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View Full Version : What is fair? What is spin? Where's the line?



b1e9a8r5s
08-28-2008, 01:26 AM
I wanted to create a thread to discuss what people think is fair game in terms of campaigning, specifically in regards to spin. I know that negative campaigning and spinning seem to come up a lot in regards to both camps (probably more towards McCain's). IMO, you can argue that pretty much anything is spin, or even negative, when referring to the opposing candidate. John McCain is old or experienced. Obama has new ideas or is inexperienced. Just to name a few examples. IMO, all campaigns spin from one extent or another, and you can even argue, thatís there job. It seems that many on here use spin as a dirty tactic or something to hold against a candidate or campaign. I just wanted to see what people thought about this. What's your take on "spin"? Where's the line between turning a negative into a positive (which IMO is what spin is at its core)?

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to get into a McCain is negative in this instance or Obama's camp spun in that instance. I'd just like to discuss this in general terms as it seems to be something that seems to come up on a lot of threads.

DenButsu
08-28-2008, 01:43 AM
Without judging McCain's attacks, here are examples of Obama attacks that I personally would and would not approve of:


Would:

-voted with Bush over 90% of the time (fact)

-owns 7 houses and couldn't answer a question about how many he owned (fact - and it speaks to him being more out of touch with "ordinary Americans" than Obama is)

-voted against renewable/alternative energy 25 times (fact)

-has extremely hawkish positions that favor the use of the military over the use of diplomacy (assertion based on his positions about Iraq, Iran, Russia, etc.)

-favors the interests of the wealthy over the interests of the working class (assertion based on his tax and economic plans that are by far most favorable to the wealthiest Americans)

-wants to stack the Supreme Court with justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade - and that is the same "legislating from the bench" he claims to be opposed to

-has displayed poor judgment on many occassions (subjective, based only on evaluating certain decisions as poor judgment... this is similar to the "isn't experienced enough" arguments coming from the right about Obama - I disagree, but it's fair game for them to say it)

-may have genuinely earned the "maverick" title in earlier stages of his career, but has done a total reversal and is now squarely Republican status quo (see the first item)

-has unquestionably given very honorable service to his country, but has slipped into some dishonorable tendencies in this current campaign and his recent policies (reversal on opposition to torture, questioning Obama's patriotism to the point where he's practically accusing him of treason, etc.)


Would not:

-he's too old

-attacking his record of service

-unprovoked, bringing up how he cheated on and left his wife who was suffering from cancer (but if he started accusing Obama/Biden of lacking or failing to promote "family values", it's fair game)

-lying about him (not only is it not right, I don't think it's necessary to go there to win)

-name calling


-------------------------------------

Needless to say, I think a whole lot of McCain's attack ad stuff falls into the latter category.

ink
08-28-2008, 01:43 AM
Attack the issue not the person. That falls right in line with the catalogue of things you just posted Den. It would be plain dumb to attack McCain for his age, for example. But, that said, if he doesn't know his contemporary world geography (the Czechoslovakia gaffe), he is vulnerable to criticism that he's too out of touch to be effective on foreign policy. Just a small example. It's the out-of-date knowledge that's the problem, not the fact that he's old.

Same with Obama and his so-called "inexperience". He can't be criticized just for having fewer years on his resume than McCain when other leaders like Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Nicolas Sarkozy have all become good leaders at a relatively young age, and with fairly similar levels of experience.

Similarly, attacking a person for being "shallow" or a "celebrity" is a purely personal, vague attack. If an attack like that has to be made it needs to be made specifically - i.e. what's the proof? what's the issue? Generalized insults are insulting to the voter's intelligence.

ari1013
08-28-2008, 09:18 AM
Spin is essentially twisting facts. So when McCain says that Obama and Ahmedinejad are going to celebrate his victory together, that's spinning Obama saying that he's not opposed to speaking to any world leader.

You could make an attack ad that's completely, truthful, but it wouldn't be as successful. As soon as you insert your own opinion and are able to pass it off as "fact" then you've just spun a successful attack ad.

blenderboy5
08-28-2008, 09:28 AM
Fair= PHX agrees with it

Rush/Hannity spin= PHX hates it.

As a side note, DB, it might be best if you didn't talk about stacking the courts. Especially when the only way to get the Democratic Leadership to vote to confirm you is if you've performed an abortion in the past. And did you die from hypocrisy from whining about legislating from the bench?

As a further side note, John McCain will not "stack" the court with people who oppose R v Wade. He will put the best conservative judges on the court, just like any Republican. But, and you might remember this, John McCain attacked Justice Alito as being "too conservative." "Too conservative" in this instance means what? Primarily, that Alito opposes abortion. So if Alito is too conservative for McCain, he won't put on uber-conservative judges hell bent on forcing women to run to their nearest alley coat hangers at the ready.

DenButsu
08-28-2008, 09:44 AM
I have my own standards of judicial ability, experience, philosophy, and temperament. And Chief
Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito meet those standards in every respect. They would
serve as the model for my own nominees if that responsibility falls to me.John McCain (http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/pdf2html.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fi.usatoday.net%2Fnew s%2Fmmemmottpdf%2Fmccain-on-judges-may-6-2008.pdf&images=yes)


bb, instead of tearing into my stance on where I draw the lines (the topic of this thread), why don't you articulate where you draw yours - if you have any.

SLY WILLIAMS
08-28-2008, 11:11 AM
I dont like partisanship. I dont like spin. I dont like the win at all costs mentality. I dont like the ends justifys the means of campaigning. I dont like politicians in general. But as an independent voter I often look at which person will put the country above partisanship. Which man has shown he will go against his own party and cross party lines for the good of the country. I dont want a Democrat. I dont want a Republican. I want an American.

hoosiercubsfan
08-28-2008, 11:13 AM
OK here is what I think is fair for people to go against Obama with.

Ayers is a very legit thing that needs to be explored.
Reverend Wright and the church that Obama spent 20 years in
His economic policy
His and Biden's voting record of being some of the most liberal in the Senate.
Anything said by Biden or Hillary is fair game. (do you think the if Romney is made McCain's veep they won't do the same?)

I agree with most everything you say is fair game against McCain. Though I think the whole house deal is getting greatly over blown. A house to me is a place you lay your head and the way I have heard it explained is that some of the places are actually held as investment properties in his wife's investment portfolio. I completely disagree with your views on the tax issue it is very disingenuous.

According to the Tax Foundation, the top 1% of wage-earners in this country pays nearly 40% of the burden (an 11% INCREASE over 1999). Not fair? Well, you may be saying, 'that's because they have ALL the wealth!' Wrong again. The top 1% of earners account for just 21% of the total adjusted gross income. They're paying DOUBLE what they should be. By the way, the top 10% of earners pay 70% of the load. When you get all the way down to the top 50% of earners, they account for 96.4% of the entire tax burden. The next 10% pays 3.6%. And the bottom 40% of wage earners...pay NOTHING. That's right, nothing. In fact, they pay nothing, and then often get a "refund" (handout) at years end. So how are the tax policies not going to favor the "rich" when they are paying all the taxes already?

hoosiercubsfan
08-28-2008, 11:16 AM
I dont like partisanship. I dont like spin. I dont like the win at all costs mentality. I dont like the ends justifys the means of campaigning. I dont like politicians in general. But as an independent voter I often look at which person will put the country above partisanship. Which man has shown he will go against his own party and cross party lines for the good of the country. I dont want a Democrat. I dont want a Republican. I want an American.

That has to be one of the best posts I have read on here so far. I love to comment about I want an American very well said. Honestly this country is going to survive either candidate who wins. In 4/8 years the next president will find issues that they need to deal with much like they are going to find now.

SLY WILLIAMS
08-28-2008, 11:31 AM
That has to be one of the best posts I have read on here so far. I love to comment about I want an American very well said. Honestly this country is going to survive either candidate who wins. In 4/8 years the next president will find issues that they need to deal with much like they are going to find now.

Thank you very much and with that I think I will leave the political board on a high note. :D

PHX-SOXFAN
08-28-2008, 11:37 AM
Fair= PHX agrees with it

Rush/Hannity spin= PHX hates it.

As a side note, DB, it might be best if you didn't talk about stacking the courts. Especially when the only way to get the Democratic Leadership to vote to confirm you is if you've performed an abortion in the past. And did you die from hypocrisy from whining about legislating from the bench?

As a further side note, John McCain will not "stack" the court with people who oppose R v Wade. He will put the best conservative judges on the court, just like any Republican. But, and you might remember this, John McCain attacked Justice Alito as being "too conservative." "Too conservative" in this instance means what? Primarily, that Alito opposes abortion. So if Alito is too conservative for McCain, he won't put on uber-conservative judges hell bent on forcing women to run to their nearest alley coat hangers at the ready.

finally you get it:D

fair is actual facts and completely interpreting what someone says. For example our discussion yesterday on Bill Clinton's hypothetical scenario. The way most articles, blogs, and am radio discussed it left out the entire second paragraph which made the discussion clear that it wasn't about obama, but about the future of the party and the current opportunity.

I think that was a great example of spin. Hannity wanted to keep pushing the Clinton v. Obama talking point. The only problem was that the second paragraph was completely left out which would have killed this whole argument. Surprisingly foxnews was the only place I found the entire statement which changed showed me what he was actually talking about.

It's all about manipulation, hypocrisy, and whatever is convenient. I prefer to stick to the facts about the policies. I think I can say that I don't bring up the talking points of the left and the spin about mccain. I'm satisfied with the delineations between the two candidates policies. I do feel obligated to obliterate the BS I hear from Rush and Hannity as soon as I see it pop up here. If people want to actually talk about policy, fine, but the soap opera spin, and non-issue politics annoys me.

RogerRomo
08-28-2008, 12:14 PM
Fair is nonsense. If you can dish it. You better be able to take it.

DreamShaker
08-28-2008, 02:01 PM
I honestly just do not care about politics that much....I have other things on my totem pole of importance that outweigh what is happening in this country....like the economy.....yeah I would like it to be better....but I don't worry about it....my faith is my main focus and I keep politics out of it....

But as far as name-calling and bashing....I find it all kinda hypocritical as we all do i'm sure....but it has gotten to the point that if you don't bash your opponent than you will lose terribly....so I would say they should say what is on their mind and be 100% honest with their concerns or annoyances of their opposition....and we can add how they respond and the methods they take in account to how we judge them as people in leaders....

blenderboy5
08-28-2008, 06:41 PM
John McCain (http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/pdf2html.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fi.usatoday.net%2Fnew s%2Fmmemmottpdf%2Fmccain-on-judges-may-6-2008.pdf&images=yes)


bb, instead of tearing into my stance on where I draw the lines (the topic of this thread), why don't you articulate where you draw yours - if you have any.


As John McCain neared his momentous primary election victory in Florida after a ferocious campaign questioning his conservative credentials, right-wingers buzzed over word that he had privately suggested that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was too conservative. In response, Sen. McCain recalled saying no such thing and added Alito was a "magnificent" choice. In fact, multiple sources confirm his negative comments about Alito nine months ago.

McCain, as the "straight talk" candidate, says things off the cuff that he sometimes cannot remember exactly. Elements of the Republican Party's right wing, uncomfortable with McCain as their prospective presidential nominee, surfaced the Alito comments long after the fact for two contrasting motives. One was a desperate effort to keep McCain from winning in Florida. The other was to get the party's potential nominee on record about key issues before he is nominated.


I guess this is another example of that conservative Huffington Post lying

DenButsu
08-28-2008, 08:27 PM
Okay, let me settle this once and for all.

Here's the real difference between how Republicans and Democrats run presidential campaigns.


If McCain had gone really maverick in, say, 2002 or something and jumped ship to the Democrats, and somehow ended up with the Democratic nomination now instead of Barack Obama, then what kind of campaign do you think the Republicans would run against him?


IT WOULD ALL BE **** LIKE THIS (http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnmccain.com/)


And why are we NOT seeing anything like that come out against him that is either officially sanctioned or (like the Swiftboaters) not denounced?

Because that's not the kind of campaigns that Democrats run.

They might talk about McCain's 7 houses, but they're not going to Swiftboat him. If he were running against the Republicans, they'd go straight after his service.

Attack the strengths of your opponents using lies, smears, deceit, ridicule, and (where possible) bigotry.

That's the Karl Rove way.

And it's McCain's way now.

Questioning Obama's patriotism. Pretty much accusing him of treason. Repeatedly. That's some dirty, dirty ****.

ari1013
08-28-2008, 09:14 PM
OK here is what I think is fair for people to go against Obama with.

Ayers is a very legit thing that needs to be explored.
Reverend Wright and the church that Obama spent 20 years in
His economic policy
His and Biden's voting record of being some of the most liberal in the Senate.
Anything said by Biden or Hillary is fair game. (do you think the if Romney is made McCain's veep they won't do the same?)

I agree with most everything you say is fair game against McCain. Though I think the whole house deal is getting greatly over blown. A house to me is a place you lay your head and the way I have heard it explained is that some of the places are actually held as investment properties in his wife's investment portfolio. I completely disagree with your views on the tax issue it is very disingenuous.

According to the Tax Foundation, the top 1% of wage-earners in this country pays nearly 40% of the burden (an 11% INCREASE over 1999). Not fair? Well, you may be saying, 'that's because they have ALL the wealth!' Wrong again. The top 1% of earners account for just 21% of the total adjusted gross income. They're paying DOUBLE what they should be. By the way, the top 10% of earners pay 70% of the load. When you get all the way down to the top 50% of earners, they account for 96.4% of the entire tax burden. The next 10% pays 3.6%. And the bottom 40% of wage earners...pay NOTHING. That's right, nothing. In fact, they pay nothing, and then often get a "refund" (handout) at years end. So how are the tax policies not going to favor the "rich" when they are paying all the taxes already?
The reason that their tax burden increased is that their wealth share increased as well. By contrast, the number of people living under the poverty line has increased. Those people can't afford to pay for housing and food and transportation, but they should be expected to pay for 1/3 of the tax burden because they number a lot of people? That's faulty logic.

hoosiercubsfan
08-28-2008, 11:56 PM
The reason that their tax burden increased is that their wealth share increased as well. By contrast, the number of people living under the poverty line has increased. Those people can't afford to pay for housing and food and transportation, but they should be expected to pay for 1/3 of the tax burden because they number a lot of people? That's faulty logic.

What on earth are you talking a bout being faulty logic? The fact the very people you talk about wind up getting every bit of taxes they pay back. But I don't expect you to agree with the fact that the "evil rich" pay more than their fair share. The very people that you speak of have every thing they ever wanted handed to the if they are willing to ask. If they are below the poverty line they can get WIC which will all but pay for their food if they have children and there is also food stamps. If they can't afford their current housing they will just have to go to a cheaper house. If they can't afford to pay for gas there is always the bus or bicycle. There are a lot of ways for these people you speak of to get by on what they make. And if they can't make it still they need to cut back on their lifestyles. Does this sound harsh? Damn right it does but that is life. I am currently living that life. We live in a 2 bedroom house and there are 5 of us. We live on about 40k a year because it is my choice to stay home and raise my children while going to a community college at night. And we are doing just fine as long as we are tight on our budget. I have gone through more in my life than any one of these people can dream of. So I do not feel a bit sorry for these people you speak of. I live in an area that is filled with these very people and see how they act on a daily basis.

blenderboy5
08-29-2008, 07:33 AM
^^^= "I'm really sad we can't win an election so I'll blame everything on the GOP. Like they stole every single election ever guys."

ari1013
08-29-2008, 08:00 AM
What on earth are you talking a bout being faulty logic? The fact the very people you talk about wind up getting every bit of taxes they pay back. But I don't expect you to agree with the fact that the "evil rich" pay more than their fair share. The very people that you speak of have every thing they ever wanted handed to the if they are willing to ask. If they are below the poverty line they can get WIC which will all but pay for their food if they have children and there is also food stamps. If they can't afford their current housing they will just have to go to a cheaper house. If they can't afford to pay for gas there is always the bus or bicycle. There are a lot of ways for these people you speak of to get by on what they make. And if they can't make it still they need to cut back on their lifestyles. Does this sound harsh? Damn right it does but that is life. I am currently living that life. We live in a 2 bedroom house and there are 5 of us. We live on about 40k a year because it is my choice to stay home and raise my children while going to a community college at night. And we are doing just fine as long as we are tight on our budget. I have gone through more in my life than any one of these people can dream of. So I do not feel a bit sorry for these people you speak of. I live in an area that is filled with these very people and see how they act on a daily basis.
The poverty line for a family of 4 is around $21,200. That's about half of what you're living on. 16% of Americans live on less than that. So we're talking close to 50 million people.

Tack on the next 17% to get to the 1/3 figure and you're still looking at people earning less than you. What if you gave up on $5000 a year. How easy would it be for you to make it day to day? Should you be expected to pay as much in taxes as everyone else?

ari1013
08-29-2008, 08:01 AM
^^^= "I'm really sad we can't win an election so I'll blame everything on the GOP. Like they stole every single election ever guys."
Come on BB you can't pull that crap on me.

hoosiercubsfan
08-29-2008, 10:59 AM
The poverty line for a family of 4 is around $21,200. That's about half of what you're living on. 16% of Americans live on less than that. So we're talking close to 50 million people.

Tack on the next 17% to get to the 1/3 figure and you're still looking at people earning less than you. What if you gave up on $5000 a year. How easy would it be for you to make it day to day? Should you be expected to pay as much in taxes as everyone else?

I want to know where you get that these people you are speaking of pay 1/3 of the taxes.


The nearby chart shows that the top 1% of taxpayers, those who earn above $388,806, paid 40% of all income taxes in 2006, the highest share in at least 40 years. The top 10% in income, those earning more than $108,904, paid 71%. Barack Obama says he's going to cut taxes for those at the bottom, but that's also going to be a challenge because Americans with an income below the median paid a record low 2.9% of all income taxes, while the top 50% paid 97.1%. Perhaps he thinks half the country should pay all the taxes to support the other half.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121659695380368965.html


Consider:

One-third of lower-income U.S. adults smoke, versus one-fifth of middle- and high-income earners, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
High school dropouts who smoke spend three to four times as much of their income on tobacco products as professionals who smoke.
The portion of income spent on alcoholic beverages by the lowest fifth of earners is double that of middle earners and more than three times that of the highest earners, on average.
As if taxes on cigarettes and alcohol weren't enough, poorer taxpayers are also disproportionately burdened by excise taxes on necessities such as gasoline, utilities and telephone services:

Statistically, people making $24,000 a year spend more than twice as much of their income on gasoline as those earning five times as much.
People making less than $10,000 a year spend nearly one-fifth of their incomes (18.8 percent) on necessities subject to excise taxes, including utilities and public services.
They pay almost six times as much of their incomes on these taxes as the highest earners.
http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?page=article&Article_ID=14984

This is there choice to spend this money. A single person working 40 hours a week at minimum wage with no raises at all during a year would still make $13,624 so the information on the under $10,000 really doesn't hold much water with me since you can work at a McDonalds and make at least the minimum. If they only give you 20 hours a week get a second job to make up the other 20.

ari1013
08-29-2008, 11:30 AM
I want to know where you get that these people you are speaking of pay 1/3 of the taxes.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121659695380368965.html


http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?page=article&Article_ID=14984

This is there choice to spend this money. A single person working 40 hours a week at minimum wage with no raises at all during a year would still make $13,624 so the information on the under $10,000 really doesn't hold much water with me since you can work at a McDonalds and make at least the minimum. If they only give you 20 hours a week get a second job to make up the other 20.
Read your previous post. You're saying that everyone should pay their fair part. Are you now backing off of that ascertion?

hoosiercubsfan
08-29-2008, 12:19 PM
Read your previous post. You're saying that everyone should pay their fair part. Are you now backing off of that assertion?

OK I can see where you got that impression. Though that was not the message I was trying to convey. My whole point is you keep talking about all the taxes the "poor" pay and I showed where they actually pay very little to no income tax whatsoever. They generally get a hand out every February in a tax refund even though they don't wind up paying any because they get it all back. My point was that if they cannot get by on what they are making they have one of two choices. Either cut back in lifestyle or get a new/better job.


-favors the interests of the wealthy over the interests of the working class (assertion based on his tax and economic plans that are by far most favorable to the wealthiest Americans)
That was the original post that I was disputing. My point then and now still is how can tax plans not be geared more toward the people who pay the lion share of the taxes. So in closing I did not mean that the amount being paid needs to be shifted to the poor but more to the fact that the Obama plan wants to shift even more tax onto the people that are paying darn near all of it already. I just don't believe that you spur an economy by raising the taxes on those who are a major portion of it that is my fundamental belief which I am sure is different than yours.

ari1013
08-29-2008, 01:14 PM
OK I can see where you got that impression. Though that was not the message I was trying to convey. My whole point is you keep talking about all the taxes the "poor" pay and I showed where they actually pay very little to no income tax whatsoever. They generally get a hand out every February in a tax refund even though they don't wind up paying any because they get it all back. My point was that if they cannot get by on what they are making they have one of two choices. Either cut back in lifestyle or get a new/better job.


That was the original post that I was disputing. My point then and now still is how can tax plans not be geared more toward the people who pay the lion share of the taxes. So in closing I did not mean that the amount being paid needs to be shifted to the poor but more to the fact that the Obama plan wants to shift even more tax onto the people that are paying darn near all of it already. I just don't believe that you spur an economy by raising the taxes on those who are a major portion of it that is my fundamental belief which I am sure is different than yours.
I never said the poor pay a lot. I support the EITC because it, along with WIC and food stamps help keep food on the table, and heat going in the winter time for a lot of hardworking people that might otherwise wind up as an even bigger drain on society by simply giving up on trying to work their way out of it.

As far as the tax cuts go, it's pretty simple. You kind of hit on it earlier. When you cut taxes on the wealthy, it doesn't affect their spending habits. But when you cut taxes on people who can't afford to save, spending will rise. That's why the second round of Bush cuts didn't add anything to the economy whereas the more generalized first round was successful. Similarly, this year's stimulus accomplished the exact same thing.

As an economist, I've looked at the numbers year after year. I was in favor of the initial tax cut and even gave a talk on the potential success of a temporary tax cut back in 2002. But when politicians try to bring back Trickle Down Economics, I promise you that it's all bull. It didn't come true in the 1980s and it didn't come true in the early part of this decade. That's why Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton were forced to raise taxes several times between 1987 and 1994 and whoever comes in after Bush II will have to do the same thing. Otherwise we'll start to see the harmful effects of adaptive expectations.

On a side note, take a look at the actual tax percentage that a typical corporation pays. Not the corporate tax level, but the actual one they pay on their "reported" profits. You'll find that 2/3's of US-based corporations paid less than 1% of their profits in taxes.

Bosox Believer
08-29-2008, 01:22 PM
Fair= PHX agrees with it

Rush/Hannity spin= PHX hates it.

As a side note, DB, it might be best if you didn't talk about stacking the courts. Especially when the only way to get the Democratic Leadership to vote to confirm you is if you've performed an abortion in the past. And did you die from hypocrisy from whining about legislating from the bench?

As a further side note, John McCain will not "stack" the court with people who oppose R v Wade. He will put the best conservative judges on the court, just like any Republican. But, and you might remember this, John McCain attacked Justice Alito as being "too conservative." "Too conservative" in this instance means what? Primarily, that Alito opposes abortion. So if Alito is too conservative for McCain, he won't put on uber-conservative judges hell bent on forcing women to run to their nearest alley coat hangers at the ready.

Thank you BB for providing a perfect example of "attack" and "spin". Please go to McCain.com and submit your resume.:rolleyes:

blenderboy5
08-29-2008, 02:35 PM
I'm not sure what in mine was attack or spin, or attack or spin McCain would favor. I believe I painted him in a more liberal manner, something he'd oppose.

Uncle Funster
08-29-2008, 03:00 PM
I'm not sure what in mine was attack or spin, or attack or spin McCain would favor. I believe I painted him in a more liberal manner, something he'd oppose.

Holy Mackeral! Blender Boy...what is UPPPPP!