The Phony Campaign

2008-10-26 Update

The penultimate update to our phony poll. (And when I say "penultimate", I mean: "I hope I'm using that word correctly.") Hit counts dropped for everyone this week—a frankly unwarranted development—and McCain's lead shrank even thinner:

Query StringHit CountChange Since
2008-10-19
"John McCain" phony934,000-206,000
"Barack Obama" phony922,000-188,000
"Bob Barr" phony32,900-6,800

Our guest opinionator this week is Thomas Sowell, who actually opened a column with:

Telling a friend that the love of his life is a phony and dangerous is not likely to get him to change his mind. But it may cost you a friend.

I hope we haven't lost any friends.

  • David Freddoso reminds us of how Barack Obama's phony pledge to accept public matching funds led directly to the current epidemic of phony contributors with names like "Doodad Pro" and "Jgtj Jfggjjfgj."

    It may all seem like a minor point now — just an occasion for a bit of Republican whining as Obama’s attack ads dominate the airwaves thanks to his broken promise. After all, Obama has raised quite a bit of money. But his donations from fake donors evoke the fake promise he made on principle just months ago to restrict campaign spending and limit the influence of special interests.

    As Jim Geraghty used to tirelessly point out (before, I guess, he got tired): All statements by Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them.

  • One (continuing) source of frustration at Pun Salad Manor is the onslaught of TV campaign ads. Usually they're superficial, repetitive, ominous, and misleading. Which makes sense, since they are aimed at people who are easily swayed by superficial, repetitive, ominous and misleading ads.

    Also bad: as near as I can tell, political ad wizards have determined that including the slightest trace of wit or humor doesn't work.

    (Although I admit that I get a chuckle out of these two. Every damn time.)

    Even worse for my blood pressure: Obama's televised attacks on McCain's health care proposals. Factcheck, without nuance, deems them false, the Washington Post awards them three Pinocchios on their four-Pinocchio scale. And McCain has done a dismal job of responding to them.

    But fortunately for our theme, as the WSJ points out, Obama's ads are also deeply phony.

    … Mr. Obama's tactics are especially cynical because his own health-care advisers support plans much like Mr. McCain's. Or at least they did before joining up with Mr. Obama.

    Replete with quotes.

  • We must mention the hate crime perpetrated against McCain campaign worker Ashley Todd, who sustained a shiner and a cheek mutilated by a backwards "B". Of course, this was phony, the wounds apparently self-inflicted.

    Sharp-eyed Robert Stacy McCain points out a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story that indicates Ms. Todd is probably a serial hoaxer: she was kicked off the Ron Paul campaign in Brazos County, Texas when she posed as a Huckabee supporter to the local Republican committee in order to obtain information about tactics; she also claimed that her tires were slashed and that campaign materials were stolen from her car. Comments Robert:

    I'm thinking that would have been a deal-breaker because -- let's be honest -- if you're too crazy for the Paulistas, you're just too damned crazy.

    Indeed. Maybe there should be some sort of lunatic watchlist for campaigns.

  • But at least there are those out there keepin' it real: "Cindy McCain Claims She’s ‘Just Like Any Other Female Human’". And you'll also want to thank Cracked for its careful investigative video: Obama Facts: Truth or Smear?"


Last Modified 2014-12-01 1:20 PM EST