Patterico's Pontifications

9/23/2008

Unmitigated Garbage from FactCheck.org on Obama’s Second Amendment Record

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:23 am

Xrlq points us to this ridiculous FactCheck.org piece on Obama and gun rights. I am by now completely disenchanted with FactCheck.org and virtually every other “fact checking” site out there, and this piece does nothing to dispel my depression.

The summary version: FactCheck ridicules the NRA in this piece. But the NRA is careful to say: look at Obama’s record and not his rhetoric. And at least two of the NRA claims are backed up by references to Obama’s record. Yet FactCheck.org goes on to minimize or completely ignore Obama’s record on these points, choosing instead to concentrate on citations to Obama’s later campaign rhetoric.

1) FactCheck.org declares “false” the NRA’s claim that Obama plans to ban the possession, manufacture, and sale of handguns. But it emerges that this claim is directly based on Obama’s “yes” answer to a the following question in a questionnaire: “Do you support legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?”

FactCheck.org simply faults the NRA for not noting Obama’s later attempts to explain away this answer. But FactCheck.org doesn’t address the fact that Obama falsely denied even seeing the questionnaire, only to have it later emerge that an amended version had his handwriting on it.

2) FactCheck.org calls “supported” the NRA’s claim that Obama would appoint judges who share his views on the Second Amendment. As part of their evidence, FactCheck.org tells us that Obama didn’t contest the Heller decision, which upheld an individual right to bear arms. But FactCheck.org doesn’t mention that Obama’s campaign had initially said of the D.C.’s total ban on handguns in the home: “Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.” (Obama later tried to back away from that statement, but it is part of his record, just like his answers to the questionnaire that he had claimed he had never seen, but that turned out to bear his handwriting.)

The piece is garbage. Details in the extended entry.

First, some context. The piece criticizes the NRA, which encourages FactCheck.org to look at Obama’s record and not his rhetoric. FactCheck.org says it contacted the NRA’s director of public affairs:

He declined to speak to us except to say that the claims are based on Obama’s voting record and statements he has made in the media. “We’re comfortable with what we put on there,” Arulanandam said. “We believe our facts.”

Sounds like he agreed to make a statement; FactCheck.org just didn’t like it. And no wonder: they go on to do an entire piece on the issue that elevates Obama’s rhetoric over his record. Here are just two examples.

First, FactCheck.org ridicules the NRA’s claim that Obama plans to ban the possession, manufacture, and sale of handguns. Here is FactCheck.org’s “analysis”:

The NRA bases its claim on a disputed 1996 questionnaire that Obama’s Illinois state Senate campaign filled out for the nonprofit voting group, Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization. On it, somebody filled in the word “yes” in response to the question, “Do you support legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?”

Hmm. That seems pretty solid.

But the Obama campaign said that the survey was actually filled out by his then-campaign manager who “unintentionally mischaracterized his position,” adding that Obama never saw the survey.

Oh. Well, we should probably take his word for it, then.

As we wrote previously, an amended version of the questionnaire was later submitted to the group, with Obama’s handwritten notes on it providing more detail on some of the answers. Obama clearly saw and handled this version personally and did not alter the question about banning the sale and manufacturing of guns.

Hmm. That seems pretty solid.

FactCheck.org does not mention the fact that Obama was directly questioned in a debate about his answer on the gun rights questionnaire, and denied that his handwriting was on that particular document. In fact, it was. You can learn this if you click through to one of the FactCheck.org links. But if we’re talking about taking his rhetoric at face value, doesn’t it matter that he publicly claiming something directly relevant to the issue that turned out to be false? Shouldn’t this be in the body of the FactCheck.org analysis? Apparently they don’t consider it to be important.

Nevertheless, his aides maintain that the gun-ban answer was a mistake and didn’t reflect Obama’s true position.

Oh. Well, we should probably take their word for it, then.

Imagine, those crazy NRA people, basing their claims on a questionnaire that Obama personally saw, that he knew represented his position! Why didn’t they take at face value the claims made later by his campaign, after his earlier answers came back to haunt him?

I mean: how dare they?

Second, we have FactCheck mocking as “unsupported” the NRA’s claim that Obama would “Appoint Judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Judiciary Who Share His Views on the Second Amendment.” FactCheck.org says:

The NRA’s fact sheet points out that Obama has voted against the two newest members of the U.S. Supreme Court. Obama voted against the confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts in 2005 and Justice Samuel Alito in 2006. They happen to be two of the five justices that voted in favor of the Court’s decision to overturn the District of Columbia’s longstanding handgun ban this year. The New York Times has reported that Obama “favored Democratic filibusters to block many Republican nominees deemed too conservative.” But the NRA can point to no statement by Obama calling for a Second-Amendment test for his judicial appointees, and we could find none.

So never mind the justices he has opposed, because he hasn’t explicitly called for a litmus test. But what has he said?

What Obama has actually said about selecting judges is that “[w]e need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.”

Very sweet. But what has he said about the Second Amendment?

In any case, Obama says he believes the Second Amendment “creates an individual right” to bear arms. That’s at odds with some strong gun-control advocates who had argued that the Second Amendment limited the right to bear arms to a “well-regulated militia.” The Supreme Court rejected that view in its June ruling overturning the D.C. gun ban. But Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Chief Justice John Roberts joined that opinion. To the dismay of gun-control advocates, Obama did not criticize the ruling. Instead, he said it “will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.”

Really? Is that all he has said about the Heller case?

Once again, if you give primacy to what his recent campaign statements have been, then, by golly, he supports the Second Amendment! But if you look at his record — his past statements — then the NRA is right to be concerned.

Here’s what FackCheck.org doesn’t tell you.

The Supreme Court case in Heller says that the D.C. ban “totally bans handgun possession in the home.” That’s about as clear a Second Amendment encroachment as you can imagine.

And what did Obama’s campaign initially say about that total ban on handguns in the home? The campaign once issued a statement to the Chicago Tribune that said:

Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.

This statement proved to be a political loser, of course — and Obama later ended up trying to distance himself from it. That D.C. handgun law is not the D.C. handgun law he thought he knew.

But it’s part of his record. And if the NRA was truly elevating his record over his rhetoric, they had a completely fair point.

FactCheck.org, at this point, is worse than useless. It is positively misleading voters out there.

83 Comments

  1. You’re completely disenchanted with anyone who won’t parrot your propaganda, Pat. Riddle me this – when the Obama campaign runs ads claiming John McCain is anti-immigration because he wasn’t, then he was, and then he wasn’t again, and so it’s ‘misleading’ because that’s not where the side he has most recently flip-flopped to,

    That’s misleading, right?

    But when the NRA claims that Obama has a secret plan to ban the sale of handguns nationally because of what a staff member wrote on a questionaire twelve years ago, despite Obama never having supported such a thing in his own words and having explictly ruled such a thing out for years in every imaginable public forum,

    that’s ‘accurate’, right?

    Pure hackery.

    Comment by glasnost (f206e4) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:35 am

  2. Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.

    I know you’re not too stupid to understand the difference between “I believe this is constitutional” and “I support making a law replicating this DC law across the nation”.

    But you’ve pretended to fail to understand that difference, because you’re a hack., i.e. one who deliberately makes dishonest, inconsistent, inaccurate, hypocritical arguments for political gain.

    Comment by glasnost (f206e4) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:38 am

  3. The ability of Obama to avoid specifics and the prolonged honeymoon he has had with the press is simply amazing. I’m reading Freddoso’s book now, in which he documents the whole history of the political class averting its eyes from the truth about Barry. However, Freddoso also points out he has never won a contested election. The first debate is Friday.

    Comment by Mike K (2cf494) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:39 am

  4. Pure hackery is something that glasnost is very familiar with.

    Comment by JD (41e64f) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:39 am

  5. One more troll with a fake link as his signature.

    Comment by Mike K (2cf494) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:40 am

  6. Show us a pro-gun vote, then.

    Comment by luagha (2a8993) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:40 am

  7. one who deliberately makes dishonest, inconsistent, inaccurate, hypocritical arguments for political gain.

    Project much?

    Comment by JD (41e64f) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:47 am

  8. Obama, the Democrat Party’s candidate for President sat in Reverend Wright’s so-called “Church” for 20 years, yet after Wright was exposed for spewing racial haterd and religious bigotry, Obama said he never heard any such thing in all those 20 years.

    glasnost, isn’t that statemant deliberately dishonest? Wasn’t it made for political gain?

    Obama told some other whoppers when he was asked about Bill Ayres. Those statements were deliberately dishonest too.

    Perhaps you’re a bit too quick to call names and point fingers. You should apologize.

    Comment by Ropelight (f4b89a) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:52 am

  9. Obama is so pro gun he makes mocking comments about the bitter gun clingers to the merlot swilling snobs in San Francisco.

    I’m with you all the way glasnost. Don’t give up the meme.

    Comment by daleyrocks (d9ec17) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:52 am

  10. You missed one of the bigger whoppers — they spend quite a few lines detailing how a bill amendment Obama voted for would not ban hunting ammo or firearms, because Kennedy, who put forward the bill, said they would not.

    As countertop points out elsewhere, Kennedy specifically singled out on the record .30-30 ammunition as being “capable of puncturing light-armored vehicles, ballistic or armored glass, armored limousines, even a 600-pound safe with 600 pounds of safe armor plating.”

    The .30-30 Winchester is a cartridge standardized 70 years before the development of kevlar. It is the most common deer hunting rifle round currently available, and has been for the better part of a century.

    Comment by gattsuru (e45f82) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:59 am

  11. I wondered when someone with some cred was going to notice that Fact Check dot org wasn’t so factual after all. A bit like relying on Snopes for an unbiased pov…or naively believing that politically hot topics at Wikipedia are accurate portrayals of reality.

    Do your own research, folks. …and if ya can’t afford critical thinking skills, please borrow some. ‘K?

    Comment by Warren Bonesteel (d25453) — 9/23/2008 @ 8:03 am

  12. When Obama’s people mock the religious gun toting crowd, I don’t see how they can turn around and say he promotes gun ownership.

    Focus on his record, not the rhetoric.

    “I think it is a scandal that this president did not authorize a renewal of the assault weapons ban.”-Barack Obama, debate #3 with Alan Keyes, October 21 2004

    Principles that Obama supports on gun issues:

    Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
    Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
    Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
    Source: 1998 IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998

    Voted NO on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

    Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-219 on Jul 29, 2005

    Obama was being misleading when he denied that his handwriting had been on a document endorsing a state ban on the sale and possession of handguns in Illinois. Obama responded, “No, my writing wasn’t on that particular questionnaire. As I said, I have never favored an all-out ban on handguns.”
    Actually, Obama’s writing was on the 1996 document, which was filed when Obama was running for the Illinois state Senate. A Chicago nonprofit, Independent Voters of Illinois, had this question, and Obama took hard line:
    35. Do you support state legislation to:
    a. ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns? Yes.
    b. ban assault weapons? Yes.
    c. mandatory waiting periods and background checks? Yes.

    Obama’s campaign said, “Sen. Obama didn’t fill out these state Senate questionnaires–a staffer did–and there are several answers that didn’t reflect his views then or now. He may have jotted some notes on the front page of the questionnaire, but some answers didn’t reflect his views.”

    Source: FactCheck.org analysis of 2008 Philadelphia primary debate Apr 16, 2008

    See it all here.

    Comment by Cao (b9d691) — 9/23/2008 @ 8:08 am

  13. This is the interesting thing about this election. You have all seen evidence of Barack Obama directly lying about his record, and lying in an…um…unsophisticated fashion. But is it unsophisticated, given the presses’ adulation of the man? Perhaps not.

    So the new narrative is thus: (i) Obama doesn’t lie, (ii) well, he might exaggerate, but that is politics, (iii) besides, McCain lies all the time, and so does Palin (notice the non-inclusion of Biden), and (iv) you are a racist for criticizing Obama.

    I am very, very worried about this election. Many conservative types are aren’t happy with McCain, and will vote third party or try to be “equivalent” about the deficiencies of the candidates (which favors you-know-who, given the MSM). But the left of center types will vote “D,” no matter what. It’s true that Obama hasn’t won a contested election in the past (well, one). But he hasn’t had a MSM and blogosphere quite like this.

    Besides, if you read Naomi Wolf, you will learn that Sarah Palin would be Eva Peron in an American fascist state. And we can’t have that—so vote Obama!

    Oh my aching head.

    Comment by Eric Blair (81e599) — 9/23/2008 @ 8:13 am

  14. You gentlemen are getting more and more pathetic every day.

    And didn’t you hear yesterday from the oxycontin addicted one, ElRushbo. Obama isn’t an African American at all. He’s an Arab.

    Try that one for awhile. It has equal credibility to the other utter nonsense that I see posted here.

    Comment by jharp (f4bed7) — 9/23/2008 @ 8:26 am

  15. I spent the better part of yesterday driving around the tri-cities area of eastern TN. The Obama camp is running saturation radio ads touting his endorsement from the American Hunters and Shooters Association – an astroturfed NRA alternative that is actually a shill for the gun lobby.

    I think they know TN is a lost cause, but those radio stations carry far into southwest VA – someplace Obama is trying desperately to win.

    Let’s see fact check do some research into AHSA and tell me all about their long and storied stand for the Second Amendment.

    Comment by ThomasD (211bbb) — 9/23/2008 @ 8:26 am

  16. That should read ‘shill for the anti-gun lobby’

    Comment by ThomasD (211bbb) — 9/23/2008 @ 8:29 am

  17. Like any socialists scoundrel OBAMA thinks that all gun bans are constitutional just expect this from a ultra liberal demacreep he is a bare faced liar the NRA has given him a F rating he dont even deserve to be trashman in washington

    Comment by Krazy Kagu (85a826) — 9/23/2008 @ 8:32 am

  18. I’ll continue to (bitterly) cling to my guns.

    Comment by Old Coot (2f3a50) — 9/23/2008 @ 8:33 am

  19. George Will is another of those for whom the perfect is the enemy of the good. If they get their wish, I hope they will accept the consequences.

    I would think that, if harp is sure we are pathetic, he would seek greener pastures.

    Comment by Mike K (2cf494) — 9/23/2008 @ 8:33 am

  20. Glad to see this piece. I have already written the editor of “Fact”Check for whatever good that will do. The FactCheck review was written as if it came out of the Obama Campaign.

    “Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress” — Barrack Obama

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/09/05/obama-im-not-going-to-take-your-guns-away/

    Comment by DaMav (e84050) — 9/23/2008 @ 8:37 am

  21. I would think that, if harp is sure we are pathetic, he would seek greener pastures.

    Comment by Mike K — 9/23/2008 @ 8:33 am

    Oh, no.

    I always take a long look at bad car accidents when I drive by.

    And you are one of the few that easily allow posting. And that I respect.

    Comment by jharp (f4bed7) — 9/23/2008 @ 11:45 am

  22. FactCheck = CrapCheck

    Comment by Schratboy (0b7324) — 9/23/2008 @ 11:51 am

  23. Patterico’s right on this one. At most, the NRA can be faulted for not quoting enough of Obama’s recent rhetoric.

    But since when does a politician deserve to be evaluated solely — or mainly — on recent rhetoric? Obama has a history on gun issues, and it’s squarely in the gun-restriction/gun-control camp. As to the distinction between whether or not he thought that the DC handgun ban was constitutional or wise, that might be a fair one to make — if he ever had given so much as a hint that he thought that the gun ban was unwise.

    Comment by Joel Rosenberg (5ec843) — 9/23/2008 @ 11:53 am

  24. C’mon, folks. We have been watching and reading the Harpster’s posts for a long time. When he gets schooled, he runs away and posts more bile.

    He is just a troll. And I still think he is a 25 year old with a name tag on his chest, just livid that people don’t recognize his brilliance. Or maybe he has to wear the bird costume at Red Robin. It fits his persona here better than his litany of accomplishments.

    Again, just keep track of all of his accomplishments. They don’t, well, match up.

    So he is just another troll. In fact, that would be a good name for him: JAT.

    I do think he revealed a lot of himself with the “easy” line. He certainly doesn’t work hard at developing his theses or researching them. But that isn’t the point of his posts, is it?

    Comment by Eric Blair (2708f4) — 9/23/2008 @ 12:00 pm

  25. Anyone thinking that Obama will not sign every anti-gun law that hits his desk is too stupid to be a gun-owner.

    Comment by htom (412a17) — 9/23/2008 @ 12:01 pm

  26. lying in an…um…unsophisticated fashion

    Eric,
    I believe that is what is refereed to as nuance.

    Comment by quasimodo (edc74e) — 9/23/2008 @ 12:08 pm

  27. or referred to, perhaps

    Comment by quasimodo (edc74e) — 9/23/2008 @ 12:09 pm

  28. jharp, I hope we’ll see you around after the election. The lefty blogs delete my comments although they have allowed a couple lately. Unlike you, I try to add links to help them see through the bubble. They don’t like that. You could contribute to the discussion and be welcome but you just post snarks. Not much value to your posts, except to see the Obamabot’s tone.

    Still, there is a certain value to seeing how the other sides thinks; or doesn’t.

    Comment by Mike K (f89cb3) — 9/23/2008 @ 12:09 pm

  29. According to the AP, the US, Yemen and Finland are laggards on guns, unlike most of Europe (read:civilization).

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D93CHJMG0&show_article=1

    Comment by Kevin Murphy (eb4d6c) — 9/23/2008 @ 12:09 pm

  30. Obama has a history on gun issues, and it’s squarely in the gun-restriction/gun-control camp.

    He has a history of being in favor of the assault weapons ban, alongside such wild-eyed liberals as the National Fraternal Order of Police.

    What about Obama’s plan to close down 90% of the gun stores in America? See that on a questionaire somewhere?

    Or how about the one claiming Obama supports banning the use of handguns for self-defense, based on an Illinois law that actually made it easier to use handguns for self-defense.

    I mean, really.

    And at least two of the NRA claims are backed up by references to Obama’s record

    I mean, geez, Pat, when you typed this sentence, didn’t some kind of warning light go off in your head about the other eight claims? Like, they were based on nonsensical deliberate misreadings, unsubstantiated agitprop, and etc?

    The best, most credible allegations here are based on statements from over a decade ago on a questionaire, that is explicitly contradicted by Obama’s own f*cking website.

    And your problem here is with fact check?

    Once upon a time, you were a cut above the bottom of the barrel among right-wing blogs.

    Comment by glasnost (836a12) — 9/23/2008 @ 12:10 pm

  31. Well, Thank You, glasnost, for dropping by; and we all wish you well in your future endeavors elsewhere.

    Comment by Another Drew (053053) — 9/23/2008 @ 12:14 pm

  32. AD, maybe astroturfing as a concept is more widespread than we suspected: yes we can!

    Quasi—correctomundo about nuance. It’s maddening, like Karl’s new post.

    Comment by Eric Blair (2708f4) — 9/23/2008 @ 12:21 pm

  33. It seems Saul Alinsky’s advice to “community organiers” like Obama to “lie and deny” is starting to wear a little thin as folks actually note the difference between what he says and what he does.

    Comment by Jack (204d9f) — 9/23/2008 @ 12:24 pm

  34. Glasnost is a paid Obama Push Troller.

    Comments by the Push Trollers are usually the first in any blog that is critical of Obama.

    Comment by Austin (141eb8) — 9/23/2008 @ 12:31 pm

  35. [Obama] has a history of being in favor of the assault weapons ban, alongside such wild-eyed liberals as the National Fraternal Order of Police.

    glasnost, if that were his only bad history on gun control issues, I think gun owners would find it easy to overlook.

    It isn’t. Not by a long, err, shot.

    Comment by Joel Rosenberg (5ec843) — 9/23/2008 @ 12:46 pm

  36. The only problems that I had with FactCheck’s article were (1) like you said, they take political statements of belief or intent at face value, and (2) they weren’t able to see how a ban on ammo “designed to pierce armor” could be construed by a liberal judge to include hunting ammo. I wrote them an email about that latter point, asking them to upgrade their estimation of this particular NRA claim from “False” to “Uncertain”.

    Comment by Mike Partyka (42c19f) — 9/23/2008 @ 2:03 pm

  37. Obortion claims the DC gun ban was Constitutional. The Constitution is the law of the land. It doesn’t take a prodigious leap of logic to assume that if Obortion feels the DC gun ban is Constitutional, then it should apply to the rest of the states…all 58 of them.

    Glasnost, Conservatives are well aware that McCain is no prize. But this topic is NOT about McCain (as much as you and the rest of the Obortionists might wish.) Deflection is ever the hallmark of the liberal and the idiot.

    Congratulations. You officially qualify as both.

    Comment by Steve Elmore (bae3f3) — 9/23/2008 @ 2:08 pm

  38. “What about Obama’s plan to close down 90% of the gun stores in America?”

    Obama is on record as supporting a ban on any gun shop within (5 miles? 10miles?) of a school. That would shut down 90% or more of every Walmart, Academy or local gun shop in this country.

    Once again, the NRA is 100% correct and “factcheck” is negligent or lying.

    Comment by George Bruce (3bb807) — 9/23/2008 @ 2:29 pm

  39. Why is there no mention of the relationship between factcheck.org and Obama’s association with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC)? The web site “annenbergfoundation.org” says, “The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania has developed such initiatives as FactCheck.org, which aims to increase public knowledge and understanding by monitoring the factual accuracy of political dialogue, . . .”

    As this piece illustrates, ‘fact checking’ has become an art form, and two degrees of separation appears to be more than a coincidence.

    Comment by Dadmin (b4ba83) — 9/23/2008 @ 2:39 pm

  40. Malk-a-lanche!

    Comment by Karl (1b4668) — 9/23/2008 @ 2:55 pm

  41. This might explain it:

    Annenburg FactCheck
    Chicago Annenburg Challenge (CAC)

    They are both affilliated with the same foundation.

    The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, who obtained a $49 million dollar grant from the Annenburg Foundation to “reform” Chicago schools, which was actually more a cover for more “community organization”. Ayers recruited an unknown junior associate just out of law school from a small leftwing law firm to run it. No one has been able document why Obama was chosen to head the CAC, where their board already had two former university presidents and other highly qualified members.

    On another site recently they pointed to a FactCheck analysis that went against Obama. I observed that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and it would be interesting to see if there were only a few like that as a cover for many for The One.

    The count is now one to one.

    Comment by geokstr (b4c1bc) — 9/23/2008 @ 2:56 pm

  42. Well done, Patterico and Karl, on the post and the link!

    Comment by DRJ (8b9d41) — 9/23/2008 @ 3:01 pm

  43. Thanks, DRJ.

    Comment by Karl (1b4668) — 9/23/2008 @ 3:02 pm

  44. How dare this non-partisan organization find something sleazy in our ranks! It must be wrong!

    Comment by AB (c313be) — 9/23/2008 @ 3:03 pm

  45. AB,

    I did not know Factcheck.org was infallible.

    Do they have a church I can join?

    Comment by Karl (1b4668) — 9/23/2008 @ 3:09 pm

  46. Yet on Sept.9th Patterico said when FactCheck.Org had an article debunking Palin myths:

    Much of this will be familiar to readers of sites like this one, Hot Air, and Beldar. Still, this debunking comes with the imprimatur of FactCheck.org, rather than those untrustworthy wingnut blogs. It deserves distribution far and wide.

    I guess Glasnost was right, it is pure hackery based upon whose pig is getting gored.

    Comment by The Other Ed (4d917d) — 9/23/2008 @ 3:17 pm

  47. What I fail to understand is why FactCheck.org can’t label these NRA claims “Disputed,” at least, instead of “False” when they’re PLAINLY not false factually. I agree with Patrick that the better view is that they’re “True,” but could they at least say, “It’s a matter of opinion; this writer has the opinion that the NRA’s ads are misleading.”

    As Patrick or someone else quipped recently, maybe they should change the website name to OpinionCheck.org.

    Comment by Mitch (890cbf) — 9/23/2008 @ 3:18 pm

  48. What about Obama’s plan to close down 90% of the gun stores in America? See that on a questionaire somewhere?

    No, from the statements to the Chicago Defender. Senator Obama has never contested the content or terms of the statement.

    Or how about the one claiming Obama supports banning the use of handguns for self-defense, based on an Illinois law that actually made it easier to use handguns for self-defense.

    Given that he voted against the law, not once, but four times in various formats… I would consider that fairly accurate.

    Comment by gattsuru (98251f) — 9/23/2008 @ 3:23 pm

  49. Dear Senator Obama,

    Regarding your claim that you believe the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms, I have one question for you.

    Can you name ONE instance, from your days as a community organizer, state senator, or US senator where you tried to reform the gun laws in Chicago and Illinois to restore the Second Amendment rights of your fellow Chicagoans?

    [insert crickets chirping here]

    Comment by Bruce (19c010) — 9/23/2008 @ 3:40 pm

  50. All Fact Check had to do was simply go and look at his actual record here.

    Comment by William Teach (5d9f94) — 9/23/2008 @ 4:11 pm

  51. Patterico:

    The term for what is happening is “idealogical capture” and the liberals are brilliant it it.

    Its why you can’t get an “independent” voter who is not really a closet Code Pinker interviewed on the news, and its part of their plan. Lefties have always been good at propaganda because they have no shame.

    I’m sure that after factcheck.org nailed some of their candidtates’ lies, they immediately took action to gain a foothold in the organization.

    Here’s how it works: They’ve got to be “right” most of the time in their criticisms so as to build credibility. When they have sufficient capital, they can unleash a complete falsehood such as this and try to play off their candidate’s weakness.

    Comment by Gonzo (aec2cd) — 9/23/2008 @ 4:51 pm

  52. I would like one of the media to ask Obama “In your opinion, what law would violate the second amendment?” If he’s off the teleprompter, that would be really fun to watch. I’m guessing he would fall back on the “it’s above my pay grade” cop out.

    Comment by rich (e96ea2) — 9/23/2008 @ 5:31 pm

  53. Well done Pat. You have all the best facts and I challenge anyone to refute them with verifiable evidence.

    Comment by Chuck Norton (236a46) — 9/23/2008 @ 5:51 pm

  54. Obviously we need to start our own “fact-checking” website. There are several good URLs available, among them “EveryoneLiesButUs.com,” “OnlyTruthfulWebsite.com,” and “SrslyUCanTrustUs.com.”

    Comment by Beldar (208538) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:04 pm

  55. Obama’s claim that a questionnaire filled out in his own handwriting can be blamed on a staffer should – all by itself – be a brazen enough lie to discredit him in the minds of every voter in America.

    But stooges like glasnost and jharp seem to approve of that level of mendacity.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:08 pm

  56. Dave Kopel at Volokh Conspiracy reinforces the point that Obama claiming support for second amendment is just more of Obama’s mendacity.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:24 pm

  57. Beldar’s sarcastic jab gets to human truth of the matter. Judges in a court must be impartial, but in all human endeavors impartiality is rare, if not impossible to expect.

    It’s hard to find good Judges, yet we somehow expect the stringers, magazine and newpaper hawkers and foundation grant-getters that run news sites or fact checking sites to be impartial?

    Comment by bvw (74a3a9) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:40 pm

  58. bvw, expect it or not, we get to compare their own claims of impartiality against their performance.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 9/23/2008 @ 7:41 pm

  59. The Other Ed wrote:

    Yet on Sept.9th Patterico said when FactCheck.Org had an article debunking Palin myths:

    Much of this will be familiar to readers of sites like this one, Hot Air, and Beldar. Still, this debunking comes with the imprimatur of FactCheck.org, rather than those untrustworthy wingnut blogs. It deserves distribution far and wide.

    I guess Glasnost was right, it is pure hackery based upon whose pig is getting gored.

    It’s called a statement against interest, OtherEd. When the Annenberg Political Fact Check tells us an ad by their former colleague Obama is false, that’s a statement against interest, and so it’s trustworthy; when it tells us a McCain ad is false, then not so much.

    Comment by Milhouse (89dd3b) — 9/23/2008 @ 8:47 pm

  60. Obama served on the board of the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation. The board’s votes for approval of grant funding were typically unanimous. In an April 19 news release Kenneth P Vogel wrote:

    “The foundation funded legal scholarship advancing the theory that the Second Amendment does not protect individual gun owners’ rights, as well as two groups that advocated handgun bans. And it paid to support a book called “Every Handgun Is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns.”

    The complete article is at:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080419/pl_politico/9722

    Is it likely Obama simply voted “present” on these board votes?

    Comment by MensaRunner (eb368f) — 9/23/2008 @ 9:44 pm

  61. Obama isn’t making gun control part of his campaign.

    Heller effectively took any play on gun control off the table for this election.

    Why are you such a nasty retard, Pat?

    Comment by Mr. Pibb (b8c7e2) — 9/23/2008 @ 9:45 pm

  62. “Unmitigated garbage” is a bit strong. Maybe they are failing at basic rigor, but it isn’t unmitigated garbage.

    Besides, aren’t there bigger problems with Obama? We already knew his stance on gun control wasn’t in line with conservative values when the NRA gave him an F.

    I for one am more concerned with the spending, defense and leadership issues

    Comment by rfp (f4c1e0) — 9/23/2008 @ 10:06 pm

  63. FactCheck was co-opted by the Democracks from the very beginning. Is anyone really surprised?

    Comment by Obama is a Fascist (d4ab96) — 9/23/2008 @ 10:57 pm

  64. Heller effectively took any play on gun control off the table for this election.

    Right. Like Casey vs. Planned Parenthood did the same for Abortion since 1992.

    Comment by h0mi (d2c7b6) — 9/24/2008 @ 12:22 am

  65. The bottom line is nothing in Obama’s voting record or legislative platform suggests his stance on the 2nd Amendment is anywhere near as radical as the one suggested by the NRA in its attack ad. It’s ironic, if you can’t see or admit that, you are promoting the blind and destructive partison back-biting that created the political climate responsible for Obama’s rise to prominence. Pat yourselves on the back for placing party over country while inadvertantly advancing the left’s agenda.

    Comment by Chris (e6fc83) — 9/24/2008 @ 12:25 am

  66. Chris – drive-by hack. Obama has a problem saying different things to different audiences. One of them is gun owners. The NRA gives him an F, and it’s their right to speak their mind. His belief that DC was acting constitutionally before the Heller decision, and changing his tune afterward is problematic for people who don’t appreciate ‘blind and destructive partisan’ lies.

    Comment by Apogee (366e8b) — 9/24/2008 @ 2:27 am

  67. Thank you for your research. I guess if we want facts or the truth we’re back to searching for it on the net and deciding for ourselves. It’s just too bad that information services aren’t unbiased. Sigh. Are there none that you can recommend?

    Comment by Jayce (f60e58) — 9/24/2008 @ 4:57 am

  68. IF Baracky is a big proponent of an individual’s 2nd Amendment Rights, it should be very easy for him to show us actions that he took as a legislator in Springfield and in DC, to protect their rights.

    I am tiring of this tactic of “look at his website” or “listen to what he said last week”. When he has had the opportunity to put his words into action, what has he done?

    Comment by JD (41e64f) — 9/24/2008 @ 5:49 am

  69. Chris, both Patterico and Kopel have demonstrated that the NRA claims are within the bounds of election rhetoric. You have not. And Factcheck’s attempt was transparently dishonest.

    Mr. Pibb – projection much?

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 9/24/2008 @ 6:43 am

  70. Perhaps Barry should’ve just voted “present” on the questionnaire. That seems to allow the appropriate amount of latitude when you really have no substance and are called out on it.

    Comment by Cosmo (ce15da) — 9/24/2008 @ 7:15 am

  71. It has equal credibility to the other utter nonsense that I see posted here

    – jharp

    I can plainly see that jharp does not agree with the ideas of the readers of this blog…but…I would like to see him back up his statements with facts. Or for that matter, attack the statements he disagrees with with facts.

    Comment by Onan C. (de1865) — 9/24/2008 @ 11:47 am

  72. Onan – Most others here share your wishes of jharp. He seems incapable of changing his behavior in spite of repeated requests.

    Comment by daleyrocks (d9ec17) — 9/24/2008 @ 11:58 am

  73. Obama has said numerously and publicly that he is not pro-gun control and anti 2nd Amendment. Some obscure questionnaire from 12 years ago has about as much credibility as McCain opposing Bush’s tax cuts or McCain’s pro-immigration amnesty or McCain’s pro-corruption being part of the Keating 5 being neck deep in the last financial meltdown or having his chief political strategist, Rick Davis’ firm being on Freddie Mac’s payroll for $15,000 a month consulting fee up til last month or Palin’s husband being part of the Alaska Independence Succession party for 7 years lobbying for succession from America because America sucks that bad to them or “thanks but no thanks” to the bridge to nowhere after congress shoots t down but she still kept the money and the list goes on and on and on and on……….

    The usual nonsense…if you don’t agree with it, it must be Liberal. No any Liberals unpatriotic enough to start a Independence Succession party that campaigns on exercising all legal options to seperate from the United States? The Palin’s must hate us for our freedom! Talk about hating the Amendments…the Palin’s hate the whole damn constitution!

    Comment by Syntax (b775eb) — 9/24/2008 @ 8:43 pm

  74. Syntax, utter nonsense is yours.

    You do nothing to respond to the content of this post and immediately launch into a “Hey Look over there!” comment.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 9/24/2008 @ 8:45 pm

  75. FactCheck.org is a liberal interests group posing as a non-partisan website.

    When it comes to Republicans, words and deeds are examined.

    When it comes to Democrats, words are examined and deeds are ignored.

    Comment by Mark (3cd5f8) — 9/25/2008 @ 1:48 am

  76. Don’t bother showing this to your local dead tree editor. Here’s the head of the Iowa Editors’ Assn. reaction:

    Thanks for sharing this blog entry.

    Even if an error occurred, I don’t believe that shows factcheck is pro-Obama and anti-fact. I’ve seen other factcheck entries that take the Democrats’ false or questionable claims to task.

    Comment by PCD (1df2b5) — 9/25/2008 @ 6:11 am

  77. Obama has gotten so used to the main stream media defending him for so long, Obama responds to any opposition by trying to stifle free speech. Obama is trying to weaken America, by taking away our rights to bear arms, by weakening our military, by getting rid of our nuclear weapons, by blocking offshore drilling, by making nice with our enemies, and by proposing an economic policy which will bring us to our knees. If Obama gets elected, within four years, America will be a third world country, at the mercy of tyrants around the world.

    Comment by Gina (f14f31) — 9/28/2008 @ 2:38 pm

  78. Syntax:

    Let’s examine the 1996 questionare. It’s old, so if Obama were to say “That’s what I used to think, but i’ve changed my position, it would be reasonable to have an opinion that we should ignore the 1995 questionare.

    But in fact, Obama lied about the questionare. He denied ever seeing it. But then we learned he had written notes on it, which he tried to say weren’t his handwriting but eventually had to admit it was.

    But he still claimed the questionare lied about his position.

    Let’s take him at his word. Obama is a politician who admits lying in his campaign materials, in order to agrandize himself with the groups he needs to get votes from.

    He admits, no in fact he insists we believe that he lied to the voters in 1996, by falsely representing his position.

    Now he SAYS he is pro-gun. And we are supposed to believe him, why? Because he told us he would lie to us to get our vote? Because he never apologized for lying in 1996? Because he still lies about his position, like saying Heller was constitutional and later saying the Supreme Court was right to find it unconstitutional? Even though the people who ruled that way were judges he opposed, while the judges he said he’d use as models all voted that it WAS constitutional?

    Here’s the deal: NO statement of what a candidate will do in the future is “fact”, until the future is the past. So no claim that the candidate is lying about his intentions can be called “false”.

    For example, imagine FactCheck in 1992. Someone runs an ad saying “Bill Clinton will NOT give a child tax credit when he takes office”.

    Factcheck: “This is a lie. Clinton has said he would do a $500 per child tax credit”.

    Except in 1993, weeks after taking office, Clinton said he would NOT do the $500 tax credit.

    So, what Factcheck would call a lie would turn out to be the truth. Now, how can something that ends up being true EVER be called a lie?

    If Obama becomes President, in 2012 we can evaluate if anything the NRA said was a “lie”. If Factcheck wants to argue that the NRA claims are unsupported, they would be wrong but within the bounds of civil discourse.

    But they are not lies. You can’t lie about what you THINK someone WILL do in the future.

    Comment by Charles (4090b3) — 9/29/2008 @ 9:17 am

  79. It seems odd that this article claims that FACTCHECK is unbalanced yet cites the FACTCHECK article itself for some of its counterarguments. IF FACTCHECK included those counterarguments – then wouldn’t that point to it being balanced?

    Maybe those reading this should go read the FACTCHECK article directly rather than just reading the “review” of the article…

    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/nra_targets_obama.html

    Comment by RIGHTeous (28d662) — 10/7/2008 @ 2:51 pm

  80. I’ve also noticed a lot of posts on various websites pointing to Kennedy’s comments to “prove” that the ammendment Obama voted on was intended to ban hunting ammo. The “quotes” from Kennedy are all from 2004. The vote on the ammendment was July 29, 2005, 03:46 PM – and the actual language in the bill stated, ” a projectile for a center-fire rifle, designed or marketed as having armor piercing capability, that the Attorney General determines, under section 926(d), to be more likely to penetrate body armor than standard ammunition of the same caliber.” So the only way it would affect rifle ammo was if the ammo was more likely to penetrate armor than other ammo in the caliber. THEREFORE it could not ban all .30-30 as it explicitly states that ONLY ammunition in a given caliber (e.g. .30-30) that acts differently than the baseline of that caliber could be banned.

    Comment by RIGHTeous (28d662) — 10/7/2008 @ 2:59 pm

  81. What is so sad is all those that drink the Obama Kool Aid by believing Fack Check.org, George Stephanopolous, or other media hacks.

    George Stephanopolous and the Obama Kool Aid

    Comment by Carl Strohmeyer (e4d4ba) — 10/11/2008 @ 10:48 am

  82. Did FactCheck.org mention the fact that the “kill him” allegations were false?

    Did FactCheck.org mention that Obama knew the allegations were false when he mentioned them in the last debate?

    Did anyone in the media outside of Fox mention it?

    Didn’t think so.

    Comment by djohn (52b37e) — 10/21/2008 @ 8:33 am

  83. Does anyone else see that liberals take everything that is immoral, biased, and sometimes just downright evil, and label it with a neutral or friendly term to deceive everyone who doesn’t know enough about it? “FactCheck.org” sounds unbiased and nice. So does “Pro-Choice” and “The Fairness Doctrine”. Even “Gun Control” isn’t as explicit about it’s intentions as it ought to be.

    Comment by Ashley (e801a6) — 10/23/2008 @ 11:17 am

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