Patterico's Pontifications

8/2/2008

McCain and Obama: Three Debates

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:51 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Via the LA Times, the AP reports Barack Obama backed away from multiple debates with John McCain, making it likely the candidates will only meet in three commission-sponsored debates:

“In May, when a McCain adviser proposed a series of pre-convention appearances at town hall meetings, Obama said, “I think that’s a great idea.” In summer stumping on the campaign trail, McCain has often noted that Obama had not followed through and joined him in any events.

On Saturday, in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the short period between the last political convention and the first proposed debate made it likely that the commission-sponsored debates would be the only ones in the fall.

“We’ve committed to the three debates on the table,” campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday in an interview. “It’s likely they will be the three appearances by the candidates this fall.”

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates has hosted Presidential and Vice Presidential debates since 1988. The first Presidential debate is September 26 at the University of Mississippi at Oxford MS and will focus on domestic policy. The second debate is October 7 at Belmont University in Nashville TN. It will be a town meeting format with questions from the moderator, audience members, and the internet. The third debate is October 15 at Hofstra University in Hempstead NY and will focus on foreign policy.

The Vice Presidential debate is October 2 at Washington University in St. Louis. It will cover domestic and foreign policy.

Moderators for each debate will be chosen this summer. In addition, the Commission on Presidential Debates has made two format changes:

1. In the first and third debates on domestic and foreign policy, the “debates will be divided into 8 ten-minute issue segments; the moderator will introduce each segment with an issue on which each candidate will comment, after which the moderator will facilitate further discussion of the issue, including direct exchange between the candidates, for the balance of that segment. Time will be reserved for closing statements by each of the candidates in each debate.”

2. In the second town meeting debate, “[q]uestions solicited by Internet will be included with those from citizens on the stage with the candidates.”

— DRJ

78 Responses to “McCain and Obama: Three Debates”

  1. But Obama won’t meet with military members or their families in a town-hall style debate.

    I’ll bet he’d meet with DinnerJacket before he’d meet with anyone stationed at Fort Hood…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  2. “after which the moderator will facilitate further discussion of the issue,”

    I am concerned that this gives the moderators too much control and influence in the discussion. Hopefully though, their role will be less a facilitator and more referee who notes when the time is up and steps in when there is speaking over each other but with minimal interference. When there are external controls, it is more likely to become a standard rehash of bullet points. (and of course, it will be most interesting to see who will be selected as moderators …)

    Dana (aed2e9)

  3. These formats are getting lamer every year.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  4. “The LA Times reports Barack Obama backed away from multiple debates with John McCain, making it likely the candidates will only meet in three commission-sponsored debates:”

    Obama is more popular. Appearing with mccain lets mccain free-ride that popularity. Smart to limit that.

    “But Obama won’t meet with military members or their families in a town-hall style debate.”

    A town hall just with the military? That sounds odd.

    afall (20f608)

  5. So really, only 2 Presidential debates. I always wished that McCain would challenge Baracky to a debate in Iraq, on one of the bases. But since Baracky ignores the folks at Ft. Hood, I guess 2 debates is the most we could hope for. Baracky without a teleprompter and without the softballs from the sycophant media should be fun.

    JD (5f0e11)

  6. The man’s terrified of actually having to talk in public in a somewhat ad hoc manner – let’s hope the ABC guys (aka Gibson and Steph) get to handle one of the debates. They actually put some tough questions to Obama, and his minions and synchophatic press corps didn’t like it one bit.

    Dmac (82935d)

  7. I agree with Dmac. Gibson did a great job in the Democrat debate as witnessed by the abuse he took from Obamabots. The debates will decide the election in my opinion.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  8. I agree with Mike, but the debates should be formatted around audience-supplied (and moderator-screened for offensive comments) questioned, with only a brief policy statement at the beginning and a three-minute wrap-up at the end, with the order of each being determined by coin toss, just before the debate starts. The debate should also be BEFORE the Conventions.

    And Hillary should be the moderator. (Talk about a conflict of interest…)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  9. I just found and retrieved afall’s comment (#4 here) in the spam filter.

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  10. A town hall just with the military? That sounds odd.

    Not just the military, but their family members and the civilian employees of the military in that area.

    But military is a constituency that Obama has no chance to ever win over, any more than did Gore or Kerry, so he writes them off.

    And goes for a workout instead.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  11. It was indeed spam, DRJ 😉

    JD (5f0e11)

  12. Somebody fire up the “uh” meter.

    Icy Truth (94cc06)

  13. Somebody fire up the “uh” meter.

    Better not make it a drinking game, unless you want mass alcohol poisoning.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  14. In Obama’s case you take a drink each time he speaks a complete sentence without injecting an “uh” into it.

    Icy Truth (94cc06)

  15. That would be fine for me, since I’m a tee-totaler, but what about you guys who like to drink?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  16. Who is “you guys”. During the past 24 months I have imbibed exactly one beer.

    Icy Truth (94cc06)

  17. You missed the part about “who like to drink”, Icy. If you don’t, then you wouldn’t be playing a drinking game anyway…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  18. The press is so in the tank for Obama, I am surprised the headline did not read:
    The AP reports Barack Obama has already won the three scheduled debates with John McCain.

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  19. Well . . . 20 years ago, and I was quite a different person then (but I still voted for McCain in his first run for the Senate).

    Icy Truth (94cc06)

  20. What I would like to see one time is a “high school rules” debate with a real resolution, Pres & VP candidates appearing as first and second affirmative and negative, and no involvement from the press whatsoever except for a moderator to keep time. Certainly the candidates could bloviate instead of addressing the issue, but it would be pretty clear who was doing it. Just getting the media egos off the field would be a big improvement.

    Mahon (5ece56)

  21. Weren’t there more than three Bush-Kerry debates?
    Or Bush-Gore ones? Just asking.

    Alta Bob (a6d8ba)

  22. The Commission website has the history of Presidential debates since 1948 (plus an entry for 1858). I didn’t check them all but it looks like there were 2 Presidential debates in 1988 and 1996 and 3 debates in 1992, 2000, and 2004. I’m not sure why they only had 2 in the Clinton-Dole race in 1996.

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  23. Mahon, #20, I very much agree with you re minimal involvement from the media, no matter who the selected moderators are. And I also like the idea that candidates would be free to bloviate and smooth talk the masses, or actually offer a serious discussion re an issue – either way the voter would be able to get a more accurate picture of the candidate. (See #2.)

    Dana (aed2e9)

  24. The man’s terrified of actually having to talk in public in a somewhat ad hoc manner – let’s hope the ABC guys (aka Gibson and Steph) get to handle one of the debates.

    Gibson and Steph were atrocious. it took them 40 minutes even ask one question about the issues as opposed to wanting answers about all manner of personal nonsense. Basically the wanted to create a controversy and failed miserably and wasted everyone’s time.

    Oh and yes, yes, please keep thinking that Obama isn’t a good debater and spontaneous speaker. I love that unfounded and talking point because it strikes me as so much wishful thinking.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  25. it took them 40 minutes even ask one question about the issues as opposed to wanting answers about all manner of personal nonsense.

    Between Hillary and Barack – when it comes to issues and not personal aspects, just how much did the two of them differ, though?

    Oh and yes, yes, please keep thinking that Obama isn’t a good debater and spontaneous speaker.

    What evidence is there that he is?

    Anon (db8e0c)

  26. Anon – Their assertion is used as evidence. Baracky is a gifted teleprompterer.

    JD (5f0e11)

  27. “I love that unfounded and talking point because it strikes me as so much wishful thinking.”

    You say it’s unfounded, yet you had no idea who Obama was until a few years ago. Meanwhile, those of us who’ve been watching him for years as a local congressman from Chicago know full well how he acts when bereft of his handlers and talking points. He’s out of his element, and fumbles and stammers at will w/o his props, and if you had any historical knowledge of him you’d know that’s demonstrably true. There is only one reason why Obama’s camp has contradicted their earlier agreement to appear with McCain in a series of town hall meetings this Fall – their man’s weak in this venue, and they know it.

    Dmac (82935d)

  28. Obama is more popular. Appearing with mccain lets mccain free-ride that popularity. Smart to limit that.

    I take it that you’re not following the polls, afall.

    Fact is, McCain would clean Obama’s clock in a townhall debate and Obama knows it. That’s why he flip-flopped on doing them. His stock has been declining since he said he would.

    Pablo (99243e)

  29. #25 Anon:

    What evidence is there that he is?

    Well, he was pretty decent in the Democratic primary debates with a bunch of good public speakers and as that process saw people drop out and wended it’s way towards the numerous debates with John Edward and Hillary Clinton he did okay for himself methinks.

    #26 JD –

    Their assertion is used as evidence. Baracky is a gifted teleprompterer.

    No, a proven track record of debating is my evidence. So that’s an inaccurate and immature statement.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  30. Well, he was pretty decent in the Democratic primary debates with a bunch of good public speakers and as that process saw people drop out and wended it’s way towards the numerous debates with John Edward and Hillary Clinton he did okay for himself methinks.

    Peter – watched almost all the debates. Sorry, man, but my opinion differs.

    Anon (db8e0c)

  31. Fact is, McCain would clean Obama’s clock in a townhall debate and Obama knows it.

    The fact is also that, at the time, McCain desperately needed some free exposure, due to lack of funds. Fact is also, that allowing the McCain campaign to dictate something like that, so early after the contest was over with Hillary, would’ve given McCain the upper hand as the candidate setting the tone and agenda for the General election.

    Also, Obama has done numerous town halls on his own, and again, done quite well with them.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  32. he was pretty decent in the Democratic primary debates

    That is like winning “most popular player” in the T-Ball league. There was not a whit of difference between most of them on almost any position, just seeing who can out-liberal the others.

    This here is the Big Leagues, junior. He will have to come up with specific policy positions, and have to explain why he has changed so many of them over the course of a single campaign.

    He is going to find it impossible to win over the moderate voters while still not managing to piss off his base without appearing to take both sides of almost every issue, because he’s already tried that, and it isn’t working.

    People are starting to notice the empty suit, and his numbers have actually managed to result in a tie with McCain in many swing states, before either of them ever gets the nomination of their party.

    He also has to judge how his VP pick will appear to the voters he needs to win, and his most obvious choice will almost certainly turn him down, so that she can run again in 2012.

    I love that unfounded and talking point because it strikes me as so much wishful thinking.

    Unfortunately for you, the people in the 57 (or was it 58 or 59?) States who already keep their tires fully inflated to save 11,308 years worth of gasoline will disagree with you.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  33. The fact is also that, at the time, McCain desperately needed some free exposure, due to lack of funds.

    No, the FACT is that the invitation to a town hall debate – any day, any time, whenever O! could spare a few hours – was not issued by McCain. It was issued by a crowd that was a sizable sample of a constituency Obama couldn’t possibly care less about.

    Besides, Obama needs all of his extra time to raise money.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  34. #30 Anon

    Sorry, man, but my opinion differs.

    Hey, I respect that. It’s a free country. But is there anything specific or is it just a general sense?

    Peter (e70d1c)

  35. But is there anything specific or is it just a general sense?

    What does it matter? It’s his opinion against your opinion. Both are either equally valid or equally invalid, under any logic you choose to offer.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  36. Drum:

    There was not a whit of difference between most of them on almost any position, just seeing who can out-liberal the others.

    I don’t know about that, an awful lot of ambitious and impressive figures in that field, including the “sure-thing,” a well-financed, well organized political behemoth with Bill Clinton on her team, who I would say wasn’t exactly playing soft-ball.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  37. Drum:

    What does it matter? It’s his opinion against your opinion. Both are either equally valid or equally invalid, under any logic you choose to offer.

    Hey, I said I’m fine with that so maybe take an aspirin or two and take some deep breaths.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  38. No, the FACT is that the invitation to a town hall debate – any day, any time, whenever O! could spare a few hours – was not issued by McCain. It was issued by a crowd that was a sizable sample of a constituency Obama couldn’t possibly care less about.

    Yes, except for the fact that most of that constituency gives Obama better grades in voting in favor of their issues. than they do McCain, who takes their vote and support for granted:

    IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America) – John McCain “D”

    Vietnam Veterans Of America (Click Votes Tab) He voted against 16 out of 25 scored votes

    DAV (Disabled American Veterans) John McCain has a 20% rating out of a 100%.

    Obama’s Veterans Ratings:

    IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America) – Barack Obama “B+”

    Vietnam Veterans of America (click “Vote” tab) – He voted for them all but 1 time.

    (Disabled American Veterans) (Click Vote Tab)- Barack Obama has an 80% rating

    Source.

    And more McCain miltary/veterans hypocrisy here.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  39. Hey, I respect that. It’s a free country. But is there anything specific or is it just a general sense?

    I don’t necessarily think he was bad. He just didn’t stand out. At a podium? Count on a rousing speech. At the debates giving an impromptu answer? Eh. In a couple of the later debates he was able to give a few good one-liners in blowing off Hillary when she was trying to goad him into a fight over some dirt but that was about it.

    He’s also had his fair share of gaffes when speaking off the cuff (though McCain has had his, so that’s not necessarily a point on whether he’s better than McCain). Beyond that, though, if you throw the right question at him, you count on some uhs and ums in coming up with an answer.

    Anon (db8e0c)

  40. Peter – go watch the Philadelphia debate again. Um um huh um raise capital gain taxes um uh um um huh … he looked like a deer in the headlights. If that is some great orator, then you have redefined the word, or set the bat so low that anybody could meet that expectation. Fact is that he can read a speech beautifully. Off the cuff, not so much.

    JD (5f0e11)

  41. “No, a proven track record of debating is my evidence.”

    I see – so the reality of his team reneging on their earlier committment to engage McCain in a series of town hall debates is…what, exactly? A demonstration of debating superiority? Yeah, that must be it, how silly of me to think otherwise. They’re running as fast as they can in the opposite direction here, they will not allow their candidate to appear in an open forum, where each candidate can directly question the other at will. No external controls, no handlers available during the debates, and no teleprompters. Why did they initially agree to participate in the debates, only to change tact quickly thereafter?

    Dmac (82935d)

  42. I don’t know about that, an awful lot of ambitious and impressive figures in that field, including the “sure-thing,” a well-financed, well organized political behemoth with Bill Clinton on her team, who I would say wasn’t exactly playing soft-ball.

    I specifically mentioned “positions” not “Q-rating”. Hillary was the third-most liberal and Obama was THE most liberal member in the Senate, Edwards was in the single-digits when he was still serving, and Kucinich is as loony liberal as they come.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  43. only to change tact

    No disrespect intended, but that should be “change tack”. It’s a sailing term, meaning “to come at the wind from another relative direction”.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  44. Senator Obama had some 20+ debates against Hillary and a few clowns, but only three when the future of the country is at stake?

    George B. (cb7d8b)

  45. And he would only agree to the three minimum debates that are almost required by the impartial committee.

    If he could avoid them entirely, I’ll bet he would do so eagerly.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  46. I see where Peter linked to a far – left site to provide the alleged mistreatment regarding McCain and veterans, then further compounded his miscue by linking to another loon site that links to the following sources for their unassailable “facts:”

    – HuffPo
    – Daily Kos
    – Vanity Fair

    Try harder next time, Peter.

    Dmac (82935d)

  47. I specifically mentioned “positions” not “Q-rating”. Hillary was the third-most liberal and Obama was THE most liberal member in the Senate, Edwards was in the single-digits when he was still serving, and Kucinich is as loony liberal as they come.

    You forgot Biden, Dodd and Richardson.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  48. #46


    – HuffPo
    – Daily Kos
    – Vanity Fair

    Try harder next time, Peter.

    Nice try Dmac. But maybe you should read more closely and not play stupid. Click on the links for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America, the Vietnam Veterans of America, or the Disabled American Veterans organizations.

    And look up the veterans Bills McCain voted against on: http://www.govtrack.us/

    (You know, I don’t discount everything on this site just because it happens to link to an openly racist, anti-Muslim proto-fascist moonbat colony like Little Green Snotballs.)

    Peter (e70d1c)

  49. The Democratic primary debates were very poor preparation for Obama because all of the Democratic candidates were pretending to be almost identical clones of the same policy prescriptions. Obama did not have to actually defend any substance of any policy position. The only “debate” was about who was more juvenile and obstructionist against the Bush administration than the other.

    A real policy debate won’t really fall into any of Obama’s strengths. He does not do well with real extemporaneous policy presentation.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  50. “Nice try Dmac. But maybe you should read more closely and not play stupid.”

    I do read quite closely, thanks for the suggestion. But one of the groups you linked to is openly partisan in their actions, and should be discredited as an objective “representation” of war veterans:

    Here’s the IAVA’s spokesman, quite an objective, non – partisan individual, who just happens to have a regular gig at HuffPo:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-rieckhoff/nickels-and-dimes-why-the_b_104229.html

    Wesley Clarke also is a major player in this group, so I call BS on your link and their sources, Peter. Please try to actually discern other’s motives before posting their idiocies as fact.

    Dmac (82935d)

  51. The only “debate” was about who was more juvenile and obstructionist against the Bush administration than the other.

    Of course it was. No real debating or skill required there at all. No having to differentiate oneself and walking a fine fine line w/o risking alienating Hillary supporters?

    Debating McCain is going to be just as tricky as they both vie for the moderates and independents, although McCain is going to have to defend an atrocious GWB/GOP record on the economy, gas prices, obscene Oil company profits, the credit crisis, lying and manipulation of the public for a war that should’ve never happened in the first place, a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, the revitalization of AQ and the Taliban because of it and the continued freedom and existence of OBL. All w/o alienating the far right base, who already has their problems with him.

    Frankly, it will be interesting simply to hear JM actually discuss the issues as opposed to OB’s popularity, leadership skills, vision, success and defend Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton appearing in a campaign ad. And he’ll have to do it with a straight face in Obama’s presence and the American people watching. Also, he’ll have to defend whatever 527 wackiness the RNC and the Texas Billionaires cook up this Presidential election.

    I expecte JM to be so chewing at the bit for his very own Lloyd Benson/Dan McQuayle poltical KO moment, that I wonder how he’s going to be able to focus on anything else.

    I think all Obama has to do to avoid that is remain humble and focus on good clear policy answers.

    Other problem is the general demeanor of the two which puts McCain in a not so great light, especially if Grandpappy gets ornery. I hope he gets some vitamen B shots and takes a xanax.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  52. AP (via the LA Times) discovers Frank Marshall Davis, but it appears a bit more complicated then they figured out.

    Neo (cba5df)

  53. This group has been linked to the Vietnam Veterans of America – more BS on your links, Peter:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/25/veterans-group-takes-on-mccain/

    Dmac (82935d)

  54. Peter, you are delusional.

    “McCain is going to have to defend an atrocious GWB/GOP record on the … lying and manipulation of the public for a war that should’ve never happened in the first place,…”

    Just delusional. The “public” got tired of this debate a long time ago. Bush won despite the Democrats flogging this issue in 2004. All but the virulent BDS sufferers think that this issue was over a long time ago and the Democrats’ repetition of it is part of the reason that Congress has single digit approval ratings.

    This is exactly my point about the Democrat primary debate being juvenile, and all you do is reinforce it.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  55. Wesley Clarke also is a major player in this group, so I call BS on your link and their sources, Peter. Please try to actually discern other’s motives before posting their idiocies as fact.

    Wait, you mean that completely discredited lefty who wouldn’t know a thing about the military or foreign policy issues even though he was the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000, graduated valedictorian of his class at West Point, was was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (Philosophy, Politics & Economics), and later graduated from the Command and General Staff College with a master’s degree in military science. And spent 34 years in the Army and the Department of Defense, receiving many military decorations, several honorary knighthoods, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    Yeah, what would he know anyway? Only thing you see is that he is part of the IAVA, which you’ve just offended every soldier and ex-soldier who’s a part of. Nice. I guess support for the troops only goes for the ones that are down the line straight up Republican’s in blind lock step to a miserable CIC and those supporting the Carbon copy-esque version attmepting to take his place.

    IS that what you’re suggesting? Are some veterans more worthy than others?

    Also, what does any of that have to do with John McCain’s sad, hypocritical voting record in regard to veterans rights? Here’s the link again:

    http://www.govtrack.us/

    I hope you use it this time.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  56. lying and manipulation of the public for a war that should’ve never happened in the first place

    Wow, three lies in a single clause. You’ve outdone yourself.

    No one in the Bush Administration lied about a single aspect of any presented evidence, there was no manipulation of the public, and that “war that should’ve never happened in the first place” was not one that we started.

    I’ve proven each of those things to you in other posts, so you cannot claim that you just didn’t know any better.

    You are deliberately lying, and I want to know why you repeatedly feel the need to do so.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  57. Wait, you mean that completely discredited lefty who

    … demanded that the forces under his command attack a nuclear power? Yep, that would be the one. The one that was endorsed by noted Independent Michael Moore? Yep, same one. The one who was fired by Clinton? Still him.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  58. I hope you use it this time.

    You’re going to have to do your own research and show us the specific page showing McCain’s record on veteran’s affairs, because simply posting the link to the index page doesn’t prove anything but that a proven liar is asserting something with nothing but worthlessly vague links. My evidence is irrefutable. Just see for yourself.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  59. Wait, you mean that completely discredited lefty

    Clark ain’t a lefty– but he is an über-sycophant who would change his positions, statements, and support the second he thought it would in any way advance his career (this isn’t a Dem vs. Rep. thing-he supposedly was a Republican at one time, it’s the man’s central character).

    Anon (db8e0c)

  60. Voting against a ridiculous expansion of the GI Bill does not constitute failure to support the troops, Peter. So, Peter, you should be able to quantify exactly what in Baracky’s record distinguishes himself from McCain on military issues.

    JD (5f0e11)

  61. Anon – Sound like Clark and Baracky were cut from the same cloth.

    JD (5f0e11)

  62. Note: I found Dmac’s #53 in the filter. Maybe the filter thinks any link to the NY Times is spam.

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  63. Drumwaster, the war protagonist of the right. Just wonder why you are not running for office. I would so not vote for you.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  64. Just wonder why you are not running for office.

    Who says I’m not?

    I would so not vote for you.

    Good for you. And, speaking as a veteran, you’re welcome.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  65. “I think all Obama has to do to avoid that is remain humble”

    Peter – Obama has to learn how to become humble before he can remain humble. After all, he is the “one” and a worldwide celebrity.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  66. “Peter, you should be able to quantify exactly what in Baracky’s record distinguishes himself from McCain on military issues.”

    Obviously he cannot do this, or else why resort to linking to discredited sources filled with alleged charges that are not quantifiably proven? Not to mention the additional use of strawmen to support prior statements.

    Dmac (82935d)

  67. “I take it that you’re not following the polls, afall. ”

    I don’t mean pollwise. I mean in terms of who draws the most audience.

    afall (24abbf)

  68. I mean in terms of who draws the most audience.

    You mean those people who have the spare time in the middle of the day at political rallies, rather than actually having to earn a living?

    Yeah, that’s gonna be enough for Obama to win in November…

    (Hint: the polls are open even after working hours…)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  69. Peter, your endorsement of Wesley Clark as authority is amusing. You have a long history of not having any clue to the credibility problems of your sources. Not least after Clark showed his own willingness to say anything to attack McCain a month ago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  70. Peter – That IAVA group you are touting above. I know it sounds incredible, but they don’t give one sindle “A” rating to a republican. They save them all for democrats. It’s gotta be a coincidence or quirk of their methodology or something. Curious that.

    That DAV organization too, can you tell me how many votes and what they were to come up with the 20% and 80% rankings for McCain and Obama? I couldn’t figure it out from your link. What other liberal senators are ranked highly and what other senators are ranked poorly?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  71. My evidence is irrefutable. Just see for yourself.

    Wow. Can you be anymore impenetrable and stubborn? here you go:

    What resources for veterans does McCain claim to support that Senator Obama has not? It’s difficult to believe any senator would not want our current military who serve in combat to have individual body armor, helicopters and ammunition. What legislative bill is McCain referring to when he states that Senator Obama voted against providing these items? The record shows in 2005 Senator Obama voted in favor of an amendment to provide additional funding for veterans and for an amendment to ensure continued funding for veterans’ health care.

    McCain voted against these two funding bills.

    Precisely what is it Senator Obama opposed that proposed “funding for veterans’ medical facilities and rehabilitation programs”? Does McCain refer to S 2020 proposed in 2005? Senator Obama was part of the majority voting in favor of S 2020 which provided for an additional $500,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010, to be used for readjustment counseling, related mental health services, and treatment and rehabilitative services for veterans with mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or substance use disorder.

    McCain voted against it.

    What about HR 4297 Military Funding and Tax Cuts Amendment of 2006 that set aside $21.9 billion for veterans? It included $14 billion for disability compensation and $6.9 billion for medical services for veterans’ health care. HR 4297 would reduce the deficit by making tax rates fairer for all Americans. Senator Obama supported this amendment.

    McCain voted against it.

    S Con Res 23/Fiscal 2004 Budget Resolution/Military Health Care, was an amendment to increase spending on the TRICARE program (regionally managed health care for active duty, activated guard and reserves, retired members of the uniformed services, their families and survivors) by $20.3 billion over ten years. This would give members of the National Guard and reserves and their families greater access to the health care program, and be offset by a reduction in tax cuts. Barack Obama had not yet been elected, but John McCain was.

    McCain voted against the funding.

    Did McCain mean the 2008 Senate amendment to HR 2642? Senate Amendment 4803 to HR 2642 provided, among other things, education funding for eligible members of the Armed Forces. Senator Obama voted in favor of the amendment.

    McCain was absent and did not vote.

    Speaking of missing in action, McCain’s radio ad states, “There are few votes as important as funding our men and women in uniform.” How does what he says pair up with what he does? Or, in this case, did not do? As he did not do with Senate Amendment 4803, the GI Bill that is crucially important to veterans, as it gives the same kinds of benefits that WWII/Korea vets received. McCain was known to be opposed to it, so no wonder he just went AWOL and saved himself from adding another no vote to his record. Senator Obama, on the other hand, was present and voted in favor of the GI Bill.

    More challenges for veterans are yet to come, especially under the next president. An April 2007 article in Congressional Quarterly quoted projections by Linda Bilmes, an expert in veterans’ policy at Harvard University, estimating that the cost for treating Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking medical care from the Department of Veterans Affairs will triple to almost $3 billion in 2010, to exceed more than twice that amount during the following four years. Clearly, veterans are in serious need of a president who will prioritize the costs of their ongoing health care needs, before tax cuts for the wealthy. HR 4297 and S Con Res 23/Fiscal 2004 Budget Resolution/Military Health Care prioritized health care over tax cuts for the wealthy.

    McCain voted against both.

    McCain’s voting against or going missing on legislation for funding for veterans’ healthcare are shots in the back aimed at our veterans. And McCain’s alliance with George W. Bush is even more wounding. McCain refused to defend veterans under Bush’s “cost-cutting” attack of FY 2005. The national income average for a single veteran in 2005 was $25,842. Bush declared that any veteran earning more than an average wage would be denied access to VA hospitals, clinics and medications. With this revised classification over 260,000 veterans were turned away from health care benefits in FY 2005 alone, including nearly 6,000 veterans in McCain’s home state of Arizona. McCain’s past and continuing silence in the face of such aggressive acts against veterans gives little hope of their surviving more political ambushes.

    McCain is a veteran, but he doesn’t act like one.

    Veterans are completely deserving of all the care and funding we can legislate to guarantee their well-being and happiness. They deserve a change in Washington politics that would guarantee that their issues become a priority. Talk is cheap. Especially to a politician. Yet it comes at a high price for veterans. Comparing the voting record of McCain to Obama, I can only say this: if McCain does not support the funding for a decent quality of life for veterans now as a senator and former soldier, what could he possibly offer veterans as Commander-in-Chief?

    This is the truth. Go to http://www.govtrack.us/ and prove otherwise.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  72. No one in the Bush Administration lied about a single aspect of any presented evidence, there was no manipulation of the public, and that “war that should’ve never happened in the first place” was not one that we started.

    You’re deeply deeply mistaken and history will prove you as such.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  73. “as a senator and former soldier”

    — So now McCain was in the Army? Well, your confusion shouldn’t be too surprising given that embarrassing situation from last year:

    Ship’s Captain: I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to bar you from the aft section of the ship for the rest of the cruise.
    Lois: Oh, we are so sorry. Peter, what the hell did you think you were doing?
    Peter: Lois, it is called the “poop deck.” That is why I pooped there.
    Ship’s Captain: You’re disgusting!
    Peter: And you’re misleading.

    Icy Truth (7eda0d)

  74. Peter – Simply asserting something as true does not make it so. When called on it, simply repeating it does not add to its validity.

    JD (75f5c3)

  75. “You’re deeply deeply mistaken and history will prove you as such.”

    Peter – Since you are so big on what people think, are you in that huge majority of people who are now in the 24% of Americans who did not approve of the Iraq war in April 2003?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  76. “McCain is a veteran, but he doesn’t act like one.”

    Peter – You repeatedly demonstrated you ignorance of military matters here. How the hell would you know what a veteran acts like?

    Wouldn’t a more accurate measure be to look at how other veterans in Congress voted on the same bills tather than to look at your biased opinion. In back of your jaundiced screed, were there other versions of bills that McCain was supporting instead of the ones he voted against, cupcake?

    Who writes your talking point for you?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  77. Who writes your talking point for you?

    HuffPo
    Media Matters
    Soros
    Kos
    CAP
    Code Pink
    et al.

    JD (75f5c3)


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