had wanted to raise a fuss about the fact that Obama doesn’t have former slave-in-America blood, he’d at least be accurate (unless his mother has traces?) but still really silly. (Mr. Limbaugh does seem to make a comfortable living being silly so… more power to him)

  39. Vague to nonexistant? Are you kidding? Obama’s economic advisors, Raines and Johnson, were CEOs of Fannie Mae and may have contributed to the currant crisis.

    Yes, vague to non-existent.

    Raines was NEVER a part of the Obama team. Ask him. Obama’s team called him up to ask questions on finances but that’s it.

    Johnson is different. He was on the VP selection team (note that this is different from finance to economics), then left (or was asked to leave) as more stuff about the two organizations came out, but he wasn’t an official part of the economics team (bad enough, but not nearly as serious as you seem to think it is).

  40. Steve S @ 38

    Other than repeating spurious charges against Obama, you seem to have no response to my much larger and immediate points about McCain’s crew of lobbyists (err, campaign staff). You don’t even address my comment about the financial impropriety involved in the campaign finance law dodging creation of 3eDC, a shell game with the same, I say again *same*, address as Rick Davis’s lobbying firm and with Davis as the owner and sole employee.

    At it’s root, the part of the financial mess that is not an attempt to bail out their cronys and hamstring the incoming administration is all about lax regulation, near to nonexistant oversight and the ‘overseers’ as foxes guarding the henhouse. As this is precisely the avowed aim and 26 year track record of McCain, why would we expect this major component in the cause of the problem to able, much less willing, to fix any of it?

  41. The existence of lobbying connections between Fan/Fred and McCain is just as ‘vague’ as the connections between them and Obama. There is no evidence that McCain (or Obama, for that matter) did anything wrong or is to blame for the current crisis. I would be looking more closely at people that fought hard against oversight, like Chuck Schumer and Barney Frank. I would also be looking at Dodd’s proposal for the bailout.

    That being said, I would hope that both candidates would be looked at for their roles on what has happened. If it is minimal or nonexistant, I would be happy. It seems as if you are only interested in a McCain connection.

  42. Steve S

    I understand you are a republican talking point regugitator but can we get a little, just a little, intelectual honesty happening here?

    $30,000 then $15,000 a month being paid to a man via his lobbying firm up until last month, as stated by the payee, in order to get influence and access to McCain through his *campaign freaking manager*. And you claim this is ‘vague’. A 26 year open (bragged about) record and close personal and professional relationship with the one man most reguarded as pivital in the Enron and Enron-like debacles and the deregulatory and anti-regulatory legistlative measures that have, by consensus, been key to the current mess. An anti regulatory stance and lobbyist aiding record that goes back all the way to giving Keating an extra year to loot his S&L. A man who lies for what seems to be the fun of it lately. And you want THIS for president?

    He still says Gramm is his economic adviser.

    I am intrested in McCain for 2 reasons. One: as I stated earlier, this is MY frelling Senator and I have been offended by that for quite a while. Two: McCain is running for president and would, I believe, cause as much harm to my country, in as many ways, as Bush and Cheney have already managed to do. I pointed to Bush’s record in 2000 and 2004 in warning and was, unfortunately, proven all too right. I am doing the same now.

    You want to debate Dodd, Frank and Shumer? Some other day and/or some other forum. I don’t see the need to drag this thread any further off track at this time: those people are not currently running for president.

    Finally, I am looking at the bailout bill with a seriously beady eye and not overly happy myself. That said, McCain’s influence re: the bill itself, has been, in anything I can locate minimal and negative at best.

  43. I apologize to all for my allowing my frustration with those who will not debate the facts and verifiable positions/points but would rather continue inane talking points to get the better of me.

  44. the first strong call for Palin to withdraw came from an NRO contibutor

    To be fair, said NRO contributor is Kathleen Parker, who is one of those women who makes a career out of talking about how terrible women are and how mean they are to men. I can see how Palin would hit all her buttons.

  45. Sorry Steve. But McCain wasn’t wearing a lapel pin and you just can’t get over that or you have no credibility.

  46. Steve S @ 38

    …and may have contributed to the currant crisis.

    Is this anything like the agave shortage? Because that really made tequila prices spike for a while.

  47. You know, Fox News just managed to unpublish Kathleen Parker –

    Luckily, Murdoch treats Fox as his own personal property, meaning he can do whatever he wants – alter transcripts, unpublish, etc. Which seems to be fine with some of the best and most wonderfullest people on the Internet, because information doesn’t want to be free, it wants to be manipulated.

    It’s all jake, or princess-y, or something.

    What it isn’t, however, is the truth.

    Which is the whole point, isn’t it?

    Actually, I think everyone should have the right to utterly and completely erase whatever they want, whenever they want – truth is such a relative concept, after all, that it is better left in the hands of those that don’t care about it.

  48. CartoonCoyote @ 49

    Actually, they eventually found out the prices were only spiking because they kept forgetting to remove the thorns. Kinda turned out to be an unmanufactured, or at least unprocessed, crisis. Thorny but fixable.

    The spotted snakes and the rum crisis? Now *that* was different.

  49. $30,000 then $15,000 a month being paid to a man via his lobbying firm up until last month, as stated by the payee, in order to get influence and access to McCain through his *campaign freaking manager*. And you claim this is ‘vague’.

    No, I am claiming that it is not evidence of wrongdoing. Despite what you may believe, ALL politicians (maybe there are a few exceptions) meet with lobbyists. In addition, since many lobbyists are good at scmoozing politicians and meeting people, many go on to work for politicians and many politicians become lobbyists.

    And you want THIS for president?

    Where did I say I wanted McCain? I dislike the man and don’t really want him for president.

    I understand you are a republican talking point regugitator but can we get a little, just a little, intelectual honesty happening here?

    Sure. If I came across as a regurgitator, then I apologize. It was not my intention. IIRC, the discussion was on Obama’s connection with the current economic crisis (if any). Someone brought up his connections to Fan/Fred, via two advisors and you countered with McCain’s lobbying connections and his campaign manager being investigated. As I said before, the lobbying connections are not proof of wrongdoing. If they were, then both parties are guilty. The investigation, IIRC, has nothing to do with Fan/Fred, so why did you bring it up?

    I apologize to all for my allowing my frustration with those who will not debate the facts and verifiable positions/points but would rather continue inane talking points to get the better of me.

    Then stop doing it yourself. You have done the same thing you are complaining about (e.g. lobbyists are the tools of Satan). It is unfortunate that you have to resort to name calling and ad hominem attacks instead of making a substantive argument.

  50. You want to debate Dodd, Frank and Shumer? Some other day and/or some other forum. I don’t see the need to drag this thread any further off track at this time: those people are not currently running for president.

    You are correct. I shouldn’t have thrown that in there.

  51. Sorry Steve. But McCain wasn’t wearing a lapel pin and you just can’t get over that or you have no credibility.

    True, I wonder why he hates America.

  52. Steve

    You disagreed when I stated that the so-called ties with Fanny/Freddy officials and lobbyists were vague and ancient while the current paid-up lobbyists, as admitted by the payee, were strong and for influence and access even though Davis (for example) was trying to hide it. McCain was on national TV lying about it. Yes, I believe unrestrained and overarching lobbying and lobbyists are a bad thing. And a collection of the most corrupt lobbyists running a presidential campaign as his friends and insiders/advisers is not a happy sight.

    Judging by the claims you were making for him, I am suprised you don’t want him elected. If you don’t want to be mistaken for a republican talking point regurgitator, try bringing up a point once in a while that isn’t tired old discredited republican limbaughspeak.

    Again, I did not say politicians don’t speak to lobbyists. I just pointed out that there was a marked difference in access, control and influence in the campaigns.

    As for the investigation, the McCain campaign has been claiming that Davis is financially divorced from his lobbying firm. Even if so, all the money is just sitting there, gathering intrest, waiting for the campaign to end. To add to that, the McCain campaign (under whatever shady methodology) was paying Davis up until recently (when the questions started) at the address of his lobbying firm. Again, they were paying him at the place where he wasn’t doing money anymore. Theoreticly. Kinda.

    Goes to honesty, or lack thereof.

    Lobbyists are not automaticly ‘the tools of satan’ but the amount of influence and access that the ‘K Street Project’ has developed all too often is not particularly godly either.